Back in my ‘hippie’ days I’d take a road trip at the drop of a hat. Jump in the car just to see what’s three hours west? Sure, let’s go! I even bought a van and planned to customize it for travel. I wanted to take a year off and just live on the road.
That was back in the 1970s, when gas was cheap and airfare wasn’t; and my career hadn’t really begun.
The ‘living on the road’ dream never died, but it was sidetracked by making a living. I sold the van and bought a practical car. Through the 80s and 90s, my travel usually involved planes and rental cars, except for relatively short trips to the beach. I spent so much time in traffic that I lost my love of driving and busy schedules didn’t leave time for long road trips.
But something changed in 2005. My sister and her car survived Hurricane Katrina, I flew south to meet her and we drove back from Mississippi to Maryland. The situation was stressful but the drive was quite relaxing. And my love of the road began to return.
Another road trip came six weeks later when I helped her move back.
Eighteen months later I took another road trip to New Orleans by way of two days in Asheville, North Carolina and a drive along part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I ate at outdoor cafes, visited museums, took pictures and spent time with friends I hadn’t seen in decades. It was one of the most enjoyable vacations I’ve ever had.
A road trip with softly focused expectations and a flexible schedule is the ultimate break from a hectic work life near the Nation’s Capitol. So next month, I’m finally doing it again. This one will include another stop in Asheville, plus a visit to Civil War battlefields in Mississippi (a new interest), a tour of the Alabama Museum (the band Alabama) and dinner with two friends from high school whom I haven’t seen since college.
Hmm, which iPod playlist is that song on? Oh, here it is … RT1 (for Road Trip).
On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again,
And I can't wait to get on the road again.