Ordinary people's extraordinary stories & Everyday Conversations Regarding Mental Health

The Tim Heale Podcasts S3 E47 William Hollingworth

March 13, 2022 Tim Heale and a host of other amazing people Season 3 Episode 47
Ordinary people's extraordinary stories & Everyday Conversations Regarding Mental Health
The Tim Heale Podcasts S3 E47 William Hollingworth
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode I chat with William who tells his story from growing up in San Antonio Texas to having never left the state to joining the US Army and deployed to the Mid East, on his return left the military and was lost for a while before making a rash decision with his wife, rented a car and drove to California and back some 4000 miles in a week, which set them on a course to visit all 48 states of America with only two left, they have written a book all about their adventures. All 48 Drive your Dream.

All 48" is an inspiring self-help book about a young couple's journey trying to find themselves and achieve personal growth. From rags to riches, they embark on a remarkable journey through military service, jobless veteran status, to college graduates traveling through North America.

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We help you choose to be more positive, more passionate, and be present in the moment.

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0 (1s):
The Tim Heale podcasts, ordinary people's extraordinary stories.

2 (15s):
Welcome to series three, a good Tim Heale podcasts in the last two series I've told you about my life. I've met many interesting people along the way who have become my friends and what they all have in common is they have fascinating stories of their own. We are happy to share with you now. Thank you for listening. Welcome to the shame hill poke costs. And this episode, I'm going to have a chat with William. William's going to tell us all about his life. So we're going to start off with where or when he was born. And if you can describe the way you grew up the schools you went to and the education you received.

2 (58s):
So William, if you can start, how are you doing?

3 (1m 2s):
Hi. Hi Tim. Thank you for having me on today.

2 (1m 6s):
You're welcome. So let's get started. Where were you born?

3 (1m 14s):
Excellent. I was born in San Antonio, Texas where I currently reside. My wife is, well, we, we have moved out during my military career, but we're back here currently Texans for life, right? You can't, you can't quite get away. Luckily it's a big state, so you've got a lot of hops, but yeah, we were both born in San Antonio, Texas the school year back when we were kids is probably a, a lower middle-class demographic. To be honest, it was kind of just ordinary education, ordinary upbringing. You know what I mean? As far as our demographic goes and we actually, we met in high school, we met in high school and Jessica got pregnant while we were still teenagers.

3 (1m 56s):
I was 16 and she was 17. It was a surprise for us too. Right? And so we found ourselves in a situation where we were, we were struggling. You know, teen parents is a, is a scary situation to be in. And it was hard to start. Making ends meet much less finished high school knowing we had a, a child on the way. And so we, at this time, you know, in the scary situation, we, what we did have, what we lacked in wealth. We hadn't support through our parents a lot love both of our parents were married. So we had a good, you know, a good standard, a good like example of rock, solid marriages.

3 (2m 43s):
And that's a currency that goes a long way. Jessica was able to look through programs. And actually, because we're kind of in a lower demographic area, there was a program to graduate early for people who were held back or dropped out or were expecting to become teen parents. And I went from being someone who didn't take school seriously at all. I was an at school cause I knew I wanted to join the military to some capacity. Cause someone who was all sudden extremely focused, but the two of us on completing my education, that way I could have that taken care of, I can have that foundation to stand on and then I could start working full time before my son was born. And so I went from being completely underachieving, you know, underdeveloped in school, probably behind academically, even though on paper, I was ahead with my credits to someone who graduated at 16 years old just to graduate at 17.

3 (3m 34s):
I actually graduated the month before my son was born and started working full time from there forward, of course, you know, to provide me and Jessica, we ended up getting married. She was 18. By that time she turned 18 the month after our son was born, but I'm younger than her. And so I was 17. At the time we got married, my parents had to go to the courthouse, the sign for me to get a marriage license signed for me, you know, and get married. It's funny. Cause I'm in this limbo having to be an adult, but still a kid. Yeah.

2 (4m 5s):
I guess you're just a toy where,

3 (4m 8s):
Oh man. I mean, I wouldn't mind my only weakness, you know, women are just so beautiful, But Jessica is obviously no exception, but so yeah, I'm in that position also. I knew I wanted to join the military already. I'm finished with school. So I was able to get my, I try to get my parents signed me into the Marine Corps. They weren't quite comfortable with that. And, but you know, I looked at my other options. They just wanted me to have something that they were really comfortable would help me if I didn't stay in the military. And so in the Marine Corps, you can't guarantee a job. It's obviously an excellent branch, but you can't guarantee your position. So you can't quite guarantee what you'll have under your belt when you exit the military under the Marine Corps.

3 (4m 51s):
But I knew I wanted to be a soldier. I knew I wanted to be a boots on the ground guy. So I looked into the army and in the army, you can, if your scores high enough, you get to secure what you're going to be in there. And all you have to do is go to the school for your MOS and graduate that and you know, you're set. And so they did sign me into the United States army. I got them on this as a combat medic. And so, but again, I'm not even 18. So they had signed for me. And then I left 10 days after my 18th birthday for the military. When I was in the military, I went to basic training. Fort Benning, Georgia came back, actually San Antonio, Texas for medic school. It's a big medical city with Samson and whatnot.

3 (5m 33s):
And then was stationed at Fort hood, Texas only two hours north of where I grew up.

2 (5m 38s):

3 (5m 40s):
Right, right. And so at this point we have,

2 (5m 44s):
So this was, so you joined the military and that was in place of going to university.

