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Sometime in between the years’ worth of hours spent in the car together, my dad and I have acquired a unique understanding of the world. I consider myself lucky because my dad has shown me how to make a dreadful experience a brighter one. All he has to do is pack us in the car for a 23-hour trip, and tell some jokes along the way. There it is; the coexistence of the bad and good—depending on the amount of times we have heard said jokes previously, of course.
Overall, if I have learned anything from road tripping with my dad they are this.
- It is ALWAYS possible to weave through traffic—even if that means jeopardizing personal safety or sanity.
- Golf is even more boring to listen to on the radio than it is to watch on TV.
- “This road-trip would be better in an RV.” Although those tips and tricks will be very handy to have in my back pocket as I grow old and it is my kids sleeping (whining) in the backseat, the fourth will be useful in places other than the passenger seat:
- 4. Our lives and all the speed bumps that accompany them are just like our very own road-trip.
There is a lot of planning that goes into taking a road trip. Before we begin our adventure, we must check to make sure we have all the necessary components.
- Road map…check.
- Sun glasses…check.
- Buddy bear…check.
- Wife and kids…check.
Then we start our drive, and in my mind, everything becomes metaphorical.
In the beginning of the journey, there are infinite possibilities of roads we can take to get to our final destination. There are so many different opportunities before us, and no matter which we pick there are two things that remain the same: the people in the car beside us and our ability to turn around.
Sometimes our journey is an easy, sunny ride with a beautiful view of what we are heading towards. Other times, though, it is pouring down rain, and it seems impossible to stay on track. Passing through the never-ending storm is one of the hardest and scariest things to do, but whether it lasts for five minutes or five hours, one thing is for certain: the sun always comes out again.
It is hard to make a positive out of something so dreadful, time-consuming, and stressful. I mean seriously, this stuff just gets in the way. Nine times out of ten, it is people rubber-necking on something on the opposite side of the road. We should never delay our journey to stare at someone else’s. And we should soak up all the muck and frustration of a roadblock; it will make us enjoy the smooth rides so much more.
The Accidents and “The Close Calls...”
There is not much to say, metaphorically, about car accidents. They are black-and-white. They are the element of our road trip waiting to smack us in the face the split second that someone’s eyes drift away from the final destination. They remind us that it all can be taken from us in any second… with no explanation needed. They are life’s way of telling us to appreciate the now.
In order to get to where we are going, we have to make many pit stops. In the literal sense, that includes luxurious—and not so luxurious—hotels, museums (fun, if you are like my dad, boring if you are like me), and renovated, but more often, smelly gas stations. In life, we have to plan out all the things that will get us to where we are going, too. Like a road trip, these stops can be luxurious or not-so luxurious, fun or boring, and refreshing, or just flat out smelly. Either way, they give us memories, quality time and experience. They teach us which pit stops to avoid the second time around.
The reason most people choose to endure on a road trip is to arrive somewhere that will make them happy. Whether that is home after a long time away or something as cliché as Disney World, we all have one motive: happiness. The most important thing though is not to have to arrive at that destination in order to be happy. The journey, not just the destination, is what should make us smile, rejoice, laugh, and love.