Last week I went on a little road trip. Unlike a normal trip where you plan out where you’re staying, who you’re visiting, and what you’re doing, I decided to just drive and see what happened. After about six hours of road tripping, I ended up in Portland and wandered the streets of downtown until I reached one of my favorite coffee shops. I ordered a cold brew, settled into a comfy couch, and sent a selfie to all of the people I know in the area.
Over the next couple of days I had a chance to catch up with old friends, I ate some s’mores pizza, and I visited a secretive primate research facility in the middle of a forest. When the time felt right, I hopped back in my car and drove some more. I surprised some friends for coffee in Puyallup, and eventually I found my way back home.
During the drive home, the clouds broke apart and the sun struck the horizon in majestic fashion. It’s hard to put into words the emotions it stirred, but it was the perfect open road moment for me. There’s this awesome Walt Whitman poem called Song of the Open Road. It starts out like this:
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.
There’s nothing more freeing than hitting the open road. It’s a chance to detach and let life take you where it will. Whitman starts a lot of his stanzas with the phrase “Allons”. I don’t remember much from my high school french class, but I do remember that Allons means Let’s Go! So what are you waiting for?! Let’s go!!