By Natalie Loney
I was headed back to our regional offices in New York City after a community meeting in Ithaca, New York. Being a city dweller and completely unfamiliar with the area, I relied exclusively on the modern day roadmap, my trusty GPS. While driving, I listened intently to the robotic audio as she directed me to, “turn right at the next intersection” and to “bear left” where the road divided. Within minutes of leaving downtown Ithaca, I found myself driving along a quiet two-lane country road. The road twisted and turned as it steadily climbed up the side of one of the large hills of the Finger Lake region. The GPS voice was silent as I drove on. I passed very few houses and my view of the area was blocked by dense forest on either side of the road. Needless to say, I was completely out of my urban comfort zone. When I finally came to a clearing, I stopped the car. Before me lay an incredible view of a wide expanse of meadow, sloping down into a valley with hills in the background. I actually got out of the vehicle to marvel at the view. There were no sounds of horns blaring or sirens screeching, just a blue cloudless sky and that view. I have no idea where the GPS led me, but on that day, choosing the road less traveled made all the difference.
About the Author: Natalie Loney is a community involvement coordinator in New York City. She has been in Public Affairs since 1995.