3 (5m 51s):
Yes, initially. Yes, sir.

2 (5m 53s):
So, so w where was your basic training?

3 (5m 58s):
Fort Benning, Georgia. That's where all combat arms related MOS is go as a medic. You can be put in any of the four or at least three of the four ones kind of specializes for a military police, but three of the four locations they have in the army for training. But yeah, I got to go to Fort Ben, Georgia, which is kind of a good start, to be honest, it's a little bit more of a intense, basic training to get put under. And so, yeah, I was happy with that result. Then I got stationed at Fort hood, Texas. So at this point we hadn't even really traveled much. We're, you know, our parents didn't really take it. They took me out of state a couple of times to get vehicles for my, like my dad would get work trucks and whatnot, you know, work-related stuff, but Jessica never left the state.

3 (6m 40s):
I'd never flown on a plane until basic training. She didn't fly on a plane until she was going to see me graduate at basic training while I was in the military, I learned that I really liked the medical field. Neither one of my parents were in the medical field. So I didn't really know what to expect, but I didn't think I was going to stay in the military. So I started working on my exit plan to what I would do when I was out. I started working on an associates degree, going to school online. You kind of have to go to school online just because, you know, obvious volunteer for deployment and stuff. I knew it was, it was coming. And so I did start to push and further my education.

3 (7m 20s):
At that point, I volunteered for three deployments. It was hard for me to get put on one because I was on a diesel unit. It's like a chemical reaction response team for like disasters and things like that.

2 (7m 32s):
So you're like on a, what we call an NBC nuclear, biological, chemical warfare.

3 (7m 39s):
Yeah. We would do a lot of training and suits with non rebreathers and stuff like that. That way we can react. So it was hard to get put actually when you're on a unit like that, it's actually hard to get taken off that unit. So it was hard for me to get a deployment. Finally, I got one after the third one I volunteered for and it was, I had to go leave my unit, go to the new unit. It was all they told us was, Hey, you're going to go back in Iraq. You don't really have time to think about it. We don't know the exact day you'll leave, but it'll be in less than 30 days. And so I got the deploy, came back from that. And then when I, I worked on my education the entire time of course, was paying the bike waking at three in the morning to attend, you know, listening to professor talk.

3 (8m 22s):
But I, I exited the military with a associates degree in health sciences. And so here I go from being, you know, a team parent graduating early, kind of in like a gray area, as far as my actual education level to a college graduate. But when I got out of the military, I realized that I was going to need a bachelor's degree to pursue what I wanted to do, which is health administration. And so I get out and I don't really have a real job. I'm going to school using my GI bill and you get a little bit of money for rent, you know, and I'm doing private jobs here and there

2 (8m 58s):
And hang on there. So we've gone from moving to a unit, a quick deployment to Iraq, and now you left the military.

3 (9m 9s):

2 (9m 12s):
We need to go back a little bit and help more. So, so take me back to, to your basic child in, in Georgia. So how was basic training for, for a us army guy? How does Chinese start? How do you get fit for it? Well, what was your buildup before going to support then in,

3 (9m 38s):
Yeah, so I knew I was going to join the military. I probably decided when I was like 14. And so while I played sports, everything was kind of geared towards a military career. I, I quit doing football and I started doing cross country and track. I started doing boxing, going to this, actually this army veteran, who was, he was a golden gloves, boxer stuff. And so he started training me in boxing and then in military fitness. And so he had me running different kinds of, you know, different cross country events and stuff like that. And I logged prostate exercise and I actually started training in martial arts and stuff. So everything got geared towards joining the military. I was learning customs and courtesies.

3 (10m 18s):
I was learning, you know, all the military demographics you need like military time, phonetic, alphabet, things like that. And back then, they actually had a great program called the future soldier program. So an ordinary guy like me with no ROTC or anything could do a certain amount of courses help with recruiting duty and actually get promoted before you even stepped foot into the army. And so I actually was able to rank up twice. I went from just private PB, one to PB two to private first class before I even went to basic training. So it got put on my contract. And as soon as I started basic training, I started as a private first class, even though I had no college and no ROTC.

3 (10m 58s):
So that was, that was it,

2 (10m 59s):
That kind of work. I mean, I guess a private first class is kind of a senior soldier, well, All to do with the way that in the UK, we have what we call army cadets, but we have Navy cadets as well. Sea cadets, we call them and the air force cadets. So, but they all join roundabout sort of 12, 13 age group. And then they, like, they can go through down until they're 18, but that doesn't, doesn't give them any special privileges when they go to into training.

2 (11m 41s):
But they, they, it does give them that head start where others, you know, coming straight in from school say that haven't been through the cadets. It's a slightly less steep learning curve for them because they've already learned it. So is that kind of the same with this, this early soldier scheme?

3 (12m 1s):
Yes. So we have ROTC, which is a program where the military helps train people. And depending on what you're going through with the ROTC program, you can, if you're going to be enlisted or if you're going to be, you know, as an officer. So if you're going to be enlisted, you can plate the ROTC program usually starts a specialist. Who's an <em></em> on the ladder. If you go through ROTC and you actually go into college with ROTC, you actually can start as a Lieutenant and you get promoted rather quickly from there. And so this was a, like a blue collar version of that because there's no RTC at my school. There was just no program available to me. But through the recruiting station, you can show up the recruiter station, do all these courses online, help the recruiters, recruit other people.

