Make time for a road trip


The importance of a good road trip cannot be underestimated. Whether you travel 100 miles, 200 miles or 1,400 miles like my husband, son and I recently did, road trips are a chance to see a different part of the state or country and give a fresh perspective on things.

It can get boring looking at the same surroundings every day. You might even get in a rut. I felt like that was happening to me; therefore, this trip came at the perfect time. I needed a change of pace. I needed to do and see something different.

The motivation for the trip was to visit colleges that Elijah might be interested in attending. Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina were our destinations.     

We visited four colleges in four days. It was exciting and exhausting, not to mention a tad emotional as I thought of my youngest being that far from home one day.

From the sprawling horse farms of Kentucky to the mountains of Tennessee to the palm trees of South Carolina, we savored the sights along the way.

When on a road trip, you never know what fun surprises you might encounter.

For example, when we were driving from Louisville, Kentucky, to Knoxville, Tennessee, we drove through an area that was under a tornado warning and beneath a sky that looked like a funnel cloud might drop at any moment. All three of our cell phones began beeping loudly, delivering an extreme weather emergency alert with a notice to seek shelter immediately. There was no shelter to seek, so we barreled through, driving out of the storm and avoiding all catastrophes.

The stops you make along the way are part of the appeal of a road trip. We bookended our trip with stops at Fair Oaks Farms near Fair Oaks, Indiana. This dairy farm has taken agritourism to a new level with a gas station, cafe, restaurant and even a hotel that looks like a barn. Their close proximity to a major highway brings lots of visitors to their door.

We also stopped at one of the world’s largest gas stations. It was definitely the largest I’ve ever seen. Buc-ee’s outside of Knoxville had a never-ending line of gas pumps and probably a thousand people inside buying just about anything you can imagine.

Road trips might not be as enjoyable for the one driving unless you like to drive. I prefer the passenger seat. It’s perfect for relaxing and staring out the window at the scenery passing by.

My dad was the ultimate road tripper. He loved to get in the car and just drive. He enjoyed seeing other parts of the country, as do I. Sometimes, a big road trip came about with very little warning. He would tell my mom, “Pack a bag. Let’s go to Florida.” Flying was not for him; he wanted to see everything along the way.

He was adventurous. If my dad saw a sign for something that looked interesting, there was a good chance he was going to get off on that exit and check it out even if it meant reaching the destination later than he originally thought.

My husband and I are not quite as spontaneous and tend to stay on the beaten path. Excursions off that path don’t happen frequently.

Unlike my careful hotel research that involves reading through piles of reviews on Tripadvisor, my parents never knew where they were staying each night. They pulled into the first motel they saw when my dad was done driving for the day.

Even though our recent road trip was a busy one, I came home with a sense of refreshment. It was good to get away. A change of scenery was exactly what I needed.

If you get a chance to get off the farm this spring or summer, even if just for a day, consider taking a road trip. I bet you’ll have fun, and you might even come back with a fresh outlook on life.


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