Roads have existed for millennia. Roads are in constant development.
Roads foster connections. Roads symbolize a feeling of endless possibility.
The ease of travel became cemented in my mind when I worked for a tour company during the summer months in my early years of teaching. It was during this period of my life when I saw how manageable it was to travel from one location to another. When one hops in a Penske truck loaded with camping gear in Idaho and winds up in New York just a few days later, one’s perception of time and space is changed forever. Since that time over a decade ago, I have transversed the continent numerous times in vehicles of all sorts. These adventures, sometimes solo and sometimes with friends and family, have shaped my outlook on life. Ten or twelve hours in the car is not out of my sense of normalcy now. For many people, this may seem absurd, especially when these types of driving days are linked together for several days.
A freedom exists in the movement from one location to another.
A beauty exists in the recognition of the subtle and not so subtle shifts in landscapes as the miles progress.
A sense of scale develops as one becomes aware of their size compared to the world drifting by outside the window.
Getting to the level of comfort with heading out without specific destinations in mind has taken me many years to get to. Although I have some ideas of where I may want to head, the ultimate path and exact locations that I may wind up in the next few months have yet to be determined. My gut tells me that this new sense of travel might just become my new sense of normalcy.
My year away from teaching is an opportunity. It has taken my years to build up the courage to take a step back and move away from everything that I have come to know. Like most things in life, the process of getting started has taken awhile. Once some momentum is achieved, the motion is no longer impeded.
These initial speed bumps are sometimes just perceived barricades.
Some rocking back and forth may be required to get going.
As with most things in life, this is just part of a much bigger process.
In those moments when we may feel stuck, just navigating those initial bumps in our mind require the most amount of our energy.
Whether it be a short or longterm process, the movement along and ultimately over the self imposed mental blocks is a universal feeling and challenge.
The next year is a gift that I have given myself.
What may come of it is still unknown.
There are hopes that I have in my mind.
There are doubts that I still must try to navigate.
These thoughts are all part of the process.
These experiences are all opportunities to grow.
The open road.