The hardest part about traveling is choosing where to go. There are seemingly limitless destinations, but we don’t have limitless time or limitless budgets. There is no possible way to see everything we want to see, so we have to make choices.
Those choices are narrowed by time, distance, budget, interests, but even so, there are still so. many. options. Sometimes you can have a perfectly organized itinerary, and sometimes it feels like you just have to throw a dart at a map and hope for the best.
I started Drive By Towns with the idea that it would be like a well-thought-out road trip, with scheduled points of interest and potty breaks. But I think I forgot something. The beauty of a road trip is that you can veer off course and still have an amazing experience. Heck, many times the best memories come from those little side-hops.
The last time I wrote on this site was two weeks ago tomorrow. That may not seem like a long time, but when I just launched the site a month ago, no posts for two weeks is half its lifetime. It’s a looooong time.
It’s not that I haven’t had ideas. I’ve had SO many ideas. I’ve got notes upon notes, and there isn’t a single idea I couldn’t sink my teeth into. Yet for thirteen days I’ve looked at all of the things I can write, all of the places and photos I could share, and I’d freeze like a shallow pond in the UP in January. Which one should I write? Do I continue my Charles City coverage without interruption, or will people start to think that this whole site is dedicated to that one town? But if I throw a Day in Dubuque in there, or a quick intro to Cadillac Ranch, or photos of the gorgeous white peacock in Albuquerque followed by a charming lighthouse on Lake Superior and then a lush campsite on the Mississippi and then go back to the amazing sights in Charles City, would that be confusing? Shouldn’t there be a Plan, a grand scheme, a natural progression?
So many choices. What if I make the wrong one?
Sometimes there are so many choices that it becomes too hard to choose, especially when it’s something you care deeply about. I want to do this right. The Local Tourist grew organically, which is another way of saying that I made a lot of mistakes along the way. If I’d known then what I know now – yada yada yada. Except with this site, “then” is “now,” and I want to take everything I’ve learned building TLT and use it to make this site the best it can be right from the beginning. That means having a Plan (there’s that capital P again) and sticking with it.
I basically freaked myself out. I’d start to write something and stop. I’ve got more than a few drafts. I actually wrote in my bullet journal (new-to-me tool which I’m more-than-slightly enamored with) “DBT – write SOMETHING.” I finally gave up specifying a subject because when I did that, I’d see it and I would second-guess everything. Every single thing.
So, this is my SOMETHING. I’m throwing a dart at the map and I’m taking off. This is my choice, my promise. I’m just going to write about amazing places and people. That’s it. Let’s hit the road, read every historical marker, stop at every scenic overlook, and enjoy the view.
There’s only one wrong choice – not making one.