I am actually a pretty big fan of a good solo road trip. Whether it’s a couple of hours or a couple of days, driving down the highway with just your thoughts for company can be like a retreat, meditating and musing on the grand and grain of life.
I’m not your normal road tripper though. Most people envision windows rolled down, great music blasting and your favorite guilty pleasure gas station fare being festively consumed. But in my little sanctuary on wheels I bring along a different audio… audiobooks.
It started when I had to spend the second half of a school year commuting 90 minutes to and from work after moving to a new home. At first it was NPR and sports radio. I liked that I could use this time to stay knowledgeable and mentally stimulated so that I could use my time at home more productively. Now back then there was only so much I could stand listing to journalists squabble over every pro and con of Jay Cutler or the upcoming draft and NPR Wass becoming stale, so I moved on to Podcasts. From there I found the pleasure of listening to a good story told by an intriguing and talented story teller could not only help pass the time but also actually made me look forward to driving!
Each time I go on such a journey, I am transported into the world of the book by the lure of a resonant voice and palpable plot. It isn’t until I step out of the car, finally reaching the destination that I realize how entranced I was. The world around me seems unfamiliar, alien and the people strangers. I miss the characters wishing in a way that they could be here with me to enjoy this time. For a few minutes a have each foot planned in two very different locations and I have to let the book slowly drain. So in a way, I don’t take solo road trips, I always have a very verbose, storytelling friend to keep me company.