Wednesday, November 30, 2016

drive away home.

I wasn't your typical sixteen year old [on so many levels]. To most at that age, obtaining a license to drive is a greatly anticipated rite of passage. I didn't care to drive, and I never thought I would. After thirteen years of refusing to operate a motor vehicle, I decided I'd give it a try.

Even after getting my license, moving thousands of kilometers from home, and buying a big-ass truck, I still wasn't quite ready to be in the driver's seat. Sally [the truck] was adopted by a friend, and though I was blessed enough to enjoy many great adventures with her, it was mostly from the passenger side, holding the map.

Perhaps it's because of all this, I have such a deep appreciation for driving today. Every time I jump behind the wheel, my senses synch with Delilah. I am one with the van. Long country roads are relaxing, winding mountain passes excite me, the highway sends me into warp speed to get the hell outta town.

It's been three months, and I've put four thousand kilometers on the dial. Ninety percent of which was traveling through the mountains, or down to the river to camp and fish. The places I've been and the things that I've seen wouldn't have happened without having wheels. And there's so much more to come.

The last time I came west it was by bus, on foot, and by sticking out my thumb. Even before that, I spent so many years unhoused, and now looking back at that time I think of how it would have been so much easier if I'd had a vehicle. The van is like my second home. Perhaps even my primary one.. with a foamie in the back, some bedding, all our fishing gear, a camp stove, firewood, and a tote full of food and water, it's a tiny home on wheels. A tent made of steel and glass.

My partner asks if I'm getting sick of driving him around yet. Honestly, I'm not. And I don't think I ever will be. Perhaps it's because I spent so many years on foot and relying on crappy transit systems that I don't mind a little traffic. Yes there's idiots on the road, but it's far easier to cope with from the comfort of my own seat in my own van, where I have control over the temperature and the volume of my music instead of being crammed like a sardine on a packed train lugging 40 pounds of gear around.

Bottom line, I love to drive. Who knew? Never saw that coming.

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