I stopped in Amarillo, Texas the day after the election to do some shopping and see Trolls again, but mostly because I loved Texas and didn’t want to pass it over completely without taking a moment to enjoy it.
I went out of my way to visit The Rock Cafe in Stroud, Oklahoma, an iconic Route 66 landmark I missed the first time. I didn’t get to meet Dawn, who inspired Sally in Cars, but I knew I would always wonder if I didn’t go at all.
I listened to the blues at a cafe on Beale Street in Memphis and walked along the Mississippi River before driving to Nashville and spending the day surrounded by the music I grew up on.
The reason I did all these things was because I kept thinking about Neil Gaiman’s speech and the best advice he got but didn’t follow. “You should enjoy this,” King had told him. Despite marathon driving sessions, being exhausted, and getting sick of every audio file I had to listen to in the car, I was determined I would find a way to enjoy it.
Tomorrow I go back to marathon driving sessions. There’s one thing I still need to do before I put my home address into the GPS. The truth is that I’m actually ready to get home. I’ve done everything I set out to do. But, most importantly, I believe I can carry this combination of freedom, peace, and happiness I’ve found back to my hometown. Because of that, going home doesn’t seem so scary any more.
That being said, I have four more days before I have to worry about that, and I’m going to enjoy every moment of it.