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It was that night by the gas station when I felt it. A liquid, a lightness, kind of like the golden air over my shoulder as I sat on the curb. For a moment it was stretched out soft, carrying me with it. The van was parked to my left and Nevada plains lay to my right. The future was spellbound. I was here, and the possibilities were endless.
I’d forgotten what it felt like to be a little kid.
Traveling allows you to explore feelings like that; feelings you pushed into your old familiar drawer beside the pajamas when life slapped you in the face. Traveling uproots you, and I guess God could be called the Great Weed-Puller because He seems to enjoy pushing ideas at you through uprooting. And a person on the road is definitely uprooted. A person on the road has nothing stable to compare herself to. She’s almost a new person. She almost doesn’t exist.
So she’s dangling there, in the naked exposed air. Feel it with her. It’s uncomfortable. Suddenly she sees these new feelings float on in, and she just kind of has to take them. They come in like slices of light, and she lets them change her. A little.
I mean, it was a great trip. My family and I drove to Ukiah, California, which is a great place because it is tiny and barely-on-the-map and interesting. I stepped into the relative darkness of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, hearing the voices of the choir and feeling them lift me, floating, off the ground and up towards the vast mountainous ceiling. A few miles from there, I visited the MOMA and fell in love with paintings of ice-cream. Later I camped at Turtle Rock, Wyoming, and maintained my affinity for frozen milk at the Big Dipper Ice Cream Shop in Laramie.
It was cool, having fun. It was weird.
But I guess that’s the point of travel. Right? I didn’t know if I would actually return to daily life and continue to experience the foreign, flitting emotions that had marked my trip. So I brought little nuggets back to Kansas, and waited for them to solidify or disappear.
A few weeks passed, and I waited.
I think- I’m not sure, but I think- they solidified.