Saturday, April 2, 2011

"Why We Travel" A Paul Theroux Essay in the New York Times; How It Pertains to US Route 6

Sunday's NY Times Travel Section (which, as a subscriber, I get delivered on Saturday) asks - or posits - "Why We Travel."  Written by war-zone reporter, Paul Theroux, the piece waxes romantic about traveling to places where you might, just might, get your head blown off.  "But if the traveler manages to breeze past such unpleasantness....he or she can return home to report; 'I was there.  I saw it all.'" Theroux goes on to explain, "In my experience these maligned countries are often the most fulfilling. I am not saying they are fun."  For that, he advises, "bake in the sun in Waikiki with a mai tai in your fist."

For me, when it comes to travel, there is a middle-road between war-torn countries and palm-dappled resorts; and that is literally the "middle road." If you are not the sort who likes to jump in the car at dawn and watch the world unfold before you as the tops of mountains, trees and water towers glow yellow  with the rising sun, if you are not the sort who is curious about that great little history museum or destination restaurant in an otherwise dead and dusty downtown, if you are not the sort who is beckoned by the promise of farm-fresh food in unlikely places, then you'll never understand the romance of the two-lane highway.  

Not quite work and not quite rest, the open road in the United States of America is a voyage of discovery; whether of your roots, our history or just the best damn cherry tart in the country.  And there's no better - or longer - open road than US Route 6.  The voyage begins on May 20th.

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