Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Home Base as a Tool for Local Travel

Ever since my youngest son lost much of his vision about 14 years ago, I've driven him a lot of places. In the past few years, I've driven him to many different areas in and around Baltimore. Also, due to circumstances surrounding our move to Baltimore, our second to youngest son wasn't able to get his driver's license as early as he would have liked. So I used to drive him around too.  

Years ago, I would take them them where they were going, drop them off, and then try to figure out - each time - where I would wait this time, sometimes thinking while driving. At first I thought the variety was fun, but as time went on, I found it was more comfortable to have a specific place in any given area that I would stop by default. Sometimes I might go somewhere else, but I always know that one place is available and will work for me

The other day I realized that, in more than a dozen towns, I have what I now call a Home Base...somewhere I can stop and wait for someone or even just take a break: use the restroom, get a cold drink (or sometimes a hot drink), perhaps walk around a bit. I used to think it was a carrot, enticing me to go; but now I think it's more of a safety stop that keeps me healthy and driving safely. 

I'm sharing this in case you do local travel, too, because I stumbled onto this concept quite by accident through years of driving around town. Now, I've even come to realize that the rare towns that I think I don't like are usually towns where I haven't yet found a Home Base. So now, if I realize that, I actively look for one. 

Most of my Home Bases are grocery stores or discount department stores, and one thing I like about them is that if I don't need a snack that day, just to stretch my legs, there is usually some little thing I can buy that I already need at home or will need soon. I also have a couple of Barnes and Nobles on my list, as well as a library and a Royal Farms convenience store. 

Have you ever established a good place for taking a break while driving around, depending on what area you are in?  

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