Seeing Instagram pictures of trips to Monaco or Spain via private jets can make any girl sitting at home with pizza rolls watching Netflix a tad bit jealous. It’s just natural first world problems. Those tropical vacations seem unattainable especially as a broke college student living in an expensive city. But with a little bit of planning, anyone can have a memorable and fun traveling experience, even on a budget!
Road trips with the family have probably scarred most of us from partaking in the long and laboring journey, but after this summer I can’t express how enjoyable taking a trip with some close friends to a new place can be! I had the opportunity to travel to Denver for a two-day festival. I had been with a family friend in California, although I am from Connecticut, so I flew to Denver with my boyfriend to meet with some of our friends.
After two nights of an awesome show and hanging out, we started our journey home to New York. We had some time pressure due to one of our friends work schedules, but we planned to make a major stop in Chicago, a few other pit stops for gas, and food along the way. By planning this road trip months beforehand, it gave us plenty of time to anxiously (and excitedly) perfect every detail, who was renting the car, where we were staying (approximately) and places we wanted to stop along the way.
When you’re on a road trip you see the town or city how they truly are, rather than from afar in an airplane. This really immerses you in the culture. Also, when you are in a lot of states for several hours, you start to notice small changes in landscape or culture as you progress. On the way home we passed from Colorado through Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and eventually into New York amongst a few others. The drive was about 32 hours in total, not counting our 6 hour sleep in a hotel near Chicago. Even stopping at a local gas station in Nebraska introduced us to the local kind-hearted community. Some of our friends that took an airplane back were simply flying over the same states that we were immersing ourselves into.
Being on the open scenic road with endless conversations and taking turns with the aux cord playing music from the weekend as well as plenty of throwbacks is a journey like no other. Your problems all seem far away, and you can get lost in a new place (hopefully only figuratively) while making fond memories with your traveling companions. As much as you learn about the places you are going, I found road trips can show you who you are to yourself too. Making stops along the way for local novelties like deep dish pizza in Chicago add much needed breaks from the car while learning more about the places you are going and what the people are like there. I have to admit it is nice that I only drove the trip in one direction, getting instead to see new things on both legs of my trip, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.
On a road trip you have one destination but you experience multiple cultures along the way and being with your close friends feels like a piece of home is there with you to experience it all. I’m grateful for my friends that I now perceive as family for the wonderful memories I will forever hold on to.Satisfy your wanderlust with a road trip that will leave you feeling fulfilled without emptying your wallets.