Weekly Blog May 13th, 2018: Road Trip

Hello Internet!

I hope you all had a wonderful week. As for me, my week was a little bit fun and a little bit stressful. I had a very important job interview on Monday and I was super stressed out before, during, and after it. Like I’m still stressed out about it. I won’t know anything positive or negative for two weeks, so I’ll just be a ball of stress until then. Hopefully I’ll be able to announce something positive soon. Having a good job in the field I studied in college where I’ll be able to live out in the adult world is the goal and this job would fit those requirements. Anyway, I hope everyone’s life is going better than mine.

This week on the website has been busy as well. Last Sunday, I published a Weekly Blog all about My Prom Experience. Spoiler alert: If you’re looking for the Hollywood experience for Prom, you won’t find it in my stories, but there are some great stories. If you want to relive High School with me, feel free to give it a read. On Wednesday, I published some more Haikus! It seems like people really love reading Haikus and I love writing them, so I try to publish some every now and then. I kind of fall back on either Haikus or Six Word Memoirs as my crutch when I don’t know what else to write. I’m five months into writing Poetry and I still have a horrible time writing Poetry. I find it much more difficult to come up with a subject matter when compared to Weekly Blogs or Writing Prompt pieces. Anyway, check out those Haikus if you haven’t read them already. On Friday, I published the next chapter in my Dungeons and Dragons inspired series. We finally Brought The Party Together! If you like Dungeons and Dragons or fantasy or just a story about strangers being tied together by fate to battle the forces of evil, then give it a look. There are a few chapters detailing each of the character’s backstories to give some more insight into them, which I recommend reading, but if you don’t want to do that, Friday’s Writing Prompt piece is a great starting point. I will be posting one or two new chapters a month of these D&D-inspired characters, so hopefully readers new and old will like them. I love writing them so even if they get zero views, I’ll continue writing them, but I would like if you fell in love with them as well. Now that’s enough talking about this past week and the pieces, let’s move on to the meat of this week’s Weekly Blog.

I don’t know about you, but I love a good road trip. It’s one of those things that combine some of my favorite things; specifically travel and spending time with friends and family. Plus it’s a magical experience. Like it’s kind of hard to explain unless you’ve been on a road trip and love them. I know for some people find them (and travel in general) very stressful and it definitely can be, but for some reason a road trip is just this magical thing that shields me from most of that stress. Road trips never really live up to the Hollywood movies that use road trips for their plot…which is a lot of movies actually. One movie that springs to mind is a movie I watched about a year ago is a Netflix movie called “The Fundamentals of Caring” which is based on the book, “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison. Anyway it’s a really good movie that uses the Road Trip as it’s jumping off point and it stars Paul Rudd, Selina Gomez, and Craig Roberts. It’s funny. It’s lighthearted. And it’s really good, so maybe watch it if you have Netflix. Another Road Trip story which touches my heart is the Book/Movie called “Paper Towns” by John Green. Now I’ve only seen the movie (I know…I’m ashamed), but the Road Trip with all the friends going to find Margo is really touching. Again it has it’s comedy and it’s lighthearted moments. Plus I love the soundtrack. So that’s one big plus for the movie. The last thing that really pulls on my heartstrings and spurred these thoughts of Road Trips, is the fact that I stumbled upon a wonderful song. I have been listening to “Sleep On The Floor” by The Lumineers on repeat for the past week. The song is amazing and the music video just captures that essence of what an ideal road trip could be. It’s freedom. It’s love. It’s frustration. It’s bad. And it’s good. It’s so much all rolled up into one. A Road Trip as depicted in books, movies, and even music videos show that anything can happen when you’re traveling in a car across the country.

Speaking of which I feel like there’s a good part of the world that misses out on the Road Trip experience. Now I have a very, very limited knowledge of the world outside of the United States, but I feel like the US is the perfect country for Road Trips. Like you can travel from the East Coast to the West Coast, “manifest destiny-ing” across the country stopping at every major city and important landmark on your journey across the US. That thought alone makes me want to jump into my car and just start driving. Of course, road trips are never as good when you’re by yourself and you don’t have a lot of money. I’d probably make it to the next state over before I would run out of gas, not have money for a hotel, and have to hitchhike my way back home. Quick side note: has anyone actually hitchhiked before? That sounds absolutely terrifying. Like, I know we’ve all gotten more comfortable jumping into stranger’s cars because of things like Uber and Lyft, but still, count my out.

Anyway, so I’m feeling all…maybe nostalgic is the right word…I’ll go with that. I’m feeling all nostalgic for a good road trip and travel and just all the fun that is idealized in these popular forms of media and that made me think about road trips I have taken and how fun they were. So I thought I’d share some of those stories now. I mean you made it this far, so you might as well stay and hear about my stories!

Now I have not gotten the opportunity to travel across the United States. That’s a lot of states and I don’t have a lot of money or opportunities to travel. However, I have taken a fun trip across a part of Canada. To give you a little backstory to the trip, my Junior Year of College, I was able to participate in a Study Abroad Trip/Internship Program where me and about two dozen college students lived in Ottawa, Canada for five weeks studying the Canadian Parliament and interning in the office of a Member of Parliament. I got to work with a Member of Parliament (or MP) as well as explore Ottawa, Toronto, Quebec City, and Montreal. Honestly, I could make Canada a whole topic and tell a whole bunch of stories, but I’ll save that for another time. Now before getting to Ottawa, me and two other students had to get there.

