The Road To British Columbia
"You realize you can't always grasp so tightly to your plans – whether on vacation or in the office." - Laura, Marketing
Six months ago I spotted a van for sale in a small mountain town in Colorado. An '82 Westfalia Vanagon. I laughed it off as a dream, until four months later when I returned to the town and it was parked in the same spot with the same "for sale" sign in the window. My boyfriend and I knew we couldn't ignore it this time around – and well, sometimes the most irrational decisions in life suddenly seem the most rational. This was one of those decisions. And the timing? Couldn't have been better, we both had 10 days off from work right around the corner. With keys in hand and the calendar in our favor, we set our sights on getting to Vancouver, BC (not realizing this was a lofty goal for a van like ours).
Driving a 33-year old vehicle with less than 100 horsepower reveals a new side of patience (fact: the van broke down within 24 hours of buying it). You realize you can't always grasp so tightly to your plans, whether on vacation or in the office. Driving a more reliable car, we might have made it to Mount Rainier National Forest by nightfall. But then we wouldn't have woken up to this quiet pocket of Idaho with waterfalls-a-plenty — a prized place we probably would have passed by.
As we began to embrace the home-is-where-you-park-it mentality, we were reminded of how travel always teaches. My spirit swells at the thought of waking up somewhere undiscovered. I welcome the small pauses in perspective that the road provides — there is much to learn in miles.
If your imagination tends to run wild on road trips, stepping into our old van will take it one step further. We had no AC, no power steering, a stereo that played only on low from the back speakers. Combine that with no cell service and you learn to do the best with what you have. Put simply, there was no way to entertain ourselves with today's typical distractions. Instead, we made room for meaningful conversation, putting pen to paper, cracking open a good book, and looking inward to reflections that had long gone undiscovered. Now, I find myself back at my desk reminded that pause is important — there is a time for everything. — Laura Schmalstieg