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Shanty Cross Country

by | Denver, NEPA

This May, I got to do something I would have never thought I would have the guts to do. I did a semi-solo trip across the country from Colorado to Pennsylvania, just me and my corgi girl Remy.

Let me tell ya. If you have a bucket list and a solo road trip isn’t on there? Add it! For Real.

While the road trip only took up about 2 weeks of the month for me, the whole month of May was filled with such fantastic experiences, art, culture, craft, travel, friends, family, you name it. I am grateful every day that my job allows me to enjoy life as I grow and learn.

Chicago Cultural Center

Let’s start from the beginning:

As most of you know, I travel quite frequently from my current home in Denver to my forever home in Scranton. It’s often for work, meeting with clients, or specific projects, the perk is that I get to see my friends and family. This time I wanted it to be something different. I love seeing new places and sign chasing in tiny towns, so I decided to do a trip, JUST to do a trip. I’ve taken small vacations over the years since starting Shanty Town but there was always some sort of work involved. Whether it be a craft fair or connecting with new business prospects, I’m always working.

Don’t get me wrong! I absolutely LOVE what I do. But, tapping into the inspirational side of myself through this trip has really satisfied my soul. Being surrounded by art and seeing people I haven’t seen in ages has reconnected my motivation. It’s important to remember to take time for yourself, especially as a business owner. I’ve been working on that a lot over the last few years. And nothing has helped me more as a person, than making sure to balance work and play.

My trip started by visiting Mount Rushmore. A pretty good start right? South Dakota I think was by far my favorite while I was alone. Driving through the Black Hills National Forest and stopping at each scenic overlook, cool looking town (Like Deadwood! Woahhh), just put so much into perspective. It was such a great split between the wide open road with nothing but trees and hills for miles and these amazingly cultured towns and cities. Rapid City had this great area called Artist’s Alley, where graffiti artists and muralists were permitted to create on exterior walls without punishment. We happened to stop as a photography class was doing a project, of course Remy stole the show lol.

I realized I was staying pretty close to where a lot of my family hunts in the fall, Hullett, Wyoming so one of our days we took a ride over that way. Our last day in South Dakota we drove through the Badlands (I’ve never heard such silence before in my life), stopped in Wall Drug, a major road side attraction, and ended up in Sioux Falls for the night.

Before getting to Chicago to visit a good friend from High School, we took our time throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. We cruised through Minneapolis and took the long way through the country roads to visit Shanty Town, Minnesota! Which was more so a little farm area lol. Madison and Milwaukee is where the days started to run together a bit, but just to see the structure of these great cities was enough for me!

Once we got to Chicago, it was nonstop art and great food the entire weekend. Chicago is one of my favorite cities in the US, so being able to spend some time there and explore with someone already somewhat familiar with the areas made it all the better.

Another short stop in Ohio and it was home for me! The whole trip out took about 9 days and I got to NEPA on my birthday!

I had some friends add to Road Trip playlist before I left, if you’re interested in hearing that, here’s the Spotify link!


Olyphant, PA





Samantha is the founder and creative director for Shanty Town Design. She spends much of her day discussing clients' brand and web strategies, directing and creating with team members to achieve design goals, and brainstorming business opportunities. She enjoys gardening, astrology, traveling, exploring everything strange & unusual, and spending time with her small pack of dogs.

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