Thursday, March 26, 2015

7 Ways Road Trips are the Best Way to Travel

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

It's only fitting to start this post with such a picture because I'm nothing short of in love with road trips. There's just something about being behind the wheel of a car in another country that really gets my engine going (alright, no more car jokes.) It can be a tad expensive, yes, and dealing with the insurance packages can be a nightmare, sure - but that small touch of bureaucracy pales in comparison to the joys of having the keys to your very own vehicle in a foreign nation, whether it's economy class or not.

My love of "the road trip" was born on the North American roads, but I'll be damned if that love hasn't always travelled with me.

Here are seven ways that I feel the road trip just can't be beat. Seven seems like a nice, arbitrary number.

1) The Freedom

When you're gazing out the window of your less than comfortable bus and you watch a quaint village roll on by, all you can do is wonder what it would have been like to visit. When you're in your own car, you visit. It becomes a sort of game, you start to ask yourself, is that enticing enough to stop for? No, well how about that?

It's a wonderful way to live when you literally don't know where you'll be in 15 minutes. Take for example, the spontaneous stop Bri and I made in Radovljica, Slovenia. Yeah, we hadn't heard of it either. 

2) It's a Portable Hotel

It's not a five star hotel, and, more than likely it's not even a one star hotel, but you can sleep in it. I learned this lesson with Thevishka, Neil, and Grant while road tripping from Oslo to Stavanger in Norway. When we arrived in Stavanger, we just sort of parked beside a park, and then, lights out.

I'm not sure I would sleep 4 people in a Prius again, but we did do it.

Funny enough, on this particular evening I jolted in my sleep and cracked the windshield with my big toe. How does that even happen, right?

3) You Can Stop at the Strangest Music Stores Possible...

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a few great friends and I found an absolute gem. A Bosnian rapper, or something like that, by the name of...

He exists, though...

4) The Views 

I'm not sure I need to say more here. A car affords you a beautiful opportunity to experience views that you may never otherwise be able to appreciate. 

The Julian Alps, Austria

Somewhere, Croatia

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia

5) The Possibilities

Anything can happen, anything. 

In the back of pickup truck on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua.

6) The Bonding

When you're packed into confined quarters with a handful of other people for long, extended periods, you're going to get to know each other, for better or worse. Luckily, most of my experiences have led me to believe it's for the better. Everyone shares their music, their useless trivia, and their stories. Not to mention, when you're together with people for such long, in sometimes stressful stretches, you get to see many sides of a person, whether they want you to or not. More often than not, I find it creates a pretty unbreakable bond. At the very least, you'll have a handful of inside jokes that will stay with you until the end of your days. 

Toronto, Ontario --> Manchester, Tennessee - that's why.

It's a road trip, after all.


7) Opportunities for Heroism

Something always goes wrong on a road trip, always, but it's the story of how someone steps up to the plate to fix that problem that defines the trip. You can be that person, but only if you're on a road trip, so say yes to the next available road trip, and save the day. 

In the pouring rain, my good friend Grant changes a flat in Philly while Bri holds an umbrella. Champions.

My trunk breaks, and I find bungee chords in a gas station in Michigan. They're the hero.


Now, my reasons may not have fully won you over, but let me say it plainly, when I think about all the experiences I've had in my life (travel or otherwise), the road trips I've taken are pretty high up the list. 

The best moment of the trip for me is always pealing out of the driveway or parking spot and heading straight into the unknown. But, then again, arriving at your final destination with the trip's events firmly lodged in your memory isn't half bad either. Because, undoubtedly, those memories will have been well worth the rental price. 


  1. so nostalgic for this. let's do it again sometime buddy! GIT THRR!!!

    1. Any time, my friend. I'll be in Istanbul if you're ever feeling like heading in this direction!