Take me with you?

11 Sep

Right now a friend of mine is on an epic trip to the Pacific¬†Northwest – flying into Seattle, hiking around Rainier, a jaunt down to Astoria, Oregon (and if you know why that is significant, you too can be my friend). Anyway, I’m super happy for him, but also ridiculously jealous. I always have the worst kind of wanderlust, happy to go pretty much anywhere as long as I get to travel, but this is one itinerary I would have been happy to follow to the letter. I quite jokingly begged him to take me with him at the last minute. And for fun, in the spirit of making my case, I wrote the following list. Unfortunately, he wasn’t convinced. But I had such fun writing it, that I thought it might also be fun to share. So, if any of you are planning road trips with room for extra, please keep the following in mind…


Ten reasons I make an excellent travel companion:

(1) I love to travel. This may seem basic, but it’s not the case with everyone you meet. Even those who profess to love going on vacation. I truly love to travel. Even when travel turns into delays and snafus. I can embrace and find the adventure in a cancelled flight, or a closed road, or an unexpected detour. I adore people-watching, and the autonomy of airports. Simply put: I love to travel. A city away, a state away, a country away. Change in scenery delights me.

(2) I know how to read a map. Never underestimate the value of a trustworthy navigator.

(3) I’m always willing to take my turn at the wheel and share in the driving. With the added bonus that despite my gender, and the stereotypes accompanying it, I’m actually a pretty good driver.

(4) I’m always up for adventure off the beaten path. Literally: See my love of the woods. And figuratively: See my photos when driving cross-country with my brother. I embrace absurdity in all parts of my life, but especially on road trips. I revel in doing things like stopping to see the world’s largest concrete prairie dog (in South Dakota, I think), or randomly following attraction signs off the interstate if they seem sufficiently interesting (probably exactly how I ended up in front of a gigantic concrete prairie dog since I don’t remember actually planning that stop).

(5) I can pack light and I’m low maintenance. Jeans, t-shirts, shorts, toothbrush, I’m good. No make-up, no hair dryer, no clinging to elaborate routines and vestiges of comforts from home. No need for special mirrors (in fact I’d probably prefer if there weren’t any). But I can also throw in a little black dress & a pair of sandals, and be ready to mingle. I’d say I clean up okay, given my natural limitations.

(6) And speaking of ready to mingle, I’m great with the small talk. Meeting new people? Easy and enjoyable. My grandfather used to say that I didn’t know a stranger. I think it’s just because even as a kid I was interested in other people. I’m even more interested in them now. I love asking a local where to eat, or where the best view is, or what they think is truly worth seeing or doing.

(7) I have very eclectic taste in music. This is more important than most people realize. Believe it or not, I don’t talk all the time. No, really, try to contain your disbelief. I don’t. Music is an important part of driving to me. It’s horrible being stuck in the car with someone when you don’t agree on the music. My tastes are so eclectic, it’s easy to find a middle ground.

(8) I love hotels. I don’t really know why. Symbolic, perhaps? Just the idea of being away, going somewhere? And while I clearly prefer a 5-star luxury hotel with high thread count sheets and fluffy robes, even the Holiday Inn makes me giddy for some unknown reason. And I guess it helps that I’m not a total germaphobe.

(9) I give amazing back rubs. Really, it’s true. Amazing. I used to be famous for them. People would fight over who got to sit next to me on the bus ride to camp, or for those long rides to away games. I think it’s because I can combine my freakishly strong man-hands with a gentle touch. Been awhile since I’ve given one, but I’m sure I’ve still got the magic touch. At the end of a long day of travel or adventure, this skill is a very hot commodity. And what’s more, I actually enjoy giving a back rub, as much, if not more, than receiving one. True story.

(10) I respect my traveling companions’ desires. Want to go, go, go? Usually, me too. But if you want to do something I don’t want to do? Well then, go have fun and I’ll meet you back for dinner. You tell me about your solo adventure and I’ll tell you about mine. We don’t have to be joined at the hip to travel together. Kind of like a good relationship, I suppose. Occasional separate pursuits do not negate the weight of shared interests.


Okay, there you have it. Just 10 of the many reasons I make an excellent travel companion. Now… take me with you?



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© 2010 Krista Lindsey Willim