Sabtu, 12 Maret 2011

I Always Look At License Plates

I am one of those people that always gets a little board when I drive. I love to be in the car, but I get a little ansy when I have nothing other than driving to do. Being in the car with friends or family is great because then we can share good conversation, but I don't always have people in the car with me. I recently took a long road trip across most of the country. It sounds crazy, but I actually drove from Virginia to Oregon and back for a project I was working on. I started looking at license plates to pass the time.

I agreed to do the long road trip for my job. My magazine editor was looking for a writer who would take two months away from the office and write a series of pieces about traveling across country in a car without maps and without a plan of where to stay or where to travel. I took the offer without thinking about my disdain for being in the car alone for hours on end. And let me assure you that this project required long hours alone. Within a hundred miles of leaving our office in Virginia I had begun searching for different license plates. I got out a notepad and began to record each of the different license plates I saw.

My goal became to see all the license plates of the fifty states and as many varieties of each state license plate in the two months of my road trip. I figured that in that amount of time on high ways and roads in so many states I'd have a really good chance of seeing all the license plates. I doubted that I'd come across Hawaii or Alaska, but I was hopeful about the other forty eight states.

You wouldn't believe how much of my energy was taken up during that road trip by searching for various license plates. It kept me awake during long stretches of road when I would usually be bored and distracted. I loved keeping track of the license plates and of how close I was getting to my goal. I told friends, family and co-workers about my main source of entertainment during the trip and I receive a variety of reactions from them. Some thought that looking for license plates was a great way to pass the time, others laughed at my goal and thought I should be doing more productive things during the two months on the road.

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