I picked up the Airstream from the shop on Saturday and moved out of my apartment on Tuesday. A week later, I’m in Kansas City (my second home). What a whirlwind. My brain thinks I’m on vacation and I’ll be going home soon and back to work. After so many years of working and doing vacations, it is hard to break that mould. Pinch me.
I began my adventure in, wait for it, Bushnell, FL! Wait, what? I established a legal domicile there at an RV park as part of Escapees Club. I think I was expecting a band and welcome reception. What I got was a park with no internet and no cell service. The “town” of Bushnell has a DMV office so I could get my address changed, etc. People there talked about a wild boar attacking cattle and having to go to the next city for the Walgreens. It was a cultural whiplash for me. I couldn’t get out fast enough after 3 nights. But I am supposed to be all present in the moment and nonjudgmental now that I’m retired and footloose, right? Ah, practice, grasshopper.
This adventure is all about wonderment. It is so easy to forget that and lapse right into judging and assessing. I created a new outlook after leaving Bushnell and making my way north – be open to whatever shows up and take my time. Magic ensued. Stops in Forsyth, GA, Clarksville, TN, and Jonesburg, MO left me feeling fulfilled just because I was there. I let the road unfold. I was open to enjoy rest stops – where people walked their dogs and I parked amongst the semi-tractor trailer trucks. I navigated crowded truck stops to get gas and cold drinks. I stayed at a quirky campground that foreshadowed a dystopian future if your trailer never leaves. I managed to not lose my mind in bumper-to-bumper traffic because I could listen to baseball on the radio.
I decided to take a side-rout when Google Maps suggested I follow the Ohio River Scenic Byway just outside of Paducah, KY. I did not see the river, but it was scenic and iconic. I drove in the moment on two lane roads that wound through corn fields and forests until I was deposited at the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, MO.
I would generally judge these places as mundane or pedestrian. I have no interest and they have little value to me. And I don’t want to Tinder-swap through the country. I want to experience and see what is there. I expect curiosities and eccentricities, Americana and quaintness, and if I don’t expect anything, I’ll travel with wonder at what might be around the corner. That’s a journey worth taking and an adventure worth having.
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