I used to want to know when I would arrive, but now I spend time enjoying the journey.
When I was a child, my grandparents had a property in upstate New York. We called it The Farm, because before my grandparents bought it served that purpose. On the property still stood the old farmhouse surrounded by fields of wild flowers. In walking distance was a pasture where we would visit the neighboring cows.
On our trips up there, we would drive, a trip of about four hours. Some kids on long drives are fidgety, but luckily for my parents, my brother and I would keep ourselves busy. We both loved to read, and I would get lost in books. I specifically remember Mr. Popper’s Penguins joining me on one of my adventures to the Farm. My brother and I also had this game we would play, looking for out-of-town license plates. We would write them down and the pages on which we captured the numbers laid strewn across the back window shelf.
Towards the end of the trip, I would get a bit restless with the anticipation of our arrival. I would ask my father, how much longer. I look back at how he would answer this question and smile. Some people might answer “soon” only to hear the question repeated a brief time later.
My father instead would tell me what the odometer would read when we go there.
He knew from where I sat I could see the odometer, and I would check to see how many miles had passed. I remained quiet, knowing I just had to watch the mile counter to determine when we would arrive.
The Farm is no longer in our family but there are occasions throughout the year where I find myself on long trips. In the day of the GPS, things have most definitely changed, with it indicating your expected arrival time.
The thing is, I no longer need to know when I’ll arrive.
Today I don’t focus as much on the arrival as I do enjoying the journey. Each milestone, each experience, and what I see along the way is just as important as the destination. Rushing to the end is not the goal, and absorbing as much as I can along the way makes it a wonderful trip each time.