Well, four days into my little road trip. You would expect fairly nice weather in late May, but so far I’ve been hailed on three times and snowed on twice and had such high winds in Wyoming that they blew my windshield wiper out of joint and I spent an hour driving in a rainstorm without my wipers.
That sounds like I’m complaining, but not really. What I love about travel is the fact that you can’t predict what will happen. It’s never perfect and it always surprises in one way or another. And you have to adapt to make it work.
Things I’ve Learned I Love:
– Yellowstone. What a magnificently beautiful lake! I just wish there were a town of about 20,000 people on its shore so I could move there.
– Cruise control. I drive a stick, so being able to use cruise control when you’re driving six plus hours a day is a lifesaver.
– My mini swiss army knife. The scissors and knife in that thing are invaluable.
Things I Could Do Without:
– A bear bell. First time I’ve ever hiked with one and it worked. (Well, I didn’t run into a bear, so it at least didn’t fail.) But it ruined my nature experience because it was noisy.
Things I Messed Up:
– Power cords. I didn’t check my camera batteries before I left and both were dead. And I brought the wrong adaptor cord for it. So, one trip to Best Buy. Then I left my phone charger at a hotel, so one trip to Wal-Mart to get a new one.
– Packing. I thought I had managed to pack most everything into a duffel and then I had another bag with books and things in it. But each night I’ve had to bring all my bags into the room because I don’t quite have things where they need to be.
Anyone who hasn’t done so should come to America, pick a random spot, and drive for at least two days. (Or if you’re already living here, just drive for two days.) Because the U.S. is HUGE and there is so much variety in this country. In terms of climate and geography and people and lifestyle. Perhaps in some countries that are very small you can talk about the people there as some sort of cohesive group, but driving around in America you realize that’s just not possible here.
And anyone from the U.S. who hasn’t left the country really should. Ideally, I would say go spend a few days traveling around Europe. I’ve crossed five states in the last four days. In Europe I might’ve crossed five countries in that same period of time. Imagine, if you’re American, if you needed a passport to leave your state–to go from New York to New Jersey, for example. That’s what Europe is like.
Well, within the EU (Spain to France, for example), that’s not the case anymore. But you still have to change languages and sometimes currencies between countries. Think how different your life would be if that were how the U.S. worked…
Obviously I’m not writing a lot at the moment. But I am thinking and coming up with ideas, which really is an essential part of the process. And I’m seeing new parts of the country I’ve never seen before, which is expanding my horizons and is never a bad thing.