Travel today is entirely about the arriving. We pack our essentials into clear containers no bigger than 3 fluid ounces each, allow our naked photograph to be taken by complete strangers. When those strangers find a mysterious lump on you (are you here for vacation or a physical?) you get to be felt up only so they can find your wallet in your back pocket. After retrieving your shoes, you mill about in an air terminal eating off brand pizza and waiting for the terminal attendant to announce boarding and call your zone.
Everyone on your flight gathers in a jumble in front of the gate despite their number not being called yet because they are desperate to find that precious amount of overhead storage space. After finding your seat, you sit more uncomfortably upright than a Catholic school boy in detention. You maintain this position for three hours, during which an attendant will hand you a luke warm soda and package of 5 pretzel bites.
After you land, you take a shuttle bus to the rental car agency, pick up some mid-size sedan that no one wanted to buy for them selves, and drive another hour or two to your destination. The whole process can be completed in about a day, at the end of which you’re too exhausted to actually enjoy the location you’ve arrived in.
The other popular mode of travel is to load up the car and get on the biggest interstate possible going just fast enough to be speeding but just slow enough that no cop will bother to pull you over, while also trying to keep the kids entertained and fed for 5, 8, 14 hours.
We’ve become so focused on the destination that we miss the very points of vacation travel, and that is to relax and to see as much as possible.
What we’re going to focus on is the going, the actual travel part of travel. The destination is almost immaterial relative to the route and mode of travel. We will be seeking out all sorts of unconventional travel, out of necessity much of it will be automotive, but the routes will be unusual, the stops along the way interesting, and usually the vehicles we use will be out of today’s mainstream beige front wheel drive crossover mediocrity.
Instead of getting crammed into a flying sardine can, we’re going to slow down and enjoy the trip…. for that’s When the Going is Good.