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Daily drive

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I often wonder if anyone actually likes to drive anymore these days, at least here in my hometown in Canada. I drive on some heavily trafficked and heavily full of construction roads. The landscape is meh, the road conditions are horrid, and the number of cars on the road with me often makes for a pretty slow go any time of the day. I find myself looking around at my fellow motorists and all I see are sour faces. It's rather sad, actually.

Is it a lack of sleep? Not enough caffeine? I'm not sure, but it's kind of upsetting, and I feel like their displeasure often seeps into my vehicle, and I don't appreciate that one bit.

Perhaps I notice our discontent mostly because I've had the opportunity to drive other roads, like my colleagues. From twisting, turning roads that wind through the Alps to long, sweeping stretches of perfect tarmac lazily meandering through the Californian countryside, there are roads around the world I would give my left foot to drive on every day.

I could imagine the commute to work in San Francisco as stunning every single day. I'm not sure I'd ever get sick of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge rise from the sea-born fog that surrounds it on a daily basis, large, red and looming between the coastal mountains. Even in stop-and-go traffic, it must be hard to ignore and appreciate that sight on some level. But would a San Fran native agree?

Just outside Las Vegas in Nevada, the roads that traverse the Valley of Fire are some of the best roads I've ever been on. I would ensure I bought a house that meant I just had to drive them every day. Sure, it might take a little longer, but oh that drive!

We've lost something in the hustle and bustle of life these days, something important, something visceral. We've lost that connection with the world around us, that stop-and-smell-the-roses part that makes us humans a little more, well, human.

As we ho-hum our way through our daily routines, we're blind to the world around us -- and I don't blame us for being that way sometimes. Without heads constantly bent over iPhones and iPads, ears plugged with iPods and cars that can do everything for us, even send texts, why would we take a moment to look past our windshields.

In truth, there's joy to be had on any road in any country, especially if you like the car you're driving. I think that also has a great deal to do with it; finding that "perfect fit" vehicle isn't the easiest thing (or sometimes not even financially possible) so we settle, and pay the price in the end. But I digress; what I really want to emphasis is the fact that even traffic-packed, cone-lined streets can be interesting and even exciting, if you just wake up and see the world around you.

I complained about my drive in to work at the beginning of this blog, wishing it were more like some of the European roads I've been on, but in actual fact it does have its own beauty. I plan on finding it tomorrow morning as I drive to work in the rising sun.