Growing up, I dreamed of being a trucker. Middle school me had it all figured out: happiness was going to be a set of keys, 18 wheels, and the open road. Every parent's dream for their daughter. I harbored romanticized visions of myself as some sort of feminist revolutionary, breaking down barriers for female truckers and tearing down the walls of a male-dominated industry. I was going to make headlines. I was going to be respected. I was going to get my orders delivered in a timely and efficient manner.
But then reality, that ever-lurking foe, began to set in. I questioned myself and my motives for this imagined career path. They say you should get a job doing something you love, but the idea of putting deadlines and limitations on the freest activity I knew rendered the whole trucking profession unattractive. And so my dreams came tumbling down. I asked myself, is this what it means to have a mid-life crisis? Or rather, an eighth-of-a-life crisis? Does such a thing exist? Grief-stricken, I decided that yes, such a life-altering crisis could happen at any age, and I was doing myself and 13-year-olds around the world a disservice by minimizing my heartache.
Jokes aside, this is all to say that I appreciate the art of a long drive. There's no freer feeling to me than getting behind the wheel of a car and driving with absolutely no destination in mind. I also find that there's no better arena to reflect on the state of your personal affairs, wallow in heartbreak, bond with friends, or simply appreciate what this city has to offer. You learn a lot about a place when you explore its every twist and turn. I won't go giving away my favorite stretches of road, but here's a little inspiration from our photographers. Go out and find those places that resonate with you, that make you want to get out and explore, and then get back in the car and keep discovering.