I’m lucky enough to be able to do a lot of traveling, and have a companion to do so with me, but when I do it’s always met with the same quizzical look; Where? Why? How? Each time I’ve taken a road trip I’m asked about driving there and is it worth it, but it’s just driving.
There are two statistics that have always stuck out to me; the average person will only visit six states and will end up living within sixty miles of their hometown and those have always boggled my mind. Why would you not go out and see the world? Just like I tell the picky eaters in my life, there are plenty of other things out there you could really like. And it’s really not hard to do.
My career provides me with plenty of opportunities to move around, like going from Indiana to New Mexico and then Indiana to Utah. It was the mostly lackluster time I had in New Mexico that is a big inspiration for me to do all the sightseeing and traveling that I do. In college and even after I became so focused on school and my career that I missed so much. I stayed in my hometown for college, and while I traveled some, I didn’t do a whole lot more. So I moved to New Mexico to be somewhere different but didn’t see much more than Las Cruces, the town I was living in. No more was that going to be the case.
While I can move around for my job, I’ve also got to conferences in Chicago and Atlanta for work, you don’t have to work in radio to road trip. It’s just driving. Since I’ve lived in Utah I’ve been to Las Vegas several times, Phoenix twice, Denver, Boise, Seattle, Jackson Hole and Yellowstone. That’s seven hours, eleven, seven, four, ten, three and four, normally on holidays but I’ve done Vegas for weekend trips and that leaves people scratching their heads. ‘How can you do that on a normal weekend?’ It’s just driving.
People seem to put up barriers in their own mind about what they can’t do. Finances can be an issue but you can always try and find deals to make things work. Could you be tired for a Vegas trip over the weekend? Sure, but that’s living life and experiencing new things. And the truth is after you do it once it becomes much easier once you get used to the time it takes.
Being from East of the Mississippi River you get kind of spoiled with how close everything is. Within in nine hours you can get to a ton of major cities from my hometown of Lafayette, Indiana like Detroit, Madison, St. Louis, Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta and even New Orleans. That was my biggest adjustment moving west of the Mississippi, but driving across the country multiple times makes you realize how short those other trips can be. After spending three days to drive over 1400 miles multiple times, the much shorter trips are a whole lot reasonable.
Even in my international trip to Italy people couldn’t believe that I was going there just because. The time to travel, the cost were all things friends and acquaintances thought were insurmountable, but once I laid out how what it all really came down people thought ‘That’s not that bad.’ And that’s the truth, it really isn’t that bad.
Who doesn’t enjoy the image of cruising through the country and seeing the scenery and seeing new places. The music, the snacks, it’s an experience everyone should have at least once. Make plans, set a goal and you can make it happen too. After all, it’s just driving.