Emily Little

Road trip blues

In my 15 years on this Earth, I have never met someone who doesn't like going on vacation. However, when said vacation requires a long car ride, some complaining is sure to follow. Whether the car ride is just a few hours or three days, sitting for that long in a car is something everyone dreads. Personally, the longest car rides I have ever been on were only 10 hours or so. Although they weren't cross-country trips, they certainly had their negative points. When you are stuck in a car for a long period of time, you realize how much you can't do: you can't get up to use the bathroom, you can't walk around, you can't even sleep in a comfortable position. Unless your car happens to have a television in it, long car rides usually result in quick boredom and irritation. I have tried many methods to keep entertained on a long car ride. I usually start off the trip attempting to read a book or get some homework done, but it falls by the wayside. I pull out a book of Mad Libs, but that gets old quick. Eventually, I turn to playing the license plate game, which entails looking on license plates for each letter of the alphabet. Of course, being extremely competitive, I tend to take the game a little too seriously. After boredom strikes, another annoyance usually arises on long car rides - using the restroom. Often times on lengthy car trips, bathroom stops are few and far between, which can get irritating fast.
I find myself with a case of "Are we there yet?" with car rides as short as an hour, so I can't imagine I'm very pleasant to be with during a truly long drive. When my friends tell me they took three-day trips cross-country to California or Texas, I cringe. If I get impatient driving to Orlando, I can't picture myself riding in a car for several days straight. In the longest car ride under my belt so far, my mom and I decided we wanted to stop at a hotel for the night. I was overjoyed because not only do I love staying in hotels, but I would get to sleep in a real bed rather than in the backseat of the car. As a new driver, I get scared simply driving to the grocery store. How people drive on major highways and interstates for 10, 15, or even 20 hours without stopping for the night baffles me. Although I dread car rides too lengthy for my liking, there are some positive points to them. When my mom and I took our daylong road trips, I loved getting to spend some quality time with her. This is true for anyone you travel with, unless of course it's someone you aren't particularly fond of. It's also somewhat fun to just stare out the window for a while. On a car ride that long, you're bound to see something interesting. Regardless of the good things that may come of an extensive drive, it will always be my least favorite method of travel. From boats to trains to planes, I've done it all, and long car rides are definitely my last pick. I love going on vacations, but lengthy car trips seem to just put a damper on them. The saying "it's about the journey, not the destination" may be true in most situations, but long car rides are definitely not one of them.