“Into the Wild,” “Due Date,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Rain Man” — the list goes on and on. Road trip movies are a genre all their own that never fail to inspire us college students to drop out, sell all of our stuff and hit the pavement running. Unfortunately, our thoughts about hitting the road on a cross-country trip very rarely translate into action. Now, I’m not saying to leave Rowan in the dust and hike up every mountain you see, (this is the point where some political figure comes in and tells us to “Always stay in school, kids!”), I’m just saying that instead of flying somewhere exotic or taking a train to a well-known city, maybe you should reconsider those ordinary travel options and take a road trip instead.
Here are just a few reasons why the next time you decide to go on a trip, you should make it an adventure and use your car as your guide:
1. You get to see things from a new perspective: When you fly on a plane, all you see is an endless abyss of nothingness and white fluffy clouds. When you take a train, all you see are trees. When you take a road trip, anything and everything is open to you and your eyes. If you see a sign that says “World’s Largest Light Bulb” (Fun fact: this is actually located in Edison), you have the ability to take the nearest exit to that huge light bulb and look for yourself.
2. It’s a great bonding experience: If you think you really know your best friends, just wait until you spend eight hours with them in a space that measures an average of six feet in width. The good, the bad, ugly, beautiful, fantastic, hysterical and all the other mixed-emotion adjectives come into play during a road trip. You’ll learn a great deal about your friends and they’ll learn just as much about you, whether you like it or not.
3. People will be instantly jealous of your latest Instagram selfie of you on top of some random mountain: Selfie + mountain + #roadtrip = likes.
4. It’ll remind you of the old days: Think back to when you were five years old stopping at the rest stop coming home from Disney World and instead of going to the bathroom, you ran up to the podium with free brochures and maps. An actual, physical map that you held in your hands made you wonder where it would take you. Yeah, when you take a road trip, it’s kind of like that. Smartphones are useful and Google Maps is definitely a must-have application, but nothing makes you feel more like a real-life Sacajawea than figuring out where to go just by looking at a bunch of lines on a piece of paper the size of your torso.
5. America is awesome: You’ve hit a roadblock. The classic “life isn’t fair, I need to get out of this city/town/place, etc. and meet new people” phase. A road trip is the answer. East coast, west coast, border to border, while the stormy skies prohibit airplanes from flying and trains from moving along the tracks, the road will always remain open. Maybe you want to get away or maybe you just want to take a vacation. Whatever the reason may be, America is a beautiful and vast country that opens its arms and welcomes you to wherever your car goes. It’s time to enjoy the ride.
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