I believe that a necessary part of my life journey involves a road trip of self-discovery.
I think it would be well outside of my comfort zone (which is where life begins, right?) in many aspects. Firstly, I may discover that I don’t really enjoy road trips, despite having daydreamed about them for a long time. There was always something I found fascinating about getting into my car, with no particular destination in mind, and seeing where I wound up. There was a time when I didn’t adhere very well to a structured lifestyle; I considered myself more of a “free spirit” who embraced spontaneity, rather than a schedule. Things have changed a bit, with maturity and the realization that structure is important. After much soul-searching, over the years, I have also realized that I’m an introvert; I’m guessing that being away from the sanctuary that is my home will be a challenge, to say the least.
The plans for this trip have evolved into way more elaborate ones since I first decided I wanted to “hop in the car and go wherever”. I would choose to travel the length of Route 66, because of its historical significance, and, also for the opportunity to visit several states in one trip. I know that I want to go with those in my innermost circle, including a significant other (to add some romance), my best friends, my children, mom, sister and brother-in-law. I love the idea of going with a group because we would each see things from personal perspective and observe/discover things that others might not notice.
The following are “must-brings” for this journey:
1. Personal growth – observations/realizations of things learned about myself throughout the journey;
2. Discoveries/Observations/Interesting facts – all about the places visited, scenery viewed, interesting names of towns, places, restaurants, environmental factors, geography info, etc., etc.;
3. Companions – Things noticed/observed about each one in my inner circle;
4. Checklists – Must-see places, monuments, points of interest, restaurants/food to try, events;
5. Guestbook – all about people we meet and talk to along the way, with space for them to write messages and contact details for keeping in touch.
Camera – to capture memorable sites about our journey and post them on to a special blog, created for the road trip. I would print the best ones for a photo album.
Notecards – I would write out about a dozen notes, with some brief, generic information about myself, my journey purpose and a generic email address for the finder to contact me at a later date. I love the idea of randomly hearing from someone, saying they found my note and are *possibly* making the same journey as me.
Music – Every piece of music I own, for the time spent in the car. Singing along to music is an absolute MUST.
Two Containers – One for items found along the journey ~ free souvenirs; one for purchased souvenirs. These souvenirs would be more than just the usual shot glass or fridge magnet. I would look for the most unusual item I could find from each place visited; something representative of the town (monument, geographical area, store, etc.), that I couldn’t find anywhere else.
1. Make at least 1 new friend in every place visited.
2. Do something specific with each one in my inner circle, based on similar interests, and spend time bonding more with each one.
3. Buy at least 1 souvenir in each place; find a special souvenir/memento in each place.
4. Leave 1 notecard in each place (marked on the map).
5. Take 1 group shot front of a local identifier, 5 shots of the local area, 1 shot of new friend, 1 shot of where the notecard was left, the weirdest thing seen, the prettiest thing seen, the funniest thing seen.
6. Blog about each place.
7. Watch the sunrise and sunsets every day.
8. Keep a weather journal.
9. Keep notes of all stores, restaurants, tourist attractions, events visited.
10. Find something personally associated with anyone in our group in each town (streets, stores, monuments) named after any of us, and snap a photo of it.
11. Visit with any and all friends who live in towns visited along the way.
12. Attend any concerts that might take place in our proximity.
Upon our return home at our journey’s conclusion, I would:
1. Know, for certain, whether I like long road trips.
2. Have a better understanding of how I feel, conduct myself and perceive life outside of my comfort zone.
3. Understand more about the dynamics between me and each one in my inner circle, including how we got along, seeing each other every day, how we resolved conflict, etc.
4. Know more information about the places visited.
5. Be aware of the things that truly matter.
6. Appreciate home that much more.
7. Be more observant of things around me.
8. Feel a sense of accomplishment for having completed a Bucket List Item.