esterday I had a friend from abroad visit. We went to college together and since then we've both gone on separate adventures, and she's currently living in Germany with her husband, teaching art. They're on a 6 week trip, traveling all over the US and have made it to the west coast now. It was really fun seeing her and catching up. I've been feeling a lot of wanderlust lately and hearing about her life abroad and her current trip made me long even more for the open road. I've always wanted to move back to Alaska eventually but I recently saw an acquaintance move to Utah and I remembered how much I loved the geography of the southwest when I was on my Winne trip. I've been thinking for so long that I'd end up back in Alaska that I didn't really consider living other places first, but now I feel like it'd be really interesting to spend a year or two here and there, getting to know various places.
The Winne is occupied for the time being, but I've still been wanting to take a road trip. Back when I was a teenager, before my Winnebago obsession set in and I was deep in the throes of my El Camino obsession, I dreamed of getting a travel trailer to pull behind the El Camino and traveling the states. Now I'm secretly scheming ways to get on the road in the Elky. Even tent camping in the truck bed! She needs some work before she's road ready, but I'd love to take a 3 week jaunt and visit some friends in Nashville, stop by the in-laws in so-cal, and revisit the southwest again. Unfortunately I have a taste for ridiculously thirsty vehicles and gas prices are not very road trip friendly. Still, I prefer traveling by road. There's something about being on the interstate and watching the landscape slowly pass by and shift from mountain to plain to desert.
In some ways I feel like a totally different person than the girl who took the Winne 11,000 miles across a continent. It'd be very interesting to take another trip who and where I am now. I remember feeling confident and powerful on the road, but I feel even more comfortable in my own skin now. Driving has always been my sanctuary and I really haven't done much driving in the past couple years(beyond small in-town commutes or short hour long jaunts to nearby spots). When I'm on the road everything gets in focus. It's like all of the thoughts and experiences jumbled in my head fall into place. All of the white noise of daily life washes away and what's left is pure and simple.
It's been a while since I had a road-reset. The El Camino was my first car and it's been a while since we spent some quality road time together. In college I used to take hours long wander-drives on the highways around my school, usually past midnight when my roommate was sleeping in our room and I didn't feel comfortable hanging out in there. It was a place that felt closest to home in a new situation where I was living thousands of miles from my hometown, friends, and family. I would crank Radiohead and melt into the encompassing warmth of the night. Sometimes halfway somewhere feels all the way home.
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