Every now and then, I think it is essential to get away from it all. To get away from the constant dreadful routines of life that become so rehearsed that they lose their underlying charms. It’s to the point where you’re crawling to the finish line of the week, just to be kicked in the face by the cold-blooded approaching reality of a Monday, that you know it is time.
To get out of your city, to travel to another world that is so different than yours, to fully escape from your life-body, mind and soul. Your spirit longs to run free in a foreign land, it so much desires to acquaint itself with buildings that are strangers, tag along with unique souls and discover fresh new culture. At least mine did.
So me and my girlfriends decided to do just that, explore the mysteries within Michigan, Indiana and Chicago.
You would think a 8-9 hour long commute would be a tedious and long ride filled with ‘are we there yet’s’ and annoyed grumblings, but it was one of the moments we were looking forward to the most. To blare the music up, wave our hands in the air (well, except the driver…for obvious reasons), sing along at the top of our lungs like we were movie stars; to simply pretend we were all somebody else in the moment.
We’d balance it out by looking out dramatically at the window view of the moving trees, with sad and emotional songs that stirred up all the memories of the past. It’s quite fascinating how a song can bring you back to a specific time in your life, cause you to reminisce the people, the smells, the feelings and conversations of ages past.
We spent a lovely time on the road, and times in between: with bathroom breaks, occasionally fighting with the GPS while hitting up the wrong turns, and drinking homemade coffee and snacks while parked right in front of a Tim Horton’s-oh the irony. But that was just us.
Driving so far away destroyed all that extra weight that had been pushing me down, the general pressures of life, school, family, friends etc, even if only for a little while. It didn’t matter where we were going, as long as we were travelling far far away, and all trails of familiarity were growing smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror.
We were happy to finally get there, in our cozy little rustic hotel room. It was as much fun as you would think, three girlfriends getting ready with hair, makeup and clothing-great bonding experiences.
Our days were filled with getting lost in the cities, meeting friends there and friends of friends, stumbling across enchanting little bakeries and cafes, and having long deep conversations about life and each other, all with the view of ‘The Bean’ of Chicago staring us down from across the street.
The skyscrapers stood tall and proud, aware of their majestic piercings on mankind. Whenever you turned a corner or a street, up and down alleyways, anywhere around, there they were, reminding us of their glorious presence. It made me hold my breath, at the thought that locals could see this everyday, and I wondered if they were so used to the view that they took it for granted and stopped appreciating its splendour.
Life’s simplest gifts can surprise you, like the sudden outpouring of rain on us, which led me to reflect on the beauty of nature, and re-evaluate just how lucky I was to be here, just right here-in the moment. And at the end, it washed away all the dirt, all the unnecessary things of the city’s past, and left it glowing and sparkling brightly, a brand renewed creation.
It was therapeutic, a refreshing detox, a scenic cleanse of the mind, just what I needed.
Then we’d fall back onto our beds at the end of the day, so out of our minds, delusional and laughing hysterically at both everything and nothing, reflecting on the day’s events. Being so tired we could hardly move, yet we still held a burning spark in our eyes of excitement for the unknown, for what lied ahead for us the next day, yet to be discovered by our fresh exhilarant minds.
I’d be lying if I said that the thoughts of the end of the trip weren’t flooding upon me with waves of sadness that it was all going to be over soon. But even amongst the creeping and invasive thoughts, I tried hard to remind myself that it is important to live in the moment, to fall fully and completely headfirst into these small, but life changing experiences.
And the road trip back home was equally delightful: celebrating all our happy moments from the last few days, talking and encouraging one another about our struggles and fears in life, and of course sharing horrific embarrassing stories, that if ever left the presence of the car, would leave us all to evaporate in a puddle of our shame.
It’s the best kind of laughter, when you get to be silly and weird amongst your friends- who are equally as crazy.
Travelling is good for the soul, it leaves it lusting for more. It releases you from your accustomed cage captivity, and reignites the flicker of passion in your heart-that same flicker that makes you feel alive.