Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cross Country Day Dreams

I am a traveler at heart and a lover of old school Americana- both traits I inherited from my parents.

My father's side is made up of sensible country folk. His mother grew up in the mountains of Canyon, in a little house at the top of a hill, which her mother would hike up and down every day to get their mail. There was a well on their property that provided their water, and black berry bushes that my great grandmother would bake into tart pies. My dad would spend his days there, shooting bb guns at cans, and playing in the creek that ran down around the old school house at the bottom of the hill.

He grew up with the American dream. His father worked at a hardware store and then finished his days working in the church, and my dad played in little league and was a boyscout, while his mother ran a day care center in their home. Now he collects old war memorabilia, and loves to travel the country to find lost family in pursuit of his passion for family genealogy.

My beautiful mother immigrated to the United States from Holland. Her mother and father were both born and raised in Indonesia, but immigrated to Holland following the Dutch Indonesian War. My grandmother left her entire family and boyfriend behind in Indonesia to pursue a new life in Holland, and my grandfather who had always been in love with her, followed after her and eventually won her heart. When they came to the U.S. they were known for going on road trips all the time. They had huge family camping trips, traveled up and down the coast line, and never slowed down.

Traveling is in my blood.

 One of my favorite trips- and the one that I'd most like to replicate- was my cross country venture from California to North Dakota, to a family reunion.

We loaded up our old blue family van, took my beautiful grandmother who was grieving the recent death of my grandfather, and went on our way.

We traveled through Utah, and Idaho, Wyoming...

Everywhere was new and exciting, and we ate in lovely little towny joints, with all of the local flavor that is so entertaining.

Living in California, I forget sometimes how different things are just a couple of states away. People aren't consumed by the hustle and bustle, or rushing off in the morning in huge traffic pile ups to get to the city. They aren't paranoid getting off Bart in surrounding cities, or worried about getting held up in the parking lot, or terrified that their boyfriend is going to get mugged again walking around the lake at their college.

Things are more peaceful, laid back. I remember being asked to repeat myself several times, because I spoke so quickly.

Plus, the world is so beautiful outside of our little boxes.

We have to break free of our every day monotony. Hike a little and look at wildlife, explore great geysers, and treat ourselves to pretty hotels with quartets playing in the sunlight of open windows overlooking lovely lakes.

It's so easy to forget to do these things, to let life pass us by and remain boxed in, but I believe that at least once a year, we are called to travel and experience the world and broaden our minds. Meet different people, enjoy kitschy little towns and be funny tourists! Or if you're like my Daddy, then trace back your family line, and hunt down their old historic homes. He found the barn and home of our great great great ancestors!

I've been dreaming about traveling cross country again.

I'll be flying to New York in June, as a late birthday present, but it's not the same as driving through the green fields and being able to get out of the car and take photographs of pretty places. And though my family has also graciously offered me lodging to stay with them for a while in Holland, but for some reason my heart is here in my home land.

There's so much left here to explore!

This summer, it is settled. I must travel!

I will visit as many festivals as I can, see as many town events as possible, and visit every historical land mark that crosses my path.

I would like to follow a similar route, but maybe go a little farther south. There are still a few places I haven't been that I would really like to experience.

For instance, the french quarter of New Orleans, and a few Indian Reservations. Oh, as well as Burning Man. I feel like everyone has to experience it once!

This summer is going to be an absolute blast. I can't stop dreaming about it. Standing on my tip toes with my camera in the summer heat...


  1. OMG! That body of water in a canyon is possibly one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen! Love your blog! :) I adore traveling, as well! There's something about wanderlust that just makes me happy!

    1. I think it was a natural hot spring. =] It was gorgeous. Just be prepared if you ever visit... it smells really badly of sulfur so you'll smell like rotten eggs until you shower.

      Yes =] You learn and see so much, and you come back home feeling like you have all of these secrets that no one else will appreciate as much as you.

  2. These are AMAZING pictures! I loooove the first one!

  3. beautiful pictures from what sounds like an amazing trip. i have always wanted to take my time driving across america visiting national parks, going to festivals, rodeos, whatever i come across! i hope you get to explore more this summer!


  4. You and I could get along :). I dearly love to travel and get out of the house, do a little hiking, etc. My husband and I went on so many road trips while we were in college and now that we've moved to Hawaii trips are a little harder to make. Your summer plans sound so delightful!

    1. Aw, that's wonderful. And Hawaii sounds like an adventure in and of itself. My competitive chamber choir went there a few years ago for adjudication. So many beautiful places to hike.

  5. "Meet different people, enjoy kitschy little towns and be funny tourists!"

    I very much agree with this statement! <3
    I also LOVE to travel and the experiences that come along with it.

    I hope your summer goes as planned!
    have fun! c: