Like many people, I have found myself always looking for adventure. Whether it was attempting to sneak backstage at a concert, going skydiving, or moving nine hours away for college, I have never failed to make the best experiences out of the opportunities given to me. After all, the best times aren’t the ones that you took the best pictures for your Instagram at, but the ones that you can tell stories of and never get tired hearing it. I’ve never been told I’m the best at planning things, but TBH that’s when the best stories are made. Luckily, I share the same spontaneous nature as my family and close friends so they are never too surprised at my ideas which is what led me to the trip of a lifetime.
Flashback to my junior year of high school, I took my two friends with me on a spring break trip to San Francisco. We spent the week visiting Alcatraz, hiking, staying in the coolest house ever, hiking in Yosemite, and of course, visiting the home where "Full House" was set. What we thought was a wrap on a fun spring break, turned out to be just the beginning of what was the become one of my favorite memories. Instead of packing for the airport in the morning, we canceled our plane tickets last minute and rented a car to drive the 37 hours back to Indianapolis (and yes, by choice).
It was just like all the family vacation movies you saw when you were little, except more cramped and I repeat: 37 hours long.
The trip took a total of 4 days to complete. To some, that may sound insane (because it totally is) but when being broken up by stops along the way, it isn’t as bad as you may think. One of the best parts of traveling cross country is getting to do weird things you would never plan to do when on vacation. However, just because these things aren’t considered “normal” for the everyday beach trip, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth doing. Our first stop was a random old-time convenience store on Route 66. What most people see as a place full of junk that you might put on your Snapchat story with the caption “WTF,” was filled with some pretty cool vintage collector cars, photo-ops, and the nicest workers waiting to tell customers' stories.
As we slowly made our way back home, we had our fair share of strange stops. Somewhere in the desert, we saw a sign for an exotic animal zoo just a few miles up so naturally, we stopped (duh). Now on the first day of class, I finally have the icebreaker game fun fact that I’ve hung out with Alpacas for a day, so it’s a double win. Like all family road trips in movies, we had to see a landmark of some sort and in our case, we paid way too much to see a meteor crater in the middle of Arizona. Why? Not sure. All I know is that it created many inside jokes between my friends and me, so it was totally worth the stop.
Although the mileage of the trip seemed endless, the four days went by way too quick. I got to see states I’ve never been to before, spray paint cars at Cadillac Ranch, and visit Winslow, Arizona. However, the stops aren’t what made the trip. On the road playing car games, discussing theories about Area 31, and even having one of my pictures get posted on the Life is Good’s Instagram page were all parts I’ll remember most about this vacation. People always talk about how traveling cross-country is on their bucket list and now I totally see why. Being adventurous isn’t about how far you travel. While I can’t wait to study abroad within the next couple years, there is so much to be seen within our country. It can take a little more creativity, time, and patience, but with the right company and state of mind, I assure you this trip will bring you as many joyful memories as it did for me. Now if 37-hour car rides aren’t your thing, I encourage you to go out and do something locally that you’ve never tried before and get exploring and always stay adventurous!