I’ve been longing for the days where we get in the car and just drive. We used to do this when our kids we younger. But then life happened and we went through some changes that required us to show each other who we were. And it wasn’t always pretty but when our relationship became more solid, our everyday living felt amazing, I wanted more than just be in our four walls.
And for the first time in a long time, we got in the car and drove with no destination in mind.
We knew going east wasn’t interesting to us as that is the Atlantic Coastline and North didn’t really seem appealing either.
The options we had were west or south and the then I heard “Go West Young Man”. I recalled it from a song somewhere but couldn’t place it and still can’t. My partner told me it’s from Horace Greeley (it’s true, I looked it up!).
And off went in the car, filling up the tank driving on Route 151 heading towards the Blue Ridge and Skyline Drive. It wasn’t west enough and off to the Interstate we went. We fueled ourselves with breakfast and heading down 81 South.
It was amazingly sunny and a beautiful drive and before long there were less and fewer people on the road. There was lots of laughter and admiration for the fields and mountains on the horizon.
Within a matter of a few hours we crossed the State Line and found ourselves here:
We stopped at the visitor’s center and looked through all the brochures to see what may spike our interests and a few minutes later we were back in the car, continuing to head west.
“Let’s keep on driving and see what may peek our interest”
And so, we kept on heading west until we arrived in Beckley, WV and after maneuvering this unfamiliar territory, we switched seats because I get utter anxiety driving in unfamiliar places. Not sure where we may see some note and sight worthy things, I plugged into my trusted friend Google and saw the Tamarack information.
I remembered it vaguely from years ago when I had been in Beckley before many
We walked around and admired the craftsmanship and amazing imagination featured by many artists fueling our own creativity.
And just like that we got back in the car and headed home.
But not until we had ourselves a proper dinner somewhere and since we are both ridiculous in choosing food, we expressed what we didn’t want. And then he said:
Well, there is that German restaurant but I think it’s out of the way” but I again reached out to my friend google and was excited that it was literally on our way home.
German food for dinner and for the win!
And just like before when we visit Edelweiss, it didn’t disappoint – and if you know me I am quite the critic when it comes to German food.
But it was amazing as if I cooked it myself or I was back home!
My dinner choice was the Rinder Rouladen!
And this is more than just about unplugging from social media, your everyday life and all the other things one must do.
Getting in the car without a destination really is about the adventure and to embrace the unknown and the ability to handle this life and business the same kind of way.
And just like this sign sometimes there is only one way out. You could visit but not head east and only west.
We joked how this kind of felt like Hotel California where you could come and never leave.
The entire day I was reminding myself to be present because truly we are both always so wrapped around our work that when the evening comes we are both just wanting to chill. But it’s in those moments we do get to live carefreely, to relax and forget about the everyday stresses we may have in our lives.
It’s about exploring the world around us and to remember life is too damn short to not embrace this adventure.
If you’ve never just gotten in the car without a destination, I encourage you to get over your fear and embrace all that you could discover on your adventure!
Road trips have this thing that allows you to feel the freedom, to embrace the adventure.
There’s something exciting when you are heading out onto the road with destination unknown and then trying to maneuver your way back at the end of the day.
Road trips are the mirror reflection of what life represents to me.
We all come to a crossroad at one point or another, literally and figuratively.
It was during one of our road trips we decided to go one way, not thinking about the fact it would take us 5 hours longer to get there, talk about taking a detour home.
And we also didn’t have the foresight to turn around and go head home on a three-hour drive.
The day had been amazing, the evening spent dinner watching the sunset and heading home the scenic route, except it was dark.
The frustration grew as we realized that this may not be the best way home.
Freedom to take detours!
That freedom is what we crave and we at times create without thinking about it. It’s the ability to see that even though you are taking a long way home, there is goodness in this situation.
When you come to your crossroad and happen to take the detour, find that goodness.
For me, it was that I could spend a few more hours with my guys before getting back to the reality of work.
