Life is a Highway
Leah Walker November 12, 2011

I’m big into analogies. It’s how my brain works, and I believe it made me a better teacher. I think my most successful teaching analogy came when I compared Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Cleopatra’s love triangle to a Days of our Lives plot. For some reason the students were able to get that. I also dig on similes and metaphors, which contributes to my inability to be succinct.

The other day I was leaving work, and “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane came on the radio. I sang along, and then actually started to think about the lyrics. What if Tom is right, and life is indeed a highway? If he is, what kind of vehicle am I driving?

Road to volcanos
A car says a lot about the person driving it. We choose one based on our tastes and personality (and money, of course). And whether we want to admit it or not, we make judgments about others based on their car choice. It’s human nature.

As I thought more about Tom’s words, I asked myself, “What kind of car personifies the way I approach travel, which for me, is a part of life?” As I drove home in the Houston traffic, I thought about vehicles and how they might embody distinct travel styles.

YamahaYZF-R1 Sport Bike

This guy has a lot of get up and go, and gets to the next place as fast as he can. He’s not stopping and smelling any roses. There is no attention paid to where he’s been or what’s going on around him. It’s a “been there–done that–what’s next” mentality.

Honda Odyssey

Minivan Fashion ShotAlthough the name implies adventure, it is anything but. She sticks to the beaten path of the tourist trail. She stands in lines and sees what the travel guide describes as “can’t miss.” There’s no room to stray from the itinerary, although it wasn’t always that way.

Jeep Wrangler

2011 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
She’s going to take the rental insurance and explore the wide-open road with the top off. Her hair is going to blow, and she’s not going to put on sunscreen. There might be a trip or two down a small dirt road, but only because she got the insurance. After eight hours, she’s going to return the Jeep to the rental company and go back to her four-star, all-inclusive resort or cruise ship.



This traveler’s ideology is “there is no hurry, for there is nowhere to go, nothing to buy, and no money to buy it with.” He is not going to let a little thing like a no trespassing sign or gates deter him from experiencing what might be the next great adventure. If he doesn’t get arrested, he’s going back to his hostel. For how long? Only time will tell. Because for him, it’s about the journey, not just the destination.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Five star this and five start that. Private dining rooms in exclusive restaurants with the crème de la crème of society. An adventure for her would be actually waiting in line to see the Sistine Chapel. She misses out on the real heart of a country because her private guide and driver shield her from it. But, wow. Her back doesn’t ache from a lumpy bed, and she has experienced things that only money can buy.

Nissan Cube


While everyone else is heading to Thailand, he’s going to Burma. After all, Thailand is so yesterday; The Hangover 2 put the nail in that coffin. He doesn’t let little things like travel warnings and bombings sway him away from his chosen locale. He just thinks of the stories he’ll have and the bragging rights amongst his friends. His drive is to do something different and stand out in the crowd.

1966 Ford Mustang Convertible

1966 Mustang Overhead View From Driver's Side
She likes the classic, traditional tourist spots. But there’s another side to her. She longs for adventure off the beaten path too. The Id and Ego are at constant war in her mind. She satisfies both by striking out on her own to discover the essence of a place, yet still hits the “must-dos” in her Frommer’s travel guide.

Just like cars on the road, it takes all kinds of travelers. How boring would life be if everyone drove a Honda Accord? That’s one road I wouldn’t want to be on. There’s room on this traveler’s highway for everyone.

1966 Mustang Steering Wheel Center Logo
And for the record, I’m a ’66 Mustang, so honk when you pass.


Featured Image

Leah Walker

Leah's a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, USA Today 10 Best, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel and wine ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's lived in Paris for three years, and was recently awarded another four with a Passeport Talent visa renewal. Though, her talent for speaking French is abysmal.


  1. First off, you have some really cool pictures on this page. I love light trails. Second, the background and color coordination are awesome. Is this a blogger based sight?

    Great taste in cars, I love the Aston Martin.

    1. Thanks, Tim. I can only take credit for finding the photos, but I do appreciate the comment. This is not a Blogger-based site. I use WordPress with a custom theme. I can change the background to anything I’d like. I can even make every page a different background or have a video running in the background. There’s so much my theme can do that I don’t utilize. Let me know if you’d like to know more.

      And, yes, Aston Martins are fabulous!

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