2003.7.24 – what is your rush?

Travelling used to be relaxing. Getting to the destination was only half of the fun. Taking the country roads and winding your way through hills and valleys across the U.S. was the only way to go.

There were service stations where the attendants would pump your gas, check your oil, clean your windows and send you off with a smile and wave.

Diners were owned by locals who came to a destination on the way to somewhere else and just decided to stay.

Landmarks meant something and driving was never a hurried experience. A family would actually talk and play road games while going to visit family and friends.

Today we manufacture minivans that have small televisions and personal plugins for the stereos so that the kids keep quiet and the parents “enjoy” the trip. We make every attempt to disconnect from each other and get to where we are going as fast as possible. If a train is quicker, we go that route. If a plane is the way to get there in the shortest span of time, we hop on.

What has happened to us? Gone are the days when a roadtrip was the only way to get anywhere and you didn’t complain about how long it took to get to the hotel or beach. We stopped along the way to visit new places and see the outdoors. We took pictures next to giant statues and quirky monuments.

Whole families used to pile into the camper and trek across the country. This is no longer the case.

Perhaps the economy is to blame. The longer hours and less time that we spend as a family, in order to make enough to go on that once a year trip to somewhere nice, could have some effect. Most families want to hurry up and get there because the trip is so short as it is that driving just makes the time spent away even shorter.

The frame of mind has been skewed. We have to begin to realize that the whole trip can be enjoyable. The amusement park at the destination is not the best part, but the togetherness is what really makes a vacation special. Spending time together and seeing sights along the way. Not just at the destination.

If we could just take the time to stop and see the sights, we might be more relaxed and have a lot more fun on our short time away.

This is a pipedream but it is one worth having. America is beautiful and the only way to know this for sure is to see it first hand. To share it with others and to keep a photographic record of the journey. After all, the journey is truly the best part of the trip!


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