Everyone asks me why I’d rather drive than fly. The journey from Madison to Salt City is a three-day Joy Trip of almost 1,500 miles along flat featureless highway. At 6:00 AM in Lincoln, Nebraska the sunrise on this foggy second day of travel is infinitely less interesting than the Day Inns marquee. The breakfast promise of DYI waffles and bad Maxwell House with a side order spotty wireless service reflects the pale morning light as dawn cracks over the prairie. It’s another glorious day.
I’m not one of those road warrior romantics that gushes over our Interstate Highway system. It’s a means to an end. And considering the focus of my work as a journalist, at least on this trip, you’d think I take in the National Parks and the wide open spaces of this great land of ours. Or maybe I should be dropping in area restaurants to sample their sustainably produced freshly harvested local produce. I’ll do those things to but sometime you just have to drive for driving’s sake.
I suppose what I enjoy is the solitude and contemplation of life at 70 miles an hour with limited access to phone calls, email or Facebook. I’d save plenty of time and sometimes a little money when I fly instead. But somehow this slower pace of travel, in this seated position for 8 hours a day relaxes my mind and body in ways that usually only yoga can for me. It’s like Travel-Asana.
The pace and stress of air travel can just be too much. Standing in line with equally frantic, harried travelers just adds to the anxiety. And then there’s the question of whether or not that bag you paid $25 to check will even arrive. While most people scoff at these so-called flyover states of the middle-west I much rather set the cruise control on the Jetta and my mind and just let the car drive through it.
My sun salutation is a bright yellow sign over black asphalt. A stable orientation of my spine over my sits-bones sets my steady gaze over the steering wheel looking off into the distant horizon. My core is engaged. Slow steady breaths in through my nose out through my mouth my thoughts focused on the intention I’ve set for this day.
500 miles Namaste.
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