Apr 30

Hitting the Road

by in United States, Virginia

Having bid ailing Pablo farewell and get well soon, we set off towards Dulles airport to rent a capable steed to carry us across these United States. I held my breath hoping they’d have a Ford Fusion on the lot (because its front fascia resembles an Aston Martin) and they did! However, as we were doing a 42 day rental with unlimited mileage and their only available Fusion already had close to 40k miles on it, they upgraded us a class and gave us a brand new Chevy Malibu with only ~300 miles on the odometer. By the end of our trip, we’ll have racked up 9,000 additional miles on it, increasing the odometer reading 3,000%!

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As a type of vacation, the road trip is its own animal. There is no fixed departure time, or passenger manifest, or FAA approved flight plan. While some meticulous planners may not like the sound of that, there is an excitement that comes with knowing you are the captain of your ship and have full discretion over where you’re going, how fast and with whom. And unlike most oceans, the roadways of America are teeming with interesting sights, people and experiences. Plans can change, unplanned adventures may take place and if you cover a wide enough swathe of the country as we plan to do, you see the real America in all its wondrous diversity.

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Our first meal on the road was in honor of Azam, my Burger King aficionado brother!

Can interstate driving be a form of meditation? As bizarre as that sounds, it sort of is for me. After a hundred or so miles, autopilot takes over and the cloud that normally hangs over my mind clears. There are times of no thought, there are times of many thoughts, but for some reason the associated anxiety isn’t there.  Since I find it relaxing, I can drive a dozen or more hours day after day without complaint, not that we’ll be doing that on this trip. On the days we are driving, the average time in the car is under 5 hours.

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As we approached Tennessee, we played traditional country music to set an authentic local mood inside the car.

You’re off to great places, today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so… get on your way!   – Dr Seuss (from Oh, the places you’ll go!)

 

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