|Along the side of Interstate 5 near Myrtle Creek, Oregon, site of the flat tire.|
For my dad’s birthday this past Friday, I went down to California to see him, take him out to breakfast, and see some of the coastline right by where he lives. I didn’t know what to expect of this trip, but I was glad enough to get time off from work to see him. I kept my hopes low for fear of disappointment, yet I needn’t have worried.
First off, I put my daily routine on hold for a while. Go to work, take care of the kids and household chores, and get some writing done; all tasks I addressed most regularly. A creature of habit, yes, but an hour or two into the drive soon proved how much I needed to get out and explore the world again.
From the blow out tire I got along a rather scenic part of Interstate 5 to the countless people I met along the way, I felt myself energized almost right away. At the back of my mind remained a critical thought: take notes. Yes, I took a vacation from my day job. Still, as a writer I had a job to do, even during my occupational break. Being immersed in an unfamiliar place seemed a great way to enrich my own writing by drawing on new experiences. Every person I came across provided me with descriptions and new characters to sketch for my stories. Examples of this ranged from a drunken doomsayer at the public library in Crescent City, to the motel operator who called my room at 3 pm in the afternoon to warn me that I still had a problem with my tire. The same could be said of places, foods, and everything else that crossed my path.
I’d forgotten how easy travel often helped my writing. My experiences on the trip offered me something I may have missed while engaged in my normal routine. While I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure, I knew it was time to get back to my usual habitat.
At least for now.
When was the last time you had such an adventure?