Road trips help me disengage from sitting behind the computer for too long or scroll through Facebook endlessly without getting anything done.
Taking detours, allows me to reflect where I am at the moment and where I would rather be and how can I best get back on track to head into the proper direction.
Yes, detours are annoying and frustrating when you realize that perhaps another way would have been better.
But what if for just one moment, you appreciate the detour you’ve taken, find and see the good and take a moment to reflect on where you really want to go?
I created this tote, to remember this moment and remind myself that there will always be a detour of some kind!
You can get yourself a tote, so you may always be reminded that detours are actually a beautiful part of your journey!
Pack your bag, and head into freedom!
I just returned from a quick trip to NY for a concert, and I say quickly because it was just 24 hours all together. But it was a great experience – Madison Square Garden, Central Park and of course Time Square.
Earlier this year, I made the commitment to myself that this year would be about experiences because I don’t want to wait until I am old.
I don’t want to wait until I perhaps physically can’t-do the things I love to do and then say to myself “I should have done this or that”.
Nope, this isn’t how I envisioned living my life.
Instead, I opened myself up to possibilities and opportunities.
At the beginning of March, I traveled to Kentucky, alone. This was the first time I had traveled by myself for more than 4 hours since getting my driver’s license. For someone, who believes in overcoming whatever is holding me back, that was just another thing.
And I say another thing, because, in a few days, I will be venturing off to another location, again driving by myself for the most part, right after I drop my kids off with their dad for spring break.
Somewhere along the line, we are told we can’t or shouldn’t do the things we want to do because it isn’t safe. And we should save for retirement and then go do all the things but sometimes, just sometimes it may be a little too late.
But it isn’t just about what we are told, it is the excuses we make ourselves of why we can’t or why we shouldn’t. Years ago (and I mean years) I felt so guilty for doing the things I want to do because I would be bringing my kids along. As a mother and the service-oriented person that I am, I always put other people first before I filled my own well.
But when I was nearing my burnout and had my breakthrough or break free moment if you will, I realized that not only do I work for the things that I want and bring in my life, I deserve them because of my dedication to my family but also myself.
On the journey of self-acceptance, that meant I don’t have to share the last donut and I certainly can go on a trip without my kids. It doesn’t nor should it be all about them. And yes, I know people will disagree – and that’s totally fine by me.
We all must find whatever it is that works for us.
We must find what allows us to feel good and have the experiences we crave.
All I am saying is that we shouldn’t wait – we should live right here and right now.
And yes, of course sometimes it’s easier said than done because perhaps money is an issue, or maybe work is getting in the way.
But you are going for the adventure and the feeling that it provides and not all the things you can buy with money though money is nice and it helps.
There was a time I couldn’t see how my trip to Kentucky or NY was going to happen. I wanted the experience but it wasn’t until the moment I realized that it is about how I am in this very moment that would change everything, and, of course, believe in the possibilities.
And believing in the possibilities begins with your own attitude and mindset, followed by taking action. You can’t wish experience into your life but you can be creative on how to make it happen.
If you want some help along the journey,
I invite you to join the
Rebel Soul Connection!
On this day 23 years ago, I took my then 8-month-old son and bravely stepped on an airplane and went on a 13-hour flight.
I had traveled through Europe growing up, France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark and so on but either by car, train or ferry but I had never been on an airplane.
What wasn’t unfamiliar was the language barriers as I only spoke German at the time and little English.
But as I look back on the years, I don’t regret a thing. I remind myself of the experience, the courage and bravery getting on that airplane with my son who was teething.
I landed in Detroit, missing my flight to Oregon and the airline provided a hotel room. Being aware of culture is important but I didn’t know that people get you know tipped for bringing food to the room. It wasn’t a thing I knew growing up.
The next morning I was rerouted to Portland, OR – just to arrive in a blizzard. Yes, I was accustomed to snow but usually don’t venture out when that happens. The baby, still teething and running a wee bit of a fever.
