The Art of Road Tripping, Part 1: Leaving the House

by Dr. Debra Payne / May 08, 2017 / 0 comments

It’s a calm spring morning and I’m wondering what the heck I’ve gotten myself into. In just three days, I’m leaving on a long road trip from Utah to Minnesota. The trip will take me 17 hours and 52 minutes if I never, ever stop for gas, eat, sleep, or go to the restroom. Since I know that won’t happen, I’m not going to make a commitment to any certain arrival time.  

I’m an online worker– sort of a cyber Fred Flintstone – and I have certain responsibilities that must be attended to on a daily basis. I’ll be working as I go. That will mean stopping and starting here and there. Forward progress is definitely in order as my destination must be reached eventually. We’ll see how it goes. The first step to any road trip is to leave the house. That’s my theme for the next three days.

The Art of Road Tripping, Part 1: Leaving the House. The View from my Window

The view from my window

My leaving the house goes far beyond worrying what to pack or whether or not I’ve left the iron on. I’m fairly used to packing my bags and hitting the road, and getting a house-sitter hasn’t been a real struggle for me as I am always willing to leave the house well-stocked with lots of food. What stops me from leaving the house is my own comfort. Even the unpleasant parts of my life are comfortable. They are known. 

Perhaps that is why I am leaving for this road trip. I must dislodge myself from comfort and once again face the world. I am returning to a place I lived for six years while I worked on my PhD at the University of Minnesota. Back then, I felt the urge to prove myself and I was convinced that getting a doctorate would somehow validate me as a person. I got the degree, but the validation didn’t happen. I never “arrived” like I hoped I would. My life fell apart, instead. Happily, it then reassembled itself in a different, much more pleasant way. I have stopped trying to prove myself and instead, I am now dedicated to savoring every moment I have left in this world. Part of this savoring involves continuing to learn. And there’s nothing like a road trip to teach you a thing or two. I look forward to the lessons! 

…. So, it’s back to Minnesota, temporarily away from the comfort of my own home and back to a place that still contains a lot of people I really love. Meanwhile, I’ll need some time to get ready. The art of leaving the house, apart from the whole departing-from-the-known stuff, involves ending this blog so I can go prepare. 

I’ve promised my blog-boss Jessica that I’ll write along the way. See you soon! 

Peace & Perfect Road Trips, 

P.S. “Why don’t you just take an airplane?” you may ask.  You’re probably right. That would be a lot faster. 


Read the series!
Part Two, Remaining Open
Part Three, Noticing Things
The Art of Road Tripping: The Way Back Home

Debra Payne, PhD, Obstacle Blasting Coach, is a long time contributing editor for Wandering Educators. Debra works with people to get big, long, scary projects done and she can also help people get through college. Debra specializes in ADHD Coaching and you can find her here: You can also email her directly at debra[at]