Everyone was responsible for their own travel to Canada. Some students flew, but again, who has money for travel? I made plans with one female student and one male student to road trip to Canada. I met the female student, the driver, at College and then we made our way towards Detroit, Michigan. That is where the other student lived and he knew it was the best place to cross over from the United States to Canada. So me and the female student drove up together to Detroit, picked up the male student and then made our way towards Ottawa. Now this was a whole day ordeal, but for the most part, we kept ourselves busy. We talked about politics (since we were all political/government minded), played car games like The Alphabet Game, Eye Spy, and just talked about life. We really bonded on that trip and bared our soul a little bit. The female student even taught us a dance to Brittany Spear’s “Lucky.” I might even know a little bit of it if I tried to remember. Anyway, one of the greatest moments of the trip was that once the sun went down, we found ourselves in between Toronto and Ottawa. It was a beautiful night and you could see a ton of stars. We literally pulled over on the side of the highway and looked up at the stars. Now, I’m from a rural town where light pollution is minimal and there are always a ton of stars in the night sky, but the other students were from metropolitan areas. To them, this was breathtaking. I mean to me it was beautiful as well, but the other two were blown away by all the stars. There was another moment where we tried to figure out how to buy Gas in Canada without knowing how Canada’s money worked or how the Metric System worked. That was a great experience, but that’s a story for another day. Anyway, the whole trip was amazing and the road trip from Detroit to Ottawa, was a really cool start to the whole Canadian trip.

Another amazing road trip I was glad I experienced was one where me and my friends went on a trip to the East Coast for summer vacation. The summer after I graduated college, I decided that I wanted to take a trip with my friends to celebrate that and signify that we were moving from young adulthood to boring, normal adults. One last trip to celebrate our fun lives before we all had to get real jobs and buy houses and stuff. (Luckily or unluckily, I haven’t gotten that far yet.) Anyway, I had very little experience traveling (minus the trip to Canada) and I had never been to an ocean. So I decided that I wanted to go to the East Coast for the trip. There was a discussion on where and when we were going and we decided that we would head to Virginia Beach over the 4th of July Week and then head up to Washington DC to experience Washington DC during the 4th of July. We ended up seeing the fireworks in Washington which was a pretty cool, but not perfect experience. There was a lot going on that weekend. Obviously there were a ton of tourists because it was Washington DC during the 4th of July, but there was also a lot of personal stuff going on with me and my friends, so the the trip wasn’t as good as it could have been.

However, that’s not the point of this story. The point is that we had a super fun time traveling across the country and making our way to Virginia Beach. We had to take two cars because there was five of us and we had a lot of stuff for the weekend. I would have preferred if we could have all been in the same vehicle, but we made it work using walkie-talkies to talk to one another. We also played fun car games like 20 Questions. One of the moments that I remember the most is when we were nearing Virginia Beach, we had to go through this tunnel underwater. Leading up to the tunnel, there was a lot of traffic all converging to get through the narrow tunnel. During that time, many people had there windows down and the driver had their hand resting outside the window. We convinced one of my friends to try and high-five one of the people as we got near the driver. A lot of people freaked out, but she convinced a few people to give her a high five. Another time she played rock, paper, scissors with a family in a minivan. I’m not sure if she won more games or the kids won more games. I’m just glad that everyone seemed pretty cool with the college age adults killing time before going through the tunnel. Now once we got to Virginia Beach, that was a totally different story. You can imagine how busy it was at Virginia Beach during the 4th of July Weekend. We drove around for TWO HOURS….read that again… TWO WHOLE HOURS… before we could find parking. It was super stressful. But once we got to the beach, I had a ton of fun bouncing around in the ocean and I was able to cross “Stand in the Atlantic Ocean” off my bucket list. Now I just have to make a trip to the West Coast so I can stand in the Pacific Ocean.

For me the idea of Road Trips is that anything can happen. The good. The bad. And the otherwise. You can fall in love or build deep friendships. You can create new inside jokes and have a long-lasting memory you can share with others. You are truly free on the open road and everything is heightened emotionally. Jamming out on the road trip playlist or looking back at your friends in the rear view mirror and seeing them all passed out in the back. Those are instantly memories you are going to have forever. That’s why I love the idea of road trips so much. Do they always live up the movie-eque hype? Maybe not. But they are still amazing experiences. People say that the trip is not about the destination, it’s about the journey and I think they’re right.

That’s all I want to say about Road Trips for this Weekly Blog. I know it was a long one, but I hope you enjoyed reading my stories. If you did, feel free to give it a like or leave a comment down below. Why don’t you tell me about a Road Trip you’ve been on or your dream Road Trip destination. Also feel free to tell me if you enjoyed the length of this Weekly Blog or if you thought it was too long. Your feedback helps me make this website better and help grow this community, so I appreciate all of it; both good and bad. If you really liked this Weekly Blog, please check out the rest of the website. There are Weekly Blogs, Poetry, Creative Writing, Short Stories, and more. So please give that a read. I’m sure you can find some stuff to read.

Anyway, I think that’s enough for now. I’m going to go listen to “Sleep on the Floor” again.

Thank you so much for the support and I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Allen_The_Writer

 


Header Photo Credit to Best Health Mag’s Article about how to have a safe roadtrip
http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/home-and-family/5-tips-for-a-safe-and-happy-road-trip/view-all/

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