My friend and I wanted to check out the changing autumn leaves, and we picked Burlington Vermont as our destination. It's a place far enough away to make it a journey while being close enough it could be a day trip. I knew nothing about the place otherwise. And it ended up being quite the fun day, with stunning scenery along the way. So the adventure was most assuredly a success.
This reminded me of the year I lived in Pennsylvania. My boyfriend at the time and I had access to a car, and just about every weekend we'd look at my map of the state and one of us would say "we haven't been there. Let's go that direction." We'd take off, not really caring WHERE we were headed, but happy to explore some place new and enjoy the time together. Half the time we didn't even make it to our stated destination, because we'd see a road along the way we just had to turn down or find something that caught our attention somewhere else. But that was okay, because the adventure was point, not the destination.
I have a map of the US that usually lives on my bedroom wall. On it I've marked down every road trip I have been on, every flight I have taken. Looking at that map and seeing the emptiness that is my exploration of New England makes me very very sad.
You see, I moved to Boston seven years ago, and yet yesterday was the first time I made it to Vermont. As someone who dragged her boyfriend around more of Pennsylvania in one year than he had seen his whole life I'm not normally the sort to side idly by when there is unexplored territory anywhere near me.
One reason I picked Boston when it was time to leave Alaska was so I would no longer need to maintain the stress and frustrations and costs of owning a car. And unfortunately, not owning a car here in Boston limits my regional adventuring. I don't ride a bicycle, and even before I broke my leg I had ankle problems. So even if I were to go somewhere along the Commuter Rail I'd still end up stuck. And feeling stuck is a feeling I abhor. So when I want to go on these sorts of random adventures I need to convince friends to go on them with me. And too few of my friends (as much as I love them) understand (or have time for) my passion for purposeless adventuring. So the adventures I do get to go on have been few and far between.
I miss being able to wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and just go for a drive. If I ever do decide to buy a car again, that is really the only reason I would be getting one.