My soul needs to travel. I can settle down for a couple years, but usually that just gives me enough time to plan my next big trip. So after a wildly busy summer, I spent the month of November on the road, working from friends' kitchen tables and driving around the east coast. We live in a great country with some extraordinary people, and here are some of my lingering lessons from the trip:
1. The beauty in life comes from our diversity
I spent a day with my aunt touring the parks and waterways, two days with a bar manager in Music City, toured venues in Charlotte, a fancy night in Brooklyn, visiting historic places in Boston with a friend's mom, stared at the moon on the coast of Maine, crossed Canada to get to Michigan, went to the Christkindl Market in Chicago, found my great-grandparents' grave in Iowa Amish country, and came back home to Thanksgiving with the family after a nice long drive with my dad. Part of the beauty of the trip was being able to spend time with each of my friends doing what they value.
2. The country is a lot smaller than expected
I went a lot farther than I thought I could in just 4 weeks
3. ...And yet even a month didn't give me nearly enough time to see everything I wanted to see
After a surprise stop in Boston, and a willing tour guide, I realized I could spend a week there without feeling satisfied that I had truly experienced the city. I rushed up the coast to make sure I made it to Maine, and drove out the next day across Canada. I kept wishing I was able to drive during the day to see this beautiful country that we live in
4. Life is too short to spend it not exploring
The experience I gained in touring the country was a better education than any book learning...and I love my books!
5. Kansas is flat. But seriously, I have some massive respect for the original settlers who didn't give up while crossing the eternal plains to get out West. Spending days in a covered wagon crossing that flatness really took some adventurous souls.