Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Note About Road Trips

I’m on a road trip right now, it was as spontaneous and surprising as receiving a gift from Santa Claus. Because imagine getting a gift from a fictional character, who knows exactly what you want and willingly goes down your chimney… or heater, I actually don’t really know how it works; anyway, he gives you this amazing gift. I feel great right now, even after driving for over eight hours straight.

Somewhere in Arizona

This happened somewhere in Arizona today.

I’m going to be honest, with you and myself, I hate driving — wait, let me rephrase that, I hate driving in Los Angeles — wait, actually, I very much dislike driving in Southern California and I’ve lived here for over eleven years, speaking of California, I hate driving in or near cities in California. Driving, hands down, is a day to day frustration I’ve had for years. I’ve spent time in other cities outside of CA, like Portland, New York (Brooklyn, Manhattan, Lower East Side…) — and I grew up in the Philippines, most everyone commutes in those areas…

Wait; sorry...

I actually didn’t want to talk to you about my disdain for driving in California. I wanted to share a quick note about road trips. Road Trips to me are a quintessential American Past Time. It reminds us of the freedom we have, through asphalt and concrete paved roads. Moving through a vast expanse of nature, some random towns, seeing the sunset differ from day to day— being pulled out of yourself because you see something so elating, a sigh of satisfaction is the last breath you have before you look at the person your with, or within yourself. I like to think that those moments remind the traveller of peace.

That’s what I feel in this kind of traveling. I’ve travelled alone in my car, and with people I love. Every time was good. I remember a time when I drove from LA to some "po-dunk” town in Washington State, driving sixteen hours straight to get a friend to a wedding, and get myself out of California. Or another time my friends and I drove to SF to see a concert, blasting “DOMO ORIGATO MR. ROBOTO” through the streets of SF; or that time I got in my car after work and drove to Utah to see The Great Salt Lake and the Bonneville Salt Flats. Its really strange how much the destination never really mattered as much as the journey it self.

I’ve been on many of these little adventures and I’m coming to a point of realizing that the essence of a great road trip is the simple pleasure of moving forward with the ones you love, nevertheless, yourself. These trips bring me out of the normal grind and are so transformative that as I’m finishing this note, I can have peace to say, I love driving (… at the very least, I love driving in road trips).

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