I love a road trip. I love planning it, studying maps and guidebooks, reading about travelers who have gone before me, looking for the fastest routes to the most intriguing views. I love the anticipation phase, packing suitcases, trying to calculate every situation that may arise and every change of clothing I may need when I get there. I love hitting the road with excitement and hopefulness, watching the scenery shift and expand outside the car windows, asking “Are we there yet?” at every crossroads, and the rewarding moment when the road signs finally respond, “Only one more mile.”

My first books were Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series. I loved following the Ingalls family on the adventures of their permanent road trip. I envied their family togetherness and their willingness to encounter miles of totally unexplored countryside.

A road trip is a good metaphor for life, I think. We have to have faith that whatever lies beyond our current field of vision is worth the effort and the risk it takes to get there. It is only when we venture beyond the places that are comfortable and constricting that we learn more about the world and grow from our experience. When we have the courage to step away from the stories we have been told, we return home with new wisdom and insights worth sharing.

This spring I have been traveling. I have spent many hours seated in a car to finally walk through ocean waves. So far I have learned that God is able to take us anywhere; but we have to be prepared to take many rest stops along the way, adjust routes and schedules around unforeseen detours, and appreciate that our companions through life are what make the road worth traveling.

Today my bookshelves hold many volumes that inspire me. The book She Explores by Gale Straub reminds me that women are brave travelers who are free to follow their individual paths to adventure. (You may order it from Amazon here, though I’m not affiliated, just sharing a book I enjoy and value.)

This summer I will be writing more about the roads I have traveled and the lessons I have gathered on the way. I have another road trip to take in July. My route is planned, my bags are already, partially packed, and I’m looking forward to bringing back new insights to share with the people who travel the road with me. I pray you embark on many journeys and find many new and exciting stories of your own. Where are your travels taking you this summer? What do you anticipate learning on the road?