When she walks by, heads turn after her. Women admire her style, while men secretly dream of running away with her.

She is not young any more, not in the strict sense. But there is a youthfulness surrounding her, this faint promise of everlasting freedom, bravery, adventure. Some would say, she aged well. Like wine, the years have been good to her, and despite the occasional cough in the morning, she feels fine.

She is our partner in crime, our method of transportation, our home, our TARDIS. She is our Big Emma, our VW Bus. Rationalists would say, imagining a mind in a machine is silly. Sure it is. But really, screw them. Just like kids that project a mind onto their teddy bear, Big Emma is alive for us. She is just as much a part of our travel crew as we are.

We are not only Big Emma’s companions…


Into the woods!

She has her good days and her bad ones, she likes to go to some places and despises others, and just like with any travel companion, we need to be on good terms with her to make the trip fun. If she is upset, our day might suck, but if she’s doing good, we’ll fly up and down mountains like it’s nothing. She is a loyal companion, staying out in the rain just to keep us dry, sweating up hills so we don’t have to. In fact, we consider ourselves her companions. In the end, she is the one who gets us places, she is the one who wins over the hearts of people in the street just by looking gorgeous straight out of bed in the morning. We, well, we simply have the privilege of being along for the ride.

… we are also her doctors

And while she will always look sweet as pie to any stranger, this girl is a lot of work. She is moody, and under the crust of her youthful appearance there are wrinkles and aches, the pinching little pains of getting older. Besides being Big Emma’s mates on this trip, we are also her doctors. Unfortunately for her, we dropped out of med school before graduation, but we try to make it up by caring more than any hired doctor ever would, that extra bit that you can only care as friends. One day it’s her distributor points that need aligning, another day the rain comes into one of the windows in the front. One day the sliding door suddenly refuses to lock, although it was fine just an hour ago. When she demands attention, we have no choice but to comply. We’re still learning to cater to her occasionally overpowering spontaneity.


Doc Emma at work. “Does it hurt when I pull on this?” “Ouch!” – Image by Klim Bulygin

Go Big Emma, go!

For a reason unknown to us, Big Emma despises Boulder, Colorado. There must be something about this city, something sinister, since both times that she has been there with us, the car has broken down. There are other places she loves to go. Long, empty, slightly hilly highways are her thing, 55 miles per hour is her happy place. Not too slow, but slow enough that the steering wheel doesn’t vibrate like a sander and everybody else still feels the need to pass her. She likes being passed. She likes being noticed, and getting her picture taken. Like a lady, she likes to be admired and taken care of, but most of all she likes one thing: adventures. New places, new people, new road, new smells, her hunger for adventure is what fuels this trip. Her trip. Go, Big Emma, go!

Liked reading about Big Emma’s side of this epic adventure?  Make sure to check out Big Emma’s Diaries, written by the old girl herself every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!


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