How I hate a road trip. They all sound fun in theory, but I’ve been on enough adventures by automobile to know that the fun only lasts for a few miles and mostly occurs during the planning stage.
I come from the fly over states (and you can just keep on flyin’ over ’em, in my opinion) where the corn and soybeans grow and “good values” are treasured above all. Good values must be practiced, but that is another discussion that I won’t partake in for now. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Midwest.
I’ve traveled all over it; from the tippy top of Illinois to the tip-toe bottom of it. I have been to the Dells (not as lively as it once was) and lived in Minnesota for a few years (hell yes it’s cold. Why do you think I left?). We lived in Ohio for a short time when I was young but we didn’t fit in there. Indiana is a strange place where, only an hour or two from Chicago, they speak with a Southern accent. Iowans are somewhat ostracized from their neighbors, partly due to a perceived air of authority (don’t “come for me” over this, it’s really not worth arguing about).
There are huge differences in each of the states: what they believe in, what they eat, see, feel. I have traveled the South, too, where I often feel a sense of distrust and a fog of racism or racist ideology that is so thick a knife could cut it (again, don’t come for me. This is my thought process and some of my ideas that I’ve grown after my life experience and listening.) I don’t contend to know any answers. All I’m saying is, I’ve come to find that I’m always good where I’m at (Drake, are you influencing my writing?) and I don’t do road trips for fun anymore.
Illinois has its problems; I’ve read a lot about them. Indeed, I’m a hermit, so it wouldn’t really matter where I was. I try to find beauty in any land, in any people, in any word. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what Invent a Place might mean, what it means to me anyway. I literally (there’s that white girl in me!) try to see my own place as beautiful, so that I don’t have to hop in the car and road trip to anywhere else.