They covered 13 states, camped in the wind and rain, and in temperatures ranging from the mountain 40s to the desert 90s. The following is the second part of the column:
Back on earth, work is still work, the school year has kicked off, and rent, books and technology purchases are weighing down.
This is the world I intend to stay entrenched in for a while. I am going to have to. But the takeaway from my cross-country roadtrip this summer has put my mind in the right place to go to war with the obstacles, and at the same time feel at peace, settled in and focused.
On the last leg of our roadtrip, Travis and I sat on a stone bench at the edge of the Grand Canyon. The view was too much for a pair of eyes to take in at once.
Travis turned to me and said stolidly, “We are about to hit the road for the rest of our lives, man.”
He was referring not only to the 35 hours of driving we had directly ahead of us; he was making a statement about the trajectory of our adult lives.
The trip exhausted our resources, our energy and especially our bank accounts. What lies ahead for us college students is more of this. Serious groundwork. Building foundations.
The takeaway from our trip lies in that it happened in something of a microcosm — 12 days experienced like its own lifetime. Foot to the pedal, eyes on the road, determined to make it to far-off destinations, capture them all. And when we returned home, the adventure ended.
Now, in this new personal era, that long road is much longer, the pitfalls more precarious, the destinations more beautiful.
For me, this is junior year, where the path narrows and zeros in, and I can kind of see a flicker of light down there in the career world beyond. It is out there, crafted in the piths of experience and knowledge.
Being so far from home under absolutely no supervision or control, looking off into the graded shades of canyon spires, gave me the sense that it can be done. Not everything goes to plan, which Travis and I sometimes detested but often relished along the way.
Regardless of whether we had made the decision to trek Out West, the canyon is out there. And, in that sense, so is everything either of us wants to accomplish.
Bottom line: It took only the determination to go, and the equipment to document and validate the experience.
Success in life is going to require an outlook that shares semblance with the spirit of our journey.
To read the first part of this column, CLICK HERE.