That strong or irresistible desire to travel must be something that is in your genes. If that is not the case, then perhaps all those vacations back in my youth, when people actually took two weeks off, instilled a love of travel. In those days it was the magic of a swimming pool or beach at your door step with restaurant meals instead of home cooked fare. From a very early age, I was in charge of the maps.
That I am one who has wandered far is undeniable. I was born in North Carolina, went to military high school in Tennessee, college in Massachusetts, and bought an old farm on the shores of Nova Scotia's Bay of Fundy. That eventually led to my first career on a wilderness farm north of Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Only marriage stopped me from homesteading in Newfoundland. I guess for the seventeen years that we have lived in Roanoke, Virginia, the continual trips up Interstate 81 have kept my wanderlust at bay. Even during those years, I can remember one of my most enjoyable trips being one where I tracked down what at the time was an impossible to find Acura MDX. Then I flew to Tallahassee to pick it up and then had a leisurely drive up the many back roads to Roanoke. Now that I rarely travel to Washington, I have spent a lot of time on the North Carolina coast. However, mostly getting there has involved a lot of Highway 220 and Interstate 40, neither of which is a favorite road of mine.
My next trip I cut off of Route 220 at Ridgeway and followed Route 87 then Route 14 to US 29. Eventually I crossed Interstate 40 on the east side of Greensboro about an hour and forty five minutes after leaving Roanoke. I worked my way onto Route 421 and headed to the coast. I made a short stop in Sanford to visit Chatlee Boat and Marine. (There might just be a post or two on boats soon.)
I picked up Interstate 40 at exit 341 near Newton Grove. That meant the whole trip of 315 miles only had a little over thirty miles of Interstate travel. Around six o'clock in the evening, I rolled into Swansboro.
The distance traveled was a few miles less. I did spend some time on two lane roads, but I cut my teeth on the twisting two lane roads in the foothills of the North Carolina mountains so I will take a lightly traveled two lane road over and an overloaded Interstate anytime. My travel time with the boat shopping removed was shorter than I have ever managed before and that also includes a stop for a few photos. Then there was the added bonus that my MDX got well over 23 mpg on the trip which was about 2 mpg better than on the Interstate.
You don't get to see many cotton fields when traveling along the Interstates. Even the ones you see would be pretty hard to capture with a camera. The trip to the coast with the exception of the Durham-Raleigh area was already more stress free than a ride up truck overloaded Interstate 81 to Washington, DC. This new route even removes the North Carolina version of Northern Virginia from my path.
On the way I even figured out a few tweaks that I could make to the route to save a few more minutes. Now that they have started ripping up faulty concrete in Raleigh area, I just might make Route 421 my default way of getting to the Crystal Coast.
I feel lucky to be alive in days of GPS while real maps are still around. It is hard to get the kind of overall perspective you need from a small GPS screen so I build my trips on a paper map, and then let the GPS guide me most of the time. I don't mind if the GPS gets upset with me if I find a better way. It can still easily get me out of a jam. More than once I have pulled off of Interstate 81 and gotten around a blocked highway with the help of my GPS.
I find GPS invaluable. It took me right to Chatlee's doorstep just as it had faithfully directed me to many far more complex locations where I had appointments in my career in federal sales. I recently read an article by John C. Dvorak. I might write a response to his article, "Overrated GPS Annoys Dvorak." If I do, I suspect the title will be "Overrated Dvorak Annoys Experienced GPS User."
I am not above asking for directions, but with a map and the great GPS on my Acura MDX, who needs other directions. It is the perfect combination for a guy with wanderlust in his soul.
More details on GPS in my post, "GPS a great road warrior tool."
Update- I have long since moved into the word of Smartphone GPS. I started with MyTracks on my original Droid and I'm still using it on my most recent phone in the fall of 2014.