After spending over a week driving on two consecutive road trips, I have noticed a pattern in the behavior of the riders. I have driven to California from Ohio and to and from Florida. So, after spending over 60 hours driving across the United States, I feel that I am a master on cross-country road trips and their related emotions. I have noticed that while traveling with friends, there are many stages that we all go through as the time drags on during the drive. Here are the stages that make up any road trip.
When we start off, everyone is so excited to start our journey. We all talk animatedly about our detailed plans for the week, where we wanted to go to dinner every night and what we plan to do with our nights and days. The car is filled with excited chatter.
Still in an excited mood, but having exhausted the topics of our future plans, we proceed to sing to every song on our playlists. From current hits to our childhood classics, we sing every word, giggling because after all, we don't sound remotely like the artist singing the song.
3. Scenic Viewing Time
Everyone calms down, just listening to the music. We are now getting deep into our trip. Having now sang all of the classic songs, we all just watch as the land outside flashes by in silence. Occasionally, there is a comment on gas, food or how horrible the current driver is driving.
4. Last Ditch Attempt
Someone is the car, normally me, tries to rile up the crowd. This person suggests games to play, songs to sing and even tries to get the good, old memories flowing. Nothing works and everyone proceeds to continue to look out the window.
5. Silent Solo Time
This stage lasts the longest. Everyone does their own thing, proceeding to ignore every other passenger in the car. I normally nap on and off, occasionally waking to change the song. My friends search social media and Snapchat or text.
Towards the end of the day of driving or when we start to get close to our destination, everyone starts to lose it slightly. I still haven't figured out if our craziness is due to our excitement of finally arriving or if we are just running low on fumes. Anyways, everyone in the car starts acting like they are on some crazy drugs. Every joke is the funniest thing we have ever heard. We start thinking of stupid scenarios, like what would happen if we started a peacock farm. Overall, we act like total morons until we finally arrive or the most sane rider has had enough of our stupidity.
Ultimately, I love road trips. They may be super long and have many ups and downs. Also, with a group of college students, you run the risk of having a bad driver, listening to countless hours of the same generic music and occasionally having the desire to kill one another every couple hundred miles. However, road trips create the best memories and provide plenty of bonding time with your closest friends.