The Journey Is Worth The Drive

The following post was written by my friend, Shaunna, ’cause she always knows just what to say…

I have this thing for the sea.

I’m not sure how or why, but the sounds of the tide bring me to a place of peace. They roll around in my head, pushing fear and doubt far from the shores of consciousness. The stress of it all simply floats away. I am whole. I am enough.

This is surely why, then, that I let my husband and cousins convince me to make the 4 hour trek (and back) to the Keys from Ft. Lauderdale……in one afternoon…..before driving 12 hours back home the next morning.

perfectly imperfect | the lettered cottage | key west

The smell of salt in the air, and the promise of Jimmy Buffet blaring out open windows was just too much to resist. As we were driving, it occurred to me that the drive to Key West is a lot like life.

perfectly imperfect | the lettered cottage | key west

It starts out carefree- we want for nothing…we laugh a lot. We aren’t afraid to throw off the bowlines, and sail away from safe harbor.

perfectly imperfect | the lettered cottage | key west

All we know is dreaming, and exploring, and discovering.

But the journey can get complicated along the way, can’t it?

perfectly imperfect | the lettered cottage | key west

Traffic jams knock our feet out from under, and conjure up uncomfortable emotions. We lose sight of what was, and we often deal with things the wrong way.

But when the temptation to become pessimistic raises its ugly head, sometimes something marvelous happens.

We realize peace was there waiting for us all along…

…and feelings of joy come rushing back in.

The journey rolls over and under, in and out of and twists and turns. And if we’re lucky?


Goodness spills over, and spreads from one person to the next…

perfectly imperfect | the lettered cottage | key west

…and the drive is totally worth it.

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Transcending by Kelly Corrigan

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  1. Wendy M says

    Wow, that was beautifully written and so thought provoking. I am so with Shaunna on the sound of the waves reaching out to the shore bringing a sense of peace; I am never so content as when I can look out over the water and watch the sun sparlke on the waves or set in firey splendour. Even when there is a storm and the waves pound angrily it is a spectacle of awe. Thanks for sharing this, I truly enjoyed her ‘journey’ analogy.
    And now I want to go to the beach please!

  2. says

    This was great.
    We just returned from a memorial, for a neighbor. She was full of love and life, and too soon gone from this journey. She would have said, though, that the drive was totally worth it.
    Thank you….

    • Layla says

      Thank you for your comment, Linda. I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet neighbor, but I’m so happy that she lived a life full of love and laughter. :-)

  3. Elaine says

    We feel the same way about the ocean – we look forward to our beach trips, no matter what the season – warm and sandy or cold and blustery – we are at home and at peace when we are at the shore! I love Shaunna’s literal and figurative descriptions – I agree, she does have a way with words that always makes me smile! :) Thank you, Layla for sharing with all of us!

  4. Maria says

    Layla, Thank you and Shaunna for that lovely message. I hope everything is well with you and like Shaunna so eloquently described above, ‘the journey is so worth the drive’. I know at times our lives seem so out of control but if one stays focused and remembers the feeling of joy when we do the things we love, like Shaunna wrote, ‘Goodness spills over, and spreads from one person to the next’. And that my dear is what you bring to all of us…Goodness!!

    Thank you for bringing ‘Goodness” to my day everyday!!

  5. says

    So well written! I grew up going to the beach along the Gulf of Mexico and miss being so close to it! Not quite as blue as Key West, but beautiful all the same. Love both of your blogs so much – y’all have been such an inspiration to me in the blogging world!

  6. Kim Porter @ says

    Beautifully written, I love Key West. It’s where we spent our honeymoon. Long drive from Virginia Beach but that was 8 years ago and before the kiddos. We had more patience and time back then!

  7. says

    So nicely put, and what lovely photos. Enjoy every bit of life for this is no dress rehearsal. I like to focus on the haves and not the have nots. ENJOY!!!
    Thank you for sharing…..

  8. says

    Yes, life can get messy, but after the “bottom” of the mess, there is nowhere to go but UP. (remember that little word?) Shauna’s words are beautiful,and those images are gorgeous. Please tell her she did a great job for you.
    I’ve been thinking about you all.

  9. says

    Beautifully inspiring words and gorgeous photos. It is all in the journey . . . if we only take time to enjoy the ride . . .

  10. says

    I share your sentiment about the sea. I still love the feeling of waves lapping at my toes when I walk on the beach after all these years. Nice pictures, too. Thanks for posting this. (P.S. Is this a sign I should take my family to a beach outing this weekend?)

  11. says

    A wonderful post! There are so many metaphors in the world around us that will guide and comfort us on our journey if we can just open our eyes and our hearts to receive them. Thank you Shaunna for the beautiful images and words and thank you Layla for sharing them with us.

  12. says

    This is so true! About vacations and life…the process and the journey is always worth it and we usually learn something along the way. Thanks, Shaunna!

  13. Lisa Brown says

    Love this! Just like life’s journey, there is wonder, hope, love… every step of the way. I tell my daughters that out of every adversity will emerge something, some time to contribute to the greater good. We walk by faith. …
    Thank you, Shaunna and for sharing it, Layla.

  14. says

    Shauna, you write beautifully! I’ve been working on my own writing and am today subscribing to your blog for inspiration! Thank you! (another great pick as always, Layla!)

  15. says

    My Aunt and Uncle had a home in the Florida Keys…we kids spent every summer there…it was a very simple time way back when…I remember getting up early every day with buckets and poles in our hands..walking down to the jetty and catching blue crabs by the buckets full…

    I remember walking thru a place where the tide brought in lots of “stuff” ..My aunt and I scouring through the many treasures of bottles and things from far away…It truly is a paradise…My Aunt and Uncle have since passed away, but the memories of those summers will always stay with me….thank you for bringing back my memories of days gone by….

  16. TamiK says

    What an awesome story thanks so much for sharing and the pictures are so so nice and the Keys are so worth the drive …..

  17. tracyo says

    I love that attitude. It is easy to let everyday life get you down. I don’t have the ocean or Gulf accessible to me but I have Lake Michigan nearby and I think I will try your idea next time things get to me. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. says

    Ah, the Keys. They truly are my favorite place in the whole country!! I’ve been going there occasionally since I was a kid, and even convinced my sweet husband to have our honeymoon in an awesome little bed and breakfast on Key West. We live in FL, but haven’t managed to get back down there since! Now, with 2 sweet kiddos along of the ride, I’m DETERMINED to head back down that way! Thanks, Layla, for hosting this lovely post from Shaunna. I visit you both everyday :)

  19. says

    Hit the nail on the head! I just came back from Key West Wednesday. I had completely forgotten how the ocean, sun and sand relax and then revive me. We all need a little of that in our lives.

  20. April says

    Your post touched my heart. I have driven the A1A several different times from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West over the years. It is exactly how you painted it in your post. I am an Oregon girl dreaming of my next journey to that seashore and to complete and utter glory. Thank you!!

  21. says

    That drive is one of my favorite all time memories of vacations with my family. At the beginning of the bridge we let all 4 of our kids get out and get whatever treat or bag of goodies they wanted to get at the gas station. Jack Johnson playing, windows open, ocean air, slowly the sun setting. It seemed endless happy fun. Thanks for reminding me! ~ CA