Why do we obsess about the destination? We hyperfocus on the goal, the trip at the end of the road, the special place that needed a special permit reserved six months in advance by the luck of a lottery draw. The plane tickets, the hotel reservations, the airport parking shuttle. It seems that we can sometimes forget the adventure and freedom of the road, forget what it’s like to explore the world in person. Living out of a car for a long road trip should be a rite of passage for Americans, young and old. Our country is so vast, one trip will never be enough, igniting fervor inside for a journey through the nation.
As winter slowly passes and spring and summer blossoms, my mind ignites with the desire to visit the desert. The idea of sleeping in my car under a raw sky is far better than staying in the comforts of home; it seems almost insane not to go. Arming myself with guidebooks, topo and road maps, bits of research from far too much day dreaming at work, a bag of gear, a reliable hatchback, and no itinerary. A ramble though the southwest is calling out. “Make each day a new horizon” would be the only law to abide by while searching for peace.
Spring in the desert is proof that life can be beautiful and harsh at the same time. Where vastness is comforting and water has a new appreciation. Where red sand can get places that you didn’t even know existed, and a week without a shower is commonplace. Get dirty and explore, not the destination, but the ride.