Thursday, April 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday- To Travel is to Live.

It hit me while I was eating fried chicken and green bean casserole at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. Looking down at my accompanying corn and mashed potatoes, then looking up at the people surrounding me, I realized something. Although you would never catch me in San Francisco sitting down to fried chicken and its Midwestern counterparts (I would probably be sipping a nice pinot gris next to some braised lamb with roasted root vegetables), I was four states over and, even though I was technically still in the U.S., I was experiencing a culture so unlike my own.
This, my friends, is why I love traveling. I know that you all at some point have said "I want to travel the world," when you were little and the teacher asked what your dreams and aspirations were. I never said this, because to me, it was already going to happen. I don't want to travel the world. I will travel the world.
My mom and I just came back from a road trip.

San Francisco, CA to Placerville, CA to Reno, NV to Salt Lake City, UT to Lusk, WY to Custer, SD to Vermillion, SD, and of course, all of the itty-bitty towns and rest stops in between. It was just us two in Tall 1 (my baby blue 2013 Fiat), and we drove the length, sharing adventures (including blizzards in Wyoming), stopping for multiple cups of coffee along the way (I think four was the record in one day) and experiencing life outside of the box.

First of all, it opens your mind. Every time I take that step onto the plane (or the boat, or the taxi, or whatever means of transportation), my mind erases judgmental thoughts and I'm immersed with new eyes, looking at the world differently. It really makes you appreciate things–what you have, what you don't have, maybe what you wish you had. I remember when I was in Paris and, if you don't know, public restrooms are basically nonexistent there, and I had to use the toilet. When I did happen to find one, either I had to wait in an extremely long line, or I had to pay (or go to a cafĂ© and buy an espresso, which was obviously my preferred choice). But that is something I certainly took for granted back in the U.S., where there's never been a worry of finding a bathroom. See, it opens your mind!

Travel humbles me. It brings me down from my preferred five-course meals, white sheets and comfortable, safe home, and it allows me to experience the world and learn. And there's a lot to learn.
I have the opportunity of living in London this fall as a study abroad student. I'm going all by myself and, while it scares me (just a tad), I'm thrilled at the prospect of living in a different country. Imagine me, alone at the pub, having a pint! But I just know that it's another page in my book, for the world is a book and those who don't travel read only one, safe page.

There's too much to experience out there, too many sights to see and too many things to learn. Heck, I didn't even travel out of country this last week and yet I have learned so much already.
And maybe you go out and have a couple rough experiences, or maybe it just wasn't what you anticipated. The good thing is that you can come home and laugh about them with thicker skin and a lesson learned.

Also, I must admit: it was probably the best friend chicken I've ever had... so far.

Road trip stop night #1: Placerville, CA.

Cookies for late night road snacks and fresh coffee and homemade scones the next morning? Boy were we spoiled.

Time spent in Placerville was short and so Mom and I did what we enjoy best: went wine tasting. When you're in wine country (and not that touristy expensive Napa Valley country), you go wine tasting. It's just common courtesy.

It's true. Tinder matched me with Port. Or was it Red W.?

Wine tasting requires picnics. It's only smart to eat alongside wine consumption...

My date..

I mean "dates"..

The morning of departure brought along some well wishing deer..

Let's start this thing!

Driving through the Midwest is... long. And at times, rather boring.

As mentioned previous, we got stuck in Lusk, Wyoming during a blizzard. Not the most fun at the time, but looking back now, we appreciated the adventure.

It's also not a spring break road trip without being stuck in a snowstorm clutching a mini ice scraper, am I right?

The next morning, we rolled into South Dakota with sunny skies..

In Custer, we spent a few days with Grandma, enjoying that signature Midwest meal..

...At Crazy Horse Memorial.

Multiple miles later, Mom and I rolled into Vermillion, SD, where Tall 1 (my car) was given to my sister for the next year.

She's as beautiful as ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment