If you find yourself in a rut, life is the same old rerun take a road trip. A different horizon, if even for only a few days, can clear your head, lift your spirits, fill you with a new perspective, and present challenge.
If you’re city born and bred, a road trip through wide open spaces will blow your mind. You develop an appreciation for how much open country there is when you drive through the plains in Texas, the plateaus of New Mexico, Rocky mountains of Colorado and desert of Arizona.
I’ve always opted for road trips rather than flying as my means of travel. Having road tripped the majority of the U.S. countryside, I have been able to observe the differences in the terrain from state to state. Not only countryside varies but each state has culture peculiarities. I have driven through horrendous hail storms in Arkansas, drove the outskirts of a tornado in Kansas, experienced a blinding dust storm in Arizona, watched tumbleweeds cross my path on a Texas highway. A powerful roar of the ocean as rolling waves beat down on the shores edge along a seaside road on a moonlit night was my music on the western coast of Florida. Each event is a wonder that fills up your senses and recaptures your youth.
Undergo the historical landmarks, and dissimilar architecture of different cultures and geographical locations. Some places are so steeped in the country’s history that you can almost sense the characters of generations past, experiencing their triumphs and defeats. Another amusing facet of road trips are the names of towns and streets and the history behind those names. Some of these places have local legends that will make your blood run cold.
To fully enjoy and educate yourself a road trip does not have to be a three day trip as the one I recently embarked on. Short road trips within your state to a historical or recreational landmark can be just as exhilarating.
Granite Mountains Prescott Valley, Arizona
Pack up an ice chest with drinks, fruit and sandwiches, or carry energy bars, granola and dried fruit and venture out on the free flowing road with a destination in view. Don’t forget the camera and plenty of batteries.
So, the next time you find yourself bored and living the same daily rerun, break the routine with a road trip. At the very least you will arrive home educated, inspired, with a new perspective and lots of pictures and stories to share.
My birthname was Dora Ann, my father called me Doran and that stuck into adulthood. I write under the name of Dorianna. The name Dora and all its derivatives means ‘gift’ or ‘gift of god’. The story above is true and not an isolated incident, in fact, that sort of thing happens quite often. I’ve suffered many hardships in my life and it has given me the gift of empathy and understanding enabling me to help those in emotional distress.
This poem was written in answer to a prompt at dverse to write a poem about the meaning of our name.
I wrote this article a few years ago but it is so applicable today when folks seem to be getting even more distant to each other. We need to realize a smile, though it may seem insignificant, can make a huge difference in someone’s life. You never know what another person is going through or feeling, how alone they might be.
Give A Smile-Get A Smile
In today’s world of technology we do not have ample opportunity to get personal. Life is fast-paced and everyone seems to be in a rush. We dial the phone and we talk to machines. We spend long hours on the computer playing games, emailing one another or working with our web pages. Even in the office environment, we email the person in the cubicle three feet away instead of walking over to hand them a task list.
Don’t get me wrong. I love technology. I cannot imagine being without my computer and am guilty of spending a large part of my day working and socializing on the Internet. The Internet affords us wonderful opportunities. Without monetary cost outside of an Internet connection, one can communicate with persons all over the world. At our fingertips is a worldwide educational abundance. I could continue to expound on the many benefits that technology has brought into our lives; however, that is not the gist of this article.
As a result of the technological age, our personal touch with one another is decreasing. It is imperative that we take advantage of the fleeting opportunities to be personal. Human beings are becoming strangers to one another. Too often we are in a hurry to get on with the business of living and walk past each other on the street without an acknowledgment. Great deals of people exist daily without the slightest feel of a human touch or a kind word from another person.
Have you wondered why there is so much clinical depression in the world today? Ask yourself why so many young people in our societies are distraught; many attempting suicide or, even worse, murdering many numbers of their classmates or family members. Do you conclude as I do that we are in need of a one-on-one personal touch?
