Traveling by Road

America prides itself in being a nation of individuals. Individual people, individual ideals, and individual rights. One of the concepts that primarily American to my understanding, is the idea of a roadtrip. We Americans probably love cars more than any other nation, and more than that, we love our cars, which is an entirely different thing.

(I have a deeper and more emotional bond with my car than I have with some people.)

Also, the United States is fairly large in comparison to other countries, has an excellent road system, and Americans are proud of their country so they like to go out and see it.

It doesn’t hurt that the United States is a beautiful place.

These truths combine into the perfect cocktail of a road trip.

Not many people read the fiction I have written in much older posts on this blog. For that I am thankful. But whenever I write something, road trips factor prominently into my stories.

The very idea of a road trip has so many pertinent symbols built into it:

The concept of independence is tied to the concept of owning your own car.

Travel itself represents a desire for change and for a broadening of the mental scope.

A road trip is universally achievable to anyone who has their own car and is willing to pony up a few extra dollars for gas.

As humans, travel can do us a great deal of good. It forces us into a space where we are willfully confined and where we willfully confine ourselves to what possessions we cannot live without for a few days. It introduces us to a literal change of scenery and it forces us to interact with persons who are not familiar to us and most likely quite unlike us.

These steps of development are absolutely essential to us as individuals, as members of a common species, and as adults.

After all, don’t all great tales of change and growth feature a journey of some kind?

A childish mind but an adult head is required for a road trip. You must be young enough in spirit to want to see where the road will take you, but wise enough to know that the trip may make you miserable. A friend and I once had planned to take a road trip, but in the end I refused to get in the car with him because in our planning, he had rejected my suggestion to take a break for an hour or so when we got on each other’s nerves. He said this wouldn’t happen because we were both mature adults of intelligence, and that we would be able to verbally resolve any disagreements that we may have.

He apparently has never traveled in a car for any length of time.

So, I ask you: where are you going?

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