The best part of going on this trip is that I will not have to drive anymore. Most people like the freedom of driving a car so they can pick their route and have a space that’s all theirs. I agree. And in many parts of America, it is next to impossible to find reliable and easily accessible public transportation. But I personally hate the act of driving. In the past week, I’ve hit a mysterious animal laying in the road (destroying my friend’s front bumper), got a speeding ticket, had a tail-light go out, been flipped off, been cut off, been tailgated, and broke a sweat sitting in my hot car. You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you meet five assholes in a day, most likely you’re the asshole.” Well, I meet about 10 on the road… before lunch. The point is I’d much rather be people watching or reading a book on a train. And I would rater be identified by something that isn’t my car.
But my green Mini Cooper has been my best friend at times. Not because of it’s features or the make and model, but for the personality I have given it. My friends have cleverly nicknamed it “The Green Goat” because the car’s interior was covered in fur when I got it. The previous owner didn’t have any animals, but a couple of goats. It’s messy backseat is a testament to my busy life. It’s door ding has been there since the day I got it. It doesn’t drive as well as it used to. The sunroof has needed to be re-greased for the last two years. And it rides rougher than a turn of the century wooden roller coaster. But I know it like a best friend. Plus, people see it and associate it with me. In lieu of my car, I hope my backpack becomes a part of my identity on this trip. My green Osprey pack is slightly worn, but has years of wear an tear still to go.
But as time goes by, we will always forget these material things that we give life to. Then one day, someone will pull out an old photograph of you standing next to your first car. You smile because you still remember the time you lost your viriginity on the hood, not the features or specs it came with. You remember all the places you went in your car, for it really is your means of travel. Our possessions become truly pointless when they don’t enhance our lives or our lives don’t enhance their value to us. So while I think that I will miss my car, I am really missing the memories I have had with it. I will miss the places it took me. I will miss the sun & sand air freshener. Hell, I will probably even miss hearing my friends say “Let’s not take Jaren’s car, unless you want to eat your knees for lunch.” Or my mom giggling as she says “Will my purse fit in your car?” I am ready to travel by something other than car. Goodbye Green Goat, hello green backpack.