My idea of distance as a person raised primarily in the Netherlands is entirely not applicable to the majority of countries in the world. Travel two hours as the bird flies, from my apartment, in any direction and you’d better know German, French, English, or whatever the fish near the coast of Norway speak. My inherent understanding of distance is that two hours of driving is far, and my mother used to pack lunch boxes for a huge undertaking like that.
The Netherlands, regardless, house almost 20 million people – making the country incredibly dense. The distance between most cities can easily be traversed by bike in the time of a normal driving commute in many countries. To many Dutch people, the Middle Of Nowhere is a place that takes more than 20 minutes to reach by bike from a major city, small villages that have limited access to the public transport system.
So even though I’ve driven across the US multiple times now, I am still fascinated by the real Middle Of Nowhere. There’s nothing. No human settlements, nothing beyond the roads and powerlines and the occasional advertisement. At night, you can drive for hours without encountering a single soul. You can see the stars against the deepest dark.
Someone built these roads through the Middle Of Nowhere just recently. I wonder if that was scary or lonely.