For the longest time, I have wanted to do a cross-country road trip in the US, all by myself. Learning to drive back in 2009 was an ordeal for me, but a few thousand miles and a few speeding tickets later, there was no looking back. I think I have read up all the
that exist about cross-country trips. I know some people who are crazy about
bike trips in South America (A Ghost of Che: A Motorcycle Ride Through
Space, Time, Life and Love by Mauktik Kulkarni being one such book based on
that). Consider a cross-country trip being one such dream.
I have often interacted with cross-country drivers, getting some very humorous takes about their journeys. A friend once called his mom on the phone and said, “I am about to embark on something and you have to promise that you will not say a no, and you will bless me”. I would be thinking that my boy has decided to elope with someone from a different race and religion and marry, and I am sure the mom thought the same too. She was delighted when she was told that it was “just a cross country road trip” and she willingly gave him her blessings.
I have a friend who did a smiley road trip, starting all the way from Boston, dipping down to Texas, and then going up until Seattle, creating a pattern of a smiley on the US map. Then I have another friend who has driven cross-country thrice. I recently came across a travel blog where the guy decided to do a road trip, touching all four corners of the country, from Florida to Maine, to Washington, and all the way to Southern California. I could only raise my eyebrows in amazement.
I have briefly brushed over the chances of a potential road trip, but things have never worked out. When I moved to Virginia in 2010, I decided to drive all the way from Seattle. A month before the proposed trip, I tripped and injured my left leg on the streets of Sicily in Italy. It was a miracle making it back to the US, being in a wheel chair most of the time. The road trip never happened, and I had to ship my car.
Come summer, I get a little jealous of all these people who move across coasts and drive there. The most I have done so far is driving as far as Rochester, a 500-mile one way trip. Surely I have driven about 30,000 miles in the last three years of driving, but a cross-country has never happened. I hope that next year this time, I have graduated, have a job waiting for me in the west coast, and I can drive all the way. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, I have been driving all over the east coast this summer, and am especially looking forward to the trip to Maine in a few weeks. After having touched the southernmost tip of the country in Florida, the northwestern most tip near Neah Bay (Olympic National Park), and the westernmost tip of Europe (near Sintra in Portugal, see picture), this might be another “cutting the corner” trip. Next week this time, I will be celebrating three years with my car, my single most expensive and dearest materialistic possession I have had so far (the next one being my camera).
Long live summer !