“If you will it, it is no dream."

A quote from one of my favorite books, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
A while back I got the idea in my head of doing a long distance brewery tour through the American West. The idea came on by chance (most likely after my third or fourth craft beer one night) and I quickly became obsessed...
At the time I had only been writing the BDT for a few months. The concept of combing multiple passions of mine (craft beer, writing, photography) was still very novel. Add visiting breweries, traveling to new cities, and taking a long road trip to that that recipe and it became difficult for me to sleep at night. I needed a plan of attack...
  • First, I went online and printed a dozen blank maps of the Western United States. 
  • Next I started marking the maps with the breweries that I knew that I couldn't miss. 
  • Then I spent hours googling things like "brewery + denver" or "craft beer bars near Spokane Washington" (before long I had a map was covered in notes)
  • Finally, I took on the challenging (but fun) task of connecting the dots in a route that would maximize visits, and minimize backtracking.
At the time I was living in Tempe, Arizona so the logical path started and ended there. Some of the cities were close together, others were hundreds of miles away. Some of the cities I wanted to visit had no real interest from a beer stand-point but I included because if I were going to be driving around the US I might as well take advantage of the opportunity to see ALL of the places of interest (and you never know, I might just stumble upon an amazing craft beer bar too new to have a website!) I worked and reworked the map until I had a route that I was happy with. When I finished I held it up and smiled (I may have even posted my proud work on the fridge for my housemates to admire).
Still needs a little work I think, but it's a pretty darn good start!
While hypothetically charting the course was exciting, the fun quickly dissipated when I moved on to actual logistics stage. A trip of this size and scope would be expensive... really expensive. And it would take time... a lot of time! (and would my car even be up for this sort of trip?!)

A loop like the one above would conservatively take two months. That's two months off work, two months of food costs, accommodation, and gas costs (not to mention beer!) The practicality of actually taking the trip quickly shifted from "probably feasible" to "would be tough to pull off" eventually coming to rest at: "there's no way I can afford this right now."

When I reached the sad conclusion that I wouldn't be able to take this trip (at least in the near future) I stuffed all of the papers that I had accumulated into a manila folder, wrote "tabled until further notice" on it, filed it away, and tried to forget about it.

-Fast-forward 28 Months-

I've dusted of the manila folder and reaffirmed my resolve to make this trip happen! While I'm not planning on leaving tomorrow, I'm writing about the trip here for two reasons:
  1. Although I'm in a different place than I was two years ago (emotionally, financially, physically) I'm still right on course with my Western America brew tour. 
  2. As the quote at the top says, when you really want something all of the universe will conspire to help you achieve it. The universe doesn't "drop your dreams in your lap" but if you are loud, and clear, and persistent in your pursuit of your dreams, I believe that you can make your goals a reality, no matter how ambitious they are! So, universe, here is my proclamation. I'm going on this trip!