I’ve seen quite a few articles lately about women traveling solo and the reasons they should or the reason you should love a woman that travels, etc. Many of them seem to highlight the benefits of solo travel and I’m certainly a fan of that. But it also got me thinking that if I were to take a road trip with friends, who would I bring along? Who would I willingly share close quarters with for more than 300 miles? Over the years, I’ve cultivated my friends to suit my journey and I’d be happy to be stuck in a car with most any of them! So, who’s in your car?
Maybe you’ve got several that come to mind, but I’ll bet anything they fit into a few categories:
You’ve got to take the fun friend. The one that is always up for adventure and never complains. She’s the one that has a bail bondsman on speed dial and knows how to jimmy a lock when you leave the keys in the ignition! Don’t let her navigate, though. She’ll get you lost for sure – and likely in an area with no cell reception.
And since you’ve got fun friend along, you should probably take the pragmatic one, too. She’ll offer balance and will probably be the one that can talk you off the ledge when the backseat driver gets on your last nerve. She’ll probably also be the one to talk you out of picking up that sketchy hitchhiker. Yeah, definitely bring her!
Here’s a few others that should always be along for the ride:
The low-maintenance one. They don’t suck your energy or demand pee breaks every ten miles. They show up on time, pack smartly and are ready to go.
The smart one. Bring along folks that can read a map, but aren’t closed to detours. The ones that know that the highways are numbered according to east, west, perimeter or terminal routes. The ones that can bring other perspectives and welcome diversity of thought.
The fixer. Make room for those that don’t mind changing a tire or getting dirty and don’t get all bent out of shape when it’s necessary.
The tagalong. You know that one friend you have that you can’t really remember how you met or why you know each other, but you can’t bring yourself to ditch them? They are happy in the jump seat, always offer to get out to pump the gas, sing along with whatever is on the radio. You aren’t real sure what they bring, but you wouldn’t leave without them. Bring that person. You’ll never know their purpose if you leave them behind.
No matter how carefully you pack at the start, you will realize you forgot something or took a wrong turn. U-turns are perfectly okay. In my world, it’s often not an official “road trip” without a u-turn anyway, so I look forward to them and celebrate them when they happen. You may also suddenly realize that the journey has changed for some of your passengers and it’s time to mix things up. You may pick up hitchhikers along the way – people that are just along for a few miles but serve their purpose. Some that have been along since the start may need a plane ticket home.
Remember, it’s YOUR journey. You are the driver. You pick the route. You pick the passengers. However you fill your car, make sure it’s with people that believe in the journey and aren’t singularly focused on the destination. Sure, goals are great, but you really do have to love getting there or it just isn’t worth it.
So, who’s in your car?