5 Reasons to Take a Road Trip (seriously, read number 3)

Hey y'all! Happy Travel Tuesday

aka my favorite day of the week, because I get to reminisce on some of my best vacations.

travel photography, canadian rockies

Live in the moment

I feel like this is so cliche for me to type, but it's true. Nothing shows you how quick life moves when you start your morning in Canada and end your day in Montana. I literally watched mountains pass by in minutes; one second we're in the Canadian Rockies, the next we're in Big Sky Montana, with nothing but blue sky in every direction. At first I had a hard time with this. I am typically a super planner. I find comfort in knowing my (overly detailed and sometimes ridiculously thorough) plan and trusting it. This road trip taught me to go with the flow, and understand that it's important to be present in the moment, instead of always anticipating the next five steps.

Wild Bison on Alaska Highway

Discover new things

T and I had been driving all day. We had stopped at Devil's Tower in Wyoming in the morning, where Zeus was DEEPLY disturbed my the prairie dogs, and had finished the day in South Dakota at Mount Rushmore. We were *starving* and it seemed like every single place closed early on Sunday for dinner. We found ourselves at the only restaurant open in Rapid City: Firehouse Brewing Company. Let me just state that during this time in my life, my drink of choice was Cupcake Moscato, and I didn't really do beer unless it was Angry Orchard or something light and "girly". The waiter kindly tells me that there is no "girly beer" on the menu. So I picked a Smoked Honey Porter, because it had honey in it and I thought that might be sweet. The beer arrives and it's black as freaking night. I was shocked and upset, while Torin is across the table, openly laughing at me. I said "there's no way I'm going to like whatever poison is in this cup," I had a sip only to be shocked again - I LOVED IT.

To this day, it is still one of the best beers I've ever had, and now whenever I go somewhere new to eat, I always try something I normally wouldn't (which has gone so horribly wrong a few times).

Push your limits

Okay, this might be my favorite reason on the list. Being on a road trip (especially one with camper/penny pincher TR) you learn how may days is too many days to go without a shower or a real bed. That might be totally gross, but I learned that I can only sleep in a truck or on an air mattress for about 8 days before I loose my mind. We don't need to talk about how many days I went without a shower.

Gross-ness aside, the only way you're ever going to discover your limits is by being uncomfortable and finding your breaking point, which is a valuable lesson in it's own right.

Zeus learned that he can not stay up all hours of the night watching over his humans who recklessly sleep in truck stops.

Explore nature... duh

I've traveled A LOT. I became a world traveler at the ripe age of 2, when Mama and I moved to East Berlin. Something that is really awesome about a road trip is how in touch, and close, with nature you can get. If I was flying out of Alaska, I would pass over the Rockies and see them as a quick 1-2 minute view from a window. But driving means being on the road, in the middle of the mountains, for hours, and when you drive on a two lane highway through the mountains, you see so much more of nature than you ever could if you were flying over, or even if you just stopped by for the weekend. We saw at least half a dozen herds of wild buffalo - and they would literally stand in the middle of the road, unafraid of cars, a herd of caribou, a pack of wild horses, wolves (from binoculars), moose, a bald eagle, mountain goats and rams, prairie dogs, a fox, and mule deer. Sure we would have seen some of those critters just by visiting Yellowstone, but not all of them, and definitely not in the middle of the road that your trying to drive on, daring you to honk your horn and tell this thousand pound buffalo to get out of your way.

Quality time

Torin and I had been married for about 20 months when we adventured across the country, and for 10 of the 20 months he had been deployed, and we'd had little contact. Seven months we'd lived together and three months I spent finishing up college. We didn't get to take a honeymoon because right after we got married he started training for deployment, so this was the first vacation we had ever taken together, without family around. There were many long conversations, several sleepless nights, tons of laughing, and probably a few arguments.. But, I remember when it was time for him to get on a plane to Italy, and me to go back to New Hampshire for a couple weeks, I felt closer to him than I had in the first 20 months of our marriage. When you're confined to a car with only one other person to talk to (and Zeus), you don't have any pressure and you can simply be with your partner.