I have never considered myself the adventurous type, but Toyota’s Rav 4 Adventure Club on MapMyRun got me thinking about the unexpected adventures, big and small, that I’ve had in my life. And I realized that most of them have taken place with one very important person in my life: my mom.
I mean, let’s be honest — I was kind of an unexpected adventure myself, so it’s fitting that this is how things have played out.
Moving to Chicago in July 2003. My mom and I were just reminiscing about this the other night actually. Right after graduating high school, I got an apartment in Chicago and had plans to attend Columbia College Chicago in the fall. My mom and I loaded up a U-Haul and drove it to Chicago and then spent two days painting and moving everything in. It was terribly hot and cleaning up the new place, painting it, and moving everything in together (and I had some heavy stuff), left us filthy. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve been that dirty in my entire life. I can’t even remember all the crazy things we dealt with on that trip, but I know it was full of surprises.
Moving to NYC in May 2008. Three days after I graduated from college, my mom and I packed up a moving van in Michigan and drove it to NYC. Because why wouldn’t my mother think she could just drive a big van around NYC traffic and park it, no big deal? She wouldn’t think that because my mom can do anything. It was a long drive — those vans don’t have a radio! — but we made it. After I was all moved in and she left me, she got terribly, terribly lost leaving the city. (The cord for the GPS got damaged en route somehow, and of course the thing died as soon as she hit the road.) That’s one unexpected adventure I still feel bad about.
Moving out of NYC in June 2009. This was an extremely unexpected adventure. I thought I would stay in New York for a long time; I never expected that working at ELLE and living in the city wouldn’t be the right fit for me. I was so scared about leaving New York because I felt like I might be making a terrible decision that I could never undo, but it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. I flew home and then my mom and I drove back out to New York with a big moving van to get all my stuff and take it home. We didn’t get lost this time, and we plugged my ipod into battery-powered speakers to make up for the fact that we didn’t have a radio. It was exhausting, but getting home was the start of a huge new chapter in my life.
There were so many other road trips throughout the years too. She drove me to so many plays in bigger cities, left me at so many camps, and took the family to Atlanta in 1996 for the Olympics. (It was a long drive but, in hindsight, I realize that it was such an AWESOME trip to take your mother, younger sister, and your daughter on.)
When I moved to Houston two years ago, it was really the first adventure I went on that started with a road trip…that didn’t include my mom. That was the part I didn’t really see coming. The day I said good-bye to her and my grandma in our driveway was really sad. But having Eric at the wheel now felt so symbolic and since then, he and I have had some fabulous adventures and we’re about to embark on another one with our new house!
Meanwhile, my mom is on to her next adventure and doing what she says is the second-hardest thing she’s ever done (easier than childbirth, but harder than moving me all over the country so many times) and is building a pirate ship deck around the pool. By herself. (With a little help from my 70-year old grandma). All her updates have me planning the things I want to learn to design, build, and sew so that maybe in 20 years, I’ll be like “Oh, just building a deck by myself, NBD…” So maybe I am kind of adventurous after all.
Toyota motivated me to think about how I’ve broken out from the norm and discover a new ways to do that. Most of my adventures happen when I least expect them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for some of them too. Tell me about your own unexpected adventure in the box below for a chance to win a Tom Tom GO LIVE.