This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Monday, February 22, 2016

Distance is Relative

Texas is big. It was the biggest state in the union before Alaska became a state. We left Nacogdoches, TX in our motorhome and drove just shy of 1,600 miles to Orange, CA. We didn't get out of Texas until the third day of our trip, and then we were only half way to Orange. I'm not sure that many Europeans understand the magnitude of travel distances in the U.S. If you look at the map below comparing the size of Texas to that of Europe, you will see that driving from one side of Texas to the other is further than driving from Prague in the Czech Republic to Brussels, Belgium.

Since arriving in California, I have had time to ponder the distance we drove to get here. It is hard to imagine how far we drove. All I know is that it was a long drive.  To understand the distance involved I began looking at maps and measuring distances between European cities so that I could visualize the distance. No wonder I got tired of driving!

Check out these maps of similar scale, which depict three routes of equal mileage. The blue lines represent the route. The first is our Nacogdoches to Orange trip, the second is a route from Moscow to Brussels and the second from Berlin to Athens. Each one is about 1,600 miles. And then at some point you must turn around and drive back to where you started!

(Click on the maps to enlarge them)

Nacogdoches to Orange
Moscow to Brussels
Berlin to Athens
What if you drove all the way across the US? Many people have. No big deal. New York City to San Francisco is a tad more than 3,000 miles -- about 200 miles less than we will have driven when we get back home. Take a look at he last two maps. They aren't the same scale, but represent the same distance. The first shows a New York to San Francisco route and the second, Paris to Baghdad! Even if their were no political problems involved, I would never have imagined driving from Paris to Baghdad, yet I find it easy to think about driving from New York to San Francisco. In fact I would very much like to make that drive!
New York to San Francisco
Paris to Baghdad
So the next time you hesitate because it's "too far," remember, it's all relative. Quit whining and just go!

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