CHICAGO—According to the GPS, the trip from Detroit to Toronto should take just over four hours, but it has already been over six and my family and I are still stuck in traffic. While my friends jetted off around the country and the world for study abroad experiences and internships, I took off on a family road trip, passing through eight states in the US and a quick trip through the Canadian province of Ontario. Having lived overseas for the past four years, my family decided to take a trip through our own country to visit family and friends.
Driving from one iconic city to another became the norm and stopping at obscure small towns or stumbling upon historical sites a daily occurrence. The funny thing about road trips is that after a while, four hours doesn’t seem like that long of a time and hundreds of miles are no longer a barrier to going to new places.The possible destinations seem endless.
Driving through the country from Florida to Canada, it has been fascinating to see the variety in the culture and the landscape of America. I was shocked to find crosses made of shotgun shells in Nashville and signs for Adult Super Stores which line the highways in Georgia. I didn’t realize that both CNN and Coca-Cola were both founded in Atlanta until we spent a couple days there and visited their headquarters. We stopped at Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace in Kentucky and stopped by Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village in Michigan. I met up with one of my friends from Harvard in Indiana, where he took us on a tour of his small town. In Ann Arbor, I hung out with a friend from high school for a night out at the University of Michigan. I went to my first graduation party in small town Indiana and then helped with my cousin’s grad party in Michigan.
Before we started this road-trip, I didn’t really know what to expect or who I would see. The cool thing about driving is that you can stop wherever you want and decide exactly where you’re going. We could’ve taken a three hour flight just to visit family, but I never would have seen my friends or the country.
So while it may be frustrating to see our estimated time of arrival get pushed back yet again, it is all part of the adventure. Not to be cliché, but the journey really is the most important part of a road trip.
Kathryn S. Kuhar ’20, a Crimson multimedia editor, lives in Pforzheimer House.
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