What am I talking about when I say „the best trip I never had“?
(I know what you are thinking, and no, it’s not drugs.)
I’m sure each of you has their own perfect travel destination. Probably you’ve been there and you had the most amazing time in that heavenly place. Ever since you wish to come back and you know one day you will.
I have that place as well. The only difference is, I haven’t visited mine yet.
Maybe you have it too, that particular part of the world you’ve never been to but always dreamed about going. A country or a city. A mountain or a river. A place where you imagine yourself when you close your eyes. You’ve seen it in the movies, you’ve heard it in the songs, you’ve read about it in the books. And you just know that this small corner of the world and you are the perfect fit, a harmony. Usually, girls have fantasies like that about their special someone. I have them about my special somewhere.
My somewhere is the road.
Not just any road, it’s the Mother Road. Famous Route 66 or what’s left of it. Ever since I was a child, I loved American western movies. The old west. Hypnotized, I would watch endless roads surrounded by nothing but a desert and some lonely cactus, here and there. When I saw Thelma and Louise for the first time, I imagined myself at the wheel of that marvelous 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible (except mine was a red one), surrounded by the vast grandeur of the Grand Canyon. I could hear Blues Brothers or Johny Cash on the radio and feel the wind in my hair. He and I, cruising down the 66 and laughing. Without a plan, without a single worry, completely free.
MY IMAGINARY ITINERARY
I watched so many documentaries about the world’s most famous highway that I already have the whole itinerary in my head.
I want to eat an omelet at Lou Mitchell’s in Chicago.
I want to take a picture at Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station!
Watch a movie in 66 Drive-In.
Visit Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.
Sing Santa Fe in Santa Fe!
Take a stroll down the Blue whale of Catoosa’s mouth because why not.
Visit a ghost town Amboy and sleep in Roy’s motel because of all that road-trip movies.
Wait for the sunrise at Grand Canyon.
Get lost in the Mojave desert and sleep under the stars in the Joshua Tree National Park.
Pay respect to the Hollywood greatest stars at Hollywood Forever Cemetry.
Watch the Ocean from the Santa Monica Pier.
Get my kicks on Route 66.
And Oklahoma City is mighty pretty.
You see Amarillo,
Gallup, New Mexico,
Don’t forget Winona,
Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino.
Route 66 for me is not about a specific site or a destination. It is about that James Dean kind of vibe. It’s an experience that represents freedom and independence. What else to do on the road than dig into your own soul?
Like Jack Kerouac said…
Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.
In the video below you can see a terrific Croatian Musical Academy student performance who did a jazz cover of Get your Kicks and reminded me of the best trip I have yet to take.
Have you done Route 66? Tell me about it! What is your idea of the perfect trip? Share with me in the comment section, I am curious to know!