Reflections on Road Trips

The days following our journey back to Boston, I slept in more than I have in years. I was waking up between 10:00am and 11:00am (to me that is sleeping in). It has been wonderful but I do need to get back to normal sleep schedule.

Thinking back on the road trip I decided to pull my thoughts for why road trips are awesome.

  • Time
  • Driving
  • Perspective

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Time. Doing a road trip allows you to be on your own schedule. You aren’t at the mercy of the airport or anyone else. To be on your own schedule means you can cover the distance you are comfortable with and stay when you want and where you want. When Nick and I travel on the road, we never make hotel reservations until a few hours beforehand or we just show up. Since all the hotels we stay at are big chains, there’s usually never a problem finding a place.

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Driving. Long distance driving on the interstate is very different from your average day driving. Instead of starting and stopping, looking out for pedestrians, and making lots of turns, you are cruising on a highway. During my first road trip, my mindset was “if I can just pass these people, I can cruise on that empty road ahead of them and be fine”. Well there are always cars on the road and if there aren’t right away, surely some will be merging soon enough or you’ll catch up to the next batch of cars. That is a long way of saying: patience is key with long distance driving.

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Thinking. There are always long stretches of time where Nick and I will just be driving in silence listening to music. It is very relaxing actually. Neither one of us feels pressured to hold a conversation; we just sit thinking our own thoughts. What am I usually thinking about? Sometimes I’m thinking “are we there yet?” other times I’m thinking about my job and career, and other times I’m just watching what’s around me. When I am driving, I do like to watch the pattern of cars and how some weave between traffic while others seem completely content going 10mph under in the left lane.

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Perspective. I think this is the biggest thing I have gotten the handful of road trips I have done. America is big. You get that sense when you’re flying and it’s incredible to see the land below, but driving it is a whole other thing. With driving, you are watching the land race by you as you drive through it. Out in the south and southwest, you can see for miles ahead of you; I literally mean miles because the land is so flat and there are little to no trees. It made me feel so small but it also gave me perspective. I could go on and on about how driving has helped me with perspective but I’ll save the words for another post.

Disclaimer: I am already experiencing the difficulty in keeping up this blog but I am determined!

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Camera information: Pentax 6×7, B&W 120mm film and Color 120mm film