my guest today,
Laura VanArendonk Baugh
And today she's wearing her traveler's hat!
I’ve been traveling even more than usual in 2015. I often travel for work, and I kind of overbooked myself this year. Not to say I’ve been away from home a lot, but my favorite hotel membership hit Diamond status by April. And I hadn’t even been staying at that chain exclusively.
But I like travel, for the most part. Sure, there was that time last month when United canceled three flights on me in three days and I had to rent a car and drive 12 hours home, but even that wasn’t as bad for me as it could have been. I drive a lot of trips, too, and I don’t mind road tripping alone. I write this very blog post from the passenger seat as I make a 33-hour run to the west coast. (Don’t worry, this time I have company and we’re rotating drivers!)
Road trips afford a great way to see America. Planes are efficient, sure, but you don’t get to absorb much of the scenery. Trains offer the best observation and greatest comfort, but they may be less flexible for your particular schedule. Driving requires more concentration, but it allows for greater latitude in some functions. I’m picking up a dog on this trip, something I couldn’t do on Amtrak.
And road trips can provide great inspiration for writers. This is actually my second road trip to California this year; the first I decided to have some fun by taking (and blogging) a more leisurely return up old Route 66. Not only was that a great revisit of classic Americana, but I started kicking around ideas for a road trip murder mystery. That project will have to wait a bit – I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire right now – but it’ll be fun to come back to!
And there’s always something to observe. The play of light over mountains, the interactions of couples at rest stops, the shop owners happy to swap stories with or offer tourist advice to someone from out of town. The road is a great place for writers to pick up those little quirks and irregularities which make a character more real.
But you don’t have to drive across the country to get a bit of the road trip experience. Get off the interstate and take surface roads to someplace you visit regularly, and see what’s on the route less traveled. Hit Google or RoadsideAmerica.com to find a local destination you never knew was nearby, and go play tourist on your own turf. Or skip the car entirely and try the train, a bus, or some other way of getting from Point A to Point B.
The summer road trip is a classic American tradition. How will you explore your world just a little bit this summer?
I'd suggest strongly you follow the link to Laura's website to learn more about what she does, where she goes, and the books and short stories she writes!
Laura VanArendonk Baugh was born at a very early age and never looked back. She overcame her childhood deficiencies of having been born without teeth and unable to walk, and by the time she matured into a recognizable adult she’d become a behavior analyst, a costumer/cosplayer, a chocolate addict, and a fiction and non-fiction writer.
Author of Kitsune-Tsuki | Kitsune-Mochi | Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out | Smoke and Fears | Con Job | So To Honor Him