I don't usually make resolutions with the new year (except to visit Canada!), but with my road trip looming and my desires to blog about the whole trip while it's happening led me to agree on resolutions of a different kind: road trip resolutions!
My road trip transparency has been pretty lacking in the past. I usually use the time to unplug from the world and immerse myself into the fantasy and romance of the trip. Aside from ignoring my daily troubles and responsibilities, that often means forgetting to take pictures or the exact locations of some of the pictures I did take. It makes memories harder to recall. I have also realized that I enjoy writing about my adventures, so thorough documentation would be very helpful. Don't fret though, I ALWAYS remember the exact route of each trip.
1. TAKE MORE PICTURES
Like I said, I often go through phases during trips where I will stop taking photos for a while. Sometimes it's because I'm trying to live "in the moment" and step away from the viewfinder, and other times it's because I am SO inspired by the travels that I find my camera just doesn't do it justice. Because of this, my photo galleries often experience huge gaps in destinations. For example, when I am home, I'll realize that I didn't take a single picture in Montana, or maybe just one really bad one, and then I get all disappointed about wasting the opportunity.
I do not want this to happen on this trip! I am going to set a goal for myself to always have my camera with me - even when it seems inconvenient. And even on those days where we are trapped in the car getting from A to B, I will transform these moments into inspiring memories. AND I will do better at taking pictures of signs and place names to add a bit of chronological order to my snapshots.
2. RECORD MY OBSERVATIONS AND DESTINATIONS
For the most part, my mind is a treasure trove of memories - memories I can call up on a moments notice to recreate some of my favorite travels. Whether it's a warm, dry breeze on a roof deck in South Dakota while a vulture flies over head or shuffling through a parking lot dusted with snow at night in Arizona, I keep a lot of textural emotions protected from the abuse of time. However, I have never kept a travel journal, so most of these memories are tenuous at best and perhaps lend more to whimsy than reality.
For this journey, I want to record even the nitty gritty of each day. I am mostly interested in keeping better tabs on the weather and how that might have affected my mood or activities for the day. Either way, I want to do better at recording the atmosphere of my trip, so instead of using an atlas to recall pivotal moments from the trip and arguing about what happened where, I can easily refer to my notations and conjure up memories supported by cold hard facts.
3. MEET NEW PEOPLE!
Guys, you would probably be horribly disappointed to learn how introverted and private I really am. Color me more the observing, wallflower type than the "grabbing life by the testes" type. Not that I would ever shun an uncomfortable or spontaneous situation for the sake of adventure, but I kind of super hate meeting most people. Hell, the last time I met people during a road trip, they nearly left us in the woods to die! However, I really want to be better at making new friends and taking advantage of local opportunities, within reason.
Thankfully, AGP is more extroverted than I, so I will try to use his enthusiasm and easy-going nature to reach out to people I may normally just ignore: fellow tourists, bar patrons, local business owners, friends of friends... this time, I will say, Hello!
4. LIVE IN THE MOMENT
I am aware that this is a rare and special opportunity for me. Not many people have the chance to spontaneously take two months of vacation to do what they are most passionate about. And I am also aware that this probably won't be my lifestyle forever. Therefore, despite the challenging weather conditions, I want to be totally conscious during this trip and make a better effort to be grateful and present throughout the adventure. Whether that means picking the camera up (or putting it down!), living spontaneously, or rethinking my idea of "live documenting" the whole thing, I just want to make sure I am doing justice for this majorly awesome season of traveling!
Does anyone have any other tips on how to best capture the spirit of a road trip?