Road Trips

Ever since I passed my driving exam and got my driver’s license, I have enjoyed driving.  This has been especially true of me when it comes to road trips.  Every time I have the opportunity to, I like to take road trips, whether by myself or with friends.  This past Christmas, my family all met up in Cleveland, Ohio to spend Christmas together, and even though my younger sister, who also lives in Tuscaloosa, decided she would fly up there, I packed up my things and my dog and road tripped the both of us to Cleveland, stopping at historical sites and museums along the way.  When I came to college from my parent’s house in the Bay Area of California, my parents flew one of my friends out to California and we road tripped from there to Huntsville, Alabama.  We spent a week travelling in my MINI Cooper and visiting sites such as the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest.  I find that taking road trips in a weird way gives me a sense of tranquility.  Driving has a calming affect on me, which is why I will sometimes just get in my car and drive when I need to calm down or have something to really think about.

A picture of my current car with snow at Christmas!
A picture of my current car with snow at Christmas!

Historical: Leading a lifestyle in which one frequently travels is very reflective of many people historically.  Historians believe that the people who initially settled this continent were nomads, as well as many others who lived before them and after them.  Native Americans were often forced into a nomadic lifestyle because they were constantly hunting the buffalo and would move based on where the buffalo were going.

Proximal: My outside causes are very often my family.  If I want to see them during the holidays, I have to travel to where they are, and, if possible, my preferred method of travelling to them is by driving.  Sometimes I am forced to fly, but most often these days, we are meeting in places that allow me to drive and road trip with my dog.

My dog, Dobby, and I stopped at Abraham Lincoln's birthplace!
My dog, Dobby, and I stopped at Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace!

Developmental: When in college, most people like to travel and explore as many new places as they can.  This usually manifests itself in study abroad programs or Spring break vacations.  As I am usually working during Spring break and I will not get the opportunity to study abroad for financial reasons, my desire to explore new places manifests itself in my road trips.  Often times, I will stop somewhere just because I saw a sign for it somewhere or I extensively plan the spots I want to stop at because I know already that there is something interesting there.

Functional: Driving is something that requires a lot of coordination on the part of the individual.  Such coordination is definitely an evolved behavior.  Much of it is also learned.  There is a reason why you have to be a certain age in order to apply for a driver’s license, and I think a lot of that has to do with a person’s ability to perform the tasks necessary to drive.

Me at the Grand Canyon!
Me at the Grand Canyon!

One thought on “Road Trips”

  1. Have you read “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman by chance? He reinterprets roadside attractions as ritual sites of power that Americans have built things on to give them excuses to visit the places they are otherwise inexplicably drawn to (since we’ve dispensed with belief in the inherent powers of places in nature). It puts roadtripping & stopping off at places like the Grand Canyon (or, one of my favorites, “Foamhenge” in Natural Bridge, VA) into a new perspective.

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