Take the Scenic Route

Black and white picture of an old abandoned chicken coop

Last year, right near the beginning of the pandemic, my family and I started enjoying going on drives. Nothing was open, so there wasn't really anywhere to go, but we have the benefit of living in an area with a lot of nature to take in. While we occasionally parked the car and hiked around, as often as not we just drove aimlessly and took in the sights.

Once the world started opening up again and we had places to be, I started dreading getting in the car. Traffic was overwhelming and the need to "get there" overrode any sense of "being" that we had cultivated in earlier trips. It was in this state that I recalled a quote I had heard years earlier by Charles Kuralt:

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything." — Charles Kuralt

So, in an effort to truly "see" more, we made the conscious decision to take the long way around no matter where we were going. If the scenic route took an extra hour, then we'd leave an hour earlier. In a very literal sense, we focused on the journey, not the destination, and I will never go back.

Want to embrace this mindset without having to manually "plan" your routes? Go into the settings for your favorite GPS app and disable "Toll Roads" and "Highways." While you will still have the option to go the faster way, the default route will always be the more mindful one.