When I relocated from New Orleans to Boston in August, I opted for a rental car and a nostalgic trek through a few of my past cities. The trip was a blast and a whole hog success. It kind of made me wish I had made all my moves that way (though, that would have been impractical for most). I don’t own a car, so it’s rare for me to get to take many road trips, especially out of state.
Well, as chance may have it, an opportunity for another cross-country toad trip through America presented itself and I will be starting off my new year with a nearly 3,000 mile drive from Phoenix, Arizona back here to Boston.
One of my roommates has spent the holidays back in Arizona with her family and needs to drive her car back here so she can have it for next semester. As she could use a co-pilot for the trip (and Jesus is too hungover from celebrating his birthday), I volunteered. I will fly out to Phoenix on the 1st, and then after a day or two spending time with her collective past, we will head out on the road.
Driving for long, calm stretches is about as close to meditation as I will ever get, the unreachable horizon coaxing out contemplative and creative ideas. Almost all of my longest drives have been done alone, so it will be unusual to have a companion on this trip, but other than breaking up the monotony of the gas pedal, I don’t imagine it will fundamentally change the experience of drifting.
A cross-country road trip in the winter is quite different from one embarked on in the summer. I’ve learned the hard way that the weather in the cold months can be a bitter barrier, so we’ll be staying mostly south, crossing through Breaking Bad territory and into Texas, probably staying in the southern states until we cross up through Nashville before driving up the coast. We’re giving ourselves a few days cushion to allow for bad weather, unexpected detours and the unplannable possibilities of the road.
I’ll be leaving the winter drizzle and darkness of the Northeast for warm, sunny Arizona. And then like a boomerang, I’ll be right back. It’s been many years since I’ve been in the Southwest, and even more since I drove through Arizona and New Mexico with my family as a kid. I don’t really have any strong memories of that time there, so in that respect this will almost be like unexplored territory for me. You know that excites me.
Hopefully I’ll be able to update from the road. In the meantime, this will probably be my last post of 2013, so I’ll wish you all a happy New Year and look forward to what 2014 has in store, for all of us. And who knows, maybe I’ll see you somewhere out on the road.