Last year we came up with an impulsive and half-baked idea that changed our lives forever. During Ramadan 2010, Islam's holy month of fasting and reflection, we hopped in a car and drove across America and broke our fast at a different mosque in a different state each night. We prayed in the infamous "Ground Zero Mosque," got pulled over by a cop in Mississipi and stumbled upon one of the first mosques ever built in the United States when our car broke down.
We've only scratched the surface with all the compelling narratives about Muslims living in this country. Nobody could anticipate all the discoveries we made last year. Now that we're blessed to have you all as friends, just imagine what we can find this year.
One of the most beautiful parts of last years project was how you all played a critical role to this project's success. You suggested places and people for us to meet that we would have never have thought of and you financed the entire thing. We didn't take a single dime from corporate sponsors or similar entities.
We're doing over 13,000 miles of driving on this trip, all while juggling blogging, interviewing people and most importantly fasting. Sleep is overrated. This is anything but a vacation for us and we're leaving our jobs and families for the month to do this project. We hope you guys enjoy this project as much as we do.
I'll be blunt, this project won't happen this year without your guys support again this year. We want to hear your suggestions of places to visit (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org) and any contribution you can give to the project will help make it a reality. Almost all of our expenses are covering the costs of travel. Here's a rough breakdown of where the money is going:
Rental Car: $3200. Since we're starting the trip on the west coast and finishing on the east coast, we have to drop the rental car off at a different location which is crazy expensive unfortunately. Almost $1500 is for the drop off fee.
Gas: $2200. We have more people coming with us this year so we're taking a slightly larger vehicle to acommodate for that. Unfortunately, gas prices are almost $4 a gallon in many parts of the United States this summer. We calculated the number for our 11,000+ mile trip using the AAA trip calculator.
Flights: $2400. Since our project focuses on telling stories about Muslim communities that have been neglected in this country, we're heading out to Alaska and Hawaii to dig into those state's histories. But given the travel/writing intensive nature of this trip, this will be anything but a vacation. Fuel costs are pretty high this summer too and so far this is the best package we could find to get the two of us to Alaska and Hawaii for a reasonable amount.
Internet: $200 to rent a mobile broadband card for the month. Constantly blogging and uploading large photos/videos while the other person driving is no easy task. And unfortunately most mosques don't exactly have wi-fi hotspots we can use to write our daily posts, so we need to rely on our own source of stable internet to be able to get these stories up promptly every single day.
Supplies: $200. If we're doing over 11,000 miles of driving, gotta come prepared with supplies. Batteries, flashlights, fix a flat and other things to make sure we don't bump into any problems along the way while travelling.
Emergency Funds: $1800. Last year, we didn't anticipate running over a rock that damaged our rental car in Montana (Cost almost $450 to fix). We don't plan on staying in hotels for this road trip, but last year we came across having to once or twice because our plans for shelter for the night fell through. It comes with the territory when we're trying to coordinate 30 separate visits. We're sincerely hoping we don't have to use a single penny of this emergency fund, but I know its better to be safe then sorry. As crazy and ambitious as this roadtrip is, we have to approach it with a sense of practicality.
- (30 days)