The Siren Call of the Open Road

I love travelling.  Exploring unique areas of the world with different cultures makes my heart sing. When I get the opportunity to visit a new place,  I always pick a self-directed tour company to set up the basics and offer suggestions. But my daily schedule is always at my discretion. I walk the streets, I ride the transit, I try to eat in places the locals frequent and I book one-on-one guides who can open up the history of the area for me.

Then there are the visits to warm tropical destinations. Walking on beaches, snorkeling and watching the sunset from my balcony while sipping a fruity drink laced with rum is not to be missed. There is something truly relaxing about a trip that doesn't involve sight seeing - allowing yourself to step away, to fully relax, to just be in the moment and shed all the stress you've been carrying.

Another big favourite of mine is road trips. While I do not enjoy driving in the city, put me in a car on the open road and I can drive all day.  In my 20's, I didn't have a lot of money for travel. so road trips were perfect. I could spend 14 hours behind the wheel when I was in the groove.  Of course there were stops here and there for bathroom breaks, stretching and enjoying a beautiful view, but those were often few and far between.

My husband and I did a lot of driving when the kids were young. We couldn't afford the air fare for five people, so camping and visiting relatives topped the list. This meant driving - sometimes for long distances. The kids struggled a bit, but for me. the call of the open road was always one I loved. We spent many wonderful summers camped at Lakeside Resort at Tuc-el-nuit Lake. Another fav was visiting the uncles' farms in South Dakota for 4th of July where we enjoyed giant family reunions, ate tons of fabulous home-made food and blew up amazing fireworks not available to us in B.C. On the way home we explored the Black Hills/Badlands. Claustrophobic as I am, I somehow managed a cave tour. Mum's can't show fear. There was also a road trip to Yellowstone National Park (you just have to see those geysers!). All are fond memories.

Even our first vacation without the kids was on the open road. We again drove to South Dakota to visit relatives for the 4th of July and then headed down to Zion National Park in Utah where we spent seven days hiking the trails. By the time we returned to British Columbia we had logged in 7,000 kilometres.

These last six months I have found my creative well running dry. I've been pushing hard on writing, launching and then marketing my first book - Life Outside The Box: The Extraordinary Journey of 10 Unique Individuals -  for over two years with few breaks. There have been family concerns that have weighed heavily on my spirit. While I have several new books in development that are ready to go, the words just aren't flowing.

When Glen and I discussed what our vacation would be this year - the first since he retired - it was the open road that again called. This time we'll be logging in around 10,000 kilometres as we cross parts of the U.S and Canada visiting family and stopping by Yellowstone. Glen is hoping to do a little fly-fishing in Montana on the way home - weather permitting. There is something very meditative about driving through natural landscapes where there are few cities and a great distance between them.

This is exactly what my creative soul needs. A LONG road trip is the perfect way to take a step back from everything, refocus and refill my creative cup to overflowing. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!! Cuing up the perfect road trip anthem – Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild