Transported by Love

After her recent whirlwind trip across the pond, I asked Lizzi if she would be willing to share a little about that experience with the Stories That Must Not Die community.  Much to my immense pleasure, she happily agreed.  Give the following your rapt attention, and then head over to her site and participate in some of the awesome she has going on there.

Riding in cars with friends

By the time I was halfway through my trip, I had learned my itinerary, and could rattle off the list of states I was visiting.

Each interested party was treated to a staccato reel of “New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, back-to-Texas, Florida, back-to-NewYork and then to England again,” or to whichever friend I was standing next to, jumping in to tell the enquirer that they REALLY didn’t want to hear the long-long-long list of places, because it would make their head spin.

It made my head spin.

I, who had been to France twice, to Ireland a handful of times, but who (for most of her 32 years) had lived quite statically within five blocks of her childhood home. I was embarking on a trip to the other side of the world, to meet an astonishing number of ‘internet computer friends’.

They weren’t just any friends, either. They are my hardwired hearts – people to whom I’ve become particularly close over the past few years. These are members of a writing community with whom I’ve shared conversations, collaborations, video chats, laughter, sweet nothings, deep secrets, and yes…love.

Love I never trusted, not really, because I haven’t yet learned to love myself, and am constantly bewildered (though very grateful) when anyone else chooses to. But I’ve tried my best, and definitely love my friends, though their return left me baffled.

Until ‘Murica. When I was utterly transported by love – literally and figuratively.

Because aside from flights between Texas and Florida, and Florida and New York, I was road-tripped everywhere, by my wonderful friends. Bless their boots, they were willing to get into their cars and drive for hours with me to drop me to the next person on my agenda, like a giggly, English pass-the-parcel.

Courtesy of these trips, I was shown an America which most people never get to see – the United States through the eyes of assorted locals. Each person took me to places which were meaningful to them, and told stories of their past experiences there. Each person related parts of their lives to me, in situ, and the experience gave poignancy and depth to the friendships which had been unconveyable via screen.

There were short, local journeys by bus or taxi or metro, all of which lent their distinct transportational tang to the mix of movement, adding piquancy to the experiences. It was the cars, though, which were the main method of movement.

Each car lent its own sense of the driver. Some were haywire and busted up, but still resolute. Some were filled with evidence of children and busy parenting. Others were spandy neat and tidy. All contained someone I loved very dearly, and afforded me wonderful views into their worlds.

I saw parts of my friends’ childhoods – the streets they grew up in, or moved away from. I heard their memories as we whistle-stopped through tiny ghost-towns and past meaningful intersections, our travel punctuated by “and just down that road…” or “right over there…”

I marvelled at the signs alongside the roads, advertising everything from dinner shows to wildlife warnings to pro-gun poetry. The accents changed with the rest stops, and strangers mis-guessed my origin to as far away as Australia. The friendships remained constant, though, growing stronger and more bonded with every minute spent. Face-to-face time done side-by-side as the country barrelled by outside our windows.

Every car ride allowed me to spend wonderful times with people I love. In spite of the numb bums and occasionally maddening traffic, I hope that they all enjoyed spending time with me as much as I did with them. As far as I was concerned, not one second of travel time was wasted because they gave me additional time to connect and establish those onscreen friendships In Real. Doing that was absolutely magical.

Every single car ride helped – they all loaned an intimate space, for a finite number of hours, in which to bask in the togetherness of the situation, even as the wheels consumed the miles closer to goodbye. I can confidently say that the trip as a whole left me figuratively, literally, and very profoundly, moved.

Lizzi

Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth-Teller and seeker of Good Things. She’s also silly, irreverent and tries to write as beautifully as possible. She sends glitterbombs and gathers people around her – building community wherever she can.

A founder member of Sisterwives and #1000Speak, she hosts the Ten Things of Thankful bloghop each weekend and tries to #BeReal as often as possible.

Find Lizzi on Facebook * Twitter * Google+ * Pintrest

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43 thoughts on “Transported by Love

  1. Still love hearing about this trip. 😀

    Meeting “internet friends”, (and I’ve done so a few times over the years,) has always been a surreal & rewarding experience.

    Glad you had such a wonderful time here. & It’s even sweeter that you got to share it with great friends.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think the thing which was MOST surreal was how it didn’t feel surreal beyond the first ten minutes or so, but rapidly felt entirely natural, as though I’d just popped round for the afternoon, like I always do…yaknow? It was amazing.

      I had THEE most incredible time. It changed my life, and I’m coming back. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s exactly the feeling I had upon meeting friends at Comic-Con. I was able to finally see exactly why we got along so well.

        Yay! You’re coming back! I may definitely have to steal you this time. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • YES! I’m coming back. I’m due to arrive sometime before Fall, so I can set up ready for college. I’m making a vast assumption here, that you’ve caught up to the fact I’m moving over, if I can…

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’ll be fine, Lizzi dearest no matter where you go. 🙂 You’re an intelligent human being. We all get the “what if” questions no matter where we head in life. Sometimes discovering the answers are half the fun. 😉 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I’m *definitely* up for trying to discover, and the more I try, the more I learn I have wonderful people ready and willing to help me figure it out, and who are as keen to have me in their lives as my people here are sad to have me leaving theirs *sigh*

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I still can’t believe it happened with so few hitches! It was a marvelous, once-in-a-lifetime trip that most people will never, ever get to do. I am glad I got to be a stop along the way, even if the traveling was in a ridiculous Yaris. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • I will forever remember how you started our trip “We have two hours – TALK!” 🙂 I loved it. Truly, even though it was in a Yaris. It was wonderful to see you again and spend time with you and meet your family and see your home 🙂 My trip was utterly magical and I can only thank the people who took part in making it run so smoothly – every single one of you was OUTSTANDINGLY amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m in shock with Christine that there weren’t more hitches along the way. I loved traveling with you and am so so happy that we got to spend time In Real.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, well, to have SUCH complexity planned and even when it fucked up in the middle, to have people around to help me rescue the day…was AMAZING. Honestly – I’m still a bit overwhelmed by how generous everyone was with their time and willingness to road-trip me from place to place.

      And spending time in Real with you was WONDERFUL. VidChat is great and all, but…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You were moved. I get it! Cute.
    This is exactly my experience. If only I could have shown you Asheville or Austin or some other place that’s within my heart. And don’t forget you planted a bit of yourself at Forest Grove Park.

    Liked by 4 people

    • *grins* I will never forget. Right by the dragon. I belong there now, a bit. And hey, I’M COMING BACK! There will be plenty of time for you to show me the places within your heart. Meanwhile I will always remember you singing to me as we crossed the mountains, and our angel cloud.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love hearing about this. Car rides are my favorite things. You have to try it in Canada sometime. Come to think of it, I need to try it in Canada sometime.
    🙂
    So much of this country and I have not seen it. A road trip would be the best way in my estimation.
    Sharing on my travel blog Twitter account.

    Liked by 4 people

    • ME TOOOOOO! And I shall never forget SO SO MANY THINGS…Damnit. I’m almost feeling sad and teary because I have so many wonderful moments to never forget, and I just…it was SUCH a high, that trip. I knew that it would leave me with days I would want to return to, and I’ve never had those before. THANK YOU for being such a wonderful, glorious part of it. There is so, so much I will treasure forever about our time.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. not that Christine or Kristi or your’s truly didn’t have total confidence on every thing going a smoothly as it did, but damn! things came together in a way that well written stories do… some suspense, pre-aniticipated risk of error, foreshadowed but when the time came… everything simply came together.
    very cool. I would agree with everyone, that it was mostly ‘road trip’ is what made your trip the remarkable thing that he ending up being, for you and for those of us there, alone the way

    Liked by 4 people

    • Well, it DIDN’T go smoothly – between Maryland and Ohio, there was that whole big jumble, and I got rescued by Holley, who was an absolute TROOPER! Honestly – she was magical. I still need to write about that, I think! There was plenty of pre-anticipated error, but never so much as all THAT!

      But…damn! Yeah.

      And the road trip made sense, because it meant I wasn’t squandering time away from people as I travelled. I’m just SO grateful that everyone was on board, and agreed to drive me around.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so happy for you that you realized your dream. Thanks for sharing part of it here. 🙂 Trust is part of love and you can’t love or trust others if you can’t do the same with yourself. I get it to the core. I hope you are making strides.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think I trust myself more than I love myself, but perhaps that means I can’t be trusted, lol. I had SUCH a wonderful time with the people I met, and I found that amongst them, there are people I can trust and adore to the very ends of the earth, which is WONDERFUL.

      I’m making strides. Being there helped a lot, actually. I was surprised by how much better *I* was when I was there.

      Liked by 1 person

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