9 Ways To Pass Time On A Roadtrip

9 Ways To Pass Time On A Roadtrip

On the road again!

A new year means 365 fresh days that can be used for road trips. As someone currently on a road trip right now, (well, at the time of writing this article), I’ve had to improvise some things to do during the ride that could get us through the dark nights, the two-hour traffic jams, and the big open interstates.

1. Scan Radio Stations

Especially when traveling across many states. This helps find just the right tune (or increasing amount of static) for the drive ahead.

2. Riddles and Brain Teasers

This helps especially when you hit those rough traffic spots. Who knew that the red house was on the left, the blue house was on the right, but no matter what the white house was in Washington DC.

3. Put on a Personal Concert for the Driver

Refer to number one for the perfect station (Spotify and YouTube are acceptable alternatives). It makes the monotonous road signs for the driver more bearable when you sing hit songs word for word with corresponding actions.

4. Have a Jam Out

As you can see, a radio or aux cord makes any trip more tolerable. If you find a song that all passengers love, then turn it up and jam out.

5. Catch up with Friends

In my case, it was my mom. I hadn’t really had the opportunity to catch up with my mom on life, and this trip together allowed for this to happen.

6. Find Things to Laugh About

Personally, we found that we got the most laughter out of the designs on 18-wheeler trucks. For example, the side of the truck said “Pioneer Trucking,” but the beyond obscure font used made it look like “Pioneer Twerking.” I’ll let you guess how long my mom and I laughed about that…

7. Judge Other’s Poor Driving Skills

This will certainly pass the time, as seemingly rude this sounds. But you can’t help but get frustrated and irritated at those drivers who weave between people or drive like they’re super tipsy. You know EXACTLY what kind of driving I’m talking about.

8. Draft Articles for the Odyssey

See what I did there? Put your computer in airplane mode to conserve battery and just slap out some drafts into a word document. There’s nothing more inspiring than the open road in the gorgeous mountains.

9. Sightsee

There’s so much of God’s great creation that you can see just by driving the roads connecting it. Traffic jams can be good in this aspect because it allows you to absorb beautiful skylines… or bountiful road signs.

There you have it, nine ways to make a multiple-hour road trip seem over in a pinch. If you have any other cool ideas, share them with the world. I’d love to know the ways you personalize your road trips. Above all, be safe out there. You never know what may happen!

Cover Image Credit: Time Out

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Songs to Calm the Anxious Heart

Here comes the sun...

Anxiety is something that a lot of people deal with, including myself. We each have our own triggers and ways of coping. One thing that I do when I am having an anxiety attack is put on calming music; if I focus on the lyrics and slowing my heart rate it tends to help. Here are some of the songs I have found helpful:

1. Be Still-The Fray

I discovered this song in high school and it immediately helps to relax me and points me to the only one who can truly give me peace, the Lord.

2. La Vie En Rose- Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong always has a way of pulling me in and has the ability to distract me from whatever I am worrying about. His musicianship is remarkable and his voice is so soothing. Also, I have dibs on this as my first dance song at my future wedding (so hands off Breanna)!

3. Here Comes the Sun- The Beatles

This song is a classic, much like The Beatles whom sing it. This song never fails to put a smile on my face and calm my anxiousness. There is just something so nostalgic about it and it often makes me think of The Parent Trap (great movie).

4. Oceans- Hillsong United

Much like the first song I mentioned, this one also is a reminder of my Heavenly Father and the fact that He is always with me. Even in the midst of my anxiousness, He is there with me. He will never leave me and grants me the peace I so desperately desire. He truly is a good, good father.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.scholastic.com/content/dam/teachers/Book%20List/2016-2017/books-about-oceans-book-list-4-3.jpg

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11 Ways To Read More Books In 2018, Even If You Don't Have Time

Don't let your busy schedule stop you from reaching your reading goals.

January is a time for setting goals and challenging yourself. Some of us nerdier individuals see the new year as a time to pledge to read more books than we did in the previous year, even though our planners are so full we're forced to write in the margins.

So how can we allocate more time to reading? It turns out there are some easy ways to complete your looming Goodreads Challenge without stress, even with a considerably busy schedule.

1. Cut back on social media.

Perhaps I started this list with the most difficult way to devote more time to reading, but I think it is an essential one. There's no denying that social media serves as a distraction during most of our daily activities; the bing of a notification can send us into a scrolling and "liking" frenzy. Limiting social media activity, even by a mere few minutes each day, can free up time for reading.

2. Opt for audiobooks.

Being able to read while driving, working out or folding laundry is one of the easiest ways to optimize reading productivity. Make sure to have an audiobook or two on your phone or in your car to best utilize the moments you spend on-the-go.

3. Set realistic goals.

If you're a slow reader, don't attempt to read "War and Peace" in one afternoon. Instead, choose a small goal of "xx" amount of pages each day. If you find yourself facing a busy week, adjust your goals accordingly to avoid unnecessary stress.

4. Keep your TBR shelf in check.

I am guilty of not following this advice, but knowing exactly what books you want to read and what order you want to read them in is a huge help. Don't forget to weed your TBR shelf from time to time to make sure only books you want to read are occupying space on your To-Be-Read list.

5. If you don't feel like reading, don't.

This is pretty self-explanatory, but forcing yourself to read when you're simply not in the mood for it can put you in a reading slump or make your current read feel stagnant or boring.

6. Pick up shorter reads.

There's nothing like a short book that leaves a huge impact (I'm thinking of Orwell's classic, "Animal Farm"). Reading shorter books can also give you a sense of efficiency and an opportunity to check another book off your list without taking too much of your time.

7. Try out a graphic novel or manga series.

This is totally not cheating! Graphic novels and manga contain carefully crafted stories along with fantastic artwork and deserve to be counted toward your reading goal. You might even find your next favorite story in a comic or manga series.

8. Cut back on binge-watching.

Netflix and Hulu are there for us in our darkest times, and we like to show them our appreciation by devoting entire Sundays (for some of us, our only free day of the week) with our eyes glued to their latest shows.

Books, however, can offer us stories that are just as entertaining. Instead of watching three whole seasons of "Black Mirror" in a day (guilty), try one season and then pick up a suspenseful sci-fi thriller to complement your mood.

9. Don't read when you're hungry.

This sounds trivial, but it's much harder to focus on pages full of words with an empty stomach or a parched throat. Grab a snack and a drink (preferably a cozy one in the winter months) before settling down in a comfy reading spot so as to not get distracted by your body's needs.

10. Avoid reading in bed.

Although it sounds outrageous, some sleep experts claim that reading in bed can have a negative effect on your sleep. A particularly stimulating read can wind you up instead of down, so it's best to keep reading in bed to a minimum so that you can wake with a fresh mind, ready to tackle another day's worth of reading.

11. Remember that reading is fun.

Unless reading is your paying job (in which case, I am super jealous), there is no need to treat it as another banal task on your to-do list. If you treat it as a chore, it will become one.

Reading is a time of relaxation when you can detach from the stresses of reality and enter into someone else's head for a while. Seeing it this way will make you want to prioritize reading in your life, and hopefully, this way you can reach your reading goal without treating the process like a homework assignment.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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