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Take a Road Trip and Feed Your Soul

Take a Road Trip and Feed Your Soul by Theresa Anthony

By Theresa Anthony, author of In Search of Gopher Hollow

Just as a sprig of parsley in a glass of water cleanses the palate, taking a road trip is a great way to cleanse life’s palate. It isn’t hard to find yourself suddenly stuck in a mundane daily routine, something that can suck the life out of you if you let it. So, when my friend invited me to join her for a long weekend in the beautiful Florida panhandle, I couldn’t jump into my car fast enough.


Road trips have always been my thing. I realize I am somewhat unique, as a woman of a certain age who relishes hitting the road to travel hundreds of miles all by myself. Sure, bad things could happen to a woman traveling out of state sans passenger, but I don’t ever entertain such fears. I just get an oil change and hit the road.


Because I am new to the south, pretty much everywhere I drive these days could be considered a road trip to some degree. I have been in explorer mode since moving to Tennessee, discovering all the wonderful and unique sights in my new home state. This trip, however, would have me cross two other state lines and take about seven hours to reach my destination.


And this is when the magic happens. Oh sure, reaching the destination in itself is the big prize, but I happen to find the process of getting there to be just as edifying.


So, there I was, heading south through Alabama and soaking up the beautiful landscape all around me like a big sponge. Then, somewhere around Montgomery, my map app diverted me off the beaten path onto a zig-zagging trek of gorgeous country roads. Every fifteen miles or so, Siri would send me off to the left or the right on my way south to the Florida state line.


As I meandered through Alabama, I found myself doing what I always seem to do on my road trips: reflecting, singing, crying, praying, smiling, all while filled with a sense of immense gratitude.


I have always found that road tripping gives me the time to really listen to myself, to truly focus on my thoughts – even those that get shoved into the recesses of my mind because they take up so much energy and emotion. As I travelled along, I spent some time pondering my current life and making plans, but I also spent lots of time reminiscing about the loved ones I have lost (thus the tears). By the time I reached my destination of Panama City Beach, FL, with palate cleansed, I felt refreshed and calm... and ready for some fun.


And fun I did have! Traipsing around 30A, a string of gorgeous white-sand beaches and oceans painted in vivid turquoise and various blues, with my dear friend exceeded all expectations. In fact, after enjoying a weekend of live music, beach time, great restaurants, shopping, attending church together, and a nightly wine-cap watching Netflix, it was all very hard to say goodbye to. But odd as it sounds, I actually looked forward to the second half of my road trip, taking a slightly different route toward home.


So, if you feel a bit stuck in the doldrums of your daily routine, do yourself a big favor and plan a little solo road trip. Why solo? Because, with nothing but time on your hands and no passenger to distract you, it forces you to attend to your head, your heart, and your soul. In fact, you’ll be pleased to find that lots of the nagging issues stuck inside your head can be processed and worked out nicely during a road trip. So, go ahead, shake up that daily routine and plan your excursion today. You won’t be sorry, I promise.



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