Sara Mattison

Los Angeles, CA

I was suddenly out of work, out of a relationship and plastered into a leg cast while I lay staring at the ceiling wondering what to do next.

I was using my newly found free time for an ankle surgery I’d needed and spent the following months reflecting on what had been. The relationship hadn’t been good or bad. It just wasn’t right. If you want to really know if you’re well paired with someone, try traveling together. We’d gone on three trips during the course of our relationship. Each road bumpier than the last. But I’d hung in there, which I then learned you don’t get points for, you eventually get left. Or in my case, dumped at a wine bar on date night. The job on the other hand had been a wonderful experience. I was a coproducer working under a great boss who, while we were releasing our last film together, suddenly got ill and was diagnosed with cancer. It would eventually take him, but during those last months together it wasn’t the movies he’d made or the success he’d had that he reflected on, it was the desire to go and travel. He never got that chance. But eventually I did.

Months later, with my cast finally off and nothing to tie me down, I hit the road in my Honda with a great gal pal at my side. We started with long weekends to destinations in California. Both of us were freelancing and upon wrapping up another escape some weeks into this new chapter she asked when my next gig was that I needed to be back for. I didn’t have one yet. Neither did she. So she suggested that we just keep traveling. And bam. That was it. That was my ECIAH moment. It hit me. The both of us. We could just keep going. So we did. We started going out of state for weeks at a time. And oh, the places we went! Dr. Seuss would be proud. We visited a ghost town that offered guided tours of its former brothel by costumed floozies, toured a Cold War era underground missile silo, ran the bases at spring training, spotted a bear in the woods, hiked through canyons, sat on the ledge of the Grand one, got lost in a vortex, encountered a biker rally, jumped on stage to join a local band and sought out cowboys.

One night in Wyoming, ten months into our adventure, we wandered into a bar. As we sat on saddles; the bar had converted horse saddles into seats; a handsome gent offered us drinks and soon we were swapping stories about life, travels and lost loves. Not long after he was swinging me ‘round the dance floor. But this guy was no cowboy. He was a mountain man. As in he had climbed Mt. Everest. For fun. That and marathon running were his hobbies. He had just come down from the local landscape after a few days camping with some friends and stopped into the bar for a beer that night before he had to fly back home the next day. As the evening wore on my friend eventually retired and let’s just say, later that night, he got me back in the saddle too. The next day I was healing a new leg injury, a pulled hamstring that caused me to limp for a week, but still smile when I think about it to this day. He was definitely my one for the road.

Soon other parts of me began to blossom again. I got back to my writing. My friend and I created a travel blog about our experiences on the road. We made a sizzle reel and came back to LA and pitched it as a show. Two fun single gals out on the road tasting life and having adventures wherever they landed was the overall concept. One exec we met with suggested we add the hook of two women on the road looking for the perfect man. Puke. No one’s perfect, and that was by no means our angle or interest. But we had an amazing chapter and in the end an ad agency approached us for our content for an ad campaign. Hollywood didn’t get us, but Madison Avenue did. And we got to have some of the greatest times of our lives out there.