Taking the Roads Less Traveled

By: Gary McKechnie


Most of us are caught in a routine. We go to sleep at the same time, wake up at the same time, shop at the same time, and take the same roads to different destinations.

Which is why it helps to take the roads less traveled.

When on a road trip, sometimes I find myself taking the same roads over and over and over again until I can anticipate the scenery that’s ahead. I don’t think about it much, I just go and before I know it I’m there.

But then it strikes me that the purpose of traveling isn’t always getting to the place; it’s discovering what you can find along the way.

Last week I was driving to Tallahassee and the route could have been simple: I-75 to I-10 and I’ve arrived.

But after unfolding a paper map I found a network of two-lane roads that would take me to places I hadn’t seen since I was a kid. And unlike the interstates, which can be something of an asphalt anesthetic, these roads wake you up and expect you to look at your surroundings.

When Nancy and I drove toward Inverness, I looked around and stopped. To the right, Henderson Lake was a gorgeous backdrop to the landscape that captured the look and feel and Old Florida. And when I walked to the waterfront, in the shade beneath the cypress trees a woman was knee-deep in the water, casting a line for hungry fish.

No lesson here. No moral. But it was one of those moments that reminded me why I love to travel.

And head off the beaten path.

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