On The Road Again

“On the road again, I just can’t wait to get on the road again…” I have been singing this song to myself for a few weeks and scratching the days off on the calendar, in anticipation of a cross country car trip that starts shortly. I know that when my son was little we used to vacation by car frequently to save money, but now we go from Point A to Point B on a plane or a cruise ship, and chances to wander off the beaten path have become rarer. As I prepare for this adventure I find myself musing about other road trips I have taken, what has stayed the same and what’s changed. Let’s face it, I’m older now, possibly even an adult… sad, but true. My salad days of throwing a spare pair of jeans and a tee into a backback and lighting off on a spur of the moment road trip to Philadelphia for cheesesteaks are probably behind me. Mind you, I may still make the trip but the backpack has grown heavier, and is more likely to be a wheelie bag now. The number of powders, pills, unguents, (one of my husband’s favorite words,) and other body-related goods that I surely cannot do without is daunting — when did this happen? Do you know how many calories there are in a Philly cheesesteak and how long it will take me to work it off? When did I start caring so much about these things? I’m not at the point where I will forego the goodies completely, but I can see the trend here. I’ll still eat that cheesesteak, by God, but then I will dine on nuts and berries and styrofoam packing peanuts for weeks to make up for it. Still, while my wheelie bag now looks like some tiny outpost of CVS, I like to think that some of the spontanaeity and joy of my more youthful trips remains. My husband and I are lighting off with no set itinerary other than a final destination and a rough date to be there. There are no hotels booked, no restaurant plans, and we still haven’t decided which routes we want to take. We both enjoy “winging it” and we each have a good sense of direction. Besides, in this day of wi-fi and smart phones, we figure we can find anything from maps to the closest hot spot from “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” in a heartbeat. Wait, while I’m thinking of it, I have to add “chargers for the phones and the e-readers” to the list — Darn it, when did I start needing a list?

by Cheryl Shainmark
Cheryl Shainmark is a writer, editor, and certified hypnotherapist with a private practice in New York. A long time contributor of articles and book reviews, Cheryl is now a senior editor and a regular columnist at Merlian News. When she is not reading, reviewing, or dreaming about books she can be found playing with cats of all stripes at her quiet country retreat.