Sunday, June 26, 2016

30 Before 30: Day 7 - Away From Home For the First Time

I think I have always been an interesting personality, certainly not the typical apple of the bunch, and when I was younger I was terrible with directions. Horrendous would be a better word. I lived in Kansas and one time when I was going to visit friends at Kansas State University I spent an hour driving .... looking for the entrance to the the highway, which I had completely passed.

So of course, you might imagine that when I first left home for college myself that something would go wrong. I was driving from Lawrence, KS to Palos Heights, IL. I had never lived on my own before and had also never driven such a great distance on my own. The drive is a little over 500 miles and going 5mph over the speed limit it takes about 9 1/2 hours.

I made the first mistake of deciding to drive overnight, mainly because I wanted to arrive during the day for move in. After some shed tears and goodbyes, I set out to the highway in my '88 White Honda Accord. This time I found the highway.

The drive was mostly fine as the highways themselves are pretty straight forward, especially the interstate. I drove through Iowa and then across Illinois. A few hours in, I nearly hit a chicken crossing the interstate. Yeah, that was unexpected. I imagine that on a country road, not the interstate.

Then somewhere around 6 hours or so an intense fog came through to the point I could barely see in front of me. Other cars zoomed past me at the speed limit and at around 3 or 4am I pulled over into a rest spot and took a nap. After about 45 minutes it cleared and I headed on.

As I neared my destination, I missed my exit. Then when I turned around and got off an exit I went the wrong way on the street. Then I had to turn around. I stopped multiple times looking at my atlas (this was before I had any access to GPS).

I finally made it to the college campus.... after about 11 hours of driving.

Thankfully, over the years my navigation skills have improved greatly. I also have access to GPS. And I don't get lost very much.

The decade of your 20's can be a good time to learn.

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