I have to admit, I was really dreading some of the states we needed to drive through. I was planning some intense napping for my passenger portion and enjoying some highly, interesting audio books for when I was driving. But after the first day I became entranced as the beauty and charm as each new region revealed itself. I was never bored, but fascinated as the culture of the country unfolded with each passing mile. When you take the time to just observe, a story emerges. Of course, there were some very flat areas, but it was amazing how often we just lost a mountain that was “just right there.”
Had we flown to Montana, we would have missed the colors as prairies turned into mountains, or icons like the Corn Palace that has been a Mitchell, South Dakota tradition since 1892, or the entire town of Scenic that is for sale. By driving and connecting the dots (and avoiding major interstates) you see how people in each region live: the wealth, the poverty, the industry, the art.
In today’s world when we need everything yesterday and never have the time, it makes me realize how much we are missing by NOT taking the time anymore. We have actually diminished our quality of life by removing the well earned journey and pauses that make the difference.
For anyone who has never done a road trip and has always wanted to, it is an experience like no other. You just need to start making plans to do it. My first road trip just happened to be in Australia with a couple of friends from college. I had never really thought about doing one, but after I got back I realized how much better I understood the country by spending all those miles in the car. The same applied for this trip. This is an understanding you don’t get by flying some where and hanging out in a couple places. You don’t get the whole picture, just isolated snap shots.
We live in an amazing country. We have seen and learned things that were never in our text books or on TV. People are proud of their heritage and their traditions, and we were very fortunate to observe and partake. I could keep talking about it but, the best way to gain a new respect and understand of the world around us, is to take the time and explore.
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