|Route of Our 2015 Road Trip|
Hard to believe, but it's been a year since our cross-country road trip. It feels half that. That's the thing about getting old: time goes by faster. When I was a kid, I would get bored and do things to pass time like it was in overabundance. What a fool I was.
Now I don't have enough time to do all the things I want. For example, I used to stubbornly finish a novel even when I didn't enjoy it. Not anymore. Even if people stop writing new books and I devote the rest of my life to reading, I still won't cover all the books I want to read. That I used to waste time, the most precious asset of all, seems stupid and horrendous. It's like burning a $100 bill to light a cigarette, something I saw on the TV show The Wire.
After a year to reflect on all the locales we saw on our road trips, I'd say the Pacific Northwest remains my favorite. Portland, in particular.
To be sure, there are many other fine places I still remember fondly. Canada - basically all of it - is wonderful, especially Nova Scotia. That is a place with poetic beauty, and barely any crowds. Quaint fishing villages, rivers meandering through forests, turtles basking in the sun ... The province even makes wine. Really tasty ones. And lonely light houses. The region is an awesome little secret that few tourists get to.
As for the US, there are definitely places that have emerged as potential places to move to. Northern Virginia is one. I lived there for 1.5 years in high school, so there was some nostalgia as I visited my old school and house in Chantilly. Grand Marais in Minnesota is one of the most romantic towns I've visited.
|Dusk, lake, bonfire ... romance in Grand Marais, MN|
Many underrated surprises, like the boundless cornfields in Iowa. They don't get a lot of adoration, but I found them to be really pretty. And corn is delicious, though I wish it wasn't so sweet. In New Mexico, Santa Fe and Taos are super cool. I could eat that fluffy Indian fry bread all day.
Some of the cities I thought I'd like didn't end up wowing me. One city that wasn't on my radar before is on it now. Omaha, I dig it. I didn't know much about the city before, aside from it being the home of Warren Buffet. If one of the world's smartest and richest people lives there, it tells you something. The people are nice. The size is a good balance - not too big to be congested, but big enough to have all the conveniences. And the vibe is easygoing.
It's not always easy to articulate why the feel of a place is right. Places are like people. You meet some people and within a few minutes you can tell that you click or don't click with them. It's the intangibles, as with so many things in life.