(Read my full story on the You Must Be Trippin’ blog)
In my latest article for the Best Western blog You Must Be Trippin’ I’m doing a bit of reminiscing about the childhood memories that made me fall in love with road trips and travel. There is still nothing like sharing a few quiet hours on the road with a loved one for me. I am hoping our family will cherish we are creating forever as well. Please click the link to read the full story.
I loved our family trips more than anyone else. The older I get the more they mean to me still. I think I love them even more now because I understand just how important they were to my development as an individual and an adult. On those long road trips across the border and into Mexico I grew up so much, somehow managing to discover myself in the midst of all the chaos of traveling with eight other people – my parents and six siblings.
We made these drives often. Usually once a year to visit my grandparents on both sides and all my cousins, aunts and uncles. It was always a party from the moment we got there until we had to head back so my parents could return to work.
On those road trips we would feel connected – to each other and to the land itself. As a teenager I vividly remember riding on a bus with my mother on our way to Monterrey, Mexico to visit her aunt who had raised her and feeling a deep sense of belonging overtake me as soon as we entered the first patch of mountains in the Sierra Madre. Inexplicably I felt like I was home. Even though I was actually born in Houston and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, somehow my body itself physiologically was telling me that I was now where I belonged – where my ancestors had lived and died. I still think it’s weird how our body can speak to us in that way, but I’ve had the conversation about this feeling with others and so many have told me they have felt the same way when they have returned to Mexico or their family’s country of origin.
I believe that experience was a defining moment in my life.
Until then I only knew that going to Mexico every year was about going to see our family. I didn’t know that I was also learning about my heritage. I didn’t understand the role emotion would come to play in the connection I now associate with road trips. Road trips for me are deeply emotional.
They are about discovering ourselves and those coming along with us for the ride. I have the most intense conversations with myself and with my wife when there are no other distractions ahead of us, or around us, or besides us. I don’t actually speak to myself out loud when I’m in the car alone. You should now that. But I do enjoy purposefully listening to my own thoughts when I’m by myself on the open road. We’ve had some of our best ideas pop up or come to light when we have been trekking the country from one state to another. We have grieved, cried, laughed, argued, on the road. We have sat in silence for hours not saying one word to each other, but knowing we are headed down the same path together.
Continue reading my full story on the You Must Be Trippin’ blog.