It’s years since I’ve done a road trip, but I’m just back from one and I can’t wait to do another. I forgotten that sense of freedom you get from being on the road, free from the worries of the day to day grind.
- The open road.
- The steady hum of an engine converting the energy from a distance long ago sun into forward motion.
- Insects going splat on the windscreen
- Changing landscapes
- Bad food
- Good music through bad speakers.
- Uncomfortable beds.
There are some memorable road trips lurking in my past. I’ve been thinking about them since I returned home on the weekend:
- Driving up and down the NSW coast with a few mates, a car and a van full of PA equipment. We did four gigs over four hot summer nights. We were sleeping under canvas and I was bitten on the eyelid in the middle of the last night by a monster ant. I have never been so physically tired – I think I could have slept for 24 hours. Instead, I drove 10 hours home.
- Driving the long way round to Adelaide from Sydney – via Melbourne – with a mate. We camped and explored, and loaded the car onto the train in Port Augusta and did the rest of the trip to Perth in economy coach class on the train.
- The great “NSW National Park Crawl” I did with my wife – exploring most of the national parks in northern NSW, camping and bushwalking our way around the magnificent sub-tropical rainforests.
One new aspect of being on the road is coping with being off-line. On my most recent trip, we only had mobile phone reception in major towns, and these were often hundreds of kilometres apart. When I’m next on the road in a less remote situation, I’ll think carefully about rationing on-line time.
Like my writing, I’m more of a plotter than a pantser when it comes to planning head – knowing where I’m going and when in advance makes the trip more enjoyable, but that’s a matter of personal preference.
There is a plan to drive Route 66 in 2016, and that seems a few steps closer now that I’ve spent two weeks with the open road stretching out in front of the car.
Bring it on.
What’s your favourite road trip story? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear it.