Have you ever shouted that out loud when you've gotten behind the wheel of your car, ready to hit the road for a trip out of town?
Maybe you were just headed to the airport. Maybe you were just getting away for the day. Maybe you were en route to a well-planned actual road trip.
It's a favorite phrase of mine whenever I hit the road, for almost no matter what. I just like the sound of it. I even found myself saying it the day I took my boyfriend to the hospital for his open heart surgery a few weeks ago. Seriously. As soon as we'd packed his overnight bags in the back seat, were buckled in, and I'd opened the garage door, the words came tumbling out as natural as can be, "Road trip!"
He laughed. It made me laugh. Of course we knew we were not headed to a tourist destination, but those words instantly broke the silence and helped to ease the uneasiness of the mood in the car. Heart surgery is no small thing. He was beyond worried. I was worried for him. And the first thing that came to mind was the option to pretend this was something fun instead. It helped make the drive that much easier. Then, he turned on his relaxation tapes, and we finished the ride out with positive intention.
Soon after I met the guy, we went on our first road trip together. We'd planned to drive up to Sedona in my new SUV for the Jazz Festival. But we got stuck in traffic and veered off in a spontaneous change of mind to an out of the way place I'd never been called Seven Springs. We took the Carefree Highway to get there, and once past the little town of Carefree, north of Scottsdale, it turned out to be a dustier, rockier ride than what we'd originally intended. The road to Sedona is all freeway. This was dirt trail, with rusted out car parts appearing frequently here and there. We laughed as were jostled around, imagining my new Nissan Pathfinder dropping a bumber or a hubcap or a headlight on the way. It's good to have a sense of humor about such things, as I'd never ridden on a dirt road before, and I never really thought I'd want to do it in my new car. But I did, and that road trip turned out to be one of many we'd take together. Who knew this guy would be my inspiration for such adventures and lead to me writing my first book, BACKROADS & BYWAYS OF ARIZONA!
When you think of the phrase yourself, maybe you think of the movies featuring a road trip or two. One of the more popular that comes to mind would be"National Lampoon's Vacation." But there are many others, including "Dumb & Dumber," "The Bucket List," "Little Miss Sunshine," Sideways" and "Almost Famous." Film directors know a good theme when they've driven it. Road trip movies work because we can relate to the sense of freedom you feel on the open road. That's what made Route 66 historic. That's why lots of people, myself included, dream of taking a year off and traveling the country by RV. These are all good reasons to be inspired by the phrase.
A road trip takes you places. It allows you to see the world from a wider view. And I don't know anyone who hasn't experienced a major life change and not thought about getting in the car and taking off somewhere to deal, or avoid dealing, whichever the case may be.
So tell me about your last road trip. Where'd you go? What'd you do? Is there a road trip somewhere in your dreams that you'd yet like to take? Tell us all about it here.
Meanwhile, here are a three tips that will help you welcome the spontaneous action into your life:
- Always keep your gas tank filled to full. That way, you're always prepared to get up and go.
- The next time you're anywhere near a selection of maps, buy the one that appeals to you most. That will help keep your road trip dream alive. When the time is right, you'll know.
- If this would be your first road trip, and you'd want to do it alone but you're nervous, plan and execute a day trip near your home. This will build your confidence for the real road trip ahead.