Let’s get one thing straight, I love the Texas Bubble. If I had to be stuck in one bubble for the rest of my life, it would be the Texas Bubble. The Texas Bubble is full of Mexican food, country music and football. I’ve been stuck for days watching snapchat stories and seeing pictures of my friends at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, SXSW, or just eating crawfish.
Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, it was in the 30’s a few days ago…
I forget the exact wording of the Commandment but I think its along the lines of…
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house nor his Chris Stapleton tickets.”
There is one flaw with the Texas Bubble though. It’s isolating. Texas is surrounded by a whole lot of nothing and the major cities of Texas are themselves hours away from the Texas border. While its true that you can get into Louisiana and Oklahoma with relative ease, you still have to drive at least an hour to get to the parts of those states that feel distinctive. Western Louisiana is just as Texan as the East Texas Piney Woods and Southern Oklahoma is essentially an extension of North Texas. Not until you hit Lafayette and Ardmore do things start feeling distinctly Cajun and Okie respectively (if you ignore the massive border casinos of course).
And those are the parts close to things. Getting to the parts of New Mexico that actually feel different is a feat in its own right. Even Arkansas doesn’t feel distinct until you’re practically in Hot Springs and I always found it interesting that of all the non-Texan colleges that could have played forever in the Southwestern Conference, the lone outsider was the University of Arkansas.
The vast geography and the influence of Texas makes it so that if one drives in any direction from Austin they are at least eight hours away from escaping the bubble.
Like I said above, the Texas Bubble is a great bubble to be stuck in, so if such a massive area is going to be stuck in a bubble at all, at least they got a good one. If you’re a traveler, escaping the gravitational pull of the Lone Star State is a major feat. An eight hour drive in Europe puts you two or three countries over. An eight hour drive in New England puts you in Canada or the Midwest. An eight hour drive from Houston puts you in Midland.
Admittedly, we’ve been derping pretty hard in the Texas Bubble for a while now. The only trips Alisha and I have made beyond it have been to Rocky Mountain National Park, New Orleans and the Dominican Republic. Coming down the pipe we will add Southern California and Costa Rica to that list. That is a plus to Texas’ location, while driving is a major pain, you are less than a six hour flight from pretty much the entirety of the continental United States as well as most of Central America and the Caribbean. The problem with flying is it is expensive for two people, especially if one of them is a student.
So if you can’t fly, and you’re tied to the bubble, you’re kind of just stuck in the bubble.