3 (12m 45s):
You know what I mean? You're serving in the military before you even go in in the military, you don't get any pay out of it. You're just getting a promise that if you complete these steps, you will increase your contract before you start. And so I was actually able to increase my contract and start as a private first class, which is an E three. You still go through the same training. It's not like anyone standing up parade rest where you're saluting you, but your pay scale just went up a little and then you're starting on a better foundation for when you start the military.

2 (13m 13s):
Gotcha. So, so you could just give that little bit of a headstart. You're doing exactly the same training, but you'll find it, I guess, a little bit easier than the guidance coming straight in, off the street.

3 (13m 26s):
Exactly. I, I put time into the military before. Yes. Yes. I put time in the military before I was even under contract. You know what I mean? And so you do these, these things on paper now they've altered the future soldier program. I don't think it works quite the same way now. I don't think you can. I think you could start out as an E two, but not an . I'm not entirely sure why we're discussing earlier. I it's weird to say it, but I've been out for six years. I've been out of the army longer than I was ever in the army, as I'm sure there's plenty of changes now.

2 (13m 56s):
So I will use the address is serving the military.

3 (14m 0s):
I was in the army from 2012 to 2016. So four year contract, that's the standard contract. Some jobs require a little bit more and there's still a few jobs, at least when I was in where you could do two and three-year contracts. But yeah, the center was four year contract and that's what I did.

2 (14m 18s):
Yeah. We kind of get, and, and, and, and the UK ministry, we get guys come in, they join up for, for four years, they go do an operational tour and they come back and they leave on a, goes in, in, in a lot of stuff because these guys just are out to, to do an operational tour, get a medal. And then, and then it gives them a big hand up in civilian life because they, the skills that they learned in the, they can transfer then over, enter, insulate into their life, outside the military and are able to do a lot more now, a lot more employable.

3 (15m 4s):
Absolutely. I think the foundation that the military gives you is excellent. You know what I mean? Especially for people who are coming from somewhere where maybe they didn't have a discipline background, or maybe they didn't have some, they didn't come from a, a household where they had to be held accountable. You know what I mean? Or things like that. I think it gives people a great foundation, especially here in the states. There's a lot of incentive, especially for people like me. You're not coming from wealth or they're not coming from a higher education or anything like that. Anything to distinguish. It really gave me and my family a great platform, a great foundation to start with.

2 (15m 36s):
Brilliant. Where did you actually go? What did they, what was your deployment? So you're in this NBC unit, you fought really hard to get out of it, to go on a deployment and say, you went to Iraq.

3 (15m 51s):
Well, I volunteer for our Iraq, but actually we deployed over. So we left in less than 30 days. Wife was not happy about it, but I had to do, I knew I joined the military to be a soldier. You know what I mean? And deploying is part of that. It was something I felt called to do. And so w when you land in Kuwait, because we didn't have passports or anything, it was such a rapid deployment. They're like, we're going to take you promote one military installation to another military installation. That way we can skip the whole, you know, the whole passport process and everything else. They land us in Kuwait and we get there. And at the time I can't remember the exact thing. It was covered all over the news.

3 (16m 32s):
There was a bunch of hostages up on a giant mountain top, right there. ISIS had them all held up there and they were telling us, you're gonna, we're gonna let special forces do an operation. They're gonna do a helicopter operation to get them off, depending on how it goes. Depends where we're going to send you an Iraq. We're just waiting to see how it goes while some did the operation and they nailed it. They didn't have any problems at all. They got everyone out there, thankfully. So we're still in Kuwait. Then the word was okay. Well, ISIS has captured a dam that controls a power plant. We're going to special forces to go do an operation. And then depending on how that goes, we're going to see where we put you all into Iraq. The really trying to be careful.

3 (17m 13s):
The president was with what the BHAG limit was, boots on the ground. They were trying to keep it very precise to not just overflow with soldiers again, because of policy. You know what I mean? And so special forces does the operation on the Nam. They know it, they, they retake the damn, super low casualty rate. Again, my medical unit wasn't because that's what I was part of now, giant medical unit. They weren't needed for the operation, which is good. Then another mission came over on the right. Okay. We're gonna, you know, we're gonna see how this goes and we're gonna go on from there. Special forces. Nailed it again. So we keep getting our, our field goal for when we're to go in our rec push back, which, you know, in reflection, there's a lot of positives too, for me.

3 (17m 54s):
But the whole reason I joined was I volunteer for that. So at the time you're just kinda like, come on, like I want to get into. And so after that, after they took care of all three major things that we were there to cover them for it, we kind of realized that in a good way, we were, we were almost overkill, you know, having our giant medical unit there. And so what they did was they started plugging people into different parts, all over the middle east. Some of us got sent to Afghanistan. Some of us got sent into different places like Erbil and Iraq and stuff. You know what I mean? Like Baghdad, they just plugged our unit in places. And I got plugged into training, a bunch of different units in Kuwait. So I was, I can't bring up your weight.

3 (18m 34s):
It's 10 miles off the Iraq border. The only time they took me to Iraq, they actually, I got to do a training mission with flight medics for off. And they flew me over the Iraq border and helicopters as part of the training mission. Then we came back, but I, I mostly got, Was that,

2 (18m 50s):
Did that qualify you for the,

3 (18m 52s):
No, it didn't. Unfortunately I did not get a combat patch for that. I didn't get anything, but, you know, I have to be grateful that nothing happened that made me get a medal for that. But I got to do a lot of trucks.

2 (19m 6s):
The last medal that you want to get is a purple heart, I guess.

