2000 Mile Road Trip Tips
Well, I made it to New Hampshire. After traveling for 6 days, I thought of a few pointers I might share for making a long road trip.
1. Inheriting genes from Carl or Jane Morris would be really helpful. My grandparents were travelers. Much of their traveling was done by car. Even a Sunday afternoon drive around town was enjoyable for them. As much as that Sunday afternoon drive drove me crazy as a kid, it is now a memory I treasure. As I've found myself driving around New Hampshire many evenings after work and on my days off, I compare myself to my granddaddy and touring towns by car to take it all in.
2. Good music and audio books are a must. Long road trips are perfect for audio books. They keep you entertained for hours, and you get to complete the whole book in one trip! I can't make a trip without good music. Silly as it may be, every long car trip I take requires that I listen to Shania Twain's "The Woman in Me" album loudly and sing along. Actually, I still play the CD in my car. I may be one of the only folks with CDs still floating around their car. This trip my Lady Antebellum "Own the Night" CD got put on repeat for an hour or so on the song "Dancin' Away With My Heart". Does anyone else do that? Just play one song for hours at a time? I once played "If You Want Me To" by Ginny Owens for an entire trip from Ft. Worth to Beaumont.
3. Be kind to people and build good relationships in this life. When you do, people who've moved away or already live in different places will put you up for a night or two. It's fun to see old friends, check out their new surroundings, and save on a hotel bill for a night. Julie Reagan and Patty White were super hospitable to me on this trip. Giving me a place to lay my head in both Nashville, TN and Newark, DE. Thanks ladies!
4. Use the time alone wisely. I often will turn off the radio and sit in the silence of my car. This time is quite good for me to clear my thoughts. I can spend time thinking about things I otherwise am too busy to dwell on: stresses at work or in relationships, ideas for art projects I've had but never really conceptualized, etc. Many times I just let all the things running around my brain drift in and out. A calm and peace comes when I actually let all those ramblings have their moment. Prayer is also a large part of these silent hours in the car. Prayers get prayed that I too often rush through or put off to pray about later. Take the time to be silent. Be still.
5. Enjoy the ride. I drove through 12 states from Texas to New Hampshire. North of Tennessee, there were several states I had not been to in about 18 years. I had never driven north of Pennsylvania either, so there was tons to see! We live in a beautiful land. The United States is filled with a grand diversity of people, regional cultures, accents, and landscapes. I've always been drawn to the East Coast of the U.S., and on this trip saw some of the most beautiful sights from the windshield of my car.
6. Cruise control. I really recommend a car with cruise control. Mine does not have this feature. Every time I take a long trip I'm reminded of it. The next car will have cruise control. I might even break down and get an automatic in the next car too. Oh, the luxury!
Get out there! Go! Drive somewhere. Even if it's just to a town an hour or two from where you live. Do something different, meet some new folks, eat different food, see a new place. There is so much to see and do without living the U.S. I, like many others, get used to my rut and routine and forget to venture out. I'm glad I've made this trip. It's inspired me to keep taking more of them. Hope to see you on the road!