Saturday, March 3, 2012
Getting Away is Getting Back
I love road trips.
There is nothing like the feeling of leaving your daily routine to pack up the car and take on the open road ahead. The sense of freedom and open skies is the perfect remedy to the claustrophobia of a routine that is set by bells, constant interaction and lesson plans. And that is exactly what I need. So, as a friend and I drove out of town yesterday, I remembered all of the fond memories I have about the road trips I have taken.
I remember a time when my siblings and I fought over the dividers in the back of the family Pontiac. Traveling the highways and byways of Central Ohio we would reach our grandparents' house and shout, "Grandma, Grandpa, Lady Bug (cat)!"
To pass the time, we would play road games. We would scan license plates and signs to see if we could find all of the letters of the alphabet. Or play the infamous memory game of "I'm Going to New York and I'm Taking........."
On longer road trips we didn't have to worry about cooking and cleaning. When hunger takes over we would experience the adventure of trying new restaurants or grabbing a Big Mac for the road. And I don't even need to explain the fun of hotels!
There is something that happens on a road trip that goes deeper than the more superficial joys I mention above. When you are in the car with people you love for an extended period of time, there is the opportunity to share memories, silly moments, regrets, hopes and dreams. You are given time to enjoy the people in your life without the interruptions of busy routines (if you can manage to put your phone on silent). The road journey with its traffic jams, uphills, downhills, and 80s hits provides space to reconnect to the thread of your life journey. And you hope maybe, just maybe you can stay connected to what's really important when you return home.