Traveling is only as good as the people you get to spend the adventure with…That being said, I could not name two girls that have less in common than Meris and I.

When it comes to accommodations, a couch or hammock will always suffice as the perfect sleeping quarters. Showers are deemed the opposite of essential, and as long as I have some caffeine in my veins and food in my belly, I’m ready to face whatever the day has in store.

Meris on the other hand can survive all day on just a few calories and a can of long drink, but if she doesn’t have a shower and clean sheets at the end of the night… well, we don’t know what’ll happen because she will always find a way.

meris fishing

Travel buddy tip: always use your words. By always being verbal and sharing exactly how you feel, differences can be celebrated, and compromises can be made. Regardless of our different views and preferences, our friendship was rooted in never taking any moment too seriously, and our love for fly fishing.

That’s something I’ve found to be really valuable over the past few years in finding friends who are driven by fly fishing. We are all so different in so many ways. Different ages, genders, hometowns, ambitions, etc. However, one common theme remains the same… a love for being on the water and in the company of friends.

meris with redfish

Throughout our time in Florida, I had a chance to expose Meris to the waters I grew up surrounded by. Now it was time to understand Meris’s roots within fly fishing. Texas came along with darker water, new species of fish, and of course, some southern hospitality.

Meris grew up fishing the Texas coast with her dad for Redfish, Jack, and Tarpon. I was so exhilarated to experience the waters that helped shape her into the angler she is today, as well as uncover the fire that fueled her passion for fishing. I knew that underneath the ripping swells and crashing waves of the Texas coast, there were untold secrets just waiting to be uncovered, and with them, experiences that would change me as an angler forever.

meris with redfish

Unfortunately, the weather had other plans for us. As storm clouds began to roll in from the south, thunder tore through dark skies accompanied by the thunderous applause. With Rods gently put to bed into the truck, we huddled together under a tin roof and listened to the melody of raindrops as they lulled us deeper into a hypnotic state.

long drink in the cooler

As we awaited the absence of thunder and lightning, we came to the conclusion that heading out onto the water with rods poised in the air was probably not a smart call. Instead, we opted into enjoying some time on the water atop tubes hooked to speedboats. With music blasting and energy levels pumping at maximum levels, we still managed to enjoy ourselves even amongst the lack of fish being caught. Turns out tubing can be a super intense sport given the proper boat driver.

surfing with long drink

Before we knew it, we were on the road again, this time with Colorado in our sites. As we watched Texas shrink in our rear-view mirrors, we found solace in knowing that we’d be back soon enough to once again uncover the thrills those dark waters had to offer.

Shoutout to The Long Drink for helping fuel this adventure. The Long Drink is an iconic alcoholic beverage that is a top taste of Finland, it’s now available in the USA. Click here to learn more and find your closest retailer.

3,000 Miles: “A Story From the Road” Florida

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