For the past few weeks I’ve had little angel on my shoulder, coercing me to get the fuck out of my overheated Los Angeles bubble and venture up north for an extended weekend of good food, great meals and family time. But, whenever I was close to jumping in my car and cruising back home, the devil on the other side would start with the litany of excuses: I hate driving on the 5 – That’s too long to leave my cats alone for– gas prices are cray cray – etc, etc. The fact of the matter is those are all very valid reasons for not wanting to hit the road – but at the end of the
day, they all start to sound like the same excuse, ‘I don’t want to.‘ It’s been a long past few months and there was a lot of apprehension about being isolated, and in the middle of nowhere, for an extended amount of time – but I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I over-saturate my life with connections. My phone may as well be tethered to my side as a Siamese twin because I swear I’m always on it – Tweeting, texting, Instagram-ing and Facebooking; may as well just call me a walking, talking social media slut – I’ll take it.
I also, finally, took some my own advice: get out of my head and into my heart.
Being a creature of logic and reason is fine and dandy; but, emotions can’t be quantified, feelings can’t be measured and you can’t organize anxieties.
With this freshly pressed game plan in mind, I turned to packing up my troubles, both literally and physically. Piling clothes, jewelry, hair products and my work laptop in an over-sized duffel bag, I synced my iPod and kissed my cats goodbye. The drive can last anywhere from 6 and 9 hours, so I had a lot of music to load in to get me through it. For the first time, I wasn’t planning outfits or huge escapades – I was going to be comfortable and at home with the people I love. Yes, the 5 is awful and gas prices aren’t going down – but the idea that the people I love are only a tank of gas away is so comforting.
When I hit the road, I double checked my route and turned my phone off for a while; I was on auto-pilot, my car was on cruise control and it was just the two of us and the highway. I’ve had my new car since April and the furthest we’ve gone together is Ojai – this was our first big adventure and I had way too much fun. There’s a feeling that I get from being in the open road, windows down and music up; my mind opens up, my stream of consciousness is deep and introspective and I almost get this runners high. Maybe it’s a drivers high. Either way, that drive cleared out my mental cobwebs and reset my system. Around 10 pm I cruised into the city and it was bustling with lights and noise, roaring with personality as it always does.
5 Roadtrip Essentials:
- Map I know I’m captain obvious but you should probably know where you’re going – just in case your phone dies, your partner in crime slash navigator passes out or you’re just horrible with directions.
- Music Make sure your playlist is twice as long as your total drive – if you’re like me, you probably have musical ADD and change a song halfway through…which means your playlist doesn’t last as long as you think it does. Plan ahead and your head will thank you later; besides, how many times can you really listen to Levels*?
- Good Vibes If you’re no fun, your drive isn’t going to be fun! Besides, if you can’t have fun by yourself rocking out with an air guitar and singing lead vocals at the tippity top of your lungs – why would anyone else want to?
- Comfort Grub There’s nothing worse than hitting the road, getting super hungry and not being able to find a damn thing you want to eat or drink – well, save yourself the problem and do a little store run before you head out or save some money and make sandwiches at home. Make sure you have something delish to wash it all down, and a few extra bottles of water – and you’ll have a happy heart, and stomach, the entire drive.
- Car Charger Phone navigation applications, especially Verizon’s – and I speak from experience, do a pretty good job of draining your phones battery. Being lost in the middle of nowhere with no phone is kind of horrible, so do yourself a favor and make sure you have a working phone charger.