Somewhere along the December Photo Project we hit the road to head home for the holidays. I love me a good road trip and everything it has to teach me. This particular road trip included 2,500 miles of driving, 7 sleeping locations, 2 countries, 3 states, 1 province and 48 friends and family visited. WOW!

Here’s what this road trip had to teach me.  Surrender to the journey. Even the best planned road trip is going to be littered with out of control bumps and bruises. This time, it was early in, there was nothing we could do, the road was CLOSED to all traffic. So we found us a fancy hotel, thanked the universe that we had the resources to do so and enjoyed us some quality cable television. Who even knew there was a show called “Atlanta Hookers : It ain’t easy being a ho.”  We were at the mercy of the road and deciding to roll with the punches, cause the alternative was to get knocked down by them. I think this can be extended to ALL of life. You’re gonna get punched, over and over, how you handle the hit is all on you.

To survive a road trip all members of the car must be willing to put up with each other. During a 14 hour day in the car, it is likely that each member in the car is going to morph through a wide range of emotions. From I love you to you drive me fucking crazy can go down in a matter of miles. Survival depends of the ability to let that shit roll of your back. You are essentially trapped in a moving vehicle, likely holding off your most basic of needs for longer then you would choose, were you not stuck in a car! The whole entire thing will fall apart faster then a sandcastle in a wave, if other members take any of the words being tossed around personally. Cause then you can end up with a car full of screaming folks, which is sure to distract the driver. Again, I think this lesson can be extended out of the car, to say, don’t take other people’s crazy personally, it’s their shit, not yours.

Be in the right now moment. On a road trip, things can change in an instant, folks can easily loose their minds and miles are being passed quickly. So it becomes even more important to drink it all in second by second. The super cool scenery might not be there the next second you look up. The friendly gas station attended is not going to be a part of your everyday life, he is only in your right now moment and it would be a shame if your closed off your heart and missed the chance to share a laugh together. It also helps to remember this in those moments when you experience the horror of a full bladder and a sign stating the next exit is 40 miles away. Again, this can be pulled off the road and in to the every day business of living, in a right now moment sort of way.

Love travels on the inside.  We saw a total of 48 people who love us enough to take time out of their busy lives, especially during the holiday season, to hang out. That’s 48 people spread out over  2,500 miles, 2 countries, 3 states, 1 province. And I’m not afraid to brag about the fact that there were folks we passed by who would have also opened up their homes and schedules to us. When I sit back and let that fully fall upon me the gratitude swells to a tsunami sized wave. That’s a lot of love. It’s easy to get lost in the missing of people and forget to count the blessings of them. Friendship, family don’t need to be tended to in a day to day sort of way. It’s more of I promise to show up for you in whatever moment you need me.  Being close, in a geographical sense is not what makes a relationship. It’s being close in the spaces of your heart.

My other lessons are not so profound. I can hold my urine for hours on end, I can eat from gas stations alone for an entire day without dying, distances are shorter in kilometers then miles, rocks break windshields, chains break when used on pavement, California has a different idea of snowy road conditions then my homeland.

Oh and don’t let me forget THIS, this lesson, that is by far the most important. Until one’s ass is kicked far outside of their comfort zone, they will NEVER discover just how fucking awesome they truly are. And I am proud to say I am one badass awesome road warrior.