I have not technically done the driving. To be honest, most of the time I was a passenger. I prefer not to drive, and when it comes to road trips I tend to be asleep in the passenger seat if we are still driving late enough. I know my prime time of alertness is in the morning and I no longer attempt driving excessively late and testing the boundaries. I also just do not love driving, I prefer my husband to be the one in the drivers seat.
One of my goals in the next few years is to finally have visited the final 4 states of the United States I have yet to travel to. These states include: Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii and Vermont. Due to our current location Vermont is probably the easiest to visit followed by Arkansas. Alaska and Hawaii will require flights.
That being said we have done enough road trips to visit the entire rest of the country. I have learned from these trips that the country is large and diverse, even simply in landscapes. You trade rolling hills in the Tennessee for rows of corn and soybeans in Iowa for dirt with tumbleweeds in Texas. We have driven through the US in a myriad of directions and I feel a great comfort having seen the land I chose to call home. I feel like the scenery is a part of me. I do feel like being all over makes you see that people are people. No matter where you go people are people. We are all flawed. We have good and bad parts and we are all a mixed bag. We are a product of our environment and a product of our growth. Sometimes we grow more rapidly and sometimes more slowly. I do find that this gives me a respect and a willingness to want to work together. We have found friends everywhere we have lived thus far, we are still working on Manchester, but I have faith we will find our way. I think surrounding yourself with people from different backgrounds is a way to ground yourself in the understanding that my opinions are simply that opinions, one of many. My opinions may be true for me, and others are true for other people. One of the things in our more global world is that we find pockets of others with our opinions and we tend to get into bubbles of like minded individuals. I have not found that to be true for myself, I find myself being an individual in a bubble of people who think differently. In a way being different is odd, but I am quite used to it at this point so I no longer assume my opinion is the only one or even the most prevalent one. I am more aware of my ignorance and my blindspots. I think there is a usefulness to being alone to rethinking and questioning. I have found traveling even within the country to expose me to a variety of opinions and points of view and that all of them have good. All people have good and that gives me hope. I see people and I see potential for infinite good, I just hope to do my part. I guess what I am trying to say is traveling and meeting people has made me who I am and I am grateful for it day in and day out.
I see it in the small actions. The local dry cleaner who darned a tiny hole in my sweater for free. The man who helped me find the buzzer for customer service at a grocery store. The man who let me go in traffic. Even here where those actions may seem rarer they exist. There are people who light the darkness and their actions show them to be kind and helpful to strangers. I often think of the idea of how do we treat the least of these. I know I need to work on how I treat those around me and remember that my moments of kindness can go along way in creating the environment I want to be a part of.