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Why Drive When You Can Fly? We Can Think of One Really Good Reason

April 15, 2014 at 11:59 AM | by | ()

Scenery along I-70 in Kansas. No, that's not a UFO.

To say we're obsessed with air travel would be an understatement, but keeping in line with our budget-friendly, small town travel recommendations for the summer, we have to give the good old-fashioned road trip some love.

There are obvious benefits to flying over driving. Time, for one, and the amount of options that it opens up (you can't drive across the Atlantic). We often hear people complain when they have to drive long distances, and for this writer, that used to be the case as well, until I realized how much perspective you can gain on a region when you travel via car.

The most visible benefit to driving reveals itself when you're navigating through natural landscapes and taking in the scenery, whether it's rolling hills of farmland or twisting, turning mountain canyons. Flying from Denver to Salt Lake City lets you look down upon the Rockies - driving allows you to immerse yourself in them. It's a totally different experience, like sitting front row after years of being in the nose-bleeds.

It even goes beyond that, though. A lot of the perspective comes not in the middle of nowhere, not in a canyon, but in the stages of transition. Flying into a city throws you directly into a boiling pot, and driving gives your mind a chance to process the change. Taking in the evolving landscapes, stopping at the local gas stations, and seeing the sights on the side of the road allow you to get a feel for how one area becomes another, to understand the roots of the tree and observe how everything builds and blends as you approach your destination.

Money, time, and patience are all factors people weigh when trying to decide between flying and driving. My hope is that next time you're behind the wheel, you do more than count down the miles. Make the windows disappear, turn up the tunes, and, most importantly, pay attention to the way things change. Airplanes of the future are trying to increase flier awareness of what's below for those at 30,000, but the best seat in the house is still where the rubber meets the road.

[Photos: Will McGough]

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