3 (19m 8s):
Right? Yeah. Yeah. Much respect all purple heart recipients out there, but there's a lot of positivities to not getting or positive aspects. So not getting one at the same time. So I, yeah, yeah. I got to train a lot. I got to train with the Kuwaiti army. I could train with different units from the Indian army. We got to train with Navy seals. We got to train with the air force special forces. We got to do a lot of awesome training missions on the Persian Gulf in the, in the desert of Kuwait, a bunch of different things. So it was great. I was, I was pretty ahead as a medic. And so it was a great opportunity to get, to help train a bunch of other frontline soldiers. You know what I mean, bringing of tree, whole bunch of different units and increasing their medic skills that way, if they did find themselves in a situation, they'd be more proficient.

3 (19m 56s):
So that's pretty much what my time equated to the, the best moments of it was, you know, training other units to, for wherever they were going to be plugged in later on. And then different people got different experiences based off where they got stationed.

2 (20m 12s):
So what rank we are there? So obviously you must have moved on from being a PFC.

3 (20m 19s):
I did. I, so I started as a PFC and then I got early promoted. Usually you have to wait till you hit your two year mark to be able to qualify for specialist. And I actually hit it at 18 months. I got waiver to get promoted six months early, but before I became a specialist, I realized that I wasn't gonna make a career out of the military. I just realized that I was going to want to be independent from the military after I finished my contract. So I pushed pretty hard to get, start off as PFC. And then I pushed really hard to get early promotion as a specialist. But then from there I focus on things like my education. You know what I mean? That's why I was still going to school pretty am on deployment stuff because I knew I was going to exit.

3 (21m 0s):
And so I made it to specialist, but I never tried to go to the board to get promoted, to be a non-commissioned officer. So go into being the Sergeant stuff, because I just knew the direction I was going ahead in life. So I got early come out of a specialist and then I remained specialist for the rest of my career. And you're allowed to be a specialist for eight years if you join. But yeah, I was a specialist for the rest of my career. I exited as a specialist as well.

2 (21m 24s):
Okay. So you got as far as specialists, then you retired in 2016.

3 (21m 31s):
Yes, sir. Yeah. I got back from deployment 2015 and then I literally had one year left. I got back in may and I had, I was going to finish my contract in may of 2016.

2 (21m 44s):
So what did you do with that last period of time where you're allowed to do resettlement? Did you continue with education, gaining experience qualifications you needed for our side?

3 (21m 59s):
So the United States army actually has a really good exit program. It's called <em></em> and it's to help you, you know, transitioning back into civilian world because the mission is the not have homeless veterans out there. You, you do the service and you get all this discipline and all of this accountability instilled in you. And the last thing they want is for you to get out. And now, you know what I mean, you're less successful after the military. So they had a good ASAP program. So that's when I actually finished my associates degree. And then that's when I, I also got to go to this course called shifting gears. It's sponsored by the military and it's almost like college. You show up there and work there all day long. And I got to leave with a certification as a general motors service technician.

3 (22m 39s):
And I actually had a job secure to start as a technician, working on vehicles and stuff with that certification while I worked on my bachelor's degree in the medical field. But actually we, I kind of had a family situation come up right before, like literally the week before I was leaving the military, I have a job set up, you know what I mean? Like everything is ready to go. And I, the family situation comes up with my extended family where the deal is, I'm going to start helping my parents to get all their, their properties and, you know, everything managed and, and turn it towards making profits. My parents, you know, they're just high school graduates. No, no extended education, just hardworking folks.

3 (23m 22s):
And through hard work and discipline, they were able to save up. You had a rental property, you know what I mean, build that into another rental properties for owning real estate and stuff and start having their own way to have a retirement plan and, you know, passive income and stuff. And they had all this, but because they're both working, my mom volunteers full time, and my dad obviously has to work full-time to make the money, to do these things. They just needed someone to help get all their assets kind of on track or at least keep it in the, you know, a positive trending direction. And so after discussing with them, I went from going to be a service tech to, you know, managing their properties and they were paying me for it.

3 (24m 5s):
The only issue is it's easy to get complacent when you're in charge of yourself. And so I exit the military and I have all these big plans. I'm going to do so much, you know, so many big things and how I'm just going to rule the world and be making, you know, all this money and no time. And I, after almost a year, it goes by and I find myself kind of stagnant. I didn't realize it, but passively I was doing less and less. I w I wasn't doing as much work on the properties were going in the right direction. So I just, you know, didn't have to do very much. I wasn't putting in very much hours. I still don't have an actual job. You know what I mean? I'm going to school, but like, I'm doing the minimum amount of classes because of the, the first university I tried transfer to wouldn't accept my military credits.

3 (24m 49s):
So I couldn't go in house to college. So I just had to start going online again. So I find myself in a place where a lot of veterans knew just kind of a loss and without purpose, you know what I mean? And this is kind of where my me and Jessica story actually begins. Jessica was also working towards being, she thought she wanted to be in the, like the veterinary field, her whole life. That's where a lot of her family is and stuff. And she loves animals. And she starts on that path. As soon as we get out and realize that she doesn't want to do that. You know what I mean? She thought she did, but she did it. And so she goes to a short trade school to become a phlebotomist so she can draw blood and take labs and stuff.

