In today's day and age, there are plenty of options when it comes to transportation. A vast majority of people prefer to save time and (sometimes) money by flying to distant destinations instead of taking a traditional road trip. When the recession hit in late 2007, gas prices hit all-time highs, deterring people from taking long road trips. Part of that stigma hasn't faded. However, filling up a car of some of my closest friends and being confined to the same vehicle for 8+ hours has, on some occasions, been more enjoyable than the destinations themselves.
Over the last few years I have consistently found myself sitting in cars for unreasonable periods of time, yet, somehow, that hasn't dissuaded me from continuing these actions.
That’s because having a group in a car with various music tastes, political opinions, life experience, and so on allows for deep conversations and the passage of knowledge. Frequently, I’m the youngest person in this scenario, which has allowed me to get used to finding myself in conversations about the world beyond my limited frame of reference.
Generally, people enjoy talking about themselves and their experiences. We are social creatures so this is to be expected; we wish to share with others what we have learned. When you talk with your friends in this setting, you’re able to learn things about them you would otherwise never get to know. Because you’re trapped together for so long, you search for ways to kill time. Meaningful conversation is an excellent choice for this. You also compare ways in which you each handle different situations, and are given the opportunity to pass along advice about mistakes, so your friends won't make the same ones.
Additionally, prior to going on all of these trips, I was strictly listening to pop punk type bands. I am very thankful that my friends took me out of my comfort zone in that regard, as it allowed me to experience the wonders of more modern music such as the all mighty Kanye and Taylor Swift.
While there are plenty of people who hate long car rides, I’ve discovered that, for me, they’re one of the best things ever. Spending quality time with the people that are important to you, or even getting to know a new person in the car, is an amazing experience. Everyone is so caught up in their smartphones nowadays that it’s hard to hold a person's attention for extended periods of time. However, Twitter and Facebook can only be refreshed so many times before there are no new posts. Eventually, when you’re locked in a car for 8 hours together, you’re going to have a conversation. Admittedly, I've begun flying on my own quite a bit recently. That being said, anytime I have the opportunity to do a long road trip, I lock it in.