I enjoy my daily two-mile drive to work, but I really love the marathon journeys I make about once a month. Packing my bags, choosing a few snacks, and downloading an audiobook fills me with anticipation. And bright and early one morning (or right after school some afternoons) when I drive up the ramp onto the highway, I revel in the silence and solitude my little trip affords. I cruise with the radio on low until I enter Pennsylvania, then turn on my book–usually on double speed, since I can’t abide by a slow reader. The hours pass quickly as the roads become flatter and straighter, my car and brain both on cruise control. When I arrive at my destination, I’m relaxed–never stressed or feeling rushed. Just calm from five to seven hours alone, enmeshed in the hallmark activity of an introvert–reading.
Tomorrow is my mom’s birthday, so today I head to Cincinnati. I’ve packed lots of sweatshirts and jeans, wool socks and scarves. There’s an apple and some peanuts next to my water bottle on the kitchen table downstairs. And I’ve downloaded Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto to entertain my brain on my trip. There’s nothing ahead of me but the open road, and I’m delighted.