It only took me twelve days, four states, two countries, six tanks of gas and fifty-billion miles.
Okay, so that’s not an exact mile count – I lost track somewhere after a billion. Plus, a large portion of my trip was spent driving through Ontario, so I was forced to think in kilometers. Or “kilometres” as they spell it in Canada. So you can understand my confusion. I mean, how am I expected to do any kind of math when I can’t even spell what I’m counting? I’m not a robot, okay?
Of course, I plan on writing posts about each of the places I visited because I’d really hate for you to miss out on a single moment of my trip. And by “moment” I mean “meal.” Because this is ME we’re talking about here, guys.But, first, I wanted to just write about a few things I learned while driving fifty-billion miles by myself. You wouldn’t think it, but you can really learn a lot while sitting in a car by yourself for hours on end.
Like, hey, the fact that you don’t really enjoy sitting in a car by yourself for hours on end because it’s boring and tiring and you only have an AM/FM radio for entertainment and every time you see the remnants of an exploded tire on the side of the road you freak out a bit because you’re certain that’s totally going to happen to your tire and, oh my god, what’s that noise? Does anyone hear that noise? What sound does a tire make before it’s about to explode? Because I think the tire is totally making that sound. OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD, MY TIRE IS GOING TO EXPLODE! I’M TOTALLY GOING TO DIE OUT HERE! I NEVER EVEN HAD A CHANCE TO WRITE MY NOVEL! OR CLIMB MOUNT EVEREST! NOT THAT I EVEN WANTED TO CLIMB MT. EVEREST, BUT STILL! I’M TOO YOUNG TO DIIIIEEEEEEE! Oh wait, it’s just the radio. Nevermind.
So, yeah, I learned that.
Along with these things:
5 Things I Learned While Driving Fifty-Billion Miles By Myself
1. You don’t have to go that far to experience a foreign culture. Or, at least, a culture that it totally foreign to you.I ate cannoli in Cleveland. I had my first Cornish pastie in Traverse City, Michigan. And I had some of the best Thai green curry in a tiny little fishing village in Ontario.
I spent a weekend experiencing all things Dutch, including wooden clog dancing and windmills, in a city named (what else?) Holland, Michigan.
And, when I was in the Adirondacks this past weekend, my sister, who has her own goat farm, took me to another goat farm. And if you don’t think that sounds like a foreign culture than you obviously haven’t spent two hours listening to people talk goat.
2. Travel like you’re traveling with a three-year old. Even if you’re thirty-seven years old and traveling by yourself.Go to the bathroom every time you happen to be near a bathroom. Even if you don’t think you have to go to the bathroom you should probably just go to the bathroom already.
Always pack snacks, a drink, a hat and some tissues.
And give yourself a time-out when you need one. Luckily, when you’re thirty-seven years old time-outs mean sitting in your hotel room eating green curry and drinking beer.
3. Your tire will probably not explode.You also won’t be kidnapped by truckers.
Or eaten by bears. Which isn’t even something you thought to worry about until you spotted that roadside sign in Canada telling you that you would probably be eaten by bears.
In fact, despite all your worrying, nothing truly disastrous will happen to you. You won’t even get all that lost thanks to the GPS on your phone.
This should probably teach you to worry a lot less and relax a lot more and stop imagining the worst case scenario and trust your instincts and believe in the basic good of your fellow humans and blahdeblahblahdeblah.
But, instead, you’ll probably just worry about other things.
Like being TRAMPLED TO DEATH BY ANGRY MOOSE. Which, again, is not something you would usually worry about, and it’s totally Canada’s fault that you even thought about it, but with all the signs all over Ontario showing you angry, people-trampling moose, how are you not going to worry about something like that?
4. Always keep your cookies within arm’s distance from the driver’s seat.This seems so logical, but, seriously, it took me FOREVER to learn this one.
It was the second week, and I was still having to pull over ten minutes into the drive so I could rummage around in the back of my car and find the package of cookies.
5. It’s totally about the destination.I’m sorry, you guys, but whoever said it’s all about the journey and not the destination has never been stuck in a car for six hours with only two radio stations to choose from. And one of those stations is classic rock. And the other one is a Canadian political talk show. In French.
Besides, you guys, destinations are awesome! I mean, why else would I drive fifty-billion miles to get to them?
Destinations have sandy beaches.
Destinations have good food and cold beer.
And destinations have family and friends and other nice people – people who will maybe talk to you and give you beer. And if they’re really nice, those people might agree to drive you around while you visit so you can sit back and watch the scenery whizz and relax because you don’t have to worry about your tire exploding.
Not that you’re not going to worry about the tire exploding because that’s totally a thing you do because, really, the tire could explode at any moment now, and, waitasecond, what’s that noise? OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD. DOES ANYBODY HEAR THAT NOISE?What things have you learned while on a road trip?