Road Trips and Rabbit Holes

I am suffering from a very specific form of road trip/wanderlust envy. For years I have told anyone that asks, daughters included, “Dad, if you could have any kind of car or truck you want, what would it be?” An old Land Cruiser. And the notion I’ve had is to take road trips; do bits and pieces of the country, with epic drives, of varying lengths and distances; from quick weekend strikes; to longer meandering treks.

And then I see Theron Humphrey, whose photography goes by This Wild Idea, doing exactly that. Granted, in my mind’s eye, my Land Cruiser is blue, though I am not that picky about color.

Part of what strikes me about his Land Cruiser camping, is that I have been feeling boxed in of late, like I need to stretch my legs and change scenery. Escape for a bit to recharge.

Travel brings power and love back into your life. – Rumi

Travel far enough, you meet yourself. – David Mitchell, “Cloud Atlas”

There are road blocks for the meandering, epic road trips. Kids, work, money, time–they all matter. But the shorter ones, whether for herons or just because, are doable, and like making time for writing, running, or anything that matters, if I want to do them, I have to make time and make them happen. I have always thought of road trips as having a soulful/spiritual aspect to them, a form of pilgrimage, and it’s time to pilgrim up.

2016 Aug rabbit hole

For those of us inhabiting our time and space, there are maybe other ways to escape: rabbit holes. Many of my favorite people are daydreamers. It’s just how we are wired. Walking through town or out on a run, my mind wanders miles and years and light years farther than my body. But my short attention span kicks in, or reality calls me back. I never make it too far down the rabbit hole.

A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can, absent-mindedly and with little relish. – W. H. Auden

It’s sad that Auden is right. If you are going to take the time to daydream, give it some thought. Connect to your dreams from when you were little, but dream them big. I need to let my mind wander and follow it. There is value to seeing where our daydreams lead, and where they lead us.

Road trips and rabbit holes can both lead us to the same place in the end: to a changed perspective, new thoughts, new eyes. Whether we climb a mountain, stand in a new stream, or see a new city, it is who we are and what we return to that lasts.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust

2016 aug schooner

Author: Michael Valliant

I am a father, a writer, a runner, a hiker, reader, follower of Christ, a longboard skateboarder, stand-up paddleboarder, kayaker, novice birder, sunrise chaser, daily coffee drinker, occasional beer sipper. I live in Oxford on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where I am the director of the Oxford Community Center by day. I am on a walk of faith, a spiritual adventure, following where God leads, trying to share my walk and story.

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