3 (25m 29s):
And she, she completes that and she interviewed for a job. She's got to start in two weeks. And so she quits the job she has. So here we both are kind of in limbo in life, just doing odd jobs here and there, you know, cause like all my bills are this much I'll work this much. And we were currently on, I was on a job where I was building a, a fence line for a ranch, big fence line for the back of this big ranch. And Jessica was with me because she doesn't have a job. She's got to start her next job in two weeks. And we she's working with me as I'm doing this task. And I finish up. It was literally the last day I went in, I finished everything and I stand up from putting the last, like staple in defense post, you know, tighten up the, the barbed wire fence.

3 (26m 15s):
And I look around and I just like, it, it hit me that I'm not doing anything with my life at this I'm stagnant. And I want to make a change. I want to do something. And so I look around and I look at her and I was like, man, let's do like, let's do something. Let's go somewhere. And she didn't know what I was talking about. So she was like, what do you mean? Like, I was like, I don't know. Let's, let's do something. Like, I feel like I need to do something big. I feel like I need a, make a big change in my life. And she was like, you want to go to the coast? Because you know, here in Texas, we're close to the water, much like you are. So it's very common for people to go down to the coast a couple times a year, you know, for a couple of weekends. And I was like, no, I want to do something different.

3 (26m 56s):
I wanna do something bigger. Let's let's go somewhere. Let's go somewhere big. Let's go. I don't know. Let's go to California. And she was like, California, how are we going to do that? Oh, I don't know. I've never traveled out of state myself. I've never done anything. I've only flown on a plane from the military and California, you know, it was like, I don't know, probably close to a thousand miles away. I have to look at a map right now, but I was like, let's go to California. And she goes, how are you doing that? I don't know. We can rent a car. You know, we can it's west. We just got head west. We hit the water. And like, it sounds crazy. It sounds crazy. I was coming out of my mouth. It wasn't pre-med to, if you would've told me the day before I was going to start this crazy journey, I would have said, you're crazy.

3 (27m 37s):
I'm going to go fix a barbed wire fence tomorrow. And then I'm going to go in and make class or something. And she's like, how are we going to do that? So I don't know, we're a car. It's like, what are we? We don't have any money. Like, you know, like how could, where I said, we got credit card. Like, w let's just make it happen. Let's do something. Let's do something big. And so we start Googling on our use, you know, are you lousy iPhone with terrible service or looking up a cheap place to rent a car. We're calling my mom to see if she'll watch Cole, because he's got school. We haven't planned for him. We haven't planned this at all. This is the last minute. If not, he's gotta be right up there with us, but she's a great grandma. She said, she'll watch them. And so we were literally packing up.

3 (28m 17s):
We, we pack up no plan. All we know is we're headed west. And we leave that night. We just take off west towards California. And we didn't know that, but this was the change of huge step that was going to change our lives forever. And it, it all began right there from being a veteran loss with no direction to heading west at the last minute.

2 (28m 41s):
Wow. So, so you, you realize you left your boy with your mum and you you've taken off like a couple of scolded cats headed for California. Well, you're going to look at going into sort of movies or something or, or you're just gonna end up whitening above.

3 (29m 3s):
Ah, it was right. And we didn't know, the Hollingworth could end up in Hollywood for all. We know we had no plan w the only direction was less. And we started heading towards California and this rental car with, with our use phones. You know what I mean? Barely packed, barely knowing what's going on. And as we're headed west, we're asking him these questions out loud, because it's all sinking in and what are we going to do? How much money are we going to spend? You know, the, when are we coming back? We're just like, what are we going to see? And Jessica's like, I don't know, but I'm hungry. Let's get something. And I was like, okay, well, we're going to be out of Texas. So let's stop at Whataburger. What a burger is a either like how McDonald's is a famous international franchise.

3 (29m 45s):
What a burger is a Texas up until recently, a Texas exclusive franchise, Texas love it, but, and we won't shut up about it. But at that time it was mostly Texas exclusive. So anyways, it, when I said it, it clicked what a burger we're getting it because we're about to leave the state. It's, you know, it is exclusive to our state. That means there's probably something exclusive to every state. So we should stop in every state. And, you know, we could stop in every state and be part of this exclusive culture. And then it occurred to me. Well, if we're going to stop in every state for something to do with food, we should stop in every state for an actual stop to actually see something, experience something. So all of a sudden, we go from having no plan to formulating, okay, where are we?

3 (30m 28s):
We're headed to California. Where are we going to go through, go through Mexico, Arizona into California. So that means we can make a somebody's Roswell, New Mexico, tombstone, Arizona, you know, up into California. Wow. Sudden we have a little bit of a plant. We have, you know, a stop for a experience and then a stop for food, a food franchise in each state. And then I'm like, well, it's not coming back the same way. What if we went north, when you hit California and come back a totally different, or, you know, a different route. And we would double our experiences. We double our states, we double everything. And so now it goes, you know, through tombstone Arizona and to Los Angeles, California, where you have Hollywood and everything else, all up north, all the way into San Francisco, you see the Winchester mansion and you get to San Francisco, you can see Alcatraz, you could see the golden gate bridge, all these great things.

3 (31m 13s):
And we'll head east from there into Nevada. And there's a chorus that Las Vegas in Nevada, but we're Bronx that, you know, that's the last thing we need, but, you know, into Utah and up into the mountains, and then coming back, you know, through the grand canyon, through Colorado for four points where the four states connect and then returning to Texas, and we formulate this plan and on the way we're gaining all these experiences, we're gaining all this culture. We're gaining all these interactions. Meaning people were reuniting with military families that, you know, I was stationed with because they're out and I'm reaching out to people that are in different states all the way. And when we get back from this incredible trip where we see all these incredible things, we're like totally different people.

