Solitude & Self-Awareness Spiral

When Was Your Last Solo Road Trip?

Spring and Fall are my favourite times of year for solo road trips. A few weeks ago I packed up my car and headed out to Petroglyphs Provincial Park in Peterborough, then to the Craft Show in Buckhorn, and ended the trip at Whetung Ojibwa Centre in Curve Lake.

My road trip essentials include snacks, tunes or audio books, camera, journal, and a book of poetry. It’s helpful to have a lawn chair in the trunk too, just in case!

I spent a long time looking at the Petroglyphs: the rocks that teach. Images of spirituality, health, community, and interconnectedness with nature. Peaceful, contemplative energy enveloped the space. Treasured moments on a bench looking at each of the images separately and then in relationship with each other. We are all story. Story (also in the form of rock carvings) captures values, imaginations, hopes, and fears.

Knowing that we (the grand “we” as in us humans) are collecting and preserving story to honour and learn from them, fills me with pride and joy. At the gallery, story was everywhere too. Sometimes when I’m on my own in a gallery I pretend the images are whispering to me as I walk by them. When I am with other people, it makes it harder to hear the whispers. Art is a powerful way to connect to story. This trip bustled with new connections and insights.

And this to me is the magic of solo road trips. It gives me time to indulge in thinking deeply about everything I encounter. I can tune into my energy and follow it. I can make connections in a way that I can’t when I travel with people. Travelling alone, even on a one-day road trip, opens up my way of being in the world by inspiring me to be present, to know myself, and to engage fully in the experience.

A tradition that started with short artist dates has turned into full days close to home, to weekends away, and to even longer trips abroad.

It is now a few weeks away from summer vacation. Looking forward to a summer of writing, family, friends, and some solo travel!

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