Today, I spent about 5 hours in the car driving from Philly to "home" in Rochester, NY. I've taken this trip multiple times- both solo and with partners in crime. I know the route by heart, and as soon as I get on the Northeast Extension, I go into autopilot until I pull into the driveway at home. It's a nice drive, but can be pretty monotonous. How long can you look at trees for? It was exceptionally beautiful today. While the trees were still bare, the sun kept poking through behind the clouds. I saw the fight go on for a while, and then rejoiced when the sun finally won.
On my handy dandy phone, I have a GPS. Even though I know the route, I love using the GPS to see how much I can beat the estimated time by. Probably not a good thing, but you know how I am. From the start, the GPS was finicky. It had me going a route I have never taken before, and I said I know this better than you- I'll still make it home in less than 5. As I drove on autopilot, the route kept adjusting. After about the 5th different suggestion, something inside said why the hell not abby- just follow it! I have always loved adventure, taking the chance and just making that big risk. I'm not entirely sure what was stopping me from travelling a different route, but today I am so incredibly grateful that I did. The roads were empty- just me. The sky was gorgeous and I could see for miles. I rolled the windows down a bit (not fully because there was still snow on the ground- chilly!) and just followed the directions. I passed a beautiful waterfall that followed the course of the road. I was so incredibly tempted to stop and take photos, but then I realized I was by myself and that might not be okay.
Now that I'm done sounding like a cheesy travel guide, I'll get back to the big thing here. I wondered why I had been so hesitant to explore. I wondered what kept telling me to stay the way I knew how. And then I wondered what it was that pushed me to get off the expressway and take a left. I feel like I've been told a million times "follow your own path" or "take the road less traveled". Today I realized what great gifts are there for us when we do. I could have spent the last 2 hours of my journey still on auto-pilot. Instead I observed, gawked, and loved the rest of it.
Once adventurous, brave and free of care I would have jumped to take the back roads even without a GPS. I'm now jaded and only 21. That sounds terrible and yet its so true. But, thanks to my little adventure today that fire was lit back up and is now ready for the next big one- or at least the drive back to Philly. Anyone else have treasure they found on an adventure?