Travel, no matter where or what kind, is good for most people. Getting away and forgetting everyday pressures can improve our attitudes and relationships with family, co-workers, and friends. New sights, smells and sounds add spark to our lives. For a landlubber, the smell of the ocean is refreshing, and being in the mountains where pine trees grow in clear, cool mountain air, is pure joy. Even the desert has special sights, sounds and smells. Nights in the desert can be very cold but the night sky is magnificent.
You don't have to go far to get that "get away from it" feeling. I think the trick is to be away long enough to leave your everyday life behind. On vacation, I am still thinking of things at home the first day, but by day two, I'm looking forward.
With thoughts about vacations forming in people's minds, we must take a hard look at the rising costs. In our family, the cost of gasoline and motels is important. We take vacations seriously and put a lot of thought into them. When I first went to college, one of my textbooks was "Writing with a purpose." I learned much from that book and I apply its principles in many parts of life. We take vacations "with a purpose."
We have a couple of trips in mind. One is to western Oklahoma to find the cotton farm of my youth. It's a short trip. If we go, we will travel to Oklahoma City and overnight with relatives. Then we will head west. I'm not sure from there. It will depend on what we find. We may return through Oklahoma City, but, if something else attracts us, who knows.
Another trip we have in mind is to the booming oil country in North Dakota. We were there when the boom first began and wonder what it is like today. We'll drive to the Black Hills of South Dakota and then push into North Dakota and the oil fields. Things are very expensive out there and motels are full of oil field workers. We have a backup plan if we need a place to sleep.
One year we were in the Maritime Provinces of eastern Canada and started looking for a motel about 4 p.m. We planned a boat trip to see Puffins so we were headed to the ocean. There was no room to be found. We stopped and stopped and stopped. We finally accepted the fact that we would spend the night in the car on the beach. As we got to the beach, there was a motel — with one room for rent. It was meant to be because we had a great night. The motel had a restaurant and bar and some Scottish singers and musicians played half the night. We had a wonderful time and the setting on the coast was perfect. I think the only time we had a better hotel experience was in Wales.
Page 2 of 2 - It was a vacation I will always remember. For a time, I thought we had messed up by not making a reservation somewhere, but looking back, I'm glad we didn't.
Gasoline and motel prices were far below what we have today, so I don't expect we'll be making such a long vacation this year — unless the opportunity presents itself.
Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.