Oh, The Places You’ll Go…

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Seaside, FL

So far, I have been on the road a little over one week.  In 9 days I’ve driven 2599 miles and spent $290.69 on 115.42 gallons of gas…it’s been worth every cent.

I didn’t have any expectations for this journey, but I did have a variety of reasons for setting out on it:

  1. I wanted to escape the brutal chill of January in Chicago.
  2. I wanted needed to untangle some of the thoughts in my head.
  3. I wanted to shake the dust off my physical being.
  4. And financially, I could.

The road has taken me from Springfield IL to Nashville TN, Atlanta GA, Destin FL, Mobile AL, Lake Charles LA, Amarillo TX, and finally to Longmont via Denver.  I have visited with family, friends, and even dropped in on a ChooseFI meetup in Atlanta!  If you aren’t following along on Instagram (hint hint), here are a few pics from the road…

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It’s only been a week and yet it feels like a lifetime.

So what am I doing with my time??

When I am not taking pictures, listening to music and podcasts, or talking on the phone, I drive and sit quietly, replaying moments of my life all the way back to my childhood.  Often I laugh out loud, a few times I’ve cried, and an unfortunate amount of times my thoughts have led me to memories where I cringe of embarrassment…like that day in 7th grade when my crush Andy sat behind me in the bleachers.  I was acutely aware of his presence which immediately brought flames to my cheeks.  When he suddenly traced the back of my shirt with his finger, I thought he may be feeling the same way.  Instead, he announced in amusement to everyone that I wasn’t wearing a bra.  I was horrified!!  20 years later I wonder why that thought pops in from time to time.  Regardless of why I can still remember the feeling of my flaming cheeks nearly combusting…and I have forever worn a bra since (though there has never actually been a need 😉 ).

There are other memories that remind me that I have always been who I am now.  For example, my older sister and I are 2.5 years apart.  Naturally, she got to experience all of life’s milestones before I did and I was soooo jealous of that.  Ever since I was a kid, all I wanted to do was be older (FYI – now that I am older, all I want is to press pause…especially on my grey hair).  I remember my Aunt giving my sister the Dr. Seuss book Oh, the Places You’ll Go!*.  It may have been her high school graduation or perhaps college, but whatever it was, I remember screaming inside that the book was being placed in the wrong hands.  I was the explorer!  I wanted to go places!!  Why didn’t I get that book?!!!  Obviously wanting to be older did nothing for my maturity level at the time.  😉

Thinking of that day made me desperate to read the book all over again (for the bazillionth time).  What I thought it was when my sister first unwrapped it is so different from how I’ve read it in the many years since.  The book isn’t about travel at all, it is about life and steering around and sometimes over all of the inevitable bumps in the road.  I realize how I’ve held on to many of those lessons and, being one to always choose the most difficult route, have even found a way to soothe myself with its wisdom.  Taking a chance and possibly failing is far better than not taking one at all.  Oh, The Places You’ll Go inspires you to take action despite fear.  To go out and conquer even if you have no idea what the end result will be.  It may be that very idea that set me off on this journey.

In the event you are reading this and at some kind of crossroads, here are a few quotes from dear Dr. Seuss that still resonate with me today, perhaps they will resonate with you as well:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

“Out there things can happen, and frequently do,
To people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew.
Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!”

“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.”

So simple yet so complicated… I can relate.  😉

If you have read it, think of this as a nice refresher.  If you haven’t, I implore you to do so.  So many great nuggets!!  Oh, and if you have kids, make sure to give this book to each of them as they venture out into the world.  Whether they realize it at the time, it’s sure to come in handy way down the line (see, I can rhyme too!).

Until next time…

*In case you’re wondering, this is indeed an affiliate link.  It won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t use it, promise.  I’m putting it there in case my friend at ESI Money reads this and wonders why I’m still not monetizing!!   😉

51 thoughts on “Oh, The Places You’ll Go…

    1. Thank you!! It’s always nice to have uninterrupted time to catch up with friends. Speaking of, I’ve also been catching up on the podcast. Some really AWESOME and inspiring interviews. I have a total girl crush on Kristin Wolfe. Maybe she needs an apprentice…

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  1. docgdiversefi

    I have read this book to my children countless times and get tearful with every reading. So much life wisdom in those playful rhymes.

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  2. Dr. Seuss is soooo the man. He was droppin’ badass rhymes before anyone knew what that was. And they contain far more wisdom than any rhyme-dropper since

    Have fun and be careful driving!

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  3. TheRetirementManifesto

    “Taking a chance and possibly failing is far better than not taking one at all.” Best line in the whole post, and a motto you’re living in real life! I love traveling with you vicariously through Instagram – enjoy your journey!!

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  4. I would absolutely love to do something like this right now, but alas, work. Hope your trip is wonderful.

