There is nothing that gets the creative zing flowing like the discovery and experience of new places, new people, new things.
My curious mind is always on the look out to see the common man blending in his environment getting on in his own way. There is that inner satisfaction that it brings to the soul, to see people milling about in harmony or to be out and about in nature. I capture a lot of these moments in photos and review them on lazy days.
For me, thoughts of travel does not only entail major hauling or tramping across Continents by air or sea, in actual fact, traveling by air is my least fun way of seeing new places and having new experiences, because you don’t see much while up in the air, except the miles of cloud and an occasional thrill of seeing another plane at a distance, if you are lucky. I guess it’s indispensable at times, when there’s a huge distance to be covered.
However, my favourite ways of gadding about is by road followed closely by train.
I love the leisurely way of traveling by road with my family. The kids nicely ensconced in the back, my dear Himself, otherwise known as daddy and husband drives most times and I get to ride shot-gun, filling his ears with idle chatter, oohing and aahing over the large open skies, pointing out the rolling meadows or whatever catches my fancy and keeping the kids entertained simultaneously.
The joy of traveling with your own vehicle or a leased one is that you get to dictate the pace of your movement, take all the stuff that you want, make as many pit-stops as required because the children can and do get antsy with repeated demands for loo run and the countless ‘are we there yet?’ moments.
It definitely beats the removal of shoes, belts, this and that at the airport under the scrutiny of raised eyebrows of security.
I can’t forget the silly smirk on the faces of one or two airport security, when I used to haul my younger son’s special trainer potty all over the place – he refused to sit on any toilet seat except on his Nemo and Dory aquamarine coloured one and it was one of the travel heavy season of my life, so we went everywhere with potty and his favorite duvet. Thankfully, the potty days are over 🙂
Of course, for individuals who are traveling alone, they get to have that quiet time to mull over things, play their long musical playlist without interruptions, or listen to an audio book, just about whatever they like.
A lot of times, I gaze at the long haul truckers in pure admiration. They have seen things and have tales to tell of their long journeys. At a point in my younger life, I wanted to experience that, but I guess it was just a passing fancy.
The road trip excitement starts building up days before we depart and in my home, we have our own travelling made easy, tailored-to-fit must have list to help make the journey seamless, fun and a worthwhile experience.
Our GPS is always updated. It is a priceless gadget that can get you to your destination with few hitches, though I love the colourful traditional maps and always acquire one for the place we are visiting.
Travel doesn’t quite feel the same without those maps – though for the life of me, I never seem to read it right and I end up confusing my husband to no ends and we get a little lost. GPS to the rescue.
We always carry extra blankets and pillows. My youngest, who is eight, tends to snooze off once the going gets on. After a bit of sing along, he’s out like light and it’s more comfy to set up a cosy spot at the back with the pillows and blanket to stop his head lolling all over the place, yet it never ceases to surprise me when the sweet, wafting aroma of dunkin donuts or burger rouses him from sleep.
There is something about traveling that makes the body peckish. A thermal hold-all with a flask of warm drink, bottles of water, sandwiches, paper napkins, chewing gum, cookies and other stuff like first aid box and basic pain relief drugs is a must have.
I am the family entertainment generalissimo. I concoct stories to amuse the children, I read and share snippets from the dailies or a book with Himself and I shuffle the music playlist to soothe everyone’s taste.
Writing this article has my eyes glazing over with memories of the beautiful open Texas skies, of jaunts from Houston to Dallas, to Waco, to Austin…
Of road trips taken in the yesteryear’s in Africa; the drives from Lagos to Benin Republic, to Togo, to Ghana…
Of stopping by the roadside to eat fresh roasted corn and pear, breaking coco-nuts to eat the soft flesh and drink fresh coconut water, of local delicacies here and there, of dancing Makossa and Soukous to African beats in local clubs.
There are so many beautiful places to see on planet Earth and I really look forward to the opportunity of enjoying the simple thrills of life through visiting as many States as possible in North America and beyond.
Ah! It will soon be time to get out of the doldrums, especially for those who are experiencing the chilly climes.
The bone-chilling cold will pave way for warmer season and indeed the siren call of the road thrums in a traveler’s blood.
I learnt that these days, one can get to do some road travel and also earn from it. I wonder how that works, but it might be worth giving a thought. TURO is a unique car rental community that offers such opportunities.
Now, go pack your bags, dust your maps, don’t forget your travel essentials and ‘Own Your Adventure.’
© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha
P.S. ”This is not an advertisement, neither is it a sponsored post. Every word generated in this post is from my experience and are my words. TURO sent me an email inviting me to share a travel fun blog if I so choose.”