Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Great American Roadtrip

In my life, I had sought out other parts of the world—Patagonia, Assam, the Yangtze; I had not realized that the dramatic desert I had imagined Patagonia to be was visible on my way from Sedona to Santa Fe, that the rolling hills of West Virginia were reminiscent of Assam and that my sight of the Mississippi recalled other great rivers. I'm glad I saw the rest of the world before I drove across America. I have traveled so often in other countries and am so accustomed to other landscapes, I sometimes felt on my trip that I was seeing America, coast to coast, with the eyes of a foreigner, feeling overwhelmed, humbled and grateful.

A trip abroad, any trip, ends like a movie—the curtain drops and then you're home, shut off. But this was different from any trip I'd ever taken. In the 3,380 miles I'd driven, in all that wonder, there wasn't a moment when I felt I didn't belong; not a day when I didn't rejoice in the knowledge that I was part of this beauty; not a moment of alienation or danger, no roadblocks, no sign of officialdom, never a second of feeling I was somewhere distant—but always the reassurance that I was home, where I belonged, in the most beautiful country I'd ever seen.

Go read.

And perhaps, until I do the same in my home country, the most beautiful country I'd ever seen is likely to remain America.


Jennifer said...

Great, Veena.

This is how I feel about the American landscape too.. so much variety, moving through it from coast to coast it feels like different countries sometimes. The deserts of Utah, etc reminded me of Oman.

jessica london said...

veera looks like you are also a travel freak like me? :)

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peter mild said...

Argentine Patagonia is for the most part a region of slike plains, rising in a succession of abrupt 13 terraces about 100 metres (330 ft) at a time, and covered with an enormous bed of shingle almost bare of vegetation

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