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Surviving a Family Road Trip

- Justine

Are We There Yet?

Take it from someone who traveled across the country and back in a ’92 Volvo station wagon with poor air conditioning. Sometimes road trips just aren’t. fun.

While it matters what car you drive and how far you have to go each day, a huge factor of a road trip’s success is YOU. Are you going to sit there and moan about how hot it is, or how long you’ve been sitting, or how your brother is kicking the back of your seat? Then get ready for a long and insufferable road trip. On the other hand, if you have the right mentality, a bit of creativity, and a lot of imagination, then you’re on the road (ahahaha) to an enjoyable trip.

If high school has hardened you into that terse, nonchalant teenage prototype, it’s time to let go. You cannot survive a road trip like that. You’ll go nuts. We all have that tendency to make snide remarks and stare out the window like we’re the only intelligent one in the car. Even I do it, and I actually like my parents. Trust me: leave that shell at home. If you at least pretend to like everybody and everything while stopping at those scenic overlooks or conversing with hillbillies in a diner in the middle of nowhere, you might just enjoy yourself.

When our Volvo broke down in Miles of Corn All Around You-ville, Ohio, we all had to pile into the front of a tow truck. “We” being me, my fretting parents, my little brother, the truck driver, and the truck driver’s pregnant daughter. The driver was basically telling his life story and my brother was flicking my elbow. Instead of pouting or focusing on how cramped it was, I stopped and I thought about how unique the experience was. How often do you find yourself in such a situation? It was comical. It was an adventure. The driver’s stories were actually hilarious, once I started paying attention. And thus I was amused.

It sounds really corny, cheesy, syrupy, and some other food-based words meaning clichéd, but it worked. You won’t have fun on a road trip unless you let yourself.

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