“You know more of a road by having travelled it, than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.”
– William Hazlitt
“The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
– G.K. Chesterton
Nothing quite says freedom and adventure in an easily accessible package than the notion of getting into a car with loose expectations and even looser destinations. To road-trip is to follow a path on a whim, to see what adventures will unfold, to be open to the sights and experiences. It is to be directed by your fancies, to eat when you’re hungry, to bunk down when it gets dark, to choose to explore a place further or to keep travelling ‘onwards and upwards’. It can be a lesson in mindfulness if you let it. Who hasn’t enjoyed the feeling of the wind on their face through the wide car window, or poked their hand into the open rushing air to feel it being batted up and down. Suddenly we have the time to notice the layers of green and amber colours of passing fields and woods, the slow-rolling clouds of the distant storm, the ‘same but different’ novelty of new towns, new bridges, new rivers.
And if you have the good fortune to share it with loved companions, then it can become an experience that bonds you further. “Remember that antique store with the epic record collection.” “Remember the cheese/juicy apricots/yoghurt we tasted at that stall.” “Remember staying at the farm and how we got to…” “Remember when you slipped/threw up/sat in the pile of….”. Even the questionable experiences can become memories that you talk and laugh about together with fondness, because it happened to you, at that time and that place and that makes it irreplaceable.
And two other elements go hand in hand with the road-trip experience….a killer soundtrack and of course, photographs……selfies, landscapes, food shots, people you met briefly and friendships formed. Both can go a long way to summoning back memories of that time you got to experience firsthand what it was like to travel down that particular road.
What are some of your favourite travel memories? Is there a song or band that captures that feeling of escape for you? (One of mine is ‘Southern Sun’ by Boy and Bear.) Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.