Road Trip 2008: Why on Earth would you do that?

31 12 2008

In case you didn’t see my last few videos, I’m sitting on the balcony of a hotel right on the ocean in Daytona Beach writing this. I have, admittedly, been rubbing this fact in quite a bit. Why would I do such a thing, you ask? Because I know that any of you would be doing the exact same thing if you were in my position!

I’m sure the question has crossed a few minds as to why I would hop in my car and just drive for the better part of an entire day to get here. An airplane would have gotten me here in about 4 hours. The other question is why I would do it alone if I was going to do it at all. I wanted to spend this post getting into the reasons behind this and why, if you know me, you know that neither of these are uncommon for me.

Most people find the prospect of driving a car for about 14 hours (closer to 17 going back because I’ll be going to NY instead of DE where I started) to not be a very relaxing vacation. It is, I’ll admit, pretty brutal to drive that far. It was 900 miles driving down and about 1250 miles going back…. but I love it. The drive itself is as important to the vacation as the destination is. Especially doing it alone, the drive gives you a lot of time to think about things. At this time of year, right before the end of 2008, I had about 12 hours alone driving to think about what happened the past year and what is on the way in the next year. I had all of that time to reflect on the decisions that I made and how they effected me and those around me. I was able to look at the good decisions and think about how I could repeat them or make them even better. I was able to reflect upon the bad decisions that I made and figure out how to not repeat them and what I’ve learned because of them. New Years eve is really no big deal to me. It never has been. Last year I stayed at home, ate Chinese food and watched ‘The Wire’ (awesome show by the way). The year before that, I worked. It is, to me, the celebration of an arbitrary point on our man made calendar. There’s really nothing special about it. Call me a party pooper, but that’s just my line of thinking. It does, however, give us all a reference point to stop and reflect on our lives and look towards the future. I think that the most successful people that you’ll find are the ones that do this frequently and honestly. Driving alone in a car for so long gives me a lot of time to really think in ways that a regular day at home wouldn’t.

The other reason that I did this is because of my constant desire to learn and experience the things that I’ve never experienced. If I had of taken a plane, I would have missed driving through Norfolk, visiting Santee, SC (population 740) and eating at a Waffle House. They may all seem like peculiar things to want to experience, but they’re really way more interesting then visiting a resort town like Daytona. That’s the real America that I want to see and experience. On my way home, I’m going to avoid the marathon drive and give myself two full days to drive back and use the stops to try to visit one city or town in each state that I drive through up to Virginia.( I’ve seen DC, MD, NJ, DE, and NY enough already). I’m probably going to stop in Jacksonville, FL and Augusta, GA. The other states I’ll have to look into but I might opt to just pick an exit and experience some of the small town America that exists in SC and NC.

People always wonder why I do stuff like this… I always wonder why more people don’t. I have a week off before I go back to work again. I don’t want to spend it sitting around my house doing something that I could do the rest of the year.

The other thing that I’m sure a lot of people wonder is why I would want to go on vacation alone. This is something that I do quite frequently. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy vacations with other people as well, but it’s a vacation with an entirely different purpose. When I’m with people on vacations it’s to live it up. It’s for going out to party or doing other social activities like gambling. This solo vacation is more about the reflection that I talked about earlier. It’s also about stepping away from my day to day and clearing my head out. I rarely find that trips with other people are relaxing. Usually there’s some kind of itinerary and you’re constantly busy and out until all hours of the night. It’s usually a great time but not all that relaxing or rejuvenating. When I take these solo trips, it’s about being able to do what I want, when I want. I can spend a few hours at a poker room or go fishing without having to clear it with the group. I can leave the beach after an hour if I don’t feel like being at the beach. I can go to bed at 11:30 if I feel tired and don’t want to stay out. That kind of freedom allows you to do things on your terms and enjoying your vacation for different reasons.

A lot of people have a stigma about taking vacations alone. In reality, I don’t know anyone that is even off this week to come along with me even if I wanted to have some kind of companion for the trip. Traveling alone is really something that I think everyone should try. You’ll find that it’s an entirely different vacation experience.




3 responses

31 12 2008

I think it’s great what you are doing. If I didn’t have the kids I would have went with you. Someday you will be married and have kids and you won’t be able to just hop in the car and go anymore. Do it as much as you can now while you have the chance. And anyone who gives you a hard time about it is just jealous that they can’t do it or don’t have the nerve to do it themselves.

31 12 2008

i wish i was in your position…i would love to travel alone. or with you. or with anyone. happy new year my friend…and im with you- i’m home, on the computer, watching the hockey game and hanging out with my brother!

1 01 2009

sounds like you got it right.

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