Road Trips And Bucket Lists

Road Trips And Bucket Lists

You'll be ready to hop in the driver's seat and be on the road less traveled on faster than you can say "Uh oh, I think we forgot (insert important item here)."

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"Oh the places you'll go, oh the things you'll see..." word to my man Dr. Seuss for quotes that I have just recently come to live by. Before I started to write this article, I went and found "Oh, the Places you'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss just because it felt right.

As I was reading it for the first time in a long time, I realized that this little ol' children's book is one of the most creative and inspirational ways of saying "The world is yours and yours only, now go get it and don't let anything stop you." No matter how old you are, go back and read that book and you will come to realize the exact same thing I did.

It will push you in any direction you want to go because your dreams only die when you let them.

With that little opener, let me tell you the four main reasons why you MUST go on a road trip before you die:

1. ADVENTURE

Honestly, who doesn't love a great adventure? I promise this is what you'll get. No matter where you are going on your road trip, whether it be to the mountains of the west or the beaches of Southern Cal. or Times Square in New York City, be assured that adventure is lurking around every corner.

There is something new to explore every inch of every mile you travel. Put your phone down and just look out the window (as long as you aren't driving) and learn to enjoy life without that metal rectangle in your hand. Don't let the long hours in the car stop you because THAT is PART of the adventure.

Play your music and play their music and listen to podcasts and play those silly games your taught as a kid... the possibilities are endless on this adventure!

You'll learn to get reeaaaalllll close to whomever you are road tripping with though, so you better like them. Stop at landmarks, stop at national parks, stop at roadside attractions, and most importantly of all, stop at good restaurants when you can. Don't let adventure find you, but you go find adventure.

It's everywhere. And its waiting.

2. Solidarity

You're on your own. Depending on who you go with, it's up to y'all to find your way and plan your trip. There is no one else to rely on (especially in the middle of nowhere, you don't even have Google) and if finding your way on your own isn't one of the most rewarding things there is, then I don't know anything.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with asking for help, especially when you need it, but sometimes it's not there. Sometimes its just you and your road trip companions and knowing that all you have is each other... that's what really brings people together.

The highway and backroads are very lonely places from time to time and being able to just relax with the few things you have being thousands (!) of miles away from your home is a skill that you must have. And if you don't have it then, it'll come to you quick. No worries.

3. New Experiences

Now this is one of the coolest things about road trips. Being born and raised in the south, we have our own culture. We have our southern drawl, our sweet tea, and the SEC baby.

Now imagine driving 20 hours west and having absolutely none of that. Everything you have ever known is gone and nothing is the same. And then you drive north 10 more hours and everything has changed again! The fact you get to experience so many new things, culturally, in your own country is crazy.

You ever had armadillo jerky or even ever heard of it? Go to a remote part of the South West and you will 100 percent find it along with animals you never thought would be turned to jerky. "You want some fry sauce with that?" This is Utah's version of Zaxby's or Chick-Fil-A sauce, but just the name throws you off.

Can you only use it on fries? Only Utah residents can answer that question for you. Every place you visit will be different and honestly, I could turn this list into two things: number one and number three. Those two things are enough to get me to jump in my car right now and just GO.

4. New People

Just picture this. You have your campfire going, it's getting pretty big, and you are starting to be very proud of it. Then, three cute, Southern California girls walk up to you and ask you to come help start theirs. As a rookie outdoorsman, I know just enough to get by out there in the wild, but when someone sees your fire and asks you to help with theirs, that really shoots your confidence through the roof.

After I made their fire better than I made ours (southern hospitality, it's that culture thing), they invited us over for some s'mores, which, at the time, were MUCH needed. This is one of the many different experiences I have regarding meeting new people on a road trip.

Be a social butterfly and you'll be surprised how many people are willing to converse with you and even more surprised of how nice most people can be.

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I Hate That I Struggle To Love My 'Midsize' Body

I gained a few pounds, but that shouldn't be the end of the world, yet it is in a sense.

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Junior year of college has been quite the wild ride. I've had the best academic year of my entire life, yet struggled, in the end, to even want to get anything done. I didn't care about a lot of the things that used to matter to me.

I gained weight at the beginning of my second semester and went up a jean size, so half of my summer wardrobe just doesn't fit me anymore, and it's made me feel embarrassed. I went from a size 6 to an 8/10, and while it doesn't seem like a big jump to the average person, it was to me. I don't like looking in the mirror and seeing a bigger pooch than usual, or how my thighs have gotten super irritated because they also got bigger. Chaffing I used to only have in the summer occurred in late January and even scared my inner thighs. It's not cute and it hurts when it flares up. I am terrified to wear my bikinis again because I know they won't fit, and the second I put on shorts my thighs are going to want to kill me if I don't kill them first.

I came to really love my body last summer after struggling through a rough breakup where I stopped caring about myself. I owned myself last summer and as much as I want to again this summer, I'm really struggling with the idea of it.

