When I was a kid growing up in Chicago, each summer my family would go on a road trip somewhere in America. If my parents had an explicit travel agenda, I wasn’t ever aware of it. It seemed as if they were just winging it, but that was OK with my sisters and me. My father would grab a Triple A roadmap, my mother would pack up a case of 7-Up and an electric rice cooker in our silver Chevrolet Impala, then we’d drive until we found something interesting to look at.
My younger brothers and sister were born in Hawaii, so they never had the good fortune of road tripping across America with our parents, but I’ll tell you what, those summer family road trips were some of the best memories I have of my childhood.
Now that I have a kid of my own, and we’re taking him on a somewhat random cross-country road trip this summer, I hope when he’s older he’ll have the same fond memories of vacationing with his parents, like I do with mine.
I can be kinda sorta complain-y and stuff about America and Americans sometimes, but driving across five states (so far) reminds me of how beautiful this country is, how nice Americans are, and how lucky we are to live here.