3 (31m 56s):
We went from completely lost with no sense, you know, not really a sense of purpose, never traveled before, other than what were the military Sloan me to all of a sudden this great wealth of interactions, all within a week's time. And when we get back, we're like my goodness, that like that was life changing. All of a sudden, we're a lot more focused. We're a lot more cultured. And we were, the first thing we realized was we had to do this again. Actually we have to do this again. And we have to do this a different way, you know, into different states. And the first time we did it, no one really w outside of our closest family and our closest friends, no one really liked the idea. They thought it was crazy.

3 (32m 37s):
No, don't do that again. Maybe fly somewhere, stay there for a week. That's insane. But we just, it's almost like when you leave for the military and you go enter into basic training or a deployment, while the outside world hasn't changed a whole lot, because, you know, 10 weeks of a basic training and the nine months of the deployment, it wasn't that long of a timeframe for people, you know, in their daily lives for the person experiencing the appointment or whatever it is. It's, it's a lifetime. You come back with a lifetime of experiences and it's, it's something that changes you forever. It's like, you've been at a time capsule, you've stepped up. And so these trips were without us knowing a, a complete replica of that experience.

3 (33m 18s):
We came back with just a total different lifetime, you know, interactions all within this week's time. We just, we couldn't express it enough. So that was our first trip. And

2 (33m 30s):
How long did it take you on that first trip? How long were you away for?

3 (33m 37s):
It was like 4,000 something miles on our Instagram page. We have every map posted also in the book, every maps there with the exact routes, all the stops. How many miles, how many days, you know, don't mean how much money we spent. It's all logged in that. And that first trip was just one week, but it changes so much as soon as he Was

2 (33m 55s):
That he took the whole year.

3 (33m 57s):
No, no a week, just one week to do all that, that whole trip was one week. And it changes so much that when we got back, we were, our focus was completely changed. We have to get our careers in order. We have to get, we have to get things lined up because we want to do this again. And we want to make it bigger. You know what I mean? It changed our whole outlook and so Crazy. Crazy. And it actually wasn't. I know, I know. And that was one thing that was a huge miscalculation. The first one we barely slept. We were mostly just all trade in and out, but we were still at loving the experiences, but it was physically very hard.

3 (34m 38s):
You know what I mean? And so these are things you see it, you see our first strip it's employees shooting from the hip on strategized, no money to the second trip. We have some money saved up. It's a lot more focused. You know what I mean? We get a lot more rest time. The third trip where you have the whole budget saved up and it barely rushed. And then when we did the fourth trip, we were, we saved more than we ended up spinning, like way over the budget. We did. It was a big strip yet. No rush at all. We even finished early. Like you see how we mature as people and each trip in between each trip, how it changes our focus and our drive. So we get back and now we're, we're totally different people and interactions the stories, you know, when, when we're talking to different folks and we get better jobs just to, of course, start your job in the medical field, super focused.

3 (35m 29s):
I end up getting a job back in the medical field and really stepping hard on my degree. And it changes the way we save money, the way we think, you know what I mean? The way we pushed towards goals, because now we're driven towards something. And in the beginning, no one really outside of close family friend really liked it. But going into the second trip, all we could tell, people's like, we're going to do it again. And it's gonna be bigger next time. Like, trust us, this is, this is something amazing. Like maybe it's not a perfect fit for everybody, but for a lot of folks, I actually, I believe in it. And I've had a lot of people reach out to me since saying that, you know, it's impacted them as well. And so the second trip is huge. It's all the way up from Texas Northeast into Canada, Portland, Maine, which is the very tip of the United States.

3 (36m 12s):
And then back, it's like a twenty-something state drive. And yeah, but we're better at this time. You know what I mean? We have a better rental vehicle cults with us this time. We, we don't have the full budget, but we have a lot of the budgets that we, and we do more trips. We see more, we stop in every state, we get more experiences. We go to New York city, we go to Niagara falls, we go into Canada. So we actually go into another country. You know what I mean? I finished my bachelor's degree on the trip. I sit on a rock at the Portland Maine, and I put the laptop on a rock. I typed up my final essay and I finished my bachelor's degree. Like it just it's shifting everything in our lives. It's making huge impact. And we actually ended up breaking down the entire United States into four different trips, one trip each year.

3 (36m 57s):
That way, you know, you have time to do things and we're doing a lot of mini vacations. We're going into a whole bunch of mini, miniature experiences, big bend national park, Mexico, you know, NASA space command center. And it just compounds them in this thing that was bigger than we ever imagined. And

2 (37m 16s):
Just sit down after the first one, did you actually sit down and plan your route out plan where you were going to go and see subsequent trips or on the fly again?

3 (37m 29s):
No, no, no, no, no. We did. And you see the maturing of us as people and as travelers and as you know, in our professional careers as well with each trip, how we get, we, you know, calculate for it better. And we calibrate it for it a little better each time by the fourth one. So after the first trip we actually planned the, the second one with, you know, much more purpose, the best formula for that. As you plan your farthest destination for the first trip, we just knew it was California. And luckily we were able to plan everything from there on the way, the second trip we knew it was Portland Maine. So we planned our route up into Portland, Maine with an alternate route coming back that way, you know, we could clear as many states as possible.

