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Lessons from a Cross Country Trek

As an incredibly social being, I forget sometimes that slowing down and stopping can be the best thing for a creative mind.

That's why, confining myself to a vehicle for about 5 days to drive across the country was probably just what the doctor ordered.

And it's hard for me to imagine, that it was just only one month ago that I was actually in that vehicle, gazing out the window watching sites like this:


I had promised that I would post about our trip, write about all that happened in our adventure along the way.

I suppose I have not yet done so for a couple of reasons - 1 being that as I've forgotten, setting up house can be an exhausting experience and after spending my days wandering aroud IKEAs and Zellers and Mr. Choo's Dollar Store, rotting my brain in front of the television seems like the best thing at the time.

So, when I sat down today, it was with conviction to really try to document exactly what happened along the trip.

I started with looking at the pictures, most of which were taken at over 70mph through the passenger side window.

My own journey in time went a little like this:

"Oh, here is the pic from Minnesota .. no wait ... that's South Dakota .. oh okay, no here is Montana because the sign says Billings .. wait, was Billings in Montana? Maybe that WAS day one..ok ok let's try to go by days, so..that looks like day 1 = really flat and snowy .. this picture day 2? well no, because the mountains and we didn't see mountains until..."

This, dear readers went on through the entire selection of photos. Without having any confidence they are in order now on my computer, they appear to me as scenic shots that someone else potentially took.

They are bookended by shots of us at gas stations and outside hotels. These shots help me remember where we were but the order in which we saw them? Well, still really a blur.

This realisation concerned me a bit. I mean, if I can't remember after 1 MONTH where I was when, then really, what was the point? So many of our trips have vividness - dates, times, names of hotels, places, people, faces - I can rhyme these off for many of our travels. What happened to this one?

What I do know is that when I arrived at our new home, I had a renewed energy. Ideas have been floating around in my head like bees around a hive for the past month. I'm diving into books, fiction, non fiction. Expanding my knowledge, with a brain ready to explore again.

And so, perhaps there was a purpose. Perhaps I needed to force myself to sit. Sit. View. Stop at rest stops. Eat. Drive. Arrive at hotels. Eat. Rest. Listen to books on tape.

Just stop.

The American countryside is a breaktaking tapestry of a wide variety of beautiful scenery. Flat prarie land, hilly pastures, rocky mountains. All breathtaking. All awe-inspiring. And yet, memorable in the way the rising tide or crashing waves are in Mexico. Serving a purpose to allow you to give your brain a rest. Cities and towns melting into each other like one day to the next.

Perhaps this is what the ultimate road trip really is. A chance to give yourself time to look inward.

Thanks America. I needed that.

Day 1

Day 2


Day 3

Day 4


Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elizabeth said…
This is a real comment... Abs, you need to put some kind of check on your comment section!!!

On a serious note, I love the 'daily' photos... they make more sense to me than some shot of the side of the highway would.

I'm so happy you've settled so easily into your new home (like you don't have experience with that already!) and wish all the best for you!

Thanks for the post! Love to read about your life (as always!).

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