All posts by kakennedy2

The Road

One of my greatest hobbies is traveling. With my dad’s family in Oklahoma and my mom’s in Missouri, we make eleven hour drives every Fourth of July and Christmas to both states. When I was around 8 or 9 we made a three day long road trip to Arizona in a RV.

Main Street in Heidelberg.
Main Street in Heidelberg.

Because of all this, my love for travel started pretty early on in life. I’ve continued that in my adult life by going on road trips with friends. I’ve been to every southern state, a few in the Northeast and Nevada, Texas, and Arizona in the Southwest. The most recent trip was in the spring when my sister, a friend and I drove to Austin, Texas. On our way home, we stopped in Galveston and New Orleans to visit friends and have a quick drink. By the time we finally got back to Huntsville, we had been driving for around twenty four hours from our beginning point in Austin. I’ve also been to New Jersey and New York City. My international travels aren’t nearly extensive, but I played soccer in Australia and visited a friend in Germany after my senior year of high school.

Historical: Moving around has always been a part of human history and ancestry. Our ancestors were nomadic, and this movement ultimately resulted in our species’ global distribution. Many species have seasonal migration patterns, and even humans mimic this behavior. Like the snowbirds in Florida, my Missourian grandparents decided to spend their winters in a much milder climate, so they now live semi-permanently in Arizona.

My friends and I in Time Square. It was 37 degrees and I couldn’t feel my toes.

Proximal: This one is pretty easy. UNA, UAH and UA pretty much always have the same week off for spring break. This allows my friend from UNA, who is equally as down to drive long distances, to plan road trips. All of the spring breaks lining up also means every college aged human being will be flooding the beaches of Gulf Shores and PCB to party and get hellish sunburns. We try to avoid this while still having fun, so we travel to more non-conventional locations. My friends and I in Time Square. New York City was an interesting destination, but I’m not really looking to spend another spring break in freezing rain and snow. Money also plays a huge role because it controls where we can go. We usually end up staying with someone’s family.

Downtown in Austin, TX.
My favorite part about Austin, TX was the fact that they had three different Urban Outfitters downtown.

Developmental: A great part of travel is about going to new bars and parties. But another (smaller) part is about experiencing life in other places. As humans, we spend a lot of time learning self-identity and finding out who we are. Getting away from the known allows us to experience something new, learn what we like and don’t like. I don’t plan on living in Alabama forever, and I always travel to places that I would eventually consider living in. It’s also really interesting to be a part of another city’s culture and every day activities. Being part of something new is so refreshing when I’ve fallen into a routine of stress and schoolwork. When I’m in a new place with no real worries, I can look back to my real life and see what’s important to me and what I want to change without pressure to perform skewing my perspective.

Functional: A good sense of sight is necessary to be able to drive and travel. The hugely developed depth perception is also necessary.  Driving also takes a good bit of hand, foot, and eye coordination. We also use a good bit of cultural knowledge to help navigate, such as street signs, maps, and GPS systems.