I have this road atlas of North America, an actual paper map book. A gift from my friend Kelly Q. It’s as much a ritual piece as it is a tool, a magic book of choose-your-own adventures.
I adore paper maps. It’s a thing, straight from childhood. I remember sitting in the back seat of the car on family trips, where I’d keep track of our progress on a map by watching milestones and landmarks. I would envision our car as a little dot moving along the wandering lines. It pleased me to no end when that imaginary dot on the map coincided with actual progress. (Hm, and now I have digital applications that provide this entertainment with little calculation on my part.)
Yesterday, I laid out Kelly’s road atlas upon my desk and settled in with a nice cup of tea to read it.
I’ll be heading to back to New York state, embarking somewhere mid-May to early June. The destination is firm but I have so many beautiful options on how I’ll get there. Friends and family to visit, art farms to find, and odd little spots to stand in and look out from. Activities and resources will determine the how and the when, so launch day is a little squishy this time around. I’ve got a couple of open ended tasks and some events I’d like to be a part of.
It’s difficult to wait on exciting things. While I like to start my preparations with enough time to take care of unexpected events, I avoid starting too soon. I get fidgety in those quiet moments between planning and realization but I think I’m getting the hang of finding the right balance between living in the now and planning for the later.
A quiet moment with the map book has me calculating distances and backtracking between destinations to determine travel times. This gives me an idea of expenses to prepare for, figuring what I can literally afford to do on my way, and a vague idea of time required to do it. That’s it, that’s all I need to do today.
Just a little toe in the water to settle my ‘what if’s and germinate the seeds of my summer adventure.