Thursday, December 6, 2012

3 Things I love about... Solo Road Trips

Yep, had to get down to the nitty gritty eventually. Truly hard hitting issues like enjoying road trips. By myself. Because I am cool like that. Seriously though, if you've never tried it. Try it. Road trip alone. Not like a 10 day across the continent (you have to work up to that sort of thing) just like a good 8 to 20 hrs. A nice overnighter.
(Yes I was alone and driving when I took this - judge if you wish)

My road tripping experience - well I wouldn't call it 'extensive' - I would say is a bit above average. In the last month I have travelled about 5,000 km on Australian highways and visited all 4 East coast capital cities (Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane). This isn't normal for me or anything. However when you are from QLD but live in Canberra the 1 and a half day drive (well 2 drives really one of these in both directions) starts to get to be an annual ritual. I've taken all the highways, I've even taken the 'what on earth is inland of the Newell Highway' route in the year of the floods - oops. My advice? Don't take that one - its got dirt and shit... you don't need to be out there alone.

Each time I do it, it gets quicker, not that I speed more than I used to (well I'd like to think I don't) just because time flies when you're having fun. And I am having fun. Nothing beats it, for these reasons:

1. Nothing else you are 'supposed to be doing'. Few times in my life do I feel as unfettered as when I am driving distance. At that point there is nowhere else I am supposed to be, nothing I am supposed to be doing. Driving from point A to point B IS the objective. It means whatever else you are doing - that optional extras... I mean you probably aren't reading books. (Only probably because hey, audiobooks?) However driving isn't all consuming so whatever you are thinking or listening to etc... it doesn't have to be work related because you are already doing the only work you need to do.

2. Work at your own pace. Going solo may sound pretty dull. Nobody to talk to. Nothing but the changing colours of the concrete on the road and new place name signs (both of which probably belong in a second set of 3 about things I love about road trip scenery). However, you stop when you need to, you eat when you need to, you listen to whatever you want and as loud as you want. Perhaps you want to get to Newcastle or Taree or Moree or wherever. You go to where you want and you stop.

3. Sing at the top of your lungs. I love CDs. It depresses me really that CDs and short playlists have gone out of fashion. I am a 'listen to music to sing' person most of the time. (I usually become a 'listen to music to listen' person about 5 hrs into a road trip at which point I start radio surfing - Triple J can be picked up in a lot of places.) I like having 10-100 songs of which I know or wish to know the words to. I mean I like having 50000 songs or whatever, but I prefer it when my music is reoccurring and consistently familiar when singing along at the top of my lungs. I am country and pop most of the time - so a disk of glee soundtrack and a few disks of contemporary country and I'm all set.

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