by Lynn Kim Do

Skyline Drive - A Road Trip | What?

"I rather have the opportunity to say goodbye than never have the chance to say hello at all. And I can't even begin to tell you all the things I've learned during this trip. But I will surely try." 

Trust and Self-discovery

Top - Alala via Young & Able // Bottom - Cotton On // Roshe Sneakers - Nike // Glasses - Komono via Evolve Clothing Gallery

The end is always so bittersweet. Bitter because it's coming to an end. I will have glue my ass to a heated seat in a car for over five hours just to go back to much more familiar places - my town, my home, my job, my local coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. I will have to leave this impeccable view to return to a reoccurring one. The fresh and new experiences I had will eventually become a distant memory and a story beginning with, "This one time I..." 

But this is also sweet because I've actually completed something. I took a spontaneous road trip to a strange and not too well known destination. I didn't give myself enough time to create self-doubt and went to Skyline Drive, Virginia with very little planned. This was the perfect ending to an amazing trip and it didn't matter that there was an end as long as there was a beginning and a during. Plus, I was coming home to some of my favorite faces and places, so I can't complain too much. I rather have the opportunity to say goodbye than never have the chance to say hello at all. And I can't even begin to tell you all the things I've learned during this trip. But I will surely try. 

Trust and Self-discovery

I learned how remarkable trust is. So many things could have gone wrong during one spontaneous invite into a strange man's home (read about it here). But it went so well, almost too perfectly. This encounter surely made me question how little people trust one another which limits the amount of life changing experiences and friendships that may result from it. The stranger turned host then friend brought up an interesting topic - the old pioneer days and how they opened up their homes to travelers. What a strange idea, but why is that a strange idea? They are both very valid questions. I am not naive. I know how capable humans are at negative behaviors and thoughts, but I also know how capable humans are at good and sincere behaviors and thoughts. Sometimes, just being open to an idea is good enough. Perhaps, we've been brainwashed by the news and media to believe how horrible people are. They present ideas, like how thievery, lying, and crimes are true concerns and certainly is something to always be kept in the back of the mind. This trip challenged that notion for me. Yes, I had doubt in my mind as I walked into his house. If my best friend wasn't a large built man, maybe I wouldn't have taken his offer. I watched him place all three glasses of wine on the table, I picked the most random glass, and watched him sip from the glass before I proceeded to sip mine. It's being smart about your decisions even if it seems like you're in a bad one. And for him to trust two individuals enough to invite them in his own home and then to leave two travelers and a homeless man in his home alone for 20 inures to buy us more wine, cheese, and bread is absolutely remarkable. We had to trust each other in order for this experience to unfold. There were four pieces to this story and we had to be in this sincere moment and be all there even if we didn't know each other for this to happen. So my advice - If someone asks you to trust them, give them the benefit of the doubt and hand it delicately to them with caution.

The other significant takeaway from my trip is the reoccurring theme of self-discovery. I realized that I wasn't the only one trying, almost at a forcible length, to figure out my own life. This trip reminded me how it didn't matter what you've accomplished, failed at, how old you are, how much money you have or did not have, and where you lived. We were all trying to figure out who we are, why we exist, and what we're suppose to do on this earth. I can only truly speak for myself. This was the main reason why I set off to go on this road trip. I knew very well that I hated being in a car for an extended period of time. I'm just an axioms mess after being in a car for two hours. It probably has to do with the fact that I work in New York City, the city of impatience. Overall, I put myself in an uncomfortable situation, on plenty of levels, just so that I can find myself. I was not sure if I was going to achieve some sort of self-exploration but I was down to find out. My best friend was seeking as well. We were both always on a journey and sometimes along the same path but with different destinations and takeaways. This was a groundbreaking trip for him. Upon meeting the wanderer, he was disclosing his personal journey towards self-discovery. The gay man told us stories of his own personal journey, his multiple occupations, and paths. He was now starting a new life in a new town and defining his new self with his old self. The homeless man was discovering himself for the first time as a drug-free man. Sometimes you forget how powerful the self is and how we're all just trying to figure our own shit out. 

Currently, I'm glad I'm home and I'm glad I had this wonderful opportunity to decide to take this trip, meet all these people, and learn two important notions. Sad to see this three part blog post end because I was able to relive it again, but I'm excited to see what adventures are in stored for me. I promise to keep you in the loop.

Photos by Pedro