3 (38m 11s):
The third trip, you know, we, we both have way better jobs. We're both in supervisor positions in the medical field. We can actually budget it's for Florida. So we go east into the Carolinas and then down into Florida and back, and then go to Orlando and stuff. You know, the Billy Graham library, Myrtle beach, all these great big locations in the United States in return. We did it. We, I know, I know. So the objective of the original road trips, or to experience the states and as fast of a, you know, kind of like compilation as possible. And so we would have a stop in every state for food and for, you know, an actual experience, but it was all pretty rapid-fire as we were building this, this resume, we didn't have anything to go off, but this was just a passion.

3 (39m 0s):
You know what I mean? We didn't have any kind of guide or map or anything really to, to really give us guidance. We were just going off what we were passionate about. And so, while we got to experience something in every state, we never really sat down in a state and spent an extended period of time. There. That's where the it's evolved. Now, now we're doing more focused trips, but in the beginning, what the book was about was us accomplishing this giant endeavor to travel the entire connected 48 United States. So of course, Alaska and Hawaii, you know, are, are directly connected in four years. So each year we were doing a different trip and then after the second trip, people start taking it seriously.

3 (39m 42s):
People are like, wow, that's kind of cool. It's not really for me, but you know, that's actually a little on precedent. Then after the third trip, people are rooting for us. Now, people are talking about us. We would go to events like work parties and family events, and people will be like, these are the couple I was telling you about their travelers, like the professional travelers. And we're like, well, not really. Where does, you know, knuckleheads doing the best they can, but thank you. We're trying to, people are like, well, where are you going next? You know, if they were about to go on a trip, they're asking us for advice and people are cheering for us to finish the United States. And so when we do, we get back, we plan for the fourth trip. The fourth trip is north up into like Illinois west through Montana, all the way into Washington, and then back a different route to finish the connected United States.

3 (40m 25s):
And at the time we were doing this, we weren't planning on writing a book or having any kind of platform. Jessica would post some stuff. But like for the most part, we would just talk about, we take pictures and talk about it. You know what I mean? There, there was nothing. It was, it was just passionate. There's like no bigger goal in mind outside of that. And it was on the way back from the fourth trip that I just felt like something wasn't, there's more to it. Like we're finished. I can't believe we're doing this. We're finishing the United States. Like, I don't know anyone that's done that personally. Now I do because the network's grown so big. But at the time, just to teen parents coming out of, you know, a poor spot out Southeast San Antonio, no one I knew was doing stuff like this.

3 (41m 8s):
And I, I didn't have any guns. We were just doing the best we could. And on the way back from the last trip, I was like, I just feel like this could be something that could reach people. This could be something that could help people, help people travel and drive their own dreams. Maybe not this. Exactly, but you know, at least in extent, that means something to them. And that's when I was like, what should this be? Should this be a podcast? Should it be, you know, should it be a book or sorry, a blog, should it just be a social media page? And it occurred to me, it could be a book. I always loved writing, but I didn't know what to write about. And I was like, we just did something actually pretty cool. You know, like I can't believe it. This is actually something pretty cool that a lot of people might want to know about. And so it became the book all 48, drive your dream.

3 (41m 52s):
And with that, it became a book and a social media platform. That's just exploding reach. So many places were in plenty of local libraries were been on the honor wall, a free little libraries where I'm reaching people internationally, we're donating to schools and just trying to help people drive their own dreams, help people to whatever capacity, whether it's, you know, remodeling your kitchen with your loved one or driving the whole United States or becoming world travelers or making that one trip. That means you've always wanted to do. That's all we were passionate about. And we've, we've been pushing that to we've won book awards.

3 (42m 32s):
We've been pushing that to such a degree, to help people from all demographics, all walks of life, drive to their dreams of their own.

2 (42m 39s):
So where'd you book then? Are you able to go around to the talks? Do you give a presentation on what you've done or is it just all promoting the book and on the, on the blog page?

3 (42m 52s):
So the book is actually pretty fresh. It's only been in print for probably three or four months and has been digital for maybe six months. Now. It's pretty fresh. It's something I would like to do. Like I said, we've donated to a bunch of different libraries. We sent them out to a bunch of different locations. We actually just mailed out a couple books yesterday that people free. We do free books for podcasts. So speaking of which people who reach out to me saying they're from the Tim hell podcast, I'll give the first three people free books. All you gotta do is provide me a address you're comfortable sharing and I'll ship it to you for free. You, don't got to be shipping. Don't have to be anything I was sent to you. And thank you for having me on today, but I would love to do stuff like that right now, we're working to get into the schools.

3 (43m 36s):
I mean, Jessica graduated from and possibly give a talk there to the, the young, you know, soon to be adults to help them pursue their own goals, drive their own dreams. Let people know w w no matter where you come from, no matter what your situation is, you're not finished. You can do whatever you set your mind to. And like I said it to any capacity. And so that's been the mission the whole time. We're still traveling. We're still doing big events. We have Disney world actually next week that's, as we were discussing earlier, before the show, we're going to be there for an extended period of time. Now we're flying out to places and we're actually spending focused amounts of time there. Now that we've driven the whole United States, and we're taking people on travels, we took a couple of the Houston space center.

3 (44m 18s):
We've taken people to a different beaches here in Texas, different river resorts. We've been sponsored different trips for different folks and, or linking up with people that had just one guy. You know what I mean? And we're not charging anything and we're not travel agency. It's literally just pure passion there. The only thing to be bought is the book. You don't have to buy it. You can go to our Instagram page, all 48 and beyond, and all the maps, all the stops, all the budgets. Everything's there. We'd love for you to connect with us, just reach out and we'll help you with whatever we can I have, but I probably have to get someone like you with the nice accent to do it for me. Cause I don't think people want to hear me talk, but in micro people off, if it's a British narrator talking about driving the United States, I'm not sure yet I'm going to have to workshop.

