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Long Drives and Muted Sunsets

Long Drives and Muted Sunsets

Man with long brown hair in orange dress standing next to a palm tree during sunset

Location: Fort Myers, Florida

I like driving long distances by myself.

If there are other people in the vehicle and we’re going to be talking, I usually prefer to ride because I’ve been known to miss turns when caught in good conversation. When I’m alone, though, it’s really calming to get into a car, turn the music up just loud enough, and end up in a totally different place from which I came.

Yesterday morning I woke up earlier than usual, excited for the first long-distance drive that I’d be doing since I left. My sister and I are spending the week in the Fort Myers area, so I was to pick her up from the airport on the way to the place we were staying at.

I haven’t seriously driven in over eight months (technically, unless you count driving for half a day through San Francisco when I moved house, I haven’t driven since I left Florida), and was pleasantly surprised to find that I wasn’t too rusty. The roads are really flat here, so long-distance driving usually ends up being more or less in a straight line the whole way through. I watched the big, fluffy white clouds in the sky and let my mind wander, and all of a sudden I was there.

We went to the pier to catch the sunset. [1] Clouds started rolling in while we drove, and the beach was totally gray by the time we got to the water. I didn’t mind too much, though; it was the first time I’d been to a Florida beach since May.

Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

The sky cleared up a bit as we walked along the water, and we were able to catch a hint of muted pastel sky before the sun disappeared below the horizon.

Mimi Nadia Chenyao | Fake and Basic

There wasn’t too much excitement for the first day, in which I’m glad — I’m still a little off from the time difference and can’t wait to go back to see one of Fort Myers’ famously brilliant sunsets when I’m fully rested. ♚

Note: This article is part of my January 2019 One Month Project, where I will be traveling around coastal Florida and publishing an essay a day about my experiences there. I’m excited to bring you along on this adventure!


[1] Winters in Florida are still a little trippy to me because it’s so warm but the sun still sets at around five thirty — the opposite of summers in San Francisco, where the days are cool (in the mid-sixties) and long.

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© 2019 by Marty Noel Chenyao. All rights reserved.

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