The Year on the Road continues to unfold with daily candy for the eye and cake for the heart. The tour races along and I feel that I am the last to know the itinerary. I know I am treated to new sights and new insights faster than I can record them.
The freedom to be widely curious may be the big payoff in my road trip lottery.
I’ve met people whose lives are so different from mine, some more comfortable, some less. The chronicling of my transition from a conventional life to a traveling life has carved open channels of thought. The nostalgia periods have added a bit of clarity about the early programming that led me here.
Anyone who has been kicking around for a half-century has witnessed many changes—minor but steady jolts—summing up to seismic shudders.
Consider for a moment the great changes that have been wrought in the areas of religion and national politics.
I am curious how others see these changes. How are they perceived, how are they understood today as compared to the decade when we first (or last) paid attention to them? How are they perceived by people who have witnessed three, four, or five decades? Or by people in their first decade of adulthood.
Studying the changes in religion and politics will be a continuing curiosity for me during the Year on the Road. I bring up these topics as I meet people in McDonald’s and Starbucks, in truck stops and rest stops, in commercial and public campgrounds and dispersed camping areas. I have some stock questions I slip in, as innocently as I can, to these casual encounters. They are not questions about issues, rather they are systemic questions, institutional ones.
What questions would you ask if you had the opportunity I have?
My survey in not scientific and is skewed toward the geography I visit and the sort of people who will respond to me—each having their own vantage point.