Sep 17, 2010

I feel a road trip coming on

There’s this Conor Oberst song called, “There’s nothing that the road cannot heal.” I can’t agree more. I don’t even remember the lyrics to the song, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the title itself. For me, a good road trip can fix a lot of things. Writer’s block? Go on a road trip. Cabin fever? Go on a road trip. Need a change of scenery? Go on a road trip. Emotional distress because Bank of America is making your life miserable? Go on a road trip. All of these problems can be healed by a good old fashion road trip to… wherever. Just away.

When I was younger and traveled more, there was no shortage of things in my travels that inspired me to write. Now that I spend my week days cooped up in an office and most of my weekends racing locally or taking care of life’s chores, inspiration is infrequent. This year I’ve driven and ridden the same roads, descended the same singletrack, looked at the same trees, gotten fuel at the same gas stations, eaten at the same restaurants, and bought ice cream at the same grocery stores with only a couple exceptions. One of those exceptions was a trip to Colorado, but I don’t really count that because I flew instead of drove. Flying is cheating. Flying doesn’t count unless - when you reach your destination - you spend plenty of time exploring. We explored some in Colorado this summer, but not enough.

There’s just something about traveling the country and seeing it from behind a windshield that excites me. You can stop whenever you want to get a closer look at something. If you’re lucky, you get to sleep in a different place each night. You get to eat different foods from unfamiliar restaurants. Basically, you get to experience life as it was meant to be experienced. Mankind was not meant to be so sedentary. It’s bad for the body and equally as bad for the mind. Whoever first said, “familiarity breeds contempt” must have appreciated a good road trip.

When I think about the past, my best memories did not take place at home or at other familiar places. My best memories come from places I visited on vacations, trips, and weekends. The memories are of the outdoors and of not knowing what’s around the next corner. They are memories of experiencing things that I didn’t already experience day after day. They are memories attached with photos and some of them can be found in the archives of this blog. And if you haven’t noticed, lately this blog is seriously suffering in the road trip department. It needs healing.

1 comment:

Trish said...

I've got plenty of time for a road trip!