Sometimes I think about what life must have been like for my great-grandparents and all of the family that lived before planes, trains and automobiles shrunk the world.
I wonder what life was like when you had to rely upon a horse or horses as your primary mode of travel and whether that was a positive or negative thing.
Might not be either, the answer like much in life doesn’t have to be black or white, it could be somewhere in between.
Speaking of somewhere in between there are days where I wonder if that doesn’t describe my location.
If you look at my life from last July until now you’ll have seen me in Florida, Texas, Arizona and all over California.
Hell, I bought a car last Halloween and have driven more than 9,000 miles since then. Add that to the air miles I have logged and it is far less than some of my friends who are true road warriors and more than some people travel in a lifetime.
I haven’t been to Rome yet or through most of Europe but I’ll get there again. I need to walk the streets of London again and spend time visiting other countries I haven’t yet seen,
Those probably aren’t thoughts my great or great-great grandparents had. I’d guess it was a combination of antisemitism, cost and time.
I haven’t had a great-grandparent to speak with in 30 years and since I never met any of my great-great grandparents this is all just speculation on my part.
Educated guesses, but speculation nonetheless.
It is hard not to include my own childhood and the experiences I had as part of my own thought process in how things have changed and evolved.
My folks tell me my first plane ride was at around 6 months but I didn’t set foot upon one again until I was 16.
Until then my travel was all by automobile or bus and while we logged more than a few miles in the family station wagon I thought of travel to other countries and continents as being a very big deal.
I don’t think my own children see the world the same way as I did. While their experience has been limited to North America it hasn’t been limited to locations the way mine was.
They have been back and forth across the country and in multiple states multiple times.
Ask me why they have been and done more than when I was a child and I’ll tell you it is a combination of good luck, good fortune and good grandparents.
And since I have half as many kids to worry about as my parents financially it is easier for us than it was for them.
I hope it still feels magical to them.
The Miles Roll By
I am writing this some hours before traveling time rolls around again. Won’t be long before I climb behind the wheel and watch the miles roll by.
Won’t be long before the hours pass one after each other and I am lost in my thoughts and thinking about how much open land lies between our cities.
Hopefully April showers won’t make the ride more challenging but if they do, well so be it. I have driven through rain, sleet and snow and heard reports about hail storms and twisters too.
Since I am not on horseback I know I’ll remain dry and since I replaced the old car with new I know the lumbar support will keep my back feeling better and heated seats my body warm.
Driving may be slower than flying but the nice thing about it is that it provides the option to stop and visit the places that catch my eye.
Having driven across the country and all over California I have learned to slow down and look for places that have stories to tell.
There are more of them than you might think or realize.
The world is filled with beauty, all you have to do is open your eyes and take the earbuds out of your ears.