By Lissa.Matthews On Jun 1 2012, 9:00 am
People look at me funny when I tell them I intend to drive. Whether it's to Cincinnati for Lori Foster's Reader and Author Get Together or to New Orleans for Authors After Dark. If I go to the Romantic Times con next year in Kansas City, I'll be driving then as well. But I get funny looks and the 'You're really going to drive all that way?" question. My answer is always, yes.
I drove up to Cincinnati yesterday with my daughter. I have been making this drive every year for this con and I always see something new, take a different route, drive through mountain roads which are not even as wide as my van. I do this because I wouldn't know what was there unless I experience it, try it, take the road, that while meandering and unknown to a GPS device, has been there for years and may lead to something incredibly wonderful, eye catching, breath taking.
I take an atlas. Y'all remember what those are, right? Paper maps in book form with all the states and the roads that connect Point A to Point B. On these road trips, I stop at local restaurants that have the best food for miles, coffee shops that make the best lattes, local antique stores, quaint downtowns, and views I wouldn't have seen otherwise. Pieces and parts of the country I wouldn't be able to experience from an airplane.
I don't mind spending 8-10-12-14 hours driving. Packing the car with snacks, music, and giving myself plenty of lead time to stop and meander…this is fun to me. It's educational. It keeps my mind and my senses sharp. It gives me something to write about. I like that. Getting lost and taking the long way around, knowing I can find my way back in the end, that's what a trip should be. It's a journey and it takes you out of your comfort zone from time to time.
Have a great weekend. My daughter and I are off to explore the city of Cincinnati (which is one of my favorite cities) and go to the zoo before the readers and authors begin arriving for a fun-filled few days.