The Freedom of Driving
I got my driver’s license when I was 16 years old, and my very first car was a 1988 Ford Taurus Sedan. The person who owned it before me was a smoker, and there were cigarette burns all over the seats and a stench of stale cigarette smoke that lingered no matter how many times I aired out the car. Regardless of the poor state of the car, I felt like I gained my freedom whenever I drove it. I drove my friends and myself everywhere I could. I loved driving. It was a way for me to be independent and unwind.
Driving is also how I’ve become familiar with every place I’ve ever lived. I grew up in Greenville, SC, and when I began driving I knew all the routes to my house, so I knew if I needed to take a shortcut to make curfew or if I could take the long way home.
Then I moved to Charleston, and I would go for long drives from the peninsula out to the little islands, over huge bridges and small bridges, through the rural areas and to the beach.
I drove around the grid-like streets of Tulsa when we lived there, and strange as it may seem, my husband and I used to take a midnight drive almost every night through the country. We’d stop at the QT gas station to get some snacks, and then drive the huge loop that took us past the city lights and into the country with huge fields with horses and cattle.
We moved to Pennsylvania, and there were rolling hills and the “fragrance” of cow pastures as I took drives to make my infant daughter go to sleep. We’d go past apple orchards, farmhouses and Amish folks driving their horses and buggies.
I’ll admit, it took me a while to discover the coast in Liberty County. I did drive around, but I didn’t stray too far from Hinesville. I drove to Savannah some, but it’s a city I’ve never made myself very familiar with in my almost 5 years here. Once I discovered them, the marsh areas and countryside of Liberty County appeal to me much more for a pleasurable driving experience.
I go for a drive like some people might go for a run. I can either take my mind off the stress, or I can mull things over in my head without interruption. Road trips are fine, but I don’t necessarily need anyone else in the car with me. I just like to drive and be with my own thoughts or sing along with my iTunes to my heart’s content.
I’ve moved up in the world since that Ford Taurus, and now I drive a VM mini-van. Yep, being a mom will do that do you. It’s still not what I would consider my dream car, but when I go for a drive in it, I still get that same sense of freedom, discovery and relaxation I got when I was a teenager.
My dad will be 76 this October, and he still drives on major vacations and trips with my mom. He says he wants to keep driving for as long as possible because he knows one day, he’ll have to give it up. I understand where he’s coming from. I think your own car and the open road keep your sense of adventure alive. The journey is different each time, regardless of whether you take the same route or not, and the feeling of freedom is extraordinary.
-Amanda Scott, Program Manager for the Liberty County CVB
The Right Blend Blog is written by two different authors employed by the Liberty County Chamber/CVB. As we are able, we rotate weeks and each write about our individual experiences, opinions and let our writing reflect our personalities and creativity. All content provided on The Right Blend blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site