It’s been a long time since I’ve driven so far. It’s been years since I used to drive 306 miles to play 36 holes of golf and then drive home again. Distances such as America has on offer make the longest road in Ireland look like a walk in the park.
I like the meditative space it gives me. And the adrenaline rush when I spot a cop car, partially concealed behind a bush in the median. Will I get a ticket in the post or not? I wonder.
I like the weird and wonderful things I pass – odd places that I would never travel to but am happy to stop and see, now that I’ve happened across them.
I like the personal chats in roadside restaurants and cafés – conversations with people I will never meet again. Yet for a few brief moments in time, we’re present, together, talking. Sharing experiences in a way that is both intimate and remote.
I like the way my mind wanders, with one random thought fuelling an internal debate on something that could be either inconsequential or the preparatory work for a major, life-changing decision.
I like that time takes on a whole new meaning. There is no clocking in or signing out. I drive until I’m tired – some days three hours, some days eight. There is a plan for the day but that plan is flexible, dependent on detours and distractions. I like that.
As this sweltering week draws to a close on temperatures over 45 degrees Celsius (115 F), I’m hot, I’m tired, and I’m missing my own bed. I’m grateful that as I’ve travelled and discovered new places, new people, I’ve also had the drive-time to appreciate what I’m missing. In essence – I have the best of both worlds – here and there.
Note: For a reminder of what the Grateful series is about, check out Grateful 52