On a recent road trip, I realized that there is something esoteric about traveling through small towns, single lanes and sparse traffic signals. A grove of a few trees; an outdated, twisted bill board sign appeared now and then in the desert county of Texas. A tall water tank standing as a solitary watchman amongst a small cluster of houses was all there was. Life looked simple and uninterrupted like a long summer afternoon.
I stopped by a bucolic gas station attached to a convenience store managed by an old couple. They looked busy arranging the shelves, working the register and handing over outdoor restroom keys to travelers like me. I lingered around to observe them while trying to shop. Content without any technology besides a simple cell phone by their side, they called each other often during the ten-minute interval, whispered a few taunts and stayed close under the light hum of country music and smiling silence.
I walked out with a few plastic bags and an overpowering thought. If technology were to die tomorrow, you and I will evaporate as we would not know how to cope with its absence but this old couple will survive blissfully without a single dent on their existence. Their idea of life will remain the same – opening a beer can and sit outside on a plastic arm-chair watching the automobiles buzz by or stare at the television of sky or simply bury their heads into making their living by selling gas, chips and helping people with maps and bathroom urges.
Their lifestyle refreshed me. It reminded me why I take road trips; why I choose to see rural places; why I feel connected to a simpler form of life than the modern, cluttered existence and why I feel so inspired after a vision of happiness in an unexpected place such as this.