There’s something decidedly great about a road trip: Confined, cramped spaces for many many hours, breathing recycled air, and of course the road food, all leading to a progressively grouchy driver and drowsy passenger. What’s not to love?
But the allure gets to me every time.
And I find it so crazy how driving in a dedicated direction over the course of one day, can transport you somewhere so completely different that you end up in a different country. It’s different than flying. When you fly, you expect to end up in a different country. For crying out loud you only have to take off and by the time you are in the air you have already cleared the distance of a tiny European country.
There’s a difference from this experience to that of driving a distance. When you drive you spend the day, passing scenery, being completely aware that you are moving yourself slowly towards something more increasingly foreign. It’s like looking through the photo album of school years as opposed to jumping from a picture of yourself as a 6 year old to yourself as an 18 year old.
For instance I leave Ottawa and within an hour I hit Montreal, Quebec.
Ok so this is a bad example to start with… it’s really not at all the progressive difference in landscape and culture I was looking for… I might as well have gotten in my time/space continuum machine.
I leave Ottawa.
I hit Vermont within 3 hours. Vermont is beautiful and picturesque but the maple trees, the people and the affinity to sustainable living remind me of where I come from.
I-89 winds me quickly from Vermont into New Hampshire. It looks a lot like Vermont but suddenly I’m aware that I’m in the United States. What tips me off? Just the “Live Free or Die” slogans that you see on every car and billboard throughout the state. Yep. This is definitely not Canada anymore. Ottawa is located in the Province of Ontario and Ontario’s slogan is “Yours to Discover” – a bit more raunchy and a lot less severe to picture in your head.
Within 5 hours from initial departure the I-89 ends and the I-93 takes me into Massachusetts. There is completely not a spec of snow on the ground and it’s 10 degrees warmer then when I left my house in the morning. When I open the windows, the air is fresh and I can smell the ocean. Oh and there’s also the “Bastan” talk radio. The people sound different. How did I drive for six hours and find a different dialect? (Again….Quebec being the anomaly to this example).
When I get out of the car in Rhode Island 8 hours after I locked the front door when leaving that morning, I’m greeted by charming hilly little streets, lined with colonial cape-cod style siding and shutters. It is decidedly out of a picture book, and while it is by no means the other side of the world, it is not at all familiar to the early 1900’s type architecture and neatly planned streets of the city I come from.
But what is familiar? The family that greets us at the door upon arrival 🙂 Destination complete. You might drive a day and end up in a foreign country, but all you need to find is a familiar face, and you immediately feel at home.
Thanks for hosting such a lovely visit!