Road travel isn’t the same as it used to be. Just ask any truck driver who’s spent years on the road, and they’ll tell you it’s true.
No matter where you travel, you find less courtesy on the roads today, speed limits seem to be arbitrary until you see an awaiting Highway Patrol car, and driver’s have entirely too many distractions at their fingertips.
In many ways, the modern travel experience of motorists isn’t nearly as enchanting as it once was in the later half of the 20th century. But, despite all of this, you can still get out there and explore the world at your own pace.
A cross-country road trip is often considered an American rite of passage. This is where you finally set forth to see new places and experience a new world, just as the explorers of old once did when they set forth to pioneer the American frontier.
Here, we’ll discuss the art of the road trip, and how to make it a pleasurable experience amid all of the busyness of today’s world.
Distraction can come in several forms. And, these are not just limited to your onboard GPS or your smartphone. In fact, worry can be a distraction along with stress, fatigue, and inclement weather.
Though none of us can control the weather, we can control most of our distractions. One of these is worrying about your car’s performance. In order to mitigate this as a distractor, ensure that you get a tune-up prior to hitting the road. In addition, ensure that your insurance policy has roadside assistance added. If your policy doesn’t include this service, shop for a new auto insurance policy and make the necessary adjustments.
Now, the main distractions for most motorists are the constant notifications and text messages one receives per day. If you wish to pay attention to the road and to your journey, silence your phone or place it on a “do not disturb” setting while you’re traveling. Use a map instead of a GPS, and listen to terrestrial radio rather than your playlist.
You’d be surprised how free you feel when you’re unplugged from the web for a few hours, and it’s much less distracting.
Look for Alternate Routes
The population of the world has nearly doubled in the past 40 years. Correspondingly, there are more people on the roads today than there once were during the golden days of road travel.
While you might want to get to your destination as quickly as possible, consider taking a longer route. You’ll notice that if you deviate from Interstate travel you’ll be journeying through a world of old forgotten highways and byways. Though these roads are still traveled frequently, they don’t offer quite the same experience as Interstate travel.
On old highways, you’ll come across old, forgotten towns. You’ll see historic points of interest, and instead of strip malls and large chain restaurants, you’ll find sleepy roadside motels, mom n’ pop restaurants, general stores, and country kitchens.
In many ways, the old highways hold the last surviving remnants of the classic road trip that Americans once loved and wrote about as found in the “Beat” literature of the ’50s and ’60s.
Get Out of Your Car
If you’re going to experience life fully, you have to experience it up close. This means that you need to get out of the car once in a while and explore the sights that you’d otherwise be passing on by.
Too often motorists will tell you what they saw along their road trip, but not what they experienced. This is because most people are so worried about getting to their destination that they forget to enjoy the journey itself.
Your most memorable experiences will often be the most simple. Whether this is stopping along the roadside just to take in the view, or to explore a wild river that you’re driving alongside. Watching scenery like this is certainly pleasurable, but seeing it up close and taking it in with all of your senses offers a much more complete experience.
Remember, the journey is part of the trip. And, you have to get out of your car to experience it at least a few times along the way.