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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Take a Road Trip

One of the things I miss since I moved to Asia is the Road Trip.

I used to love to just jump in my car and wander off. As a teacher with ample vacation time, I sometimes would wander for weeks at a time.

I miss that. Being a passenger in a bus in China just isn't the same.

The last real road trip I took was in 1998. LA to Santa Fe in two cars with seven Japanese friends and two walkie-talkies. Not exactly Jack Kerouac, but a great trip nonetheless.

But the best trips I had were solo.

Once I was traveling alone in the Southwest, and up at Four Corners I met an older man, a retired railroad worker. Married for 40-some years, he wondered aloud what it was like to travel alone.

"It's great!" I crowed. "I can go anywhere I want, do anything I want, stop when I'm tired, and there's no one saying 'Honey, let's go.'"

Just then a woman's voice called from behind me, "Honey, let's go!"

"Yes, dear," he called over my shoulder, then quietly to me: "I may have to kill 'er."

I wouldn't go that far. But I would say that a road trip alone (with due regard to safety) can allow you to see more country, meet more people, and have a deeper experience of...the Road.

So load up on snacks and drinks, throw a lawn chair in the back of the car, and head out beyond the city limits.

You'll be happier.

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