Based on the title of this blog post, you’re probably expecting me to give you some elaborate and well thought out antithesis to the old adage, “live like there’s no tomorrow” that will conform to my viewpoint on some life-changing experience.
You’re absolutely right.
Picture it: Jacksonville (FL), May 12, 2019, off of the westbound Whitehouse exit on Interstate 10. Here I am trying to get fill up my car for the journey back home to Georgia. I was tempted to grab some Wendy’s, but I decided against it since I’m doing oh so well on my summer body (I’m not). As I head back onto the interstate, I notice this clean-shaven, wide eyed young man hailing a ride like the traditional hitchhiker. To protect his privacy, I’ll call him “C.” Naturally, I first decided to ignore C — for personal safety reasons, of course. However, something led me at the last minute to pull over and give him a ride.
(Heavy paraphrasing ahead.)
*Kaelan pulls over and honks his horn. C rushes over with a grin the size of Texas.*
Me: Hey! How’s it going man?
C: Great! Great! Where ya headed?
Me: Back to Georgia. Where do you need to go?
C: Well, I’m heading to Tallahassee.
Me: Okay, I can give you a ride up to I-75, but no further or it will take me off of my trip.
C: That’s great man! Every bit helps!
*C grabs his stuff and puts it in Kaelan’s backseat.*
He and I rode I-10 on the back of some great music, conversation, and the exchange of ideas that completely baffled me. I mean, here I am offering a ride to a complete stranger and I felt as comfortable with him in the car as I would an old friend. Once he told me why he was hitchhiking, everything became clear. C is a college student that wanted to experience the rich cultures and geographic beauty that came with America. Although quite the risk, he believed that hitchhiking would give him the opportunity to meet new people, travel to places he’s never been, and really push him to open his eyes wider than they’ve ever been. Taken aback by his sheer courage and adventurous spirit, I briefly considered taking a hitchhiking trip myself! His desire to wander outside of his personal box inspired me to forever remember our experience in a blog post on my website.
I’ve often thought about the phrase, “live like there’s no tomorrow.” No truer words can be said. However, part of me believes that if we were to follow such guidance and live like there’s no tomorrow, many of us will just do things for the sake of the experience and miss out on the small details that really make life worth living. If I would have just stuck to the adage, I would’ve missed out on that small detail that was standing on the side of the ramp waiting for a ride. Through that experience, not only did I learn more about his adventure, but I made a great new friend.
In case you were wondering, yes. C is still making is nationwide tour. Last time I checked on him, he was somewhere near the Grand Canyon. I’m positive that he’s living his best life right now.
If you’re reading this C, I want you to know that you’ve inspired me to live in a way that I’ve never thought about before. Living like there is a tomorrow gives me anticipation that even more adventures lie ahead of today. I’m so grateful to have met you and I hope to see you again soon!