My ride picked me up and we drove in the blizzard to their town, which apparently is nothing but a thing in OR. I was scoping it out but soon realized that situation in OR wasn’t working out and planned to return home, but not without a stop.
I hadn’t intended on staying originally but committed to my son’s father to get married because of love. It was love in every sense that you believe love is but we were also young and immature.
I fought judgment and criticism, trying to always stay true to myself and who I was, and I didn’t get married just to live here, that has never been part of my game.
Here I am 23 years later continuing to create the life I want and believe I can have.
I am friends with my ex-husband and we have 3 amazing boys together.
I have fought, cried, dreamt and grown so much since stepping off that airplane. I experienced love and heartache.
I experienced self-destruction on my part but learning so much more about it.
I learned that I can learn just about anything I want to and share my knowledge with anyone that will listen.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I want you to know that anything and everything is possible.
I had no idea what life would be like but I am grateful for all the experience that I have been able to live through, the good, the bad and the fucking pain.
Without them I wouldn’t be here right now, telling you to not wait for another goddamn second to go after what the heck it is you want.
I want you to be able to look back and say to yourself:
Yes, I did that.
This has been an incredibly amazing summer especially if we compare it to summer’s past!
We not only went camping – even if we used a cabin – and spent a 10-hour ride home because we can (we were only 4.5 hours away) – Blue Ridge Parkway is an amazing place to travel!
We went to a concert 1.5 hours away and – Lennon did not have a meltdown, got bored or was completely stressed because we were prepared with Legos, Gameboy and coloring pages!
and a big hurrah before school starts to Bush Gardens – and while he only rode two rides (both water rides) and really wasn’t interested in much else – after the second time walking around he climbed on the mesh and slid down the slide – he absolutely enjoyed Elmo and by the time we ate dinner he simply took a break.
This past weekend we went on a camping trip – I think we all knew that this would be a challenge at times because we never a) went camping before b) stayed in such a small space together before c) traveled with our dog before d) would be spending quite some time in the car … I for one don’t do well in small spaces with lots of people for a long period of time but we all embraced the attitude of “It’s an adventure” … because that is what life is and should be. Towards the end of an hour or so before we would arrive the crankiness started to show its ugly head and we all knew this could either make or break the trip… but we knew without speaking it 🙂
When we finally arrived, I think we were all ready for some sleep. We relaxed, unplugged for the most part (cell service was iffy ha) and just had a relaxed good old-time. The boys were swimming in the lake – the girl was reading… we cooked hot dogs on a stick and roasted marshmallows in the evening hours. I learned that I don’t like roasted marshmallows… I tried and learned 😉
The way home was intended to be on the Blue Ridge Parkway… however, we didn’t plan breakfast well enough and needed to head off to find some food for everyone and purchase things for lunch. We planned on heading back to the Blue Ridge but had no idea how or direction of getting back on it… so we drove… following the GPS on the phone… and before we knew… Tennessee
It’s an adventure 😉
We arrived back in the good ole’ Virginia with the continued attitude of we are not in any hurry and it’s an adventure. Turning a 5-hour car ride into 10 hours certainly was an adventure and the Blue Ridge is beautiful enough to do so. At one point the youngest had to go to the bathroom – and the woods, just wouldn’t do. We continued our travel – discussed how many toilets should be on the Blue Ridge and finally found one he could use. He didn’t complain, whine or moan – he just said if we couldn’t find one he would wait until we got home – which was still about an hour or so away! But thankfully he didn’t have to wait 🙂
And really shouldn’t that be life in general? If we were to look at difficult situations with an adventurous outlook I bet that things will not be so difficult or terrible or negative. Instead, your attitude will be more enthusiastic and open to the challenges and you will move through the difficult stages much easier. And if each adventure comes with a plot-twist … well you will write an amazing life story … don’t you think?