Sharing a trip

Jam of the week: “Lose Yourself to Dance” by Daft Punk

Walking through the strong, hot breeze that Tuesday brought, an urge coursed through me that I had not felt since about this time last year, to travel. It’s an odd urge, one that makes me want to go far away from where I call home. It’s a feeling I can sate by driving to other nearby towns and just enjoying the weather and scenery on my way there.

Traveling long-distance is another story. While I would love to just up and go to New York over a long weekend, it’s much less feasible than the long trips my family planned when I was still in school.

While I’ve gone on many great trips with my family across the country, we’ve never made it across the border into another country. There’s little room to complain though since my family has gone on some fantastic trips in America. I’ll never forget our trip to the Grand Canyon. We arrived at a location several miles away from the canyon in a rental car, and we were taken by helicopter into the canyon. I sat in the back seat next to the door with my mom in between my sister and I. As we approached the canyon, my mom’s grip on her children’s knees tightened.

As we flew over the edge of the canyon, the sound of the helicopter’s blades churning the desert air below it disappeared in an instant. My hair stood on end, completely captured by the sudden silence that was only interrupted by my mom’s nervous groans. After being dropped off in the canyon, we spent the next few days rafting down river. We went through rapids, some of them quite rough, but we all held on though them. I was the only person to fall off the raft during the trip when I slipped off in a tranquil section of the river trying to move to the back of the raft.

Years before that, our family took a trip to the Appalachian Mountains. I don’t recall the small town where our family rented a cabin for a few days, but it was the first time my young self had seen the mountains. This was a trip our family drove for, which for anyone who has driven more than a few hours with their family, understands it’s a stressful trip. While trying to take in the beauty of the forested mountains that I had never seen before, I also dealt with my sister who found the twists and turns of mountain roads to be less interesting and more nauseating.

However, now that I find myself out of college and working, the chance of my own schedule working in conjunction with both my parents and my sister who is still in college to travel somewhere far away is minimal. As much as I’m sure all of us desire to mark another place off a checklist, which also includes Cedar Point, Disney World, the far northern area of Wisconsin and the far southern tip of Florida, the binding call of everyday life is stronger than ever.

Perhaps it’s just something I need to plan and take one step at a time. While reminiscing on the topic, I remember an old map that my dad put in his home office when we all lived in Illinois. We put pins purchased at Major League Baseball fields on the map and had grandiose dreams of visiting them all. We went to a handful of stadiums around the midwest, but never made much headway on those plans.

That’s the thing about traveling. While it might be easy to just get up and go somewhere, or to plan something out on your own, it’s most rewarding when you have other people to share the trip with.