When I saw my friend’s post on Facebook, “I’m planning a road trip from New York to Utah for the holidays, taking I-78 and the 70. Anyone ever do this? Am I nuts?”, I had already been looking for an excuse to visit New York City again. I playfully commented, “Want company?”, unsure if he’d take me up on my offer. I received a message an hour later, “It’s a long ass road trip.” The plan is Pittsburg, Colombus, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver, and finally Salt Lake City. The only city on the list I’ve been to before, besides Salt Lake of course, is Denver, so I was very interested. “Let’s do this!”
To preface, I hate car trips… or rather, used to hate them. I’d never have thought I’d willingly volunteer for a 33 hour road trip, but last summer, two friends and I drove up the West Coast from San Francisco, California to Portland, Oregon and had a blast, making me realize the error of my ways! Also inspired by a recent trip to Las Vegas with a now good friend, Tess, where she told me all about her life, her plans, her beliefs, and her discoveries non-stop on the seven hour drive back home, I felt like I was primed for an even longer road trip experience, this time with another friend who I don’t know extremely well, a musician he found on Craigslist (shh, don’t tell my dad), and a handsome, soon-to-be-famous Catahoula mix named Brady (@brady_thedog). Instead of feeling dread for countless hours in a car, I felt excited for all the unknown experiences and stories and new friends to come.
[I’m sure a lot of my carefree attitude is a result of not having a job or other stresses to get back to. Perhaps the reason I used to hate car trips was the feeling of wasted time sitting in a car as opposed to doing the “fun stuff.” When you have no time constraints, you can be more open to allowing life in general to be the “fun stuff.”]