Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Road Trips: Great, if You Have What it Takes

Loyal readers of Graham's Travel Blog may have noticed that much of what I've written about when it comes to getting from point A to point B focuses on air travel. This stems from the fact that the majority of my recent travel has been done by plane.

While it is true that I have written about trains and public transportation, I haven't really touched upon one of the great travel experiences that is available. I am of course referring to the road trip.

Those that have been following my travel adventures for a while may remember The Time Denver Got Snowed In, a really long story which had a road trip component and Oregon Road Trip: Trail to the Treehouse Hotel, but I've yet to discuss road trips in a more general way. I'd like to rectify this shortcoming now.

Travel by car can be one of the most rewarding ways to travel as it can be as flexible as you need to be- you control the schedule. If you see an interesting site along the way then you can just stop and investigate it. Try doing that on a plane!

Of course, the correct attitude, along with copious snacks, is essential for a successful road trip as you give yourself up to the mercy of the road. Anything can happen when you abandon schedules and embrace serendipity.

These are often wonderful things such as stumbling upon a great little diner to eat lunch, finding a waterfall on an impromptu walk through the woods or discovering some wonderful garlic at a roadside farmer's market.

While there are plenty of great things to be seen on a road trip, it is also important to keep in mind that not everything will go as planned. I've been lost, had cars break down and gone for far too long before finding a restroom. These are all things that I've experienced first hand and I've made it though alright.

The flexibility and attitude required for a proper road trip wax and wane with me, but when I'm in the mood, there's nothing quite like loading up the car and hitting the road. The classic road trip is not something that I've done all that often recently, but moving to New England, with plenty to see in the area, has renewed my desire to drive for long stretches and see what's out there.

My wife and I have been making regular trips South to visit family, but we've also made it as far North as Portsmouth, NH and hope to explore further soon; I'm sure you'll hear about it.

So, where did this deep love or road trips come from? I guess that my parents can take credit for that. Growing up, we would take regular trips to Laughlin, Nevada, which was a 5 hour trip by car. On these trips, I would always look forward to stopping at Barstow, CA where we would use load up on all kinds of junk food from the gas station.

It's funny how normal eating rules tend to go out of the window on road trips. What was once a forbidden food item becomes easily accessible. I'm not sure why, but I embrace this universal truth to this day when I travel by car. Amongst my more treasured road trip snacks are Hostess Cupcakes and the sometimes hard to find Beer Nuts.

If you haven't gone on a road trip lately, and you can muster the correct attitude to support one, I highly recommend getting your car checked out and consider hitting the open road and embrace all of the possibilities that it can bring.

To my faithful readers: please tell me about your all time favorite road trip in the comments section below.

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1 comment:

  1. I love road trip specially if you're going out with friends... opened window and loud sound trips! But make sure to check your vehicle first before leaving.