Travelling Far to be Where We Are


August is the peak travel month in the U.S., the last chance to squeeze in that summer road trip or flight to somewhere exotic (definition: “anywhere but here”). Soon “fall” will return (two month before it actually does) and students will return to those humid classrooms that are (sarcasm alert) so conducive to learning.

Our daughter decided to go for it before her college career resumes. So far, her giant teardrop-shaped road trip has taken her through 17 states. And we’re thrilled for her.

But also a little jealous.

Trudy and I have travelled too little together. To be clear, I’ve travelled in comedy groups and as a speaker. In fact, I’ve been to 49 of the U.S. states (never got to Alaska), and half of Canada, eh. But professional touring is not vacationing: My sole experience of Montana consisted of the airport in Missoula, our hotel (where we also ate our meals), the concert hall where we performed, and the airport again the next morning.

Our daughter, on the other hand, has breathed the air in places I’ve merely blown past. Yesterday, she stopped at the Wal*Mart in Salina, Kansas. I had to laugh. When I was travelling with Mitch & Allen, we would read stats about the states we drove through. Western Kansas being remarkably flat and brown,* I informed Allen that its point of highest elevation was “the roof of the Wal*Mart in Salina.” “And it’s lowest point?” he asked. “The basement of the Wal*Mart in Salina.” But the truth is we never really experienced Kansas—not even the Wal*Mart.

So Trudy and I are hoping to come unglued. Let me rephrase that: What we’d like to do—which means we’ll have to plan for it—is take an extended trip to some place truly exotic, i.e. farther away than Trader Joe’s.

We’re thinking about an extended vacation (sorry, “holiday”) in our ancestral homeland of England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland—places that are literally in our blood; maybe that’s why we love traditional Celtic music (the soul music of the U.K.) the way our African-American friends love gospel and R & B. Heck, we actually like bagpipes!

Psychologists say collecting experiences is far more conducive to living happy, meaningful lives than collecting possessions (which, Jesus points out in Matthew 6:19, are prone to moths and rust, anyway). Maybe our inherent need to “get away from it all” is God’s way of preparing us for the ultimate road trip.

Now, that’s one we’ll never want to come back from!

*Fact: They didn’t shoot the Kansas farm scenes in The Wizard of Oz in black and white. That’s just what color it is.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Travelling Far to be Where We Are

  1. Deb Farris says:

    You just made me want to hit the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a stopover in prestwick, Scotland and in Shannon Ireland. Spent the night at a military base in Scotland, but never experienced the land except for the fog that covers it. I, too, am Celtic and love bagpipes for some reason. My people came from Wales to invade Wexford and a couple of hundred years(1643) got kicked out again. So much for occupying Irish castles. That’s how John Mealer made it to America in 1643 (involuntarily). Although, I hear my Father has a mansion prepared for me. Travel safe and enjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve been to Kansas and actually saw a bit of green… and the yellow of sunflowers. Also it is home to an excessive number of museums off of the interstate. Our theory (concocted during the longest drive I’ve ever taken ever) is that there’s nothing else to see in Kansas.
    Except sunflowers.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Mitch: Fun read! As a Kansan, I invite you to visit the Sunflower State! From the rolling hills of the northeast, to the Flint Hills of central Kansas (your daughter would have travelled through them going to or leaving Salina), to the rolling wheat fields in the west, Kansas is a lot more than most people think. Sounds like a tourism slogan, right? Hope you get the opportunity to come here and stay a while!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. joyroses13 says:

    I hope you and your wife do get to travel. I love traveling and my husband and I are grateful for where we have been able to go but desire to go so many more places! So much to see of the beautiful world God created!
    Hurrah for your daughter in her adventure! My son has actually talked of doing the same thing next summer before he goes to college!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for this uplifting post. I especially enjoyed your definitions. Thanks for the smile and life-producing use of Matthew 💌

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Angela Jelf says:

    Oooh I hope you do get to visit England. I would be happy to suggest some good places to visit if you’re anywhere near London or the county of Kent.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Now that we’re both retired, I was waiting for those exotic trips my husband and I were going to take, to foreign countries and the far ends of the earth. But he said, “Hey, we haven’t even seen America yet.” So a year or two later, I’m asking when we’re going to go out West and see the Grand Canyon, the Redwood Forest, and such. He said, “We haven’t even seen all of Michigan yet.” Now it’s maybe a trip to the Upper Peninsula. I’m waiting for him to say, “We haven’t even seen all of Manistee County yet.”
    I don’t think this is what’s meant by “Our world is getting smaller.” ):-(

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. nancyehead says:

    Here’s one for the top of your bucket list. Go to Scotland and see Nairn. Go to the beach but remember to take your jacket–even in June. You’ll have lots of time to do that since–in June–it won’t get dark until after 10:30.

    Then ride the ferry to Ireland. See Belfast and Galway. We didn’t make it to Dublin yet. That’s still on our list.

    I really hope you get there. The bagpipes were cool and so was the music at the thatched-roof pub.

    It’s all right up there with having been on the Great Wall.

    Oh, go there too.

    God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Fleur McMorrow says:

    Looking forward to the “ultimate road trip”–guess I’ll see you along the way, or else I’ll be part of the welcoming committee when you arrive 🙂 Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jennie says:

    I hope you take that trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. pastorpete51 says:

    I used to love to work and I hated flying but Yes many of our most memorable experiences came when I tossed away my personal baggage and got in the plane with my wife and went for it. Don’t miss out on the adventure of the uncomfortable unknown that we have to pass through to go somewhere special and spend time together. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I gota handit to you Mitch, It takes big ones to say that Kansas in not in Technicolor.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The memories from a life well lived are always the best part of getting (*ahem) more mature. Enjoy every moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 🙂 Do you still have a family in Scotland, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Wales? My mother’s ancestors come from Scotland, My mom has green eyes and freckles. And my eyes are blue and green.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. revruss1220 says:

    Now hold on there a second, laddie! Do I hear you impugning my home state of Kansas? I challenge you to a pun duel at 30 paces. Actually, I can’t muster a whole lot of outrage over “Kansas is flat and boring” comments. I’ve said those very words myself on many occasions. Although living here does help sharpen one’s ability to find beauty in small, unexpected doses. And that’s not a bad skill to have on hand. P.S. – The most popular tourist destination in the state of Kansas? The Cabela’s store in Kansas City, KS.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. There’s like a dividing line between eastern and western Kansas. You can tell by how you go from lots of above ground running water and trees in eastern Kansas to a lot less above ground running water and fewer trees in western Kansas.Parts of western Kansas aren’t that flat. The highest point in Kansas, Mount Sunflower – 4,039 feet above sea level, isn’t that far from the Colorado border, half mile.The lowest point is on the opposite end of the state at 679 feet above sea level in Montgomery County.

    I lived in Bird City (about 20 miles south of Nebraska and 30ish miles west of Colorado) for a few years.As I approached closer to Salina, the difference became more pronounced that I was transitioning from western to eastern Kansas.

    Liked by 1 person

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