[ Soundtrack note: stop now, grab your Beach Boys Pet Sounds LP and play track 1. OK, keep reading. ]
In the core of my being there is this nomadic, terribly romantic and restless bohemian soul. It's sometimes well-hidden, during brief domestic lapses in adventure. But it's always there. This spirit (which, let's be honest, lives at the surface most days) is a knee-bouncer, a why-walk-when-you-can-run type, a lover of tall grass and sun roofs and road-trip mix-tapes. As a wee person (OK, so I was never really "wee" – I was a 10LB baby for the love of gawd), I spent many a sweltering summer in the backseat of a station wagon trying, alternately, to kill my brother, jump from the window to freedom, and rehearse for eventual career in musical theatre (yeah, THAT happened).
I remember it probably more fondly than I should. I was a miserable child (when it came to being confined to a small space with my family) and was prone to dramatics. "MOM, he's BREATHING on me." You'd think a career in the performing arts was a natural outcome. Too bad it also requires grace and rhythm.
Holy tangents, Batman.
[ 1984 - still fairly tolerable but probably on the cusp of becoming the most dramatic child on earth ]
Aside from the frequency of my attempted "escapes" (sticking my head out the window while wishing I was Little Orphan Annie), I loved the open road. As an adult with a LICENSE TO DRIVE, BITCHES, I find the experience all the more liberating and magical. Sitting at the wheel, with the radio dial within reach? Nirvana. No, not the band. Well, sometimes. I haven't traveled even remotely as much as I'd would have liked.
You're all, like, "Amen, sister!" right about now, aren't you? You too, hey? Yeah, life, man. Life. Money and work and responsibility and the parts of adulthood you didn't anticipate when you were 12 going on 26, right? Stuff they don't tell you. I wanted to be a grown up sooooo bad. Now I want to hang from monkey bars and forget to go home for supper and have light-saber wars with tree branches and eat freezies as big as my arm. Siiiiiigh, those were the days.
[ big-girl solo prairie road-tripping. yeah, what! Self-timers FTW ]
[ good road buddies are one-in-a-million ]
I relive my childhood every time I embark on a road trip of any magnitude. Is it a military kid thing? Are we only happy when we're packing and unpacking our lives constantly?
We had one of those pop up trailers, and of course an overly-complicated and hella-heavy canvas tent. Sleeping in mobile abodes was always sweet, sweet pay off after hours (DAYS!) spent in a non-air-conditioned station wagon. I'm prettttty sure AC existed at that time, but it took us forever to get anything even kinda modern. We had a rotary dial phone until the mid 90s.
[ camping in 1980. i was born for this. ]
I'm dreaming of another road trip. And really, a lifetime of them! Eventually (not now, because you know: money and life and blah-diggity-blah) I'd love for us to own a little piece of road ourselves. By that I mean: Aiiiiirrrstreams, baby! Or a VW van. Or some sort of totally retro and way-adorable mobile living space. Dogs and babies and flowery 70s curtains and Thermoses of coffee and bug-goo on the windshield and a million Instagrammable moments FTW! Double-sigh. It's the way I want my kids to see life. It's how I want to spend my summers. Coastal. Prairies. East. West. Doesn't really matter. Journey > destination, yeah?
[ dreamy airstream interiors ]
Another catalyst for my road-life obsession: my parents (pre-me) lived in Europe for 5 years, driving their VW van up and over and through several countries. My dad painted the side of it. My mom was an impossible babe. So romantic. They still have the map, detailing their route. Pack rats have their merits. Since hearing this story, I've been longing to pack that map, rent a little van of my own and retrace their route. Double-romantic. The mister is on board for this part (though I'm not sure if he's as crazy about the 70s-curtained-Airstreams-every-summer idea).
There has been talk between my parents of buying up a fixed-up 70s VW van so that they can use it to zig-zag the continent when dad retires. Some serious and aggressive Kijiji action was happening for a while. They've recently abandoned it, though. Not the zig-zagging part, just the means with which to do it. Damn, I was hoping for borrowsies. They bought a far less romantic, yet highly practical and reliable alternative: a brand new Santa Fe ("the SPORT model", my mother brags. Good lord). But I guess reliability trumps romance when you're pushing 60. And I know that baby will see a ton of mileage.
[ wantsies ]
My in-laws own a motor home, too. They should use it more (I know you're reading this, mom and dad #2. There, I said it).
Aaaaand: my bestie and her hubby bought a VW van, fixed her up and drove here from Alberta WITH A TODDLER AND A NEWBORN. Yeah, she's my hero. So, wait. Is EVERYONE living my dream except me?!
See: prone to dramatics.
Anyway, I'm due. Mobile living just isn't in my budget unless GelaSkins will pay me to work remotely (I also know YOU'RE reading this. Hint, hint). We need to save money which is probably the least fun thing of all time. In fact the EXACT opposite of Airstreams and mix tapes and windy hair is saving money. And, I am yet again ending a blog post with this sentiment: a girl can dream. And I do.
[ More road life fixin' can be had on my Pinterest board (where you'll also find the source for all of my "borrowed" images) ]