Georgia O’Keeffe’s Inspiration: Abiquiu, New Mexico

Today marks the 30th day I’ve been on the road and away from home. I’ve travelled through eight states and logged over 3,500 miles. I’m road weary and homesick.

I long for the personal comforts that even the most luxurious hotels cannot offer. Comforts like the weak shower head in my bathroom, sitting on a squatty beach chair on my patio, and the sound of the school bus cruising through the neighborhood promptly at 8:15 each morning.

I’m not complaining. Everywhere I go I meet people that tell me how much they would like to be in my shoes, to escape their daily routines and wander. I am grateful that I don’t have a regular job and a daily routine, but I think they are all romantics.

Great cinematography is somewhat to blame for glamorizing life on the road.  Landscapes captured on film don’t capture the smell of excessive motor heat, the eye fatigue caused by incessant sun glare on the dashboard, and the effect a crippled car engine can have on your sense of security.

It’s not as glamorous as it appears.

In fact, it’s work. Mapping a route, arranging lodging, managing a travel budget, driving for hours and hours in unfamiliar territories all takes concentration and effort. And take a wrong turn or have a mechanical difficulty and your best laid plans could be gone with the wind.

Twice in those 3,500 miles my 14-year-old german sedan begged for additional coolant and oil, hardly unexpected considering the length and temperatures of the drive. However neither were readily available in the far western reaches of the great state of Texas near the New Mexico border. Tracking down the necessary lubricants for the foreign car was like participating in a scavenger hunt. Eventually I found the shops and supplies needed to do the job and get me back on the road, but not without ingenuity, flexibility, and plenty of patience.

This morning I am grateful that I have nearly completed my journey. The last leg of it is scheduled for Tuesday morning when I will board a plane from here in Texas back to North Carolina.

Even road weary I am so grateful for this life full of spectacular vistas, new adventures, and shared time with family and friends. And most especially I am grateful for returning home to my shower, my beach chair, and the neighborhood school bus. It is so true, there really is no place like home.

Is there a road trip in your future? Check out the Independent Traveler’s 20 Safe Driving Tips before you leave home!