The Charm of the Highway Strip

Way back in 9th grade english, my fellow classmates and I were asked to analyze a quote by one Mr. Einstein- “I love to travel but hate to arrive.” At the time, I thought that was the dumbest shit ever. Traveling was boring. It meant sitting in the back of the car playing pokemon and slowly losing all feeling in my butt. So I turned the quote into a metaphor for reading a book, and not a very good one at that.

But lately, I’ve been traveling a lot, and this man’s words make more sense to me. The open road has grown a solid hold on my heart. That transitory state is one of my favorite places to be, whether I’m on a bus, plane, train, horse drawn carriage, what have you. Optimism blooms between departure and arrival. Obligations are suspended. I don’t have to be anyone until I get to wherever I’m going, and when I get there, I could take the world by storm. But until then, being nowhere feels great.

I’ve got a particular fondness for the highway, and its special brand of romance. It’s stained with thousands of comings and goings, each one with a story. I like the mournful tone it takes on late at night under the bleak lights, with only a handful of other cars on the road, racing to make it home before tomorrow. Highways are lonely, they’re morose, and goddamn they get my heart fired up. There are a jillion cheesy country songs to go with this thought, but I’ll spare you those.

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