The year was 1977, I was 15 years old, living in a very small town and being very dispassionate about my life. On a summer day, I walked into a movie theater and my life was never the same. The things I saw that afternoon changed me and created in me a permanent state of wanderlust. The movie that changed everything was “Smokey and the Bandit.” I sat riveted in my seat experiencing the freedom of being on the road in a really cool car. I longed for that kind of freedom and my desire to travel was born.
When I was younger I was able to take a few really awesome road trips with my mother and sister. I watched them both travel the world and live in different places. I, on the other hand, stayed mostly close to home desperately wanting to be one of them. I admired my sister for taking the chances in life I was too afraid to take.
I read an article many years ago (sorry I do not remember what publication it was in) about Angelina Jolie – pre-babies and pre-marriage. She spoke of how she was a lone traveler much of her life and said that all she needed was a backpack and she could live anywhere for weeks. Talk about freedom, talk about excitement, talk about cool.
Many years later I became obsessed with a little television show called “Supernatural.” The story is of two brothers who drive around the country on back roads “saving people, hunting things.” They live in cheap motels or their car (another really cool car -1967 Chevy Impala). They live with very little and do not acquire much along the way. Before you say anything, I know it is a television show but I love the lone lifestyle personified in the show.
Watching Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” made me want to go out and rent a “Great Red Shark” cherry red convertible, which was actually Hunters personal 1971 Chevy Impala loaned to Terry Gilliam and Johnny Depp for the movie (yet, another cool Impala) and tear up Las Vegas in truly old school style. Okay, not really…I would end up feeling terrible about that type of behavior. The book painted such a strong picture of what a road trip feels like. I wanted that kind of life (minus the drugs, guns, etc.).
Many of my favorite Classic Rock songs speak about life on the road. I lived my life only dreaming of such a life. I am so excited to have a chance to live it if only for a brief time. Thank you to all the Road Warriors I have known, including my husband, who have inspired me and kept the dream alive.