Thanksgiving break – impromptu roadtrip

road trip car trunk essentials

It’s 9:30 pm now. I’m sitting in a hostel in San Luis Obispo. 6 hours earlier, I was sitting on my desk in lab, back at Stanford – wondering what to do.

For the last couple of weeks, I knew I had to do something for Thanksgiving break. We get a week off. And I had decided that I would work super hard and take the entire week off. And Genya was going to go home. So it was just going to be me. It sucked. But I was going to make the best of it.

For the last four days, I’ve been struggling with a proposal deadline. And I finally got it done. I submitted it around noon. And then looked at my screen. For some strange reason, my calendar showed that I had a meeting tomorrow and one on Thursday. Dammit. The proposal had eaten Monday and Tuesday. Now Wed and Thursday looked booked too.

Initially, AP and me had thought we’d go to Mexico. We thought we’d drive. But then for various reasons, we cancelled that plan. And then we started looking into flights, but after a while, it just didn’t seem worth it. It was too expensive. So, we decided that we’d just do something on our own.

From noon to 3, I looked at various options. I had rented a car a week back, so I could go somewhere. I wasted three hours trying to convince myself to just get out of the lab and go somewhere. But I couldn’t. Something in my mind held me back. I decided I’d just go for a run nearby and come back.

Around 3, I’d just had had enough. I sent emails canceling my appointments for tomorrow and the day after. I biked home. Grabbed my running shoes, jacket, towel and travel kit. And started driving.


I drove down south from Stanford. As I stopped for gas, I check on my app to find somewhere to stay. And I found a hostel near San Luis Obispo. I have never stayed in a hostel, but I thought to myself, why not. So, I gave them a call and reserved a bed. It took me a couple of hours to make the drive, but I reached here.

stanford to san luis obispo

While I was driving, I wondered. There have been so many times in my life when I’ve longed to just get away. To take a car and drive. And not worry about details. Not worry about where to go. About what to eat. About so many things.

My heart was pounding in my chest as I drove away from Stanford with just my running gear in my bag. Sometimes, I just don’t want to care about anything. Sometimes I just want to be free to be impulsive. To do what I want.

It’s not that this feeling is new. Listening to this feeling is new.

Having the means to follow my heart is new.

And I’m lovin it.

Every second of it.


As soon as I arrived, I checked into the hostel. And went for a quick run. I’m off to sleep now. I’ll wake up tomorrow and drive further south. I’m think Santa Barbara. Maybe Santa Monica.

I don’t know. I’ll see what my heart feels like.

run san luis obispo






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2 Responses to “Thanksgiving break – impromptu roadtrip”

  1. Jenny Strakovsky November 21, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Ah, the Saad I know and love. Happy Thanksgiving. K’ya hero l’agra ha hai. 🙂

    • Saad Bhamla November 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks @facebook-510301:disqus 🙂