When you see this post, you may be a little confused: don’t worry, it’s not a Monday. Last year when I started this blog, I decided to post weekly. Although I have loved this publishing schedule, there have been times when I really wanted to write a post and not wait until Monday.

This year, I have made the decision that I will continue to post on Mondays, but when I have a desire to write, I will add content then too 🙂

More for you. And more for me.

So what inspired me so much that I needed to post mid-week instead of waiting a few more days? A long drive. A long, flat drive. A long, flat, lonely drive.

I had never driven more than three hours on my own before, so driving eight and a half hours by myself with a packed car sounded frightening. I didn’t have anyone to nudge me on the shoulder when my eyes got heavy or any exciting scenery to keep my mind stimulated.

So I decided to document my journey and to share it with you. This, my friends, actually kept me wide awake and loving the road.

___

To start, I ate a filling breakfast with my fiancé before he headed into work.

IMG_7549

Next, I hit the road. As you can see from the images, it is construction season! I have to admit that the one-lane highways annoyed me at first, but as the miles passed I enjoyed the change of pace.

IMG_7558

Especially because the stereotype is true: the drive from Chicago to South Dakota is all FLAT.

IMG_7560

IMG_7580

Luckily, there were some big-ticket items that caught my attention and made the drive more interesting. Like this helicopter…

IMG_7566

Or the world’s largest truck stop.

IMG_7564

In all honesty though, the views weren’t the best at keeping my mind stimulated. This is why I used three other methods to speed up the time:

  1. Listened to music
  2. Called family and friends
  3. Listened to Podcasts
    1. Food Psych- Overcoming Weight Obsession with Harriet Brown (I recommend this podcast for absolutely anyone. It challenged the idea that we always need to be changing our weight, and that we can actually be satisfied with the way our bodies are. It also mentioned how female relationships often include a bond over needing to lose weight, tone up, diet, etc. Very interesting, and definitely worth your time.)
    2. Living with Autism- Early Detection
    3. Living with Autism- Developments in Autism Research
    4. TEDTalks Health- Want to be happier? Stay in the moment. (Having a background in Psychology, I loved hearing Matt Killingsworth speak about the importance of mindfulness and how it can contribute to our immediate happiness.)
    5. ProBlogger (Yes, I actually want to learn how to be a better blogger!)

After interchangeably doing those three things (and snacking on some pancakes leftover from breakfast), I realized that my drive was flying by…

IMG_7578

…nearly as fast as the windmills moved.

IMG_7575

And before I knew it, I was home.

IMG_7592.JPG

I admit that the actual route was not the most interesting, but it was amazing how well I felt once the nine hours were over. I felt much more energetic than planned, and to me, this was a big accomplishment.

Now, I am back home in South Dakota for a few weeks before taking another (more scenic) drive to Colorado.

Oh, how I had missed the open land, the fresh air, the sun setting at 9:30 p.m., the taste of mulberries picked straight from the tree for dessert, and this cute little pup.

IMG_7606

I am excited to drink tea with my dad at night as we watch tv together. I can’t wait to go shopping with my sister for her wedding stuff, and I smile at the thought of watching my brother coach baseball after I had been sitting on the bleachers watching him play for so many years. I can’t wait to hug my mom tomorrow and to have a cup of coffee with her.

South Dakota, I am here. I am going to enjoy every single second of these three weeks.

Here’s to a long drive. Here’s to visiting home.

Advertisements