When I was little, I loved a road trip. It was exciting and exhilarating to be on the open road; we would play games such as 'I spy' and have the odd hard boiled sweet to keep us quiet for five minutes and we would stare out of the window to watch the different views whiz by. There were no phones or ipads to distract us with yet we were quite content, quite happy and enjoyed the ride. Travelling up or down our fair country to an unheard of town where they lived a completely different life to ours and had a funny voice was an amazing prospect for adventure. Stopping at roadside services for a stretch of the legs and a quick cuppa was exciting too. The hussle and bussle of so many different people all making their way somewhere whether it be for work or leisure and the arcades loud and alight with the latest must play games. I always used to think the staff who worked at the Little Chefs or newsagents must feel as though they're on holiday everyday because of where they worked and the people they were serving. My childish mind too young to realise that Ann with the big earrings who just brought me my vanilla milkshake most likely lived in the next town in a three bed semi detached house with her boyfriend of five years and felt as much like she was on holiday as I did when I was doing a maths test at school. I guess it was the innocence that made it so exciting.
When you're a kid there is an adventure waiting around every corner. A car journey to another place holds an endless list of possibilities as to what lies ahead. The man who greets you at the B&B you're staying in could be a secret wizard or the old, crooked house at the end of the street you're visiting could be haunted. A walk in the woods wasn't just a chance to get some exercise and fresh air it was a chance to explore and discover something enchanting. There was a chance we may need to solve a mystery or could meet someone new and worst case scenario if nothing happened you made up the adventure as you went along. The creek of the wind in the trees was a sign that some some mythical creature could be lurking there. The trees and the leaves on the ground had a life. That is the magic of being a child: anything is possible. Adulthood spoils that imaginative vision with sophisticated logic.
That's why car journeys now feel mundane and boring. I am more interested in getting to my destination and I know that Ann with the big earrings who has just brought me my black coffee doesn't feel as though she is on holiday everyday one bit in the slightest. I also know the journey is going to cost me dearly in diesel and that the sky looks like rain which will add more time to my journey. The arcades don't entice me in with their bright lights and noise or make me feel as though I am about to embark on a big adventure, they just remind me that I still have another two hours in the car after having been at work all day and am in need of a kip. 'I spy' is fun for about five minutes and I don't like eating boiled sweets because they're bad for your teeth.
When I was a kid I used to watch films where groups of friends would embark on some amazing adventure and long for that to happen to me. Little did I realise that it did over and over again because thanks to childhood innocence and a big imagination every day, every new place, every new journey was a whole new amazing adventure waiting to be had.