Intentional Curiosity, Part One: What I Didn’t Expect to Feel After Traveling 35 Hours in a Jam-Packed Car With My Best Friend
Disconnected thoughts intertwine with the lines on the road.
In the side mirror, I can see that my eyes are squinting, causing lines to curve up and touch my eyebrow.
I should put on sunglasses but that would require an arm movement I’m not sure I’m ready for.
Coffee from this morning rests in the crack of my lips.
It’s daytime, and the expansiveness of the desert leaves you feeling small in the best kind of way.
It’s night, and the stars remind you of being a child. Of the promise you made to yourself that one day, you’d go up there and discover a planet not unlike our own. Except out there, there’d be floating houses, waterfalls full of sparkling magic, and a fairies that guide you through the dark woods as you listen to moss grow, trees talk, and elves sing.
That reality soon taking up more and more space in this one. Time and imagination both eager for your full attention, but since you can’t ever give yourself fully to one or the other, you find yourself satisfied with the in-between, settling in as if it were a comfy arm chair next to a crackling fire.
Sometimes, I lose myself in a book on tape.
Sometimes, I like to think that I can figure out all of life’s problems.
Sometimes, I pretend I’m running a way from the law after having stood up for something I believe in deeply, while somehow still remaining impossibly whimsical and full of secret lives no one else will ever know about.
Sometimes, I’m all consumed by anxiety and can’t seem to find a way out.
Sometimes, I laugh hysterically because driving 17 hours in one day is quite ridiculous and possibly unsafe, so we make the decision to sleep in a Walmart parking lot and have a jolly good time while doing so. Despite the cold feet (not metaphorically speaking).
And sometimes, this time, I don’t say anything for hours on end, thinking about nothing more than what’s in front of me, occasionally wondering why I’m not tempted to think about anything at all. Is something wrong? I find myself concerned, almost, at this feeling that I don't ever associate with myself.
I adore road trips.
I adore traveling of any kind.
I paint traveling in a rosy hue, treasuring every little detail and expectation of what I think will happen. Of all of the problems I will solve simply by being on the open road or exploring a far away land.
Of the worlds I will create and books I will write and people I will meet and places I will see.
It was subtle, something that could have easily been overlooked, but having thought that I had already experienced all that can go through one’s mind while traveling (impossible), I didn’t expect to want to break it all down and simplify.
To take all these moments that I think can only happen somewhere between here and there. To remove the whole idea that the more driving the better. The more distance the better. The more time and space between you and it and reality, the better. The more_______, the more reason you have to call that experience an adventure.
To breakdown the why and figure out how anyone and everyone, no matter who or what or where, can be part of such moments. Can treasure those feelings. Can dream up the worlds they will create and books they will write and people they will meet and places they will see, without feeling like they need to meet the expectation of travel.
Of being adventurous.
Of loving the open road.
Of longing for new experiences.
Of craving the outdoors.
Of making creativity a constant.
To strip away all the fluff and get to the core of what an adventure can and should mean on an individual level—sometimes, adventure isn’t in the 35 hours spent on the road, but the feeling you get when you become intentional about how you feed your curiosities.
About how you use what is available to you right now.
This is just the beginning of a thought and change in the way I (we) think about our relationship with adventure, the outdoors, movement, and so forth. So, more of that coming soon but for now…
I’d love to hear from you!
What is one curiosity you can act on today? What is one way that you can redefine what adventure means to you? Do share your thoughts in the comment section below!