What's the longest road trip you've ever taken? A day? A week? Staff tax accountant Michelle Greco (Long Island) probably has you beat, having completed a two-month drive around the contiguous United States.
After graduating from college and passing her CPA exams, Michelle had six months to live it big before entering the accounting workforce. What to do? She and her college roommate wanted to take a journey together. After some deliberation, the two reached a final verdict – a two month road trip around the entire United States (complete with some special appearances in Canada). The two concocted a tight schedule accompanied by a detailed Excel spreadsheet (accountants...), they hit the road in Michelle’s leased Honda Civic.
From New York, they drove to Ohio, then to Louisiana, meeting up with several other college friends who came along for portions of the ride. In Texas, they ate barbecue and Michelle caught herself learning to line dance. (If you’re observant, you might catch her practicing in her cubicle.) Then, into the Southwest they went, stopping at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, as well as the Arches National Park and Zion Canyon in Utah. Zion was a fan favorite, with its deep valleys, rushing waterfalls, and lush foliage growing from the bright red sandstone cliffs.
Onward to California, where Michelle stopped in Hollywood and San Diego. She attended rooftop concerts, ate spectacular Korean barbecue, and even ran around the San Diego Zoo for free. The free zoo visit was in fact a 25-minute crash course through the park while Michelle and her friends were supposed to only be browsing the gift shop. Northern California presented Yosemite National Park, which was ...nice… according to Michelle. (Zion had set the bar rather high.) At the national parks, Michelle and her friends opted to stay at campsites rather than hotels – the college grads were on a tight budget. To keep with the trend, breakfast consisted of granola bars, and dinner was usually hot dogs cooked on a portable grill.
They drove up through Portland, Oregon to Seattle, where misfortune struck (literally). A truck crashed into her Civic, totaling the car. Everyone was okay except Michelle's insurance company. It took several heated conversations with the insurer, before Michelle managed to get back on the road -- with a new rental car and no liability for the destroyed Honda.
They traveled on to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, where Michelle spotted hundreds of bison and glimpsed a pack of wolves on the hunt under the sunrise. In Chicago, she tried deep dish pizza, which was of course vastly inferior to a good ol’ New York slice. They wrapped up with a few days in Toronto and Montreal and then, after two jam-packed months, Michelle was back in New York and ready to take on the accounting world.
Michelle isn’t done. She’s vowed to go somewhere new every year, and has since visited Paris and the Canadian Rockies. Her next destination is Spain. Travel is a passion for her, and a necessity. As a high-octane accountant, Michelle feels it’s very important to “relax, go somewhere new, breathe, and enjoy the sunlight.”