Sometimes, all you need is a road trip to make things right…
When I was a kid, my family took a lot of road trips. As soon as I got my first car, I took a lot of road trips. As a teenager, my girlfriends and I would go on reality checks. These trips usually consisted of one or two very close friends, a couple of mixed tapes, a pack of cigarettes, a convertible if possible, and a late night drive into the Southern California canyon valleys. We’d blast the music as loud as we could and talk about life: our goals, our problems with it, our hopes, our fears – all the stuff that we believed would go away as soon as we became full fledged adults. They were mini-road trips, these reality checks. They were only a few hours long but usually packed to the brim with emotions. A lot of times, they’d end with one or all of us crying.
Road trips are not uniquely American but for me, they help shape my identity as an American. Currently, I live in Europe and I still take a lot of road trips. The only difference between now and then is that now those trips are done by motorcycle. Follow me as we wind through mountain passes, ride along lakes and waterfalls, and stumble upon remote villages untouched by time. It’s Reality Check 2.0. There’s something about being on the road for long periods of time that helps put things in perspective.
I am a regular contributor to ATOD: A Taste of Dawn Magazine and have recently finished a manuscript called, Pulling Out: Stories of Life, Love, and War in Iraq and Afghanistan. The book will be published soon.