2 (45m 4s):
Yeah. I'm sure you can find a really good voiceover guy today with an American accent.

3 (45m 12s):
Yeah, probably not a text an accident, right? Like I don't think that's the, the ideal audible book, but I have, like I said, the books fairly fresh in profits, aren't really the goal. It's mostly just networking. So I do think on audible book would be good for that. It's just, it just has to be fit in with the budget with other things. You know what I mean? Cause we didn't want to haul our travels too much. We poured quite a bit of money into the initial book campaign, which helped get as big as it is now. But yeah, that would definitely just reaching people would be the ultimate thing. And it's thanks to awesome folks like you with great podcasts that give us a platform to do so. So thank you for having me on

2 (45m 50s):
No, it's been an absolute pleasure. So I say we could wrap that up. I think you've had a quite interesting life there.

3 (45m 58s):
Thank you. Thank you. And then not to burn, sorry to burn through the military career so fast, but I wanted to get to the travel so bad. It's a passion that we have now. It's the big goal. We want to help everyone out there drive their own dream.

2 (46m 10s):
Yeah. So, so what, where do you go from this with the, with the travels? Are you going to expand it out to, to, to new countries, to new areas of the world or, or just concentrate on still building America?

3 (46m 24s):
Absolutely. And great question by the way. So we want to do both of those things. What the real, what kind of puts a little logistics of timelines for now is cult age. So Colt missed out on the very first trip to California. So while me and Jessica are 48 states called set like 39 or 40. So he still holds that against us. But, but his age is kind of what calculates, what we do right now in dictates how we do our future travels. So that's why Disney world he's 10. And so that's why Disney world is the next one on the agenda. Something we always want to do. And I think he's in that perfect window or he can do everything in Disney world, but he's still young enough to want to hang out with his parents, you know?

3 (47m 7s):
And so Yeah, exactly. I know it's coming. And so then, and like we're still doing tons of local trips. We're probably doing a local or like an in-state trip once or twice a month. We have a shark fishing coming up next month. And so we get back from Disney world and we go shark fishing down in the, the golf. But the trip after Disney world, the big one's going to be an Alaskan cruise. So that's great. He'll be 11 by that time. So he'll be a little more independent. He'll be able to go on the cruise, but at least we'll be in a location where, you know, he can't really escape us on the cruise and that'll add a state to our belt. And then after that, we would like to do Hawaii. Of course, that way we finish the 50 states.

3 (47m 49s):
And by that time he'll be 12 probably. And so, yeah, he'll be more independent, you know what I mean? But still, I guess I'll hang out with us somewhat. And, and then from there we'd really like to go international and he'll buy the completely dependent. We'd really like, I've been to Germany, obviously, Kuwait flown over Iraq. I've been to Brazil twice, Mexico, but we'd really like to go to England. Like we were discussing area. That's where my, the Hollingworth name comes from. You know what I mean? That's my heritage. And so that's a big one for us England up north in the Ireland. Thailand would be a cool one. So we do have international trips plan, but it's all kind of lines up with cults age along the way.

2 (48m 31s):
So yeah, just tying to him in a, at the right time, I suppose then you're restricted to when the school holidays and stuff are. So yeah, some holidays against all six weeks,

3 (48m 43s):
One positive thing is with all the bad things from, you know, that stem from COVID and the pandemic and whatnot, distance learning has really advanced. So like how we're doing Disney world this week, he's not technically on break, but because distance learning has accelerated so much, he's able to, you know what I mean, a 10 school still, he'll still be able to get his work and submit it online and everything like that. So that's one thing that's actually freed us up. Well, some places are restricted and locked down from travel. It's freed up aspects like education where we can do education on the go. You know what I mean? And so like there's one blessing we can take from it. One silver lining.

2 (49m 22s):
Yeah. Fantastic. Well, I can only wish you all the very best for the future. And when you do come to England, there was a guy I worked with a little while ago. He's in one of the, the foot guards bands named Hollingworth, Maybe it's related.

3 (49m 40s):
Oh, that'd be great. I hope he's not disappointed with the riff Raff from America.

2 (49m 48s):
It's probably worth investigating before you come over ancestry.

3 (49m 53s):
Right. I was going to say, I have a 23 means. We'll have to see how we'll have to see which one he is on.

2 (49m 58s):
Yeah. So it is, it's probably worth trying to track them down. I think that's been a really, really good chat. Thank you so much For sharing your story. Thanks for listening. I look forward to the next one. Thank you for listening to my podcasts. If you have enjoyed them and your podcast app allows, please leave a comment and share it with your friends. The reason I got into this podcast malarkey is so I could leave a legacy for my children and my grandchildren in the years to come.

2 (50m 42s):
So they will know what I did with my life. I wish my grandparents had done the same for me. Unfortunately, they didn't in my latest series on giving people the opportunity to leave their own legacy for their children and families for the future. If you have any criticism, positive or negative, and you wish to get in touch with me direct, you can email me at timheale@hotmail.com. That's timheale@hotmail.com. I thank you for your time and thank you for listening.

(Cont.) The Tim Heale Podcasts S3 E47 William Hollingworth