Driving on Cruise Control

I’m going to share a journey today. One that would usually involve a round trip of a little under three-hours. Yesterday it took five-hours and was rather eventful.

Simple Start

It started out innocently enough at 4:00 pm with a 40-minute trip to Carcassonne where our daughter would take a train back to her university town in Perpignan on the Mediterranean coast close to the France / Spain border. The image below shows “La Cité”, Carcassonne.

La Cité - Carcassonne

Where was all the traffic? It should have been getting busy as we headed through the center of town to the station. We arrived 10-minutes earlier than planned and daughter safely deposited at the station, journey part two began. A trip along the autoroute to the airport in Toulouse to drop off daughters’ friend who was to fly back to the UK after visiting for the weekend.

We enjoyed an hour of chatter about life, the universe and being a design student in the UK as we headed north. Arrival at the Toulouse Périphérique toll booth took exactly one hour as expected and I thanked the automatic machine for deducting funds from my bank card; as is my way. At the end of the toll exit lane a police officer stepped out and stopped me.

Customs / Douane

It turned out that my assumption was wrong. He was a customs officer and he asked; “Are you carrying drugs, alcohol or cigarettes”? Apparently, there is a lot of smuggling between Spain and France, so I was hardly surprised at this question. I politely explained that we were ‘legal’ and the point of our journey with a smile and friendly eye-contact and he wished us a good evening and switching to English, he wished Anya a safe flight before waving us through. A nice guy just doing his job although I wonder if the other people in several exit lanes felt the same way as they unpacked their heavily loaded cars for inspection.

I noticed a young couple stood at the rear of a Spanish car as we drove away. Anya remarked that they “looked guilty”. Here was a debate opportunity and I asked her to explain her thinking. She listed what she saw as obvious:

  • Both looked shocked and a little nervous
  • Standing close together in defensive postures

Yet, how could we know what was going through their minds? Here was a scene from a fictional movie in the making. Unless it’s articulated, how can we ever know what’s going through people’s minds?

I went through the camper (RV) gears looking for cruising speed until less than a kilometer (0.6 miles), stationary red taillights stretched away into the distance. Why use the camper on an airport run? Well you may remember that my wife’s car was trashed in an incident while she was visiting a pregnant lady on January 3rd. Although it was entirely no fault of her own, the situation is ongoing, and my car has become Sarah’s work car. The events have been written about, discussed, debated and dissected. We have no power to change the process yet try we do at the expense of feeling stressed. Oh, the stories we have told ourselves about what may or may not happen. Yet we know nothing, the process is entirely in the hands of two insurance companies who have their own agendas. How easy it is to get sucked into “ifs” and “maybes”


Stopped in traffic, nowhere to go, I noticed a motorcycle approaching from the rear. Watching the rider weave in and out of the traffic, I don’t mind admitting to feeling a little envious about the bikers’ superior progress. Until the rider very clearly delivered a kick to the side of the camper and was gone before I had the chance to react. My zen evaporated.

What did I do to deserve that?

Nothing Steve.

It is true to say that many drivers have an attitude thing going on with campers. Why? For sure, it’s about them, nothing to do with us and hours of debate have proved fruitless. The only way to truly know is to walk along the stationary traffic (aside from motorcycles) conduct a survey and after assessing the results, deliver a few “on the road” personal development programs. There’s a niche I hadn’t thought of.

We arrived at the airport on-time although I did wonder whether that would be possible, said farewell to Anya and headed back to the crawling traffic on the peripherique. What to do now? My conversation buddy had gone.

The Beatles song, “All you need is love” popped into my head and I started singing, “love, love, love, all you need is love”. After a short while I observed people in their vehicles and sent them friendly, loving thoughts, “all you need is love”. My zen returned and my vibration was so high that the remainder of the journey was quite simply wonderful. When I got home, Sarah asked how I could be on a high after such a challenging journey.

“All you need is love”

“The higher the frequency of your energy or vibration, the lighter you feel in your physical, emotional, and mental bodies. … Being in a higher vibration is going to become more and more important to you and the rest of the world as we experience greater awareness of the polarities between the lower and higher vibrations” (Huffpost.com).

More on that in my next post.


I bow to the place in you that is love, light, and joy


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Peace & Light

Steve Costello is a British Community & Youth Studies and Psychology honors graduate with over 30-years theoretical and practical experience in the Personal Development public and private sectors. He founded ExGro in 2018 with business partner, friend and clinical psychologist, Leo Faerberg.

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