Friday, November 9, 2012

Long highways make for deep thought

It's not always possible to avoid driving the interstates, unless you are driving something that can do back roads and dirt roads. If you've been following my trip you already know I can't go off-roading in my van or I have to dig myself out. Lately between destinations I have been driving long, straight highways that vanish far off on the horizon. Seventeen miles looks a lot further when you can actually see your destination on the flat landscape.

I love driving so I have that to my advantage, but even I get a little stir crazy when there's not much to see and the road goes on forever. One can only play drums on the steering wheel or have one-sided conversations with your dog for so many hours. So, I have a lot of time to think. Recently I have been contacted by a couple of magazines who want to do stories about my travels and the Barter Van. The questions they ask have given me lots to think about and reflect on. A common question is what has been my favorite experience so far. There's not one experience in particular that I like more than others. It comes down to the people I've met and how those interactions have helped shape my journey. I have always been a bit of a loner but without the social interaction and kindness of strangers it would be a completely different trip. I actually met someone once who told me they don't care about what other people do or think. I was kind of floored by that! I can't get enough of other peoples stories and have been accused of talking too much to cashiers and waitresses. I have been lucky to meet, and still be in touch with, so many wonderful individuals.

Time goes by so quickly. I can't believe I've been on the road for nine weeks already. It's a bit of a blur. In all my conversations everyone agrees that time goes by too quickly. When people ask why I finally made the decision I tell them it's about time. There's no telling I will make it to be elderly and there's no time like the present. I think I've always had this preoccupation with the passing of time and growing old. It's what propels me to do things now as opposed to waiting. I've had a number of emails and conversations with older people who commend me for doing what I'm doing and wishing they had. As much as I wish they had of too, selfishly it just reaffirms what I'm doing.

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about the bartering idea. The van starts conversations with people about bartering and it helps. I considered taking the magnets off until I've made some new pieces to trade and have a new way of approaching it but I like that it makes people ask questions. I still have a lot of questions myself about it but I haven't given up. As I watch my bank account dwindle I know I'm going to have to make it work. I'm just stubborn enough to make it happen.

So, I leave now to drive what's been described as one of the longest, straightest and most dull stretches of highway yet. I wish I could have an inner tape recorder to record my thoughts for further posts. I do my best thinking while staring at the lines on the road....


  1. Good luck on this next stretch of road Angela! We're thinking about you here.. Be Safe!!

  2. Maybe you could barter for a tape recorder and then you can record some of your thoughts while you're driving.

    1. Not a bad idea. I often forget my big revelations I have when I'm driving. I have to get that stuff recorded!

  3. Nine weeks- wow, time does fly! Glad you found Austin TX - we loved it when we were at SXSW, it's a refreshing change from many of the places/spaces we drove through on our journey. Safe travels!