July 1, 2016: Envy of the Open Road


Sometimes I wish that I could just get in the car and drive, and not like in an abandonment-type situation, mind you, but more so in a pick up and go explore a new place-kind of way.

I wrote about this somewhat recently last fall when my sister and her family moved down to Orlando, and I find myself revisiting some of those same those as now my sister-in-law … who spent a few years living with us when she moved to Tampa five years ago … is packing her bags to go do traveling nursing for a while, which basically gives her the option to hop from place to place every 3 months! And don’t get me wrong – there’s definitely a fair part of that which sounds just terrifying, but the opportunity to get out there and really explore and enjoy so many vastly different parts of the country … even the likes of Hawaii – now that’s cool! 😉

I don’t know if it’s a little midlife crisis talking or just general musing, but there are definitely parts of just being able to pack a bag and go that I certainly miss. And I also don’t know if possibly this is driven by the notion that I would still argue that picking up and moving to Florida back in 2003 was one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made in my life – looking back, it’s one of those things where you didn’t realize just how free you were at the time … even though if we had to pick nits, I still prefer the income level along with a couple of other things about here and now to back then when sure I could’ve packed up and gone anywhere, but then I only had three weeks to get a decent job or it was going to be back to shuffling auto parts in Northern Michigan for me… 😛

I still look back to the huge, cross-country road trip that Sara and I took back in 2010 before we were ready to start trying for kids and I’m so glad that we did it, even though recreating it only six years later right now seems next to impossible. We were gone for something like three and a half weeks, visited everywhere from Michigan to New York to Washington, D.C. to Niagara Falls to even the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Vermont … because when you’re loose on a road trip, you’re REQUIRED to make out of the way, completely random and awesome pit stops like that!

I can see a time when the kids get a little older, or at least born in the twins’ case, and we’ll be cramming everything into the SUV all Griswold-style, and maybe then my outlook on road tripping with a car-load of kids and little patience will change a bit, but there’s a part of me that looks forward to it nonetheless. I need some open road longer than the one that takes me to Target or even the series of highways and toll-roads that guide us over to Orlando on a seemingly regular basis…

The wife and I started discussing something earlier this week that I think might still be a possibility. It’s not a long trip – probably not more than a long weekend at best – but it would be a chance for the family to see a few different states and get out of the house for more than a day at a time. It’s hard to estimate just how many wacky hijinks could be in store with such a short trip, but we’ll figure something out, I’m sure.

To all of those out wandering even as we speak, enjoy it if not only for yourselves but also for those of us who’ve let ourselves get too  burdened down my life to for any longer be in your shoes.

Go be crazy, and clock some miles, and enjoy the adventure. 😀

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