New car smell, an open road, some sweet n’ salty snacks and a map…
This is how I’ve begun many road trip adventures. Sure, we’ve got smartphones, but I consider maps more than a novelty. When technology fails you, that map is god. Moments like this are not only refreshing, they’re good for the soul. It’s not just that we’re going somewhere fun, it’s the entire experience prior to reaching the destination. I love the total package, including snacks that are bad for you (balance, people). At the start of this year, more road trips was something I intended for 2014, and I am so grateful I followed through. My most recent trip was a picturesque drive through the mountains of Colorado in a Prius. Because we had to. It’s Colorado! C’mon!
Road trips are reminiscent of life. It’s the in-between time, the journey to somewhere. The process is filled with mundane moments that lead to a greater overall experience when seen from the right context. You could be bored in a car, or you could daydream and talk about your favorite memories. You may get lost and have to find your way back on path or depend on another person’s help to guide you. You may stumble upon roadblocks or get a flat tire, as was our case, and in those moments you’ve got to find your inner cool to stay happy, resolve it and keep movin’. Sometimes people really get into it and sing out loud to their favorite old pop songs, while some people get impatient waiting for time to speed up.
The solemnly silent parts are the best. Even though I was with my favorite road trip partner, these contemplative moments are the stuff of vacation magic. It’s a comfortable quiet and I enjoy letting the road and its surroundings blur into the background of my mind. One of the few times I welcome this inner chatter to fill my consciousness. Sometimes I even daydream and imagine wonderful things I want to bring into my life. I loved this part of being a kid as I was a frequent daydreamer. It’s pretty hard to pack in daydreaming now when we’re all so busy doing things, but when we’re on the road (preferably paying attention to signs and things of that nature) daydreaming is the bees knees.
This particular ride was full of lush green mountains, cottage-styled homes and roaming horses. The Colorado roads are spectacular for driving. My boyfriend and I got to talk about random topics like the proper Spanish name for PlayDough and the awesomeness of the Easy bake oven. We got to take pauses and turn on the radio to catch gems like, “Hornets are nature’s dick. You know who likes hornets? No one. Not even hornets like hornets.” And then agree and elaborate on how hornets really are pretty big dicks, we’d prefer a pack of wasps, etc.
These moments of fluffy conversation fall on the other spectrum of road trip activities that I adore. We gotta get that quiet life contemplation in, but you better believe we’re also laughing at immature jokes. This is the full circle of the road trip. At every stage, it’s therapeutic and necessary for us to experience the playful banter and real life contemplation on our journey to somewhere.