Thank you for your story. To get away certainly doesn’t mean spend thousands and wait in line or sit on a plane for hours. I live in California. This is a large state with areas separated by deserts, valleys, mountains and waterways. The cultural and environmental variances here are extensive and worth exploring, not to mention that you can pick your view and be there in anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours. Better those 6 hours have a view off the highway than the view inside the airport or airplane.
Spontaneous road trips are like a sport to me. How far will I get today before I discover something unique or fantastic? Most often, the adventure is a day trip or even just an afternoon, but sometimes I don’t feel like going home at the end of the day and will stop for the night and continue exploring the next day. Sometimes, the best part of the adventure is the cute mom & pop inn that I stay at, where the rooms are decorated with art created by local artisans and where the counter help is willing to chat about all things local-best museum, best hike, best local brew, best lesson learned from history, most famous resident, best restaurant, worst restaurant.
Truth is, just running into town can be a great adventure. Everyday can be a bit of a staycation. Take a new route home, find a new restaurant on the way, put down the phone, eat off the food truck, pull up a bench in the park, talk to strangers, look around and discover something new and refreshing, relax and hear the trees and birds.
How wonderful for you to have discovered so much about your own country. And thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. I’m inspired to get out and see some more tomorrow. Oh but wait-today is not over yet.