The fine art of the road trip

Credit: abhisawa/Flickr.com

I wish I could say I was headed out on an epic road trip this weekend, but sadly I’m not. I just got to thinking about the art of the road trip and what it entails to truly pull one off “properly.”

My first ever road trip happened when I was just 6 years old. My grandmother and I drove from Vancouver, British Columbia to Mexico City. Yup, that’s right. Straight down the west coast. Apparently, it took the better part of 21 days to get down there. We stopped everywhere; Grand Canyon, Disneyworld, random roadside attractions. I really wish I remembered more about it. But I think that childhood experience may have been the beginning of my love for the road trip.

There’s something about knowing you have an epic journey ahead in a car that really gets me going. I think that’s why I always grin from ear-to-ear when I see the new Ford Explorer commercial. It’s all about getting out and finding adventure in your car — and that’s what a road trip is all about!

You don’t need hundreds of dollars to explore a new place, province, city, town, street. You just need a license, a few friends, maybe a map (if you like being that prepared), a few snacks and water and you’re good to go!

That’s the beauty of the road trip. It’s so simple. Anyone can do it, anywhere. You only need a car and a licensed driver and boom, you’re good to go. Choose a direction and drive in it.

The things you’ll see and experience along the way far outweigh those you’d experience in a plane. True, my husband and I have journeyed to Kenya and even within Kenya. But I wish we’d been able to drive to all our locations. We often took propeller planes, and while the land was still visible, I wish we’d been on the dirt roads going through villages and savage landscapes instead.

Being in a car, travelling through unknown territory, is thrilling; it’s intoxicating.

When C and I first went to Cuba for vacation, we were still in our very early 20s (22 if I remember correctly). We stayed in a resort that was located off the main island, on its own little island. A causeway was built in the middle of the ocean to accommodate drivers and get people to and from the off-island resort. As soon as we saw cars were available to rent (little Peugeot 206s no less), we knew we had to rent one.

Driving around Cuba in our Peugeot we had no idea what to expect. And we had no map. Our guide was a hotel worker who needed a lift home, so we obliged. He told us as much as he could about the country and life there. And as we drove, we experienced what he was talking about.

The road trip is a truly enlightening experience. I recommend it to anyone.

It doesn’t matter what kind of car you own or where you’re going really. Just as long as you enjoy the trip and the company you keep along the way.

I think C and I will have to do a road trip sometime soon, I’m itching to head out on the open road again.

Drive on,
– M.

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on April 1, 2011.

One Response to “The fine art of the road trip”

  1. I’m planning a road trip for when I get my full license, and hopefully I’ll be prepared. I’m planning to go from Toronto to Halifax. No idea how long it will take, but it should be fun, right?
    Although recently, I missed a family road trip from T.O. to Florida. Although that may not have been an entirely bad thing…

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