Gabbing with Grace: travel thoughts


Grace Sherban

“The hills are alive with the sound of” Campus Editor Grace Sherban reflecting on some recent travels

Grace Sherban, Campus Editor

The past two weekends, I have been able to partake in a lot of “road trip contemplation.” Between a quick day trip to Amish Country and an 11-hour bus ride to Washington D.C. and back, I have been on the road for quite a bit of time. 

Despite sleeping for a large amount of both trips, I spent an exorbitant amount of time looking out the window to see the sprawling hills of Pennsylvania and Southern Ohio. With Whitney’s “FTA” blasting in my ears, I couldn’t help but notice just how beautiful the scenery was as we drove by. 

The hillsides were filled with massive oak trees with leaves of yellow, red and orange that mixed together to create an image that Bob Ross would have delighted in painting. Scattered between the trees were picturesque houses that slowly cascaded down these hills with fields surrounding them. 

The beauty of these images made me think of the iconic Timothée Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan moment in Greta Gerwig’s “Little Woman” where Chalamet says, “I’ve loved you ever since I’ve known you, Jo.” Everything about this scene in the movie and the scene I was looking at through the window was perfect in my mind. 

I don’t think I would be generalizing if I were to say that at some point, a majority of people have looked down on others, intentionally or unintentionally, due to the rural location of their home. Just because there are people that don’t live within a 20 minute radius of a Target doesn’t mean we should label their existence as meaningless. 

During high school, I was one of these people. My school was surrounded by cornfields on three sides and had multiple farms and apple orchards being only a few minutes up the road. Everyone used to joke about how the school was located in the middle of nowhere yet we were quick to forget that Oberlin College and Lake Erie were also a short drive away. 

When I am sitting in the traffic of Warrensville Center Road, I find myself missing the long drive to school that smelled of wheat and corn that wasn’t constantly being interrupted by red traffic lights. Every time I take that drive now, I always reminisce about those late night drives with friends through the fields or the early morning runs through jagged patches of soybeans during cross country practice. 

Heini’s Cheese Chalet in Millersburg, OH overlooks this scenic dairy farm (Grace Sherban)

Driving through these places the past two weekends has reiterated the importance of where I am from and the need to appreciate the natural beauty that I have the pleasure of witnessing everyday. How cool is it that we get to see the leaves change color before our eyes? 

In a roundabout way, the point I am trying to make here is that sometimes we overlook the magic of a moment based solely because we see it everyday. It can be hard to find beauty in monotony so those places and moments that become routine are then labeled as “boring.” 

Beaches and skyscrapers are cool on a vacation over the summer but those who see them everyday probably wish to see mountains, rivers and hills every once in a while. We all long for something different but when we finally attain it, we wish to go back to what is known. 

George Eliot once wrote, “What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known and loved because it is known?” This quote is, ironically, used in Gerwig’s “Little Women.” 

With this in mind, the next time you journey back home, take a minute to not only appreciate the drive itself but your destination as well. Who knows? You might discover something new about yourself and your home too.