Unwanted Travel

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.

Once Is Too Much

Travel on my birthday? Yes, please! It’s one of my most favorite ways to spend my birthday.  I’ve taken epic road trips (see Finally Making Time from April 2020) and one-of-a-kind escapes (see Setting Scouting from May 2013).  I’ve gone skydiving on my birthday and one year I got ink – not my first.  There have been times when I stayed home by choice, went to a local piano bar, and even delayed the celebration so I could spend the occasion at the World Series (see Are You Ready For Some Baseball? from March 2021).  The key ingredient in all of these options lies in my choice: I do what I want.

I’ve written many times about my less-than-stellar college experience (see What I Remember When I Try To Forget – Part 2 from July 2021) and how unappealing I found the Hoosier State on my return trip decades later (see It’s Been Thirty Years from February 2019).  During my freshmen year at college, and being without wheels, my parents decided to pay a visit, which was less appealing than spending my birthday in the dorm.  Nevertheless, they packed up the family mobile with a couple of my siblings for a weekend of forced fun.  I’ve never been back to Indianapolis since that weekend, because for the most part, I don’t take travel that in no way appeals to me.  And I certainly don’t do it twice.

Are You Talking To Me?

While my superhero was overseas (see Third Time’s Not A Charm from March 2021), I find myself aimlessly waiting for something to happen – something to fill my days and keep me out of mischief.  Nothing surfaces.  Knowing I cannot resist a good road trip, he suggests I hit the road. ‘Go to South Dakota,’ he says.  ‘Check on my house,’ he says.  But packing up both dogs and again making that long trek from the Crescent City to the Black Hills feels like a long drive, with nothing noteworthy in between points A and B.  I’m not going to see him when I get there, and I don’t have room enough with both dogs to bring along camping gear and make an adventure out of it.  This simply will be putting the pedal down, setting the cruise, and just getting there.

Having not been commuting, my phone is packed with podcasts – people sharing places and experiences that I haven’t found time to hear for far too long.  This American Life, the TED Radio Hour, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, and Brené Brown all rotate to keep me awake on I-55, I-70, I-29, and I-90, none of which I want to be driving.  I’m not interested in my road trip tunes any more than I am interested in the road trip.  On one of these podcasts, though, at the moment that I pass the sign noting a location that shares my last name, my first name is spoken by the voice on the recording.  Aloud, in my car, alone with only two canines, my full name is spoken and appears.  I don’t know what the universe is telling me on this trip, but it has my attention.

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