All I feel like I see on social media are skinny girls with zero hint of a pooch or thick thighs in sight. I've never been a skinny girl and I never want to be, but I can't help but envy the people I've seen online and in person. Of course, what I see on social media isn't really accurate, but it's still been tough to look at these girls who seem like they don't have a care in the world. They can eat whatever they want and still look flawless. They can throw on a bikini and not have to feel like they need to suck everything in so no one sees their pooch hanging over their bikini bottom. As a stress eater who is still too terrified to try on her bikinis, I'm not looking forward to showing my body off when all I want to do sometimes is hide it because I don't feel happy with what I see.

I will always love being a curvier girl and YouTubers like Sierra Schultzzie, Carrie Dayton, and Lucy Wood have given me a new boost of inspiration to embrace the body I have right now. I'm not skinny but I'm not plus sized either. I feel pressure from myself and certain people in my life to be skinnier and not "let myself go." I

'm so happy to have friends who have helped me through my struggles and support me, even when I don't want to support myself. These YouTuber's have opened my eyes to the fact that this body deserves to be loved just as much as my former, smaller body.

I want to love myself with 100% of my being and I hate how much hatred I've allowed to go on inside of me. There is only one me and I need to be proud of her. Maybe she gained some weight and isn't what society expects from a girl, but she's still amazing and has so much to offer.

I wish I could see more girls like me on YouTube or social media offering a representation of my body type, which I hardly ever see. Aerie and American Eagle have done a fantastic job of including different body types and it's been a great help in seeing that they really to make clothes for all types of women, not just a size zero to two. Added representation really does wonders for someone suffering from low body confidence like me.

While I hope to begin my journey into losing a few pounds this summer by jogging whenever I get the chance, I'm not going to put intense pressure on myself to look a certain way. I am single for the summer and exploring life with my best friends by my side. I'm here to be the best version of me that I can. I cannot let negative thoughts about myself to dictate how I feel every day. I am strong, I am beautiful, and I need to love myself and my body as I am.

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11 Things You NEVER Say To A College Girl Trying To Get Into Shape

Just never talk about a person's weight.

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When my family and friends joked that I was going to gain 15 pounds in my freshman year of college as a result of the "Freshman 15," I thought it was what it was supposed to be: a joke. However, as the year has come to an end, I realized that I actually did put on a couple of pounds, albeit it wasn't the predicted 15.

As I told those that I wanted to get into an ideal shape for my body, I was met with some insensitive and ignorant remarks. Everyone thought that I mean just losing the weight I had put on.

1. "You walk to all of your classes, why aren't you losing weight that way?"

My legs are more toned than they ever have been before. However, most of the weight I have been gaining has gone directly to my gut (annoying!) and walking does not remedy that. Unfortunately, I have to stick to ab workouts.

2. "But you look fine to me!"

I don't feel healthy to myself. I'm not trying to stay in shape for anyone else, just myself, thanks. I appreciate you trying to make me feel better about my body image but I know something has to be done.

3. "I didn't gain any weight in college."

Good for you. I did. I'm trying to do something about it.

4. "Just stop drinking."

I don't drink. Really, the only liquid I consume is water or iced tea. I don't like soda and alcohol makes me nauseous way too easily.

5. "Isn't the gym free on campus for students?"

Yes, but some people don't like working out in front of others. I am one of those people. My friend lives in an apartment complex that has their own gym and almost no one is ever there but not everyone has that luxury. Also, some are busy and do not have time for a quick jog or to stretch.

6. "You should try this diet/pills/exercise routine."

I am thankful that you are trying to help but my diet is just eating healthy and having a few cheat days in between. I know what exercises work best for me and I am just not taking pills. Bodies adjust differently.

7. "Don't starve/force yourself to throw up."

Trust me, I know. I'm trying to lose the weight healthily. If you do find yourself practicing unhealthy eating habits or realizing your body image is deteriorating, the NEDA Hotline is (800) 931-2237. Please reach out if you are going through hardships.

8. "Won't you have to buy a whole new wardrobe?"

If I drop (or even add) a size or two. We grow out and grow tired of clothes on the regular, what's the difference if you have to buy some because of a weight change? Plus, who doesn't love buying new clothes?

9. "Just eat healthier."

Didn't think of it! Options are limited at college where the dining halls don't offer all that much that is actually good for your body. Now that I'm at home, it's easier. But I'm already trying to eat healthy.

10. "You've evened out since the last time I saw you!"

This is code for you've put on some weight. I hear it mostly from older relatives because my friends will flat out tell me if I've gotten a little chunky.

11. "You're just stressed."

Personally, this one gets me livid. I do admit that when I am stressed or anxious, I do turn to food for comfort but when I am delighted and genuinely happy, will my body magically revert into a fit state?

Sadly, no.

Honestly, I am just trying to get my body back into shape. For me, that means cutting back on greasy foods and kicking a bad habit of sitting on my butt all day. For others, it could mean more or less. As long as your body is in good physical condition and you are content, the number on the scale and others' thoughts shouldn't matter. Take care of yourself.

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