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One of my finest memories was crossing the Continental Divide in Colorado. The Outback was packed so tight that all you could see in the rear view mirror was a giant mound of climbing and camping gear. We were headed for Yosemite Valley. My girlfriend’s hair was blowing in the wind as I passed a few cars heading straight toward a brilliant sunset. A song called California was playing, alluring our taste for the Golden State. Ann looked over at me with a smile. Life froze for a minute. It was a peaceful, insignificant , and yet profound moment that I often relish in my mind.
Phantom Planet – California
We must have driven a million miles of highway by now. By now I would consider Ann and I expert road trippers. Packing everything in duffle bags and hitting the open road is not a matter of what we do, but a way of life for us. Since our courtship was on opposite sides of the country, it was always a road trip here or a road trip there just to see each other. All of my web based companies let me travel while doing work, which we have thoroughly taken advantage of. It’s funny when I think about it but up until we were married we shared most of our time together either on the phone or in the front seat of my Metro. And since we got married just three months ago we have already crossed the entire country twice and call our van our home. We take great pride in having friends in almost every state and we have visited almost every national park.
I feel like I have learned more about Ann while driving than by doing anything else. A few years ago we bought a bunch of books filled with questions for couples to ask each other. We spent countless hours asking each other questions ranging from, “Who was your best friend in elementary school?” to “What was the most courageous thing you have ever done?” We also went through a few Would You Rather books with questions like, “Would you rather have eyes the size of cue balls or nostrils the size of half dollars?” All the questions have evoked some amazing discussions. We spent literally hundreds, if not thousands, of hours just asking each other questions mile after mile. We had time to go through every one! We haven’t done question books in a while. Lately we have been reading books on marriage…go figure. (Those will have to be another blog.)
I always try to put together a new play-list of songs that fill our hearts with inspiration for each trip we go on. It’s fun to sing along together out the window and laugh. Whenever I hear a familiar song on the radio it brings my mind back right to the memories and experiences of being on the road with Ann on a particular adventure. I highly recommend a road trip to every set of lovers. Ask God where you should go, who you should bring, and what songs you should download.
I will admit that traveling and living the nomadic lifestyle is not always comfortable. Lately, our van has been overheating so we have to travel with the heat on full blast. Of course, we open all the windows. If we didn’t we might die of heat stroke. Some days are really hard, long, and tiring. I wish that we could afford regular back massages to get the knots out from driving for days on end. Yesterday our transmission went out on the van. It took us an extra 8 hours to get home thanks to a totally insane tow truck driver named Bookie. We have at least a hundred stories of driving off the road, getting stuck in the snow, traveling for 36 hours straight, meeting new people, getting flat tires, hitch hiking across entire states, and helping out other travelers. One time we accidentally drove a rental car right into a pond; I won’t mention who was driving. We would never run out of blog entries if we dug through our driving files. Being on the road is never uneventful.
It never ends. Next week we leave for Florida for the Care Net conference. The week after that we fly to Texas to work on our Stork Project. Two weeks after that we are going to the Yucatan, and then we are headed for Colorado. Our life is a road trip. That’s one of the things that makes our love story so wild.
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