Help me plan my next road trip?


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Hello all! This community was very helpful on my last road trip and I'm procrastinating on school work so I thought I'd post again and see if I could get some ideas for another road trip.

I'm a 22F living in Houston and I took my first solo road trip at the beginning of January to Santa Fe, NM. It was absolutely amazing and I learned that I freaking love long distance driving by myself (even after falling horrifically ill and going to the emergency room alone in SF and having to drive straight through to Austin while popping cough suppressants and ibuprofen…). I spent two days to get there, three nights in SF, and two(ish, don't really consider Austin-Houston a day of driving) days to get home. I think this time around I would like to plan a little further in advance so I can have time to save up some money because budgeting was a challenge for me. I still think I did it pretty affordably but spent more than I thought I would.

SO, on to the next! My next feasible time to do a road trip over a similar amount of time would be this summer, don't know exactly which month yet because of grad school stuff. I would prefer to go out of state and do not mind long drives at all, but google searches for "out of state road trips from houston" have been pretty disappointing. I've already been to Nashville and and NOLA, which would probably be two popular destinations from here. I've also already been to the west Texas/BB area a lot (lived there for a bit). I think after this last experience I have a better idea of things I'd be looking for in a destination but I'm not 100% set yet.

Although I love nature, I don't know that a nature-centric destination would be ideal for me because I'm nervous about going on long hikes and such by myself in the event I get into an accident. For instance, I went to White Sands on the way to SF and while I was absolutely blown away, I think I would like to go back with a friend because exploring too far in the dunes by myself made me nervous. Hope that makes some sense. I also did Meow Wolf in SF and loved it as well, but feel it might have been better with a friend to get the full experience. So places like that might not be on the top of my radar when looking for a new destination. Some of the things I loved about SF were the art galleries and the plaza where I could just walk around for hours. I also LOVED the food there, so food will be a huge consideration. And I also loved the nature that I could experience within the city. Being surrounded by mountains was awesome, it had just snowed when I got in town so that was a great experience, and it was overall a beautiful city.

I guess ultimately what I'm looking for is a city that's out of Texas but not a super crazy drive from Houston. I think two long driving days would probably be my limit- I did about 12 hours on my longest days this last time but I may be able to go a couple more hours than that. I also would like for there to be plenty of solo-friendly activities to do. I know that people say you can really do anything by yourself and I believe that's true, but like I said earlier I think there's some experiences that may just be better with another person, at least for me!

Anyway, thanks for reading my long ramblings and I'm open to any suggestions y'all may have!!

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