A road trip is much more than just a good time on four wheels. It’s a break from your routine, a chance to both explore and reflect. Spending a few days or weeks on the highway (or better yet, the back roads!) has a way of clearing your head and driving home some of life’s simplest and most important lessons. Pun intended! Here are five things a road trip teaches you.
It’s the Journey, Not the Destination
We’ve all heard this one a thousand times, but how often do we really embrace the notion? At no other time does this cliché ring more true than when you are literally on a voyage from one place to another. It’s the stops along the way, both expected and unexpected, that really make a road trip. The quaint small towns, weird roadside attractions, and even breakdowns all add to the excitement. In fact, those spontaneous stopovers and side trips are often far more memorable than whatever happens when you arrive. So relish the journey—every part of it.
Go With the Flow
In our day-to-day life, it’s natural to try hard to maintain strict control over things. We plan and budget, set up meetings, and schedule activities. Our lives are often ruled by our calendars. On a road trip however, all of that goes out the car window. You can’t control the traffic or road conditions, the things you will come across or people you will meet. And the key to enjoying every aspect of it is to relax and go with the flow. A laid-back attitude always leads to a more enjoyable journey, on the road and in life.
Stop and Smell the Roses
No, really. This isn’t just a saying your grandma probably told you. It’s a real thing you should do more often. Slow down and take in your surroundings with all five of your senses. And the pace of driving versus flying somewhere allows you to do just that. You have the time to notice the details and the opportunity to soak them all in. Allow yourself this indulgence, avoid feeling rushed and smell more of life’s roses, real and proverbial.
It’s the Company You Keep
At the end of the day, what matters most is who you are with. This holds true in any circumstance, but especially on a road trip. Is it someone you can get lost in conversation with for hours? Are they friends who will hit the high notes with you in a sing-along? Will car trouble bring you closer, or tear you apart? These are the things to think about when choosing your road, and life, partners.
Life Is What You Make of It
So is a road trip! Do you take the freeway or the path less traveled? Do you stop on a whim or rush to your destination? Do you roll with the punches or stress about the details? A road trip, like life, is dictated by your approach. You can choose to be playful, decide to be grateful, and make happiness your default. So pack some snacks, grab some good friends, and enjoy the ride.
What was the best road trip you ever took? Share your route in the comments!