Think back to a time when you may have been standing in line at a bank, or a grocery store and someone turned and smiled at you. Prior to that smile you were feeling very anxious, possibly tapping your foot in impatience. You were irritated to be wasting your time waiting in a long line, pondering over the mundane things that needed to get done. You may have even been working yourself into a frustrated frenzy.
Suddenly an individual standing in the line across from you flashes a broad friendly smile. Instantly you receive the warmth that the smile was transmitting and tension is eased. More often than not, you feel compelled to smile back. You do so without giving it thought, as though it is a natural inclination to reciprocate the smile. Indeed, it is natural. We were created to be social creatures.
If only for a few minutes, the tension from the workday pressures are eased once you return the smile. In that moment of personal embrace from another person you now experience a feeling of acceptance. You have shared a personal contact, someone cares that you are here and now you are a part of something larger than yourself, you are now an integral part of the human race.
There is power in that smile. On the spur of the moment you experience affection. The individual offering up the smile now is changed from a stranger to be wary of to a kindred spirit. A conversation may ensue and now the mundane becomes more enjoyable and you have experienced stress reduction. The world is now warm and comforting instead of cold, fearful and bitter.
Are you perhaps thinking that our fast pace lifestyle is not lacking in this sense of belonging? Think again! Ponder why our youths join gangs. They will reveal that they are seeking to be a part of something. They’re seeking their natural instinct to be social. The gang becomes an extension of the family. In a gang the youths feel important. Within the group they experience friendship and loyalty. It offers them a team like environment. They don’t have to struggle through life alone; they are not abandoned any longer.
Giving and receiving a smile may not be the solution to the world’s problems, however, a smile is a good place to start. Being social creatures it is imperative that we accept each other in warmth in order to experience that we belong to each other, to the entire human race. We should feel moved to embrace each other in our hearts and minds and with a smile and physical touch like a handshake or hug.
Go ahead and smile. I dare you. But be careful. You might find the world a friendlier place. You might find that your brothers and sisters are warm and loving; also desirous to feel accepted. Your smile might just make their day. And I’m betting you will get a nice warm smile in return.
“Hi Sally, it’s Kiki. We talked last weekend when the guys had their meeting. The violence never stops. I remember the conversation we had. I always knew you were just like me, you want out too. I’m leaving Johnny. Today is our last chance. Pick up the phone Sally.”
“Where are you? Johnny just left with Frank, another meeting with the boys. Coast is clear. This is our chance. Don’t pack a thing. You don’t want to draw suspicion from your neighbors. I’ll be at the back door in twenty minutes. A friend is going to take us to the next town. All arrangements are made. Don’t say a word to anyone, not even your folks. This is our last chance for freedom Sally. I’ve been real careful with planning. Johnny doesn’t suspect a thing. Why won’t you pick up the phone Sally? Your car is in the driveway.”
Sally stands in the kitchen cringed against the wall nausea gripping sobbing as she falls to her knees. She didn’t want to betray Kiki. She did want out but Frank had been in the mob too long. He would have killed her if she didn’t obey him. Johnny suspected Kiki was up to something. The scream came over the phone line riddling through Sally. She could hear Kiki’s pleas.
“No Johnny, please put the gun down baby. You wouldn’t shoot me, would you, Johnny? I love you Johnny. I wouldn’t leave you. Johnny! Johnny…oh Johnny?”
Sally doubled over, pain twisting her insides, the shot heard as the phone went dead. Leaning over the kitchen sink, Sally vomited draining herself of the sickening defeat, running cold water over the anguish gurgling down the drain. Within minutes the nausea passed though it seemed an eternity. Sally made way to the powder room straightening hair and makeup, taking care to conceal the puffiness around her eyes. Frank would be angry if she had been crying. Satisfied her appearance would not reveal pity for Kiki, she returned to the kitchen to prepare dinner for Frank wearing her best smile.
I am a writer/poet writing under the pen name Dorianna Ric. I am a free spirit, naturalist who enjoys long walks, thunder storms and sunsets. Being born into a musical family, music and dance are my loves, nearly as much as writing. I am intense, sometimes dark, and philosophical. My writing, no doubt, will reflect these characteristics. You can read more of my work @