Anywhere But Here!
My Need for a Good Old-Fashioned Road Trip
I'm sure by now everyone has seen this meme at one point or another. It makes a valid point given how 2020 has gone thus far; the lockdowns then and now have made it more troublesome to travel anywhere out of fear of catching the Rona, and thus risking the lives of those around us and close to us. A lot of people likely don't want to bother traveling anywhere unless they absolutely have to, as they don't want to be forced to wear a mask, social distance, or simply be sent back home again.
But still there are those of us stubborn folks (myself included!) who have been homebodies for far too long. We are going bonkers! Ever hear of the 80s metal hit from Anthrax "Madhouse"? Yeah...that's pretty much the theme around our humble abodes anymore.
1. My favorite trip is always going to be a road trip.
As far as things go for me, I'm gonna be as real as possible...I need a trip to anywhere but here (by here, I mean my parents' house, where I currently reside)! Whether it's a good, long road trip to somewhere out West, or a flight to a beach, or a simple hike along a trail, I need to break free of this madness. I currently live and work at home, and even the most hermit-like introverts such as myself have to get out and about sometime!
Honestly, for me a road trip to a nearby city would be perfect, even if it's for just a day. Only a matter of a year or two ago (the good ol' days), I would road trip long distances with a friend of mine just to see The Lord Of The Rings (director's cut trilogy) in a far away theater, or go to an IMAX to see a big blockbuster. We would also visit favorite stores in whatever area we were in just to browse. I still think back to a number of those memories every time I'm stuck at home working (I know I'm blessed and all in being able to work from home, but let's face it--there's a balance that has to be struck between being home and being out and about!). Those times were so fantastic and free, and I miss those days so much!
The sense of freedom I had in taking trips by myself or with friends only a year or two ago is what I miss the most. My life is no different from everyone else's--it's full of debts, stress, and worry, and it helps a lot to get away from it all.
Not that I'm a materialistic person by any stretch of the imagination, but there's something about going on a trip to a major city, seeing a film, visiting major landmarks, and wandering through stores that I've loved ever since I was a little kid. I think it was because it was always a chance to mentally and emotionally get away from reality for a while, and quite literally see something new for a change. That is what made vacations feel like actual vacations for me whether I was visiting family members twelve hours away, or seeing a close friend who lived only 45 minutes away.
2. Road trips free up the mind and emotions.
The other reason why road trips are still my favorite when it comes to traveling is because when I am traveling on my own to see a friend or to just get out and about, I often use the time to sort my life out, vent my frustrations privately without hurting anyone, and even sing along to some of my favorite rock and metal bands. The chance to vent my anger alone is priceless, as sometimes I just have to let things out that I've kept pent up inside, but I prefer to do that only at times when no one else is around. Of course, the reason for that is sometimes my anger is misplaced, but the energy of the rage within is still fighting to get free. My way of doing damage control is by having all such arguments privately.
Perhaps a good part of the reason why I prefer to do things like think of solutions to my own life's problems, release some rage, sing my heart out, and just breathe is because when I'm out on the road, I feel like I'm actually making progress and taking care of matters. Sometimes, I do find great solutions to at least some of my life's problems, and have the chance to motivate myself to solve these problems in a timely fashion.
Point being, if I am stuck under the same roof for too long, doing the same old day-to-day routine of working night and day at home, eventually I will need to get out for a while and release frustrations. The best way to do that on my small budget is by taking a good old-fashioned road trip.
3. What my ideal solo road trip looks like:
I have to be the one driving. Not to get graphic, but I struggle with motion sickness, and I often find myself feeling sick if I have to do anything besides just riding along (I can't read a map, look at my phone, or even text people without feeling like I'm about to lose it!). In order to be the one driving, I have to also be alone in the car so as to not get stressed out by other people's judgement of my driving.
As far as destinations go, I don't have a set destination in mind unless I'm visiting a close friend or family member. Otherwise, I will go to different stores and wander around, walk a nearby trail, or just drive around. Again, the main thing I look for in a good trip are things such as the ability to clear my head and make new memories. A lot of times, the destinations are close by where I live so that I am able to get to either my destination or my home more easily. However, there are times when I get totally out of dodge for a while as well.
I'd like to add that the ultimate reason why I don't mention things like going to the beach or seeing another country is because although such places are wonderful, and eventually I'd definitely love to be able to go to places like that, a road trip is decidedly more accessible for someone like me with modest means, and is, therefore, something I am more likely to do by myself.
It is definitely far better to get out and about even for a brief period of time than to be stuck with the household floorplan for a map. There's freedom in being out and about, even for introverts like myself! Much like road trips and the ability to release anger privately, freedom is priceless! My advice: fight for your freedom, and take a road trip as soon as you can! Consider it a vital part of personal therapy and self-care. Your mental and emotional health will thank you.