My Week-long Wanderlust: Day 1

13 Jul

At 2:30 am Central time,  yesterday morning, I arose from a not-so-deep slumber. Anticipating heavy eyes for at least the first couple hours before the sun would emerge above the horizon, I readied my mountain blueberry coffee and had a small breakfast while waiting for my friend to text her familiar, “Here” that would signal she was sitting in the driveway waiting.

A month, maybe longer, ago we planned a week-long trip to Vail. It was the furthest west she had been, she told me. I had moved from Colorado five years ago and had been through Vail many times. We him-hawed back and forth about driving or flying and finally landed on saving money by driving the 18 hours it would take to get there. I was just looking forward to not doing much of anything while we were away. I’d take my work with me, of course, but my intention was not to plan anything, and just take the trip day by day, enjoying not operating on a schedule. Find some fun restaurants, go on some amazing hikes, and enjoy the scenery.

And so we were off. The back of her jeep was stuffed with more than we’d need if we had decided to stay for a couple months, but we packed it because we could.

Leaving at 4am we made our way through the south-western most tip of Indiana and into Missouri. Seven hours into the trip when we stopped to eat lunch we both looked at each other and excitedly agreed that the first leg was easy. “Wow, it really doesn’t feel like we’ve been driving that long,” we mused. An hour later after a leisurely meal, we were off again. Every couple hours or less there would be a hesitant, “Uhh…just giving you a warning that I’m going to need to pee soon.” I know I’m not the only female who Kansas Windmills 7.12.13has taken a road trip wishing I were a guy who could easily pee into a bottle and just keep driving. So it was though– it was good to get out and stretch. My Thursday leg workout had caught up to me and a few times I awkwardly poured myself out of her jeep, hobbling into the gas station.

As we moved into Kansas it got hotter and hotter, reaching temps of over 107 degrees outside. I was brought back to my adolescence living in Nevada with the very dry heat, then to Wyoming, and finally to Colorado. So different from what is typical of the drenched air of Indiana. Passing through the rolling hillsides spotted with the wind turbines, I thought about the vastness of the terrain, the lifestyles of people tilling the soil of those fields. Some of the homes and the landscape surrounding them were tidy and neat, the tractors parked with precision and the barns, silos, and yards structured with thought. Other yards were strewn with dilapidated automobiles, the lawns unkempt, paint peeling from the sheds, looking as if whatever wasn’t needed over the last 10 years was simply thrown out the front door hoping someone rambling down the road in a beat-up truck would stop to peruse what might become his treasure. I thought, “what different lifestyles we all live…”

Sirius provided us with engaging listening material as we made our way through the western half of Kansas…ironically, I found a talk on religion vs spirituality and the truth we live through our openness to experience. When my friend and I weren’t conversing, my mind would drift to the familiar questions of how often I was spinning my experience into something outside of reality. Was I creating an alternate world that facilitated the blinders staying on, the biases being molded and solidified, and my impressions and expectations being approached not creatively and curiously, but in pushy Colorado Sunset 7.12.13and aggressive ways. This trip, this day 1 of my wanderlust journey was not the beginning of an acknowledgement of my truth, as that had begun years ago. But it was more an active treatise to it. Kristen and I didn’t talk directly of this, but the topics we were broaching were in line with it: our approach to relationships, our career paths and aspirations, what we’d come to understand along the way to where we were now, and reminiscing about how we had changed. We asked how our lives would be different had we taken even one varied step or made one minute decision differently.   And it was this conversation that brought me back to the importance of being here now–being mindful within each moment. Life is a highway– it whizzes by at a frenetic pace some days and a crawl others, but when you look back you don’t want to say you missed the scenery.

As the day wore on, and we were about 4 hours from Vail, each minute seemed to tick by with agonizing slowness. Kristen hadn’t complained once until she said that her neck was getting stiff. We’d been driving for 17 hours and it was time to kick into a new mode. I threw on the music- a bit of Rascal Flatts, some Jars of Clay, rocking BRMC, and I took her through a playlist of my favorites. If the music didn’t keep her awake, my shrieking would! I paused between songs to relish in the beauty of the sunset through the bug-spattered windshield. “How fleeting our lives can be,” I thought.

After a total of twenty-one hours  we arrived in that uncomfortable, desperate, I-so-badly-want-to-close-my-eyes-but-I-wont, sleep deprived stupor.  Day 2 was going to be a good day of practicing how to just “be.” All we could think of was rest.

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3 Responses to “My Week-long Wanderlust: Day 1”

  1. T July 13, 2013 at 8:49 PM #

    Awesome. I felt like I was in the back seat watching it all unfold. P.s I don’t pee in a bottle. Gross.

  2. T July 13, 2013 at 9:06 PM #

    Awesome! I felt like I was in the back seat watching it all unfold (creepy?) lol. P.s. I don’t pee in a bottle. Gross.

  3. Julie July 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM #

    I really enjoyed this one Kori 🙂 Enjoy the journey!

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