The Clarity Of Nature

Please note: The travel described here occurred in the past. Today, I do not recommend that anyone who is, or may possibly be, pregnant travel to this state. A miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy cannot be safely treated under this state’s current laws. Please care for yourself and travel to places where your life and health are valued.

I’m Not Sick

Scenery.  It’s often one of the reasons I travel.  There’s beauty to be seen and I want to see it (see The Rivers Of Idaho from December 2011).  But it’s not the only reason. There have been times when I have the opportunity to be somewhere amazing at a fixed point in time and I go because, well, I can (see The Mile High Club from December 2011).  Occasionally, I am moving and I take the road less traveled as I pass to a new place in life, and want the journey to be as memorable as the destination (see Christmas On The Move from December 2021).  Whatever the reason, my travel experiences add up to what a dear friend recently called, “my sense of adventure.”  I call it my desire to see as much as I can in this lifetime.

A lesser-known reason for travel: I want to get the hell out of Dodge.  Obviously it’s a less glamorous reason to explore, but walking away from a stressful moment in life certainly comes with its rewards.  Again, I mention scenery, but also just driving somewhere new, seeing unique sites, and leaving the gunk of everyday life in the dust replenishes me.  Once, after a particularly crappy start to the work week, I reached my tipping point, and flat out told my boss I wasn’t calling in sick. I just wasn’t coming to work.  Yep, ballsy move.  It wasn’t the voice of my inner adventurer, but the whispers of the old me – the one willing to walk away from a horrible relationship.  The life I wanted to live wasn’t worth the fraction of the paycheck I was putting towards these little excursions.  That’s when I realized I needed to divorce my company (see Giving My Notice from August 2013).

I’m Not Staying

I told myself as I drove from Florida to northern edge of Georgia that I wouldn’t try to find a solution before I even reached the hotel.  I instead ease into the scenery first, and then I open my mind to the solutions nature offers.  I begin by skirting Fontana Lake (see Water Fallen from March 2021), including a visit to the dam and a stretch along the Appalachian Trail (see Hiking (Parts Of) The Appalachian Trail from August 2021).  About the time the morning chill subsides, I put my mind to the conversation I avoided yesterday.  I know U.S. 441 closed earlier in the week due to a rockslide, so the snug route along the North Carolina and Tennessee state lines (see Tail Of The Dragon from May 2021) guides me to the scenic views of the Foothills Parkway.

I remember the moment I knew I would be just fine divorcing my ex, even if it meant I would be flying solo with two small boys.  Now the boys are off learning their own lessons and I am in need of an independence refresher.  Boom – here’s my encore realization: I need to divorce my company.  I step into the glow of my light bulb moment confident that I am looking for illumination.  The reason for my travel – special events, relocation, escapism, or tourism – always revolves around the beauty that surrounds every excursion.  The first time around, the glaciers gave me clarity (see Shared By Bears And Coeds from January 2012), and today, the trees, lakes, dams, trails, and roads team up to witness the moment when I choose my independence again.  That’s a good reason to get away.

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