In one month we will fly to Los Angeles. We will pick up an economy-sized rental car. We will start driving. Three weeks later, we will drop of our tiny rental car in Boston.
Hopefully by that point we’ll be old friends. We will have a name for the little metal box that shuttled us across the country – maybe Mona, after my family’s cat. Or Pippa or Louise, British names that remind us that we came from far away. She will almost certainly be a girl.After 3,500 miles of driving, we will drop off our dear Charlotte (?) at the rental agency in Boston, hop in a much bigger metal box, and fly home to London.
Here are my hopes for this adventure:
I hope Drew and I don’t kill each other.
I hope my fears that have developed in the years since I’ve owned a car (those around idiots who text while driving, crazies who enter the freeway going the wrong direction, and hydroplaning on rain-soaked roads) will float away on the desert California breeze as we ease into a driving-centered life once again.
I hope for a well-curated library of podcasts and audio books that we agree on and can both enjoy.
I hope for meals from roadside diners with vinyl seats that stick to the back of your legs. I hope for plenty of American-style pancakes. And all you can drink coffee in those thick off-white porcelain mugs that I swear you can only find in diners such as this.
I hope that we can appreciate the expanses of land even when we’re on the same highway for 500 miles and Kansas is starting to feel like our own personal version of hell.
I hope that my attempt to work from the road for two of the three weeks goes smoothly. This requires driving after UK business hours, waking early to match my team’s working time as closely as possible, and maintaining a level of zen about the fact that I will be plugging away on the laptop as my family chatters in the other room, or Drew visits our old haunts in New York City.
I hope that Basil will be safe and happy at home with the lovely couple that will be caring for him, and feeding him far too many treats (per our explicit instructions).
I hope that I see my beautiful homeland with new and fresh eyes. All 15 states of it that we will pass through. I hope that our detour to the Grand Canyon is all it’s cracked up to be. I hope we don’t get stuck in too much traffic. Anywhere.
I hope that the parts of America that make me proud will shine through, and that her less flattering bits and pieces, those that I’m subjected to via international news stories, will stay gratefully hidden away.
I hope that our visits with old friends and new, parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles will give us the injection of love we need in order to feel confident to flee the nest yet again, and pick up life halfway across the world.
Sometimes it’s just nice to hug your mom, you know?
Even if she is 6,000 miles away most of the time.