I live in Hawaii, and I should know that the grass really isn't greener on the other side. It's as green as it gets here.
Still, sometimes I wish I lived on the mainland, so that I could just get in a car and drive.
(And not in circles.)
I love road trips.
I know some people (like my husband) aren't really fans of road trips, but I am all for the idea of exploring new terrain (with A/C, a decent soundtrack, and a stash of junk food) and seeing with fresh eyes. I get a kick out of silly billboards. I delight in crossing state lines and seeing "Welcome to..." signs. I'm fascinated by bridges. I study the surface of lakes, rivers, and swamps, wondering what kind of life teems beneath, wondering where they begin and end. I marvel at seeing how others live, how they create their own homes and spaces and communities, how they find ways to adapt to the land and the weather and each other. I'm amazed at how each town and each city has its own personality, its own identity. I'm fascinated at seeing how the past and present intersect.
I hate the idea that to take a "real" road trip, I have to pay big bucks for a plane ticket first. Even if I could afford the plane ticket, I am not a fan of planes. Give me the open road over the wild blue yonder.
Maybe the beauty of a true road trip, or any travel that places us in a position of having to find our way in the world, is that it presents us with the ability to forget ourselves; we are out of our element, unable to orient ourselves based on what is familiar.
That was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn't know who I was — I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds.
-- Jack Kerouac, On the Road
A few years ago we traveled from Florida to North Carolina, but only recently did I document our journey in one of my October Afternoon CHA layouts, using the new Boarding Pass line.
I'll have more CHA shares for you soon!