Bags are packed, you have your favorite road snacks, the tank is on full, and you’re set for the ultimate road trip.
There’s this concept of slow travel. It’s starting to grow on me. I love hopping from one city to another, going in and out of airport securities, running from one flight to another, sprinting from one sight to another — but then I stop to think….
What if I had just taken the long way there…
What if I spent more then just 48 hours in a city…
What if I walked through the day, instead of sprinting…
Doing exactly that this past month in Wyoming spurred on this new love for a different kind of travel — slow travel. Have you heard of it?
I’ve always hated driving, mostly because I know I can get somewhere faster, and in an incredibly more convenient manner. Perhaps that convenience was more of a love for the ability to go a thousand miles per hour, the ability to be in multiple cities in a week, yet never slowing down to truly enjoy the moment. This concept of slow travel hit home for me as I embarked on a summer road trip from Boise, Idaho to Yellowstone National Park and then on to Grand Teton National Park.
When I heard that we would spend over 15 hours in a car, I dragged my feet…
It was weird to take the long way there. Strange to sit in the car, left to my thoughts, with the windows down and the wind blowing in. Stopping in unfamiliar gas stations, re-fostering a familiar love for blue raspberry slurps and chex mix, and counting the miles until a destination; it all struck accord with me.
I realized it was the first time I had spent more then 48 hours in one place. It was a sweet taste of the slower, more thoughtful travel. Road trips afford you this ability to just, well, be. You literally have the steering wheel, and can go when you want, leave when you want, and stay however long you want. You get to spend hours on end in the car, just looking, enjoying the scenery, and taking it all in.
Taking this 10 day road trip in the northwest was encouragement to slow down, to breathe, and to let slow travel play a bigger part in my life. I’ve re-kindled a love for road trips and wanted to inspire you to get in the car and take your very own summer road trip.
Here’s 5 Western US road trips to take this summer:
1. Salt Lake City, UT — Yellowstone National Park, WY — Grand Teton National Park, WY — Jackson Hole, WY
2. San Francisco, CA — Santa Cruz, CA — Big Sur, CA — Santa Barbara, CA
3. Mendocino Coast, CA — Bend, OR — Portland, OR — Seattle, WA
4. Denver, CO — Boulder, CO — Rocky Mt. National Park, CO — Durango, CO
5. Santa Monica, CA — Palm Springs, CA — Joshua Tree, CA — San Diego, CA