On this, only my second day of my cross-country journey to a new life in North Carolina, I already have learned a few things.

I’m also quite exhausted from the past rushed week preparing for the movers and then packing up — and shedding more belongings that obviously would not fit into my xB. Right until the very end I maintained the delusion that my car would magically expand like Harry Potter’s tent.

My first bit of advice for those of you considering a long road trip? If you don’t have a decent singing voice, how about voice lessons or voice box surgery. My ears hurt after only one day of driving — and belting out the lyrics of my favorite tunes on my CDs singled out for this road trip.

One of my observations from Day 1 of driving 426 miles, from Elk Grove to Redlands, was the difference between drivers heading north on I-5 from Sacramento and those trekking south on 5 from the state capital. Those traveling south, even motorists hours and hours north of Los Angeles, drive with the rushed, aggressive attitude that fits with the stereotype of citizens of L.A. A few times I seriously wondered if there would be a Day 2 of my journey.

Finally, I want to share one affirmation. I never have doubted my decision to quit my Sacramento Business Journal reporting job after 16 ½ years, to take six months off and find a new professional passion in North Carolina, the place of my childhood. But today, Oct. 13, the importance of this self-funded sabbatical became even more crystal clear. After more than 20 years, I could celebrate my dad’s birthday in person. Being here with dad on his 80th birthday was priceless.

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