The Open Road Has Taught Me...
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The Open Road Has Taught Me...

There are so many opportunities out there if you're willing to be mindful.

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The Open Road Has Taught Me...
Mickey Bratton

Looking back at family vacations, I can remember the hassle of everyone getting ready in the hotel, as Mom and Dad would try their best to plan out the day. They never really planned too much from what I can remember, but they would pretty much have an idea of what the day was going to consist of. Although we spent quality time together, spending days back to back with one another would easily set my nerves off (and I mean that with love).

My parents were never really ones for adventure and trying new things, so ever since I started to do my own thing, I made it known that trying new things, like visiting new places, being spontaneous, and doing things outside of my comfort zone, makes my life feel more meaningful and exciting.

I think by seeing how my parents came to a decision growing up, it made me become indecisive whenever it came down to making up my mind. To them, being prepared for trips and doing things according to logic made the most sense. Now, when I go off on trips with my boyfriend, I find that doing spontaneous things off of impulsion, rather than going off of plans, don't make me feel constrained; I'm able to breathe.

I've learned that trusting my own intuition and letting my heart guide me around is enough to carry me through the experience. Going with the flow and being mindful has allowed me to settle into a different way of living. Living in the now.

Looking back at my senior trip to Disney World in high school, the friends that I went with did some heavy planning. We pretty much followed an itinerary. I noticed that by stressing so much on what we have to get to next, I didn't get to take in what was happening in the current moment. I didn't get to relish in my surroundings as much as I could've if I had the mindset that I do now.

I feel so grateful that my boyfriend and I have been able to go on road trips and come back home feeling refreshed with a bunch of memories behind us, with a destination in mind. Whenever our parents would ask us what we had in mind before we would embark on our not-so-planned out mini-vacations, we would just say that we only have a blueprint, and everything else in between would just happen.

From our first couple of trips together, we discovered that by just taking it easy and exploring the areas we were in, we were able to experience the city or town in the most authentic way possible. For our most recent trip over spring break, instead of seeing a whole bunch of tourist attractions, we took the time out to take in nature, try some of their famous foods, talk to shop owners, and see local art to get a real taste of the area.

By doing that, we felt more blended in with the residents that make the town what it is.

Before we even went on our road trip, we both knew that we would have fun and make it our own. We didn't have any expectations, meaning that disappointments would be impossible. We had Georgia in mind, but on the highway, we changed up our route since we'd rather go more west. We preferred Tennessee, which is how we randomly stopped in Nashville for the night. Our end destination was New Orleans, so it was definitely interesting to have that varied contrast.

Like the open road, living in the moment has given us endless opportunities. By being open to the unknown, I've been able to embrace life more fully with acceptance, all while having a laid-back mindset. I've been able to take in the details, which has done my writing wonders.

By believing that the Universe is abundant, we've noticed synchronicities that pop out of the blue. We've been taking that as a sign that we're living life the way it was intended to live. I'm making memories to the point when I want to break down and cry tears of appreciation for this new way of living. I hope everyone gets to experience this.

Now, go drive!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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