Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Road Trip Conundrum

It should be easy to see, at this point, that I love going on trips; especially road trips.  What may not be as widely known is that I love going on road trips alone.  I surprisingly get a lot of feedback about that fact.  I get a lot of questions to the effect of, "don't you get lonely by yourself out on the road like that?"  My answer?  

That's half the fun!!

No, I don't like feeling lonely.  Who does?  I'm not trying to say that I thrive from loneliness and that's where I confuse a lot of people.  My go-to answer is to go experience it yourself!  I live alone, but am no recluse by any stretch of the imagination.  Living alone gives you all the alone time you could ever want, but for me it oddly non-productive.  I do everything better when i'm out on the road.  I'm more inspired by the simplicity of the world around me.  The pages of my various journals are filled with scribbles and nothing from my journeys.  Those pages are where the majority of content for this blog comes from.

I think it has something to do with the fact of the familiarity of my apartment that I can't find inspiration in here.  There are memories, good and bad, in the walls of this little place.  I almost get into the routine rut of life in here.  That's why I find that i'm so often overtaken by wanderlust. Sometimes i'll even set off in the middle of the night simply for a drive down the coastline to clear my head.  

I just got back (last night) from a great trip up into the Ozarks of Arkansas.  According to Google Maps this is a 9 hour and 55 minute one way trip.  Just the thought of a minimum of 10 hours alone in my truck (which I managed to stretch to a hearty 14 on the way home) had me anticipating the trip for the weeks leading up to it.  Again, I heard endless individuals tell me that I was crazy for wanting to drive all the way up there by myself.   The pondering for answers just makes me smile at this point.  Once you've experienced it for yourself, you will truly know what i'm talking about.  Maybe you won't.  I've come to realize that not everyone tends to be as introspective as I am.

There is just something great about the open road.  There is no hiding from yourself on a trip like that.  I find myself really digging deep within and thinking about everything that I've been avoiding.  Like I said, there is no hiding.  Sure, you could pull out your phone and instantly have that connection back to the world, but what's accomplished with that?  You turn the music up as loud and you can stand it and lose yourself for a while.  Turn it off and ride in silence for a bit.  Windows alternate from up to down.  I find myself laughing like a crazy person at jokes i'm telling myself.  Who is there to pass judgement anyway?  This last trip I laughed for a half hour about down-playing the nothingness of the Arkansas farm land.  I asked myself, "Hey, did you see that field back there?"  Just something about the absurdity of that question had me in knots for a while.  It's ok to be a crazy person from time to time.

Ultimately, the final reaction is always the same for me.  Optimism is the word I would use for it.  I always seem oddly optimistic when I return home.  Hey, maybe things aren't really so bad are they?  I suggest you give it a shot yourself.  Don't go with an attitude that you'll take nothing away from an experience like that because you won't.  Allow yourself to be completely taken in by the experience.  Give the introspective road trip a try and I assure it won't be regretted.  

Until Next Time,

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