Culture Connection, The Conversations

The Conversations: Grateful For Road Trip Connections This Year

As we enter Thanksgiving week, there is much to be grateful for (and much we can do to help others). Here I reflect on a year of incredible conversations with people I have connected with as I drive across the country – thank you for the many lessons.

While I have always been prone to solo road trips, I have taken an escalated the frequency over the past two years in an effort to learn more about emerging markets, population trends & matriculation, culture, history, and entrepreneurial pursuits. During these trips, I have had many many conversations with locals, which I find is always easier to do on my own. A shop owner may be more inclined to speak with me, or  a waitress, or a stranger in line. (I have written a bit about it here in the post ‘Domestic Explorer‘). As ever, I am thankful for people being open,  and not judging me (mostly) but staying engaged and curious in our conversations. While I don’t always remember names, I remember a moment, a place, a conversation and how it made me feel. So thank you to:

Charleston, SC – Thank you the the Lady and her teenage son, sitting at the diner counter for breakfast beside me, and who were endlessly intrigued that I travel by myself. It led to chat about you, age, and chances not taken.

Santa Fe, New Mexico – Thank you to the Navajo women I met in the jewelry shop on the Nations lands, and the talks we had about art in the region, before I left with my beautiful Effie C Zuni silver & turquoise bracelet.

Alamosa, Colorado – Thank you to the ranchers that let me roam around and photograph their lands next to the Great Sand Dunes. I can’t wait to return.

New Orleans, LA – Thank you to the lone jazz musician/artist that engaged in a phenomenal conversation about American history after I bought him a coffee.

Nashville, TN – Thank you to the gils in the gift shop at the Ryman Theater who were convinced my friend and I were in a band, which we were not, but quickly discussed the changing city they all grew up in.

Huntsville, AL – Thank you to the NASA engineer who I met on the airplane, and filled me in on her career and the history of the Space Program in that area, I had no idea (her whole family are engineers)

Lake Arrowhead, CA – Thank you to the young business owners who have moved into the area to tell me about their shops, house rentals and more. Who then pointed me to their friends ding something similar in…

Ojai , CA – ….people escaping LA and creating wonderful restaurants and art havens. Thank you for talking with me too.

Brooklyn, NY – Thank you to the many, many, many conversations I always have with strangers when I return to my other home.

Cheyenne, WY – Thank you to the ladies at the cowgirl museum who were nice, until they said they were Trump supporters so I had to say my piece before I left. oops

Miami, FL – Thank you you to my many Cuban Uber drivers for sharing their stories with me (I have spent time in Havana so we had a lot to discuss!)



On the road again

Author: Carrie Mitchell

Carrie A. Mitchell is the founder of L’Aventure Travel, the host of the Suitcase Sojourn Podcast, and author of the children’s travel book “To Be We”. Carrie is a global travel and hospitality expert who works with publications, brands and entertainment outlets on a number of travel related projects, from marketing consulting to editorial coverage to hosting & producing content for the web, TV and podcasts. She is always seeking to learn from people and places around the world, and share through her cultural exploration (40+ countries and counting)