    Thank you for reminding me about Dr. Seuss’s book. It is a brilliant one.

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  5. Man, that guy’s giving us “Andy”s a bad name. What a d-bag.

    Also, wow that’s an impressive amount of miles! Keep on trucking, Bubs looks like he’s having a blast!

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    1. Don’t worry, I in no way associate you with the awful Andy’s of the world. 🙂

      Bubs is very happy on the road. She tased salt water for the first time, got up close and personal with a cow, and sticks her head out the window every chance she gets (so do I).

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  6. BucketBabe

    …being one to always choose the most difficult route…

    Yes, dear heart. And that has made all the difference, right? What a rich road trip and all those memories of the most difficult routes has given you lots of fodder for rumination. I love that word. It features prominently in my most recent post…but YOU are putting it to such good use. Go shake some more dust off and cry some more…especially if it leads to such inspiring posts as this one. Thanks for sharing the journey.

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    1. I read your post on rumination…great word, indeed!! I have a bit over 2 weeks left on the road. I can’t wait to see where my body AND my brain will take me next. And thank you for your support along the journey. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t get to see much of it as I was just passing through to sleep. I did, however, enjoy the drive in and out with all the bayous and interesting scenery. Thankfully it was too cold for that humidity!!

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  7. So glad that you are enjoying yourself. Loving the photos! And I love that book more than words. I bought HP a copy — and I’m going to ask people to sign one cover for his 1st birthday and the other cover for his 18th 🙂

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    1. SUCH a great idea!! IMO it should be on a shelf in every kid’s room. My introduction to it came far later than I would have liked but I did have a very well worn copy of Where The Wild Things Are which also provided some good lessons. Maybe I’ll have to write about that next… 😉

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  8. Marla

    Yay, you are posting again! I love Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak (and Robert Frost…re your earlier post). My Mom was a children’s librarian and used books as life lessons she could impart at various stages of our lives without needing to say a word. Of course, then she would trap us with a well-timed question “what did you think of the part when…” – think Are you there God, it’s me Margaret? Can’t wait to see you in Sonoma…stay safe as you move on down the road!

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    1. “What did you think when”…Haha – Do they teach that in parenting books?? We definitely got that a time or two!!

      Spoiler alert – I made it to Sonoma!! See you at breakfast. 🙂

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  9. “Taking a chance and possibly failing is far better than not taking one at all.” Definitely! I just watched this documentary called Expedition Happiness on Netflix which follows a german couple in a converted bus through canada, the us, and mexico. It made me want to take a road trip SO bad! What do you think of doing a mini canadian road trip with me this summer?

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    1. I will have to check that doc out!! I knew you wanted to do a mini roadie but didn’t know the cause. As soon as I figure out my plans for the Spring I will let you know. Definitely Boulder in the summer though. You can come visit!!

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  10. It looks like you’re traveling many of the same routes that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Road trips; some call them a frivolous luxury, but I prefer to think of them as a wise, educational investment. Love your photos!!! Did you paint on the cars?

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    1. I consider it a very wise investment indeed (plus it’s cheaper than living at home in many cases). Unfortunately, I did not paint on the cars. We got there early in the morning and it was FREEZING and windy outside! There was a couple there with spray pant and offered me some but I was too busy trying to keep from blowing away. 🙂 Next time!!

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  11. Lovely photo’s Ms. Maz! Road trips are incredibly fun and it looks like you’re enjoying yourself!

    One of these days, I’m going to take our boys on an extended road trip. Should be lots of fun!

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    1. Thanks, Mr. Tako! Your boys would love the adventure. Due to the timing of this trip we are missing some of the really cool attractions like Glacier and other national parks, but one day I will get out there. Too cold this time of year when sleeping in the car!!

      I am currently in Sonoma catching up with friends for the next few days and then I will start making my way back home…taking the scenic route. 🙂

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  12. I’m so happy this trip is doing you a world of good.

    “Brainy and footsy” is one I’ll have to remember.

    (And I can’t help staying on this theme, but how can you say you followed the Dead around AND you wore a bra? Doesn’t jive.)

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  13. “Taking a chance and possibly failing is far better than not taking one at all.”

    I always feel better after reading one of your posts, and the above kernel of wisdom is a perfect example of why. Happy travels Miss M.

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  14. I have really enjoyed eavesdropping on your trip these past weeks. What an inspiration. I love your photography almost as much as your writing! I was hoping to meet you but until next time, I will be a fan here for sure!

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  15. Where are you now? I love that you’ve taken-in CarHenge. Nebraska?

    We just got back from our annual trip to the desert southwest. That sunshine and mountain vistas are great while we’re there, only to make me want to move when we return to wintery MN. Your post makes me think we should up and move. Dr. Seuss is right!

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