I found car trips very frustrating as a child and not just because I had two older brothers and a not very big car so I was more often than not relegated to the middle seat for the four-hour trip to Cape Cod. Though the seating was unfortunate, my true irritation lay in my very clear and long held belief that exit signs on highways should indicate where the place is, not where the road goes. So when exiting onto a road that said Cape Cod, I believed that we should then have been in the Cape. Of course, we were not and the fact that during the journey from New York to Cape Cod, you exit onto five or six roads that are labeled Cape Cod somewhat infuriated me as a child. I mean really, why weren’t we there yet?
It took some time and growing up for me to appreciate car trips for the journey, not just the destination. While admittedly I would still not be psyched to travel for four hours sandwiched between my brothers, I have grown to love the drive as much as the arrival. It allows you to slow down, even when going fairly fast, because it’s one of the few times where you are encouraged not to do anything else other than the task at hand. You get to turn the music up loud, unfortunately for anyone within earshot of me, sing along and just drive.
In the outside world, these trips provide me with a little of the solace that camp brings- the freedom to sing off key with abandon, the enjoyment of not just the activity but the walk there, and chance to get back to a time where life is just a little simpler and slower. So as my fall calendar fills up with events that require at least an hour in the car, because everything is at least an hour from here, I am happy to have lost the frustration of my youth and to have learned, primarily from my time at camp, that there is opportunity in everything that you do as long as you look at it the right way, as not just the destination but also the path to get there.