This piece was originally posted on April 26, 2010. It is being re-posted as part of our CHICKS ROCK! Summer Retrospective:
I’ve been craving new travel adventures lately. It hasn’t even been that long since I went anywhere. I take small vacations when I can and I travel a bit for work these days, making visits to schools, libraries, bookstores, and writing conferences around the country. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, I look forward to packing my bags and hitting the road. There’s always fun to be had away from home.
I took a cross country road trip with a friend a few years ago, from New York to California in six days. It was fantastic, and not just because I love driving and riding in cars. We experienced so much! This week I busted out my “I Survived Highway 50” t-shirt, which boasts about my successful traversing of the so-called “loneliest road in America.” I wore it and thought about how it felt to gun the engine on a literally empty highway, watching miles of open desert churn past the windows. Awesome.
I find there’s something special about simply moving forward, no matter the destination, even if there isn’t one. Time stands still when the road is wide open in front of you, or as the plane hurtles forward at its cruising altitude, or the train chugs along at just the right rhythm. And when you get where you’re going, wherever that may be, there’s something magical about wandering the streets of a strange city, seeing the sights and tasting local treats along the way.
I once read a book about a guy who wanders all the time, from place to place, seeing what he sees, working when he has to and then living off the cash for as long as he can. In a fantasy life, that sounds amazing. In reality, I have no wish to live like that; the half of me that’s not suffused with wanderlust is quite a content little homebody. How to reconcile the two? Give me a good long journey every now and then, and I’ll be a happy camper.