There is something so empowering about being able to cross state lines and country borders with the power of one’s own automobile. Guided solely by the amount of gas left in the tank and one’s sense of direction, the landscape suddenly becomes a blur of trees, road signs, and 80’s dance music piping through my old school sound system. Burning through so much fuel seems somewhat harmful for the environment, but somehow, so good for my soul.
I used to think I was the most laid back driver by indulging my passengers with frequent stops for whatever roadside attraction took our fancy, but I think age has caught up with me as I notice myself counting down hours and miles and feeling disappointed when bathroom breaks add to our estimated arrival time. I am also continually reminded of my complete dependance on my GPS and suddenly have an increased desire to improve my map reading skills as soon as my signal starts to buffer. Along the same lines, I feel more selective about my road trip companions. Praise of my driving skills are a must, as well as excellent choices in car snacks and topics of conversation.
I’ve been toying with the idea of “place” lately, especially as it relates to establishing and creating home. I pass rows of houses in different cities and imagine the people who live there and their motivations for staying. I wonder how my life would have been different if I had grown up in a different town and ponder if the idea of create beautiful living spaces is an innate desire or a luxury. My parents used to say we were “going home for the weekend” when we would visit my grandparents in Ohio, which never ceased to confuse me since I knew our home to be in Indiana. Home for me now involves Husband and the bungalow and happiness. I think I travel to explore possibilities of a different kind of life, but then continue to bring myself home again and again.