10 May 2012

As the Miles Stretch...

This week (week 19*) on the BootsnAll Indie Travel Challenge: The Perfect Roadtrip

View from a road trip through the Andes
Anyone who knows me knows that my perfect road trip would involve me not being in a car. When 9/11 happened, I was in Atlanta, and two of my coworkers decided to rent a car to drive back to San Francisco. Someone smarter than me would have jumped into the car with them, since in the day or two after, we had no idea when planes would be up in the air again, if ever! I however, don't wish myself in a car for too long, under stress like that, on my worst enemy. (not to worry...I made it home safe and sound the Saturday after)

But, in the spirit of this challenge...a road trip. The great American dream. The open road full of potential. When I think of road trips I think of how lucky we are -- this country is so diverse, so full of natural and man-made beauty. And even just west of the Rockies, well...something surprising to me is that my bucket list may just include a trip, via a vehicle.

To me... I think the perfect road trip would consist of three people. Why three? I feel like four crowds the car too much, and two just heightens the risk of boredom. Three means one person drives, one person can nap, and one person can stay up and talk to the driver. As someone who cannot really sleep in the car, I find this to be key. Perhaps I am just jealous of those who can, but I find it rude if no one stays up with the driver. Oh, and it would be nice if all the people in the car were friends, but that's not necessary. Sometimes it's fun to go with someone who is more of an acquaintance, that way there is lots to learn. At the very least, everyone in the car should be willing to share and answer random questions, with no topics really off limits.

Next...music. The three people should all get input and everyone should be open for something a little different. Exceptions are very twangy country music, music so emo it may make you want to slit your wrists, and that indie aura stuff that puts you to sleep. You can pop a song like that in there here & there, but don't do anything that may make the driver cry or fall asleep. The playlist should always include something cheesy and that everyone pretends to love in an ironic way, but secretly really loves (see: "I Want it That Way" by Backstreet Boys, "Hit Me Baby" by Britany Spears, and anything by LMFAO...don't pretend you don't know what I am talking about. No one is too cool to resist the power.).

Then, drinks & snacks. Having water is important. Perhaps some Vitamin Water Zero. And, of course, Coke Zero. Then, there needs to be sweet & savory snacks. Fruit snacks, yes, the ones kiddos love, are good for holding over between stops. For the salty, I find Pringles to be perfection. Just the original ones, nothing else fancy. Also, Doritos -- cool ranch or nacho cheese. These things are all delicious. I also like to throw in some bananas, sugar snap peas, and baby carrots. If there is a place to keep things cool, hummus is also cool for a little protein, but that is not so easy for the driver.

Finally...everyone has to have a sense of adventure. This doesn't mean, necessarily, doing anything that will put you at huge risk, rather, be open to experience and a little change of route. Want to see the biggest ball of twine? Do it. Find a huge statue of something random on the side of the road? Stop and take a picture with it, take a climb on it, whatever. Don't be so tied to a schedule that you can't allow for something different. Don't be too cool for these experiences. No one is too cool for this.

To me? Being on the open road is just full of possibilities (and, maybe tedium). But if a road trip had even half of the things I'm talking about, plus my camera, it would be pretty awesome.

*also...holy crap! Are we already into the 19th week of the year. Flyin', flyin'.

No comments: