One of Andrew and my favorite pastimes, no surprise, is to travel – to set off and explore new places or visit loved ones living afar. We love to fly of course, and when it comes to speed and convenience, commercial airlines can’t be beat. But from a budget standpoint, flying is a pricey option.
So we climb in our trusty Subaru and set off on the highway.
Though Andrew often finds the drive to be a burden, I secretly love these long road trips. The older we get, the more demands life puts on our time and attention, the rarer it is to find time to just sit and be. With each passing mile, my mind travels further away from the stresses and worries of everyday. The open road ahead of me feels full of hope and potential. Even if I know my destination, the possibilities along the path seem limitless. What grand adventure may lie around the next curve in the road?
Then there is the pure beauty of the drive. Have you ever slowed down to notice the simply stunning landscapes of America? Though I’ve driven the route from Washington, DC to Tennessee dozens of times, the cascade of the evening sun across the Blue Ridge mountains never ceases to amaze me. Each drive brings the gifts of a new season, painting an always unique scene of flora and fauna.
If you’re lucky enough to travel with a great companion, you’re in for the greatest of treats. I’m a firm believer that you can’t truly know another person until you’ve spent endless hours in the car with them. The stretch of time and lack of distractions allows you to interact in a special way. We may spend a half hour just laughing and joking. Maybe an hour dreaming about the future. Perhaps a long while reminiscing about past adventures, or delving deeper into hopes and goals. Like the road ahead, there’s no telling where the conversation may lead. The most magical times, though, I find are those silent moments, filled with only the sound of the radio in the background, as we sink into the contended place of just experiencing the journey. Together.
So can road trips be annoying? Certainly. Are they the most efficient means of travel? Not likely. But if you avoid the scenic route you miss out on the best views of life.
3 responses to “On the Road Again”
I totally agree! I’ve always loved road trips–I’ve actually determined that I like them most when they’re between 4 and 6 hours long. Right now I’m living in Paris, and my constant struggle is always choosing between walking home or taking the metro. Undoubtedly, the metro is faster…but sometimes I wonder how much I miss by choosing the faster (and somewhat lazier) way back to my home when I’m living in such a beautiful city.
Thanks Rachel! Sometimes speed is of the essence, especially when it comes to the daily commute. But I also love just getting to walk through cities and catch glimpses of of all the activity and beauty as I meander. I moved from Washington, DC to a more rural area and I miss the “walkability” of city living.
I haven’t yet been to Paris but it’s certainly on my list to explore!
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