In 2011 I spent four weeks driving around America. I made a pact with myself when I got back: I would always have enough money in my bank account for the price of a flight to America. Just the flight. Enough that if I felt like it, I could book something at the last minute or buy flights when they were on sale.
It never happened.
Sometimes I wonder if a lot of my life choices in my thirties are being driven by having to be so responsible in my twenties.
I suppose I don’t feel like I need an escape plan anymore, but mostly I think I got tired of always being on top of everything. Which is stupid, that’s life.
I miss being on the road. I miss the feeling of being in a car and no-one knowing exactly where I was, except for the people in the car with me.
I think a large part of what I love about travel is the lack of constraint.You can have a map, you can know where you’re meant to spend the next night, but there’s absolutely nothing stopping you turning off at the next exit just to see what’s there, disappearing from any expectation.
I remember standing on a straight stretch of road in Arizona and trying to guess how many miles it was to the next bend in the road, near the horizon.
The black tar was the only sign of civilsation until some helicopters rose from somewhere in the distance.
It felt ominous, we quickly got back into the car until they passed overhead, like there was some kind of danger in being seen in the middle of nowhere, standing in the middle of a highway, doing nothing but staring at the horizon, amazed at how long it would take us to get there.