Here’s one of the main issues I’ve discovered from this trip so far, and please note that we’ve only been driving a few days now…
Over romanticization can be a total morale killer. One can read something like On The Road, or anything from a Naturalist writer and become in love with the thought of long distance travel, or being injected into nature. While this is all well and good, you aren’t going to come to some grand self-epiphany early on in the initial bits. To be perfectly blunt, a good amount of places in this nation are pretty unimpressive. Maybe shitty is a better word. You can make that call.
The more you drive into the almost endless amounts of monotony, the discouraging thoughts begin to present themselves. That presence, if left unchecked, can overwhelm and stop the traveler from finding what they are looking for, to speak pseudo-philosophically.
Here’s what you need to do. Keep driving. Get through those long stretches and just wait for that change of scenery. You’ll feel less cramped, and even less isolated. Everything opens up.
Next, find a winding road. Drive it in the rain, with falling rock warnings, in the middle of elk crossings, with a 7% downhill grade, and at night in almost freezing temps. Get your heart racing, a little feeling of certain death never hurt anybody.
Oh. And get some green chilies in New Mexico.
Ian Cosgrove is currently on a month-long, cross-country road trip. Check back for more short reports along his travels.