Tomorrow morning I hop on a plane for San Jose, where I’ll meet up with my super-mega-bff-to-the-max, Sunshine. After a little lounging, we’re hopping in the car and heading out on the road. We’re trekking off to the Pacific Northwest, and a little inland, for a few reasons. One, because it’s going to be fucking awesome. And two, because after we do some exploring in those few territories I’ll have driven through each of the forty eight continental United States of America.
I’ve left the country fewer than five times.
When I started having the means to move myself around I made a conscious decision; I decided that I would not travel in another country until I’d fully explored my own. People have so many pre-conceived notions about America. There is much to be pre-conceived about, to be sure.
There is also so much to see, experience. Europeans do not have a monopoly on culture, they don’t even have seniority. You can learn more about what it means to be a human being by sitting down in a luncheonette in a small town in Alabama than you can studying a winery in the south of France.
And the beauty.
I’ve seen some amazing things in these United States. A sunset across the desert mesas. Dew as thick as syrup collecting on Kudzu. Fields of corn so vast you forget that you’re supposed be bored by that type of thing. There is no other word for the Rockies other than majestic, Francis Scott Key got that one right.
I’m perplexed by people who travel for proclaimed reasons of seeking new and diverse things when there is so much here to see. There is wealth beyond your wildest dreams bordered by unimaginable poverty. There are cultures both new and old, those that have survived the test of time and those that have been created by our bored teenagers.
After this summer, I’ll have driven through and spent time in each state though I am sure I have not even begun to scratch the surface of what this country has to offer. In the future I’m planning on heading beyond our borders for more road trips… I have a tentative plan for Central America next summer.
Perhaps the things I’ve seen, the people I’ve met and the lessons I’ve learned will help me appreciate the rest of the world more. I can only hope, because I wasted a lot of money on gas.