road trips are my “SQUIRREL!”…

It’s Friday. That means I’m getting up at the crack of early to go to work. My co-worker and I have switched shifts, so that I can finish work at 2pm. So, I’ll be driving about 9-10 hours to spend 1.5 days with my friends at a conference, and then drive all that way back on Sunday. Sound like too much for you? I figured as much.

You may not understand how much road trips are to me. I just LOVE to travel, LOVE hitting the road, LOVE the freedom of the road. Don’t get me wrong, my backside is a bit sore after all that time sitting down. I’m only human.

It’s been quite a few years since I considered a 9 hour trip to be a big deal. I tend to laugh when people complain about driving 4 hours or less, which I consider to be peanuts. Of course, it’s all in your mind, how the trip affects you. I can get just as sleepy near the end of a short trip as at the end of a long one. But when you KNOW that you have a long trip ahead, you can just sit back and enjoy. Enjoy what, you’re wondering?

When I’m on a road trip, I’ve left my worries behind, I have the expectation of something wonderful at the end of it. Often, it’s time spent with my friends, at a weekend Bible conference. We play games, stay up late, play volleyball and Ultimate frisbee, spend hours talking and shrieking with laughter, and hearing the Word of the God from wonderful speakers.

When I’m on a road trip, I can crank up the music and sing my head off. I can talk eat a little healthily, and make more than one stop at Starbucks, if I want to. I can admire the scenery, and let my thoughts wander (not to be confused with not paying attention to the road ahead). I can hash out any problems that I can deal with or sing my head off, and get them to go away for the time being. There’s joy on the trip, and there’s joy at the end of the route. There’s even joy when I get back from that trip, because I can tell people all about what a wonderful time I had.

My current destination is where I used to live, when I was in Pennsylvania. So, not only am I headed where my best friends are located, I’m headed to a place that was home to me for several years. I know everyone around there, and love them all dearly. And some of them are getting older, so every chance I get to see them and spend time with them, is a precious time.

Do you remember Jack Sparrow telling Elizabeth that the Black Pearl isn’t just a ship? He told her that it was freedom to him. And while I don’t approve of all of his piratical attitudes and notions (nor of his personal hygiene), I can understand this. And yet, as much as I love my car, I don’t see my car that way as much as the actual act of traveling. Whether I’m on my own in the car, just me and my music, or sharing it with my friends, once the rubber hits the road… freedom has arrived.

So, let’s hit the road, already!

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