It’s Tuesday morning and we’re rolling down I-70 in Ohio, rest stops and farm land occupy our view as an oversized load of transformers pass us. We’re driving across the United States (literally, from New Jersey to California) and while we do have to wake up at a decent hour, there is no “usual commute” for us. Some days we do get stuck in commute traffic if we go through a metropolitan area early in the morning or late in the evening but most days are easy going long stretches of landscape, hills and at some point, construction zones.
While driving toward our destination, my husband (the driver) is maneuvering around vehicles and I am taking photos of barns, rivers and any other sights that capture our current location. It doesn’t feel like a “job”. I know a lot of truck drivers that would beg to differ and maybe it’s because their spouse isn’t on the road with them, but driving over the road (long haul) has never seemed like a job to my husband. We get to bring our home with us every where we go which is not something a typical job offers.
There are days we have to hustle to make our drops and pick ups, days we worry about running out of drive hours or sit and wait for a new load, but those instances are few and far between which eludes the feeling of actually working. My husband loves what he does which renders a happier relationship and I get to write and take photographs which makes me happy. We wake up in one state and (most times) go to sleep in another. I lose track of days because there aren’t “ugh, Mondays!” Or “TGIFs!” We drive until we drop and once our deck is loaded again, we repeat the process.
This career offers us views of snow capped mountains, adobe cliffs, wide rushing rivers and cityscapes from Los Angeles to New York City.
Our biggest complaint is not being able to stop wherever we want because we are in a big rig, but most roadside attractions accommodate us and we can plan our breaks around those opportunitie.
Having me on the truck is also helpful when planned routes or stops don’t go accordingly, instead of my husband having to make an emergency stop to refine his route, I can look up alternatives as he’s still driving. As long as we trip plan effectively, we can cover upwards of 500 miles a day and still make it to a decent truck stop by dinner time and have a place to park. And at the end of the day, we get to fall asleep together.
I remember wanting to roadtrip with my girlfriends in high school and then when James and I met, we talked about road tripping to Ohio or South Carolina where we have family. In one year of truck driving, we have been able to see Grandparents in Idaho, brothers in Colorado, Texas and South Carolina and Aunts and Uncles in New Jersey and Ohio and my best friend in Louisiana. There are family members we haven’t been able to see yet in other states, but I’m sure this year will allow for that.
So while we could say we are in the “trucking industry”, because the job comes first and we do it 100%, we are lucky to be in a place where this “job” is an adventure and we get to road trip for a living.