I love road trips. New sights, fun discoveries, eclectic experiences and a futile attempt to reach the horizon all play a part in the thrill. While anticipation builds, I find a competing distaste for leaving people and places behind counter-balances my thought process (hate would be too strong a word). As I prepare to hit the road for a few days, I’ve been trying to name this feeling. “Call of the wild” or “call of the open road” miss the conflicting desire to stay. “Resistance to change”, on the other hand, overstates the internal conflict. My search for an appropriate moniker has left me with a short list of candidates.
I could call this feeling “the clash” —you know, after the British band that sang “should I stay or should I go?”. Then again that reference might be too obscure (and it certainly shows my age). I was also thinking of calling it the “Sarah impulse”, after Lot’s wife who turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back on the home she was leaving behind. Again, perhaps a bit of an inside reference. Then it hit me. “Stay or stray”. Surely such a powerful alliteration must already be taken? It is, of course, but it has several meanings (one surrounding faithfulness, another to do with approaches to learning), which leaves the door open to an additional interpretation. Unlike the fight or flight response (with the added “freeze” to give us another option in stressful situations), stay or stray has no single shared interpretation. Before settling on a name, I think I’ll stray to Dunkin’ and get me some food for thought.