A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Ode to the Road

Road trips. They’re an incredibly easy and inexpensive getaway, but they can also be an extensive vacationㅡ whatever you want them to be. It’s just you, the open road and whatever music comes on, or whatever trashy commentary you can muster. So here’s a summary of what you can expect if you ever decide to go on one, which would be a lovely decision, since spring break is just around the corner. Here’s to my trip to New Mexico, and an open letter to traveling by road.

It was a lot of things. It was pretty sunsets on the horizon and the desert for as far as the eye could see. It was annoying at some points; service came and went faster than the mile markers. It was uncomfortable; my foot still hurts three days after I drove my shift in the seven hour journey there. I’m still catching up on the lack of sleep and I have yet to clean out all the crumbs from the Cheetos bag that got dumped on the floor of the passenger seat.  

But in spite of that all, it was memorable. Take the small moments, for example. The wind blowing through your hair, or the moment when everyone is singing to the top of their lungs to a song that hasn’t been played for years, or even at fast food joints, where your hair is all tangled and you’re hurting in places that usually don’t hurt and you share a laugh with your friends and family like, “Wow, we actually are here right now, in a new place, what a concept.” Or when you finally get to the hotel and you lay down after hours of being in a car.

It was also fun doing things you never thought you would, because you’re a tourist, and you can do touristy things. You can also do questionable things or do whatever your heart desires. And if your heart desires running around a hotel in onesies at ungodly hours in the night with your best friend, dabbing in the middle of a restaurant or dancing in the middle of downtown Albuquerque, so be it. Just do it. You’ll laugh at it for years to come.

With spring break just around the corner, if you don’t have any plans, please consider just driving away.
See new sights, make new memories. Good or bad, you’ll look back and think and that’s really all that matters. It’s just about getting out there and experiencing the world for what it is, and that’s a beautiful thing.