Hmmm so perhaps this should have been my first post….
The reasons to take a road trip are pretty much the whole premise for this blog AND my life over the last 5 years, but better late than
Yes why travel? and why take road trips in particular? This is a personal question and everyone will have different answers, but these are my reasons and I hope they inspire you to get out and take a trip for yourself.
1. Can Be As Long Or As Short As You Like
It’s no secret that America is way behind Europe and Australia as far as getting per-year work vacation time. By looking at these statistical averages, you can see that some countries get over 35 days a year and yet we get a mere 13. This means that people are busy and our vacation time is at a premium. The good thing about road trips is they can last anywhere from a few hours to a lifetime. You can plan everything down to the last minute before you leave, including your chosen route, how many hours per day of driving, daily stops to museums, cultural sites and restaurants, and where you will stay for the night. This is a huge time saver and allows you to enjoy every bit of your vacation.
2. Road Trips Are Cheap!
Yup, all it costs is a tank of gas and you have yourself an awesome adventure. You don’t even have to buy food, you can bring your own snacks, sandwiches and drinks. Buy a small cooler, fill with ice and you have everything you need for a day on the road. There are also tons of free activities to see and do and road trips are 100% customization, they can be as cheap or or as expensive as you want to make it.
3. Step out and see your own town/state/country
This part of life I have always had trouble understanding, and my last trip to rural Texas brought home the fact that some people just don’t travel! One of the old guys doing a tour at a local Air and Space Museum was born 8 miles away from where lives today and has never been anywhere else. It’s unbelievable to me and it’s not just an American problem, I have friends in Australia who are the same and I’m sure it happens in all countries. I originally thought people’s lack of travel experience was purely financial but it’s not, they go out and buy new cars and homes.
So what gives? What’s this all about? Is it just a lack of desire or pure laziness? I assume most people say to themselves “Oh, I’ll do it some day”. Well, in the words of Credence Clear Water revival: “Well, I’m here to tell you now, each and every mother’s son, That you better learn it fast, you better learn it young, Cause someday never comes…”
Get out there and do it, see your city, your state, your country and the world at EVERY given opportunity. We live in a time of great transportation, do it for yourself, you only have one life and everyone should have a ‘I’m always down for an adventure’ attitude.
4. Can be done alone or in groups
I really can’t decide what’s better, traveling alone or with others. I’ve had some great times either way. It’s fun to travel with other people because you get to share the experience and you have someone to talk to and help with navigation etc, but it’s also an enlightening experience going it alone. You get to lean about yourself and do exactly what you want to do, no compromises.
5. You are in control of what you want to do
This is one of the great things about road trips, the agenda you set for yourself is yours. You are not on an organized tour with pushy people telling you where to go and what to do. If you want to drive all day you can, if you want to spend the day walking around a new city exploring you can. It’s completely up to you, and whether or not you choose to plan the day down to the last minute, or wing it and go with the flow, is half the fun!
7. Offers time for reflection
I love my reflection time and for some reason, going on a road trip really gets the cobwebs out and the mind ticking in overdrive. I’ve come up with some of my best inventions while behind the wheel of a car, Like the tobacco flavored lip gloss for people trying to quit smoking, the ice cream coffee creamer and the dildo with a built in MP3, sound system and voice recorder, so you can hear your love interest whispering to you, or just keep the beat to Wu Tang Clan while you’re getting busy. 🙂 *Patent Pending!
8. Step into history
I’m a HUGE history fan! It’s the one thing that really gets me going in life and a major motivation for my road tripping adventures. I make it a point to see as many historical sites as I can even if I have to drive hours out of the way. There are some extraordinary things to see and do and you could even be living close to a historic site and don’t even know it. I’ve traveled to the same area three or more times and still not seen everything there is to see. Make it a point to investigate history no matter where you are, you will not be sorry. You cannot appreciate the future, or even the present until you step back into the past.
9. Try different foods
Sick and tired of going to the same restaurants over and over again? Go on a road trip and experience more! Part of exploring somewhere new is also getting a taste for the food. You would be surprised at how many regional food variations there are just in the United States alone and every area seems to have a different take on the American classics. My personal favorite is going to all the BBQ places places in the south. There is one drawback though, you’ll find your new favorite restaurant and then have to drive 500 miles to get to it again! Haha oh well, an excuse for another road trip!
10. Meet new people
Some of the most memorable experiences on the road have been meeting new people. You could be huddled on the side of the road together looking at bears in Yellowstone, or outside a restaurant in the desert discussing the meal you just ate, it’s all super fun!
Make it a point to strike up conversations. You could meet people from a different country and share travel tips, or talk to a local, they always have the best advice on where to eat and what to see. I’ve discovered quite a few hidden gems just by talking to locals. Despite the wonderful things you see, it’s the people you meet that you will remember the most.
11. Learn about your likes and dislikes
On my travels I have found that I don’t like staying at certain hotel chains and I don’t like eating at certain restaurants. I do however have a new appreciation for deserts and I just love taking the back roads and looking at farms and rural communities. There are so many things I didn’t know about myself until I stepped outside of the box and opened up my mind to new experiences. Experiences that only travel can bring about.
12. Makes you appreciate what you have in life
This usually happens when I get lost and end up on the wrong side of the tracks. For those of us who live in con-tempo casual USA, it’s quite a culture shock to witness the poverty that exists just outside the gates of the middle-class realm, but believe me friends, it’s there. Not only does it make you think about the class structures within society, it sure makes you appreciate what you do have even more. Many of the things we take for granted in life are pure luxuries to others. For this reason alone, travel is one of the best mind-opening experiences you can have and well worth the time and effort.
So these are 12 good reasons to step out and take a road trip as soon as possible. Even if you have to go somewhere for work and only have half a day free, make a point of getting on public transport and touring around, or just visit a museum for a few hours. You will never regret taking that time out for your own mental development and life enjoyment.
What else motivates you to travel? 🙂