Friday, 2 August 2013

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Oh, the excitement of packing for a holiday, unrestricted by airline rules and regulations, carry on limits or number of suitcases. Yes, I mean the quintessential and highly underrated road trip!

As a kid, we would cram into the station wagon, piles of books and comic books at hand. Pillows, blankets and hours of reading pleasure awaited. Driving across the endless prairie, blue skies and field upon field of golden wheat nodding lightly in the breeze. Heat, heat and more heat emanating from the pavement, creating wavy mirages ahead and the smell of lightly frying tar.
Stopping at road side diners along the way – Husky Truck Stops for pancakes with syrup, French Toast and chocolate milk…oh for the days when those things were considered a delicacy by my stomach and not a dietary battle. My dad with his drivers’ tan – left arm only, up to the shirt sleeve – and endless radio stations playing Top 40 hits or country music, if Dad got his way.

I still love road trips and the excitement and sense of adventure they conjure. I appreciate having my own vehicle and being able to take more than what I need, just in case. I love being able to bring treasures home that are larger than suitcase size, or too fragile to carry on. I love creating distance from my everyday life into a magical new story, some short, some longer, but all fresh and new and waiting to evolve.
Planes are the best way to get somewhere fast or travel a great distance in a reasonable amount of time but they distort time and create an illusion of less distance travelled. Trains allow us to see the non-ordinary because they follow a road seldom seem every day but they aren't a usual mode of travel here in the west. But automobiles show us how spread out things really are, how vast and beautiful our country is and makes us live in the moment and savour it slowly and sweetly.

Life is a highway (thank you, Tom Cochrane!) and road trips take us out of the ordinary everyday world we live in and into the extraordinary world around us. A full tank of gas, great company, rocking tunes and a highway...let the road trip begin!