As I am literally always planning my next trip, my next one is a road trip that will cross a few state lines. Of course, yes, it would be more efficient to fly since within two hours I could arrive at the destination instead of two days of driving in the middle of a very hot and humid summer.
When I share my travel plans and method of travelling, I have so far received a few confused glances followed by the question about why wasn’t I just going to fly. It would be more pragmatic, more efficient, and certainly more convenient. It’s not as if highway summer driving is scenic or even all that comfortable with the air conditioner either blasting too cold or the car still too hot. Logically, it doesn’t make much sense.
But that’s the thing – travelling should always be more about the journey, not the most logical or efficient path between two points. I’ve chosen not to fly because I want to feel like I’ve really traveled somewhere; that I’ve embarked on an adventurous, multi-day journey as an explorer. I want to experience the (known) inconveniences of a long road trip and simply be “traveling” for a few days. I want to have some great road trip stories when I do arrive at my destination and arrive there with the sense of having completed a journey; having traveled.
Writing a novel is a similar endeavor – novels are hundreds of pages of a journey that, while they can be condensed into a few sound bites, it’s the hundreds of pages that make them fun to write and read. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen wouldn’t be the romance it is if Darcy and Elizabeth met on page one and fell in love on page two. It’s an epic romance because of the journey through over three hundred pages as the characters figure things out.
Wherever your summer vacation is going to bring you, consider taking the road less traveled to get there. Take that completely unnecessary stopover in Iceland on a transatlantic flight, simply to soak for a short while in the Blue Lagoon. Or gas up the car and drive somewhere you’ve been meaning to go, but it’s just that much out of the way that you haven’t gone yet.
Either way, enjoy the journey and don’t forget to take a good book with you!