Many the Miles
Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
33Trip End Apr 26, 2011
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Where I stayed
Sue and Vincent's House (Houston)
What I did
Contemplate life and sing car tunes
My drive across the country is essentially following the entire length of the 10 freeway, from Jacksonville all the way to Los Angeles. Following my longest stretch of driving between Savannah and Houston, I stopped at Vincent's and Sue's (Dan's parent's) place on the outskirts west of the metropolis
Most would dread the thought of driving 14 hours a day for three days straight, with no more than short sightseeing breaks a short distant from the highway. But I personally enjoy the prospect of the open road with nothing more than my music and my thoughts. Music always sounds better behind the wheel of a car. And my mind is never clearer than cruising the highway. I'm the type of person who doesn't mind being alone for certain periods of time. I spent the last two years in Savannah living alone. Portions of my trip in Europe were spent exploring on my own. Now my current exodus across the country is spent largely by myself (Sandi doesn't make a good conversationalist)
This drive across the country not only filled a long awaited excursion, but a chance to process the experiences of the last two months. Not only are the hours of driving well suited for thinking and music, but the ever changing backdrop of Interstate-10 provides a canvas to organize the details from an array of people I've met and places I've visited. It reminds me to be ever mindful of the moment and to remember the unique presence of mind to live each day.
With an excess of time on my hands, I thought about the wealth of exception and amazing people I've met on this trip. Of the many people I'm used to meeting in daily life, I tend to assess the significance of these encounters by the sincerity I feel from the connection. Early in my trip I quickly realized that most of the people I was meeting weren't your run of the mill, easily forgotten, average encounters. A wise friend I made on the trip told me, "Every encounter we have happens for a reason, no matter how short." Whether for a few hours or a few days, they were people I won't soon forget. Like Helen, who I met in Santorini in a van to our hotel. She had most recently traveled Egypt where she was in a work away program helping a family setup a business near CairoTilazway). However, unlike my trip, she traveled 16 months across three continents! I've never been one to believe in random chance in life, and yet I don't subscribe to fate-based life paths. Perhaps its the mechanism of travel that that lends purpose and opens our views to be more receptive to these these seemingly random chance encounters.
I finally get home tomorrow. I'm sit now at mile 2,438 of 3,205 on this drive. Tomorrow is my last day of traveling following the start of a journey which began technically two months ago. In reality, tomorrow is the first time I get to come home for good after leaving California nearly two years ago. Although I will miss the travel and adventure I engaged on this trip, and will quickly change gears as I start working on Monday, I know the long awaited rest will be soon welcomed. One can only move so far until he has to replant his roots.
Note: Blog title inspired while driving somewhere in the vast middle of Texas by listening to Sara Bareilles and her song "Many the Miles"