Sunset over gulf

Traveling Wisdom

A few weeks back, our family road-tripped to Tampa, Florida, from Minneapolis to bring our son to college. Now, when you’re in the car for 60ish hours within an eight-day span, you have some time to think. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom I collected along the way:

Have audio stories with you to pass the time. We brought along the Adventures in Odyssey Novacom Saga – 10 full hours of can’t-wait-to-hear-more stories. Adventures in Odyssey stories have long been a staple for car rides, and listening to this saga, 1/2 hour stories all centered around Novacom, really made the time pass!

Order your audiobooks early so they arrive before your travel date! I ordered The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings from our library. Problem was, they didn’t arrive before we left. Next time I will plan better!

We have a lot–I mean a whole lot!–of space in this country! Those who complain about overcrowding must fly from city to city. Ever drive all the way through Illinois? How about North and South Dakota? Nebraska? Pennsylvania? Those are all very wide or very tall states with miles upon miles of no people. Most every state we’ve traveled through is the same way.

God created many shades of nature green. Most of the road from Florida on up to Minnesota is framed by trees, and the rest with green-covered plains or hills. It’s beautiful!

Our country’s landscape is diverse and beautiful! Starting from the gentle hills of Minnesota, then driving through rolling hills of Wisconsin, plains of Illinois, mountains of Tennessee and Georgia, and water-framed Florida lands makes you appreciate the diversity and beauty of America.

Timing is everything! We were in the Tampa-St. Pete area days before Tropical Storm Hermine came ashore, flooding the roads surrounding the resort where we’d stayed. When we were there, the temps were hot and muggy, but not soggy.

You always meet someone you know. Doesn’t matter where we travel, I always run into someone I know, usually from back home. On this trip, we learned that my brother and his wife were in Nashville at the same time we were passing through. They were staying one more night, and we were just getting in town for a two-night stay. Naturally, we had to get together. But do you suppose we’ll get together back at home? Doesn’t happen often enough.

Now I did expect to see authors in Nashville, because we were there the final day of the ACFW Conference. But we happened to stop by the hotel just minutes after lunch began so everyone was behind closed doors.

Drivers in Nashville and Atlanta are crazy! (Sorry, but it’s true!) We drove through Nashville on a Sunday night where the speed limit was 70. Clearly that was only a suggestion as the majority of vehicles whipped past us, likely clocking in at 90 – 100. And I’m not exaggerating! Then in Atlanta, where there’s road construction and super-narrow lanes, drivers still zoom by as if we’re sitting still. I was pleasantly surprised with Tampa drivers. They seemed sane.

God loves painting sunsets. Three of the nights we stayed in Tampa, we took to the beach to watch God’s paintbrush color the sky over the gulf. WoW! is too small an exclamation. And then, even as we drove toward home, we watched more sunsets over the land. He sure delights in showering us with gifts!

There’s no place like home! The best part of a vacation is always coming home. While it’s fun to get away, traveling really helps me appreciate the place God planted me.

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Brenda S. Anderson

Brenda S. Anderson is the author of the gritty Coming Home Series. She writes authentic and life-affirming fiction. Learn more about Brenda at

8 thoughts on “Traveling Wisdom”

  1. That is definitely a lot of time in a car! We have driven to Virginia and back, so I understand. Hubby does not like listening to books on CD, though, so I read while he drives. It is really interesting to see the differences when you go from state to state. And I do love sunsets.

  2. I agree that our country is beautiful. I just love the sightseeing from the front seat of the car when we travel. I rarely read or sleep because I’m afraid I’ll miss something. Side roads especially are so scenic with the farms and small towns. Glad you had a good trip.

    1. My parents would often take side roads in their travels. You really see so much more then! Maybe when we’re not on a time crunch and can just enjoy the scenery. 🙂 My dad would even stop at random farms just to talk with the farmers there, see how they did things. And you know farmers, Shari, they’re always willing to talk shop.

  3. Wow – what an adventure! I’d like to find one of those less inhabited places and set down roots…as long as it has a bookstore, library and whole foods store close by…and no snakes! 🙂 Ugh, after all the hot muggy weather we’ve had up here this summer I can’t imagine wanting to spend any time in Florida! Though I guess your son will have air conditioning every where.So, was it hard to drive away? I can’t imagine having my daughter that far away from me. Love your random thoughts — especially your audio books. so cool that you all like the same kind of stories so you could share in listening.

    1. Sounds like a good plan, Kav! Especially the no snakes part. 😉 I didn’t know how I’d react to him being so far away, but he’s so independent, it’ll be good for him to be away and learn what true independence is. When something happens, I won’t be able to hurry to him, he’ll have to figure it out on his own. Of course the mom in me has a very hard time with that! ~~~ Our family is fortunate in that we can find stories that resonate with all of us. Everyone else is a fantasy fan – it’s not my first choice, but I enjoy a well-written story regardless of genre.

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