Even with a week left in Australia and two weeks before we hit LA, I’ve already begun planning road trips. Not A road trip, multiple road trips. And there really lies why I’m moving back.
That first month I moved to Australia, despite having an entire new city at my disposal, I needed to keep moving. Whenever I get to a new area, I tend to wander quite a bit to get my bearings and get some perspective on where I am. So, for my first bit of vacation time, I rented a car and drove for 2 days to Byron Bay and back, roughly 2000 kilometers. While the trip was interesting, I quickly realized on that trip that in Australia, there is a tremendous amount of nothing between often mediocre destinations, making road trips incredibly ponderous. I’ve only done one here since. Instead, I made my trips overseas, using the lack of local inspiration to send me anywhere a plane to take me.
The US has the opposite effect on me. There are so many places I still want to see within North America, international travel, something that has for so long been #1 on my list of priorities, has taken a back seat. Now the to-do list of places I planned to someday see, the road trips I had always pondered, and the destination trips friends and I had whimsically laid out, are all waiting to be realized. My destination potential has just skyrocketed, and I find it difficult to think about much else.
The added bonus of moving to LA is that this is a gateway to so many of the places I’ve wanted to see. The number of national parks within a couple days of driving is staggering; iconic names like Big Sur, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Arches. Many even defining landmarks of the ultimate US road trip icon, Route 66. These are part of the US road trip legacy, and ones I intend to add to my own.