The Open Road
I have never been a good traveler. As a child, I suffered from motion sickness, making the 8 hour drive to visit my grandparents a certain form of torture, for me and my family. As a teen, on my first airplane trip, I became well acquainted with the barf bag, endearing me to my seatmates and the kindly flight attendant. As an adult, driving for more than two hours was agony – boredom at watching the mile markers slowly tick by, the monotony of staring at the ribbon of asphalt for miles on end.
Today, I no longer suffer from motion sickness and books on CD make distance driving tolerable, sometimes even enjoyable. While I love the IDEA of traveling to far-flung and exotic places, the reality is that I do not have a travelers mind set, a willingness to leave the familiar, my routine and the known comforts of home. Strange food and strange beds are not novelties for me, just uncomfortable. While exploring the world with nothing but a backpack sounds exciting, I recognize that such a journey is not something that I would enjoy. A desire for such experiences is instead an expression of trying to be someone that I am not.
And yet, I feel a new stirring to move beyond my home boundaries. Photography has given me another gift—a desire to explore with camera in hand. I itch to capture images of new places, architecture, urban abstracts and street art. While I love the thrill of finding something fresh in the familiar, a desire to sample the unknown is awakening in me.
No, you won’t find me trekking through Nepal, backpacking through India or seeing Europe by high-speed rail. For now, at least, I think we’ll stick closer to home – exploring America’s midwest. We will begin our journey with a car loaded with my favorite pillow, my regular breakfast cereal, granola bars and yogurt. A route will be mapped and hotel reservations made. I will program the GPS and load up a good book on the CD player. Surrounded by the familiar, joined by my husband and partner, I will be ready to experience the open road. Camera in hand.
Credit: Texture by Kim Klassen