to new mexico and back.

Last week I craved rest in the form of relaxation – sitting on the couch with nowhere to go and nothing to do. Little did I know what I really needed was a deep breath of spontaneity. In a last minute decision six of us piled into a rental car and drove West. Our friends were getting married – we decided it was worth the money and miles to get there.

I traded what would have been a quiet, peaceful weekend with tea and books for fifty hours in a car with five other people.

Best decision ever. 

I forgot how much I love road trips – crossing state lines, changing time zones, watching the sun rise. Gas stations, trail mix, music.

I felt like I was 22 and was discovering the world for the first time…

22 with the world at my reach

Sometimes I forget how much I thrive off the unknown, of new places and different faces – this past weekend was a lovely reminder. With each passing hour on the road I felt my thirst for adventure being quenched.

Georgia. Alabama. Mississippi. Louisiana. Texas. New Mexico.

I thought I was tired from moving around so much  – I guess I was wrong. Good thing God knows me better than I know myself.


Going on road trips with people I don’t know really well is always a treat, because being in the car for that long gives us the opportunity to become family. And that’s exactly what happened. We laughed, cried, sang and slept. We stopped in Dallas to dance at a club for 20 minutes in our sweatpants. We told our stories. Took pictures. Took turns driving. Talked about Jesus and gay marriage. Ate turkey sandwiches and string cheese.

50 hours in the car has never been so much fun.

The wedding was beautiful. The bride cried and so did the rest of us. We drank and danced and watched the sun dip behind the mountains.

The weekend delivered special moment after special moment – even from something as mundane as an afternoon nap. Note: taking a nap in New Mexico is much more exciting than taking a nap on my couch.

This spontaneous road trip helped me realize my curiosity and zeal for life didn’t peak at 22 – that was just the beginning.  The summer after I graduated college I wrote in my diary,

My personal goals for this road trip are as follows: write until I have nothing left to write about, and then write some more. Read, read, read. Meet people and ask questions about their lives. Care about them. Find God wherever I go. Enjoy each moment. Don’t worry.

I want all of my life to be an adventure. I’m sick of hearing about dreams and then seeing them forgotten in the busyness of life.

I plan on this being the beginning of many other road trips…

Four years later and that’s still my plan.

<p><a href=”″>road trip flash mob</a> from <a href=”″>Hope Mendola</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a>.</p>


About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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18 Responses to to new mexico and back.

  1. Hannah says:

    you posted the video!!! YES! I love reading your blogs because often its as if you have gotten inside my head written exactly what I was thinking or feeling. Love you! Significant Six!

  2. oh my goodness! I love this blog!! I am so happy that you had such a wonderful time!! I love those little spontaneous moments that surprise you with how fun it is!! like the water park! 🙂

    LOVE you so much and can’t wait to be home!!

  3. i love this so much and i love how you always embrace life!!! also i love that video and wish i was a part of it.

  4. TL says:

    Seriously, this reminds me that we all need some good ol’ road trippin’! I love this! It made me laugh so much, I love you guys!!

  5. Rebekah says:

    Love it! Weston is cracking me up!!

  6. The only thing that could make this video better was if you told me you did this while cruising 80mph thru the desert while filming.

  7. marissavilla says:

    Omg you were in Texas and I didn’t know! I would have driven four hours to dance 20 minutes with you!! Glad you had fun.

  8. lvshope says:

    Hope, I love your reflections. Your 22 parallels my 67 & a new start that retirement brings. Shortly after my last day on the job, I embarked upon a two week soli road trip that was filled with adventures, reunions, etc.

  9. Maceylc says:

    OREGONNNN!!! ❤

  10. caitlin parker says:

    road trip to missouri?!?! just saying 🙂

  11. Bono says:

    You drive nearly halfway across the country for someone’s wedding, yet – at every tour date – I leave your name on the guest list and wait for you backstage to no avail.

    Sad Bono out

  12. Liz Norris says:

    oh my gosh! i love that you guys did this video!!! i should have jumped in the car with you- what was i thinking????

  13. Anna Notario says:

    i laughed and cried at this video. can’t believe i ALMOST saw you. and then didn’t. love you.

  14. the bride says:

    this is so incredible! i seriously can’t tell you how loved we felt by that flash mob and by you all roadtrippin’ your sweet faces off for us! so, so good! love you, hope.

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