I love road trips – the twists and turns, the games of looking for an out-of-state license plate or a Jack-in-the-Box, the anticipation of surprises just around the bend are all the excitement that comes with being on the road for a large amount of time. I have tried to soak in the purple mountains and the waves of grains. The laughter and Kodak moments were only a distant memory away. Not only have I brought these experiences back with me, I have also learned lessons that I can apply to my life. Here are some:
When you are stuck at an obstacle, try to find another way through it. There was a time when I decided to go Mammoth Lake and the best way was to cut through Yosemite National Park. However, during November, Yosemite closed down the road to the other side halfway into the park. We had to backtrack and used other routes. We did this twice until we found one route that worked. Mammoth Lake was fantastic when we got there.
This too shall pass. I was with a friend for an awesome Oregon road trip and we went up a mountain pass. There was sleet and a snow storm was heading our way. As we got down the mountain, the sleet was gone and only a slight drizzle remained. There were times when it was raining, but we kept moving and the sun came out. So when the going gets tough, keep moving, the conditions will change.
Ask for help when needed. There were times when I asked the gas station attendant to show me the way or went to the visitors bureau to ask for directions and recommendations. In life, we sometimes get lost or don’t know how to approach something. There are resources and people out there who can help us. We just have to find the right people to ask.
Surround yourself with supportive people. I’m very blessed to have great traveling buddies. I don’t know how my travel would have been if I didn’t have a group of friends who are open-minded and easy-going. On the road, we often needed to work together when we’re stuck or when our plans didn’t go as planned. There were countless times where we made wrong turns and ended up somewhere we didn’t know, but we remained calm and helped each other find our way back on course. Another time, my friend was supposed to plan the day for the Statue of Liberty, but he got us on the wrong ferry and it went to Staten Island instead. I had to laugh at it, because it was funny how I got excited as we got closer to the Statue, but all of a sudden it went farther away before it disappeared. Oh well, there will be another day, another time. No sweat!
Take care of yourself. Being on the road, there were times when I’m hungry and tired. The result from that was some serious moodiness. We need to listen to ourselves from time to time. Our body communicates to us often and when we listen, we can better manage our state of being before we continue our journey.
Beauty is everywhere. I’ve encountered a family of ducks that crossed a road or a cow that stared straight through my passenger window. Autumns leaves that fell slowly into the creek or the ones that were let go on a lighted bridge. Beauty is around us. Sometimes we are too busy to realize it, but when we take a deep breath and a pause, there’s a realization of something greater than us at work. And sometimes, a small joy can be felt from within. Isn’t a family of ducks crossing the road the cutest thing?
There were more, but I’m going to list the few mentioned above for now. With these lessons from my road trips, I walk down the path called life, to wherever it will take me.