Growing up, I was very fortunate that my parents wanted to take a family of six and our dog on vacations to places all across the U.S. With the fact that there is six of us, trying to afford flying everyone and finding housing for our dog was financially impossible. So my parents did the logical thing and took numerous amounts of road trips. My parents unknowingly instilled a sense of exploration within me that still carries through today.
You Can Stop As Often As You Want
Just had a bathroom break 15 minutes ago and need another? Not a problem! The only person you have to consider is yourself(and possibly your host if you are staying with friends or family). See a gorgeous lake just off the highway and want to take in nature's beauty? You can! Want to grab lunch at a place that isn't necessarily on the route, but you've always wanted to try? DO. IT. No one is going to get mad at you if you check into your hotel an hour later than scheduled.
You Can Act However You Want
We all have those car rides that we'd like to be as pumped as can be, but then instantly want to be deep into our feels. Guess what? The only people that are going to know that you're bawling while singing along to Marshmello and Bastille's "Happier" is you, the open road, and the random strangers you pass. So dance in the car, belt your favorite girl-power song at the top of your lungs, HELL, fart for all I care. Just remember, laws still apply and you have to deal with the smell.
You Don't Have To Compromise
Remember when I said that you can take as long as you'd like on the road? The same concept goes for planning your trip. Besides money, the only things you have to consider when organizing your days is yourself. You don't have to ask where someone else wants to eat, what they want to eat, or when they want to eat. Don't want to get out of your hotel bed for a whole day? Go you! Want to museum hop and visit every museum in the city your staying? Let's get on it! Want to do a random activity that you've never had the chance to do before? LET'S ROCK N' ROLL!
You Have Time To Think
There's always those moments within car rides where your mind just wonders. You start thinking about how influential your third-grade teacher was and that you should thank them one day. Or you start doing what I do which is contemplating your entire life. The road is the one place I can just drive and think. There's no real noise around you and you can let your mind just go. I once sorted out my entire graduation speech in the slightest, tiniest chance I get to speak at my college graduation in one two-hour drive.
You Can Enjoy Wherever You're Driving
I once drove through Arkansas and I just kept smiling because the state is so beautiful. If I was traveling with someone else, I'd be chatting or napping and not fully focused on the amazing beauty that was right in front of me. Similarly, I drove through New Mexico and the person I was traveling with was asleep at the time so I had a chance to enjoy the beauty of that state. Taking in nature's beauty or odd spots is part of the joy of going to new places. What fun would it be if you missed something?
Now I'm not saying that you need to only travel by yourself or you need to start hating traveling with other people. What I am saying is that we need to start enjoying the time we spend by ourselves and start viewing road trips as opportunities for self-love.