My old roommate’s trip to Knoxville, where she’s going to grad school, got me thinking about what I love and loathe about long solo trips:
1. Driver picks the tunes! When I want it quiet, I can have it quiet. When I want to blast Beethoven’s 9th, I can roll the windows down and blast it. Plus, I don’t feel like I have to entertain someone else for thirteen hours. Car time is iPod time for me.
2. I stop when I want to stop. This means I can pull over to check out that nifty tree or take a picture under the “Welcome to North Carolina!” sign.
3. I can’t take random pictures of that rock or those horses or the clouds. Not safely, anyway. Which is sad, because those are the pictures I’m sort of famous for in my family. I may have to play daredevil and take cool pictures anyway, just to entertain myself.
4. There’s no one else to drive when I get bored or sleepy. I just have to turn up the air, crack open a coke, and slog through it. This usually works, but sometimes I have to find a rest stop and nap for 20 minutes.
5. I have to follow my own directions. This usually turns out well, though sometimes I have to get myself un-lost.
6. Awesome randomness while stopping for gas and snacks (eg: cool town names, weird warnings, fun foods). Humor is key on solo road trips.
7. Mom constantly texts me to see where I am, how my car’s doing, and when I’ll get there. This is cute—the first ten times. Then I happen to hit “bad service areas” for awhile.
8. I can talk to myself the whole way if I want to, or to a friend in absentia. Sometimes I hold entire conversations that I really did mean to have with someone but the moment was never right. It’s kind of sad, but really cathartic.
9. I always feel so freaking accomplished having completed one, after which I never EVER want to do that again. Remind me why I picked a grad school that’s thirteen hours away??