How to Survive a Very Long Time in a 4-Wheeled Vehicle

Roadtrips are my favorite. Out of pretty much everything. Whose down for a roadtrip? This gal.

I’ll drive for hours on end if it means that I get to visit a friend or see an awesome new place. Recently, I tested the boundaries of my love for car rides during 3 days of driving solo from Las Cruces, New Mexico to St. Germain, Wisconsin. Each day, I drove between 8-11 hours completely alone. While I was nervous initially, the trip turned out to be just the antidote needed to the most recent bout of what-is-life blues.

While I’m a car driving fanatic, I know there’s folks out there whose minds are completely boggled by the thought of driving more than 5-hours in any direction. Here’s a few ways to stay sane and love the journey:

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Toronto is just one 14-hour drive from Milwaukee…easy!

1. Talk to Yourself – alone in you car for hours on end, safe from anyone overhearing you, this is an ideal time to be your own therapist. Talk out the things that have irked you recently. Pretend you’re on a talk show for accomplishing your dreams. Or, my personal favorite, get into heated arguments with all those people with whom you missed the chance to fight!

2. Podcasts – rediscover podcasts. When you get sick of your own voice, an hour-long informational recording is simply the greatest. Have a running commentary. It’s the only time talking over an interesting subject won’t piss anyone else off! Bonus: you end your solo time smarter than you started.

3. Karaoke – duuuuude. You’re ALONE in your car. Put on the guiltiest of guilty pleasure songs and sing every single word because we all know you know them. (Be sure to have something  like this Radio – AUX Converter thingy; it’s a life changer)

4. Junk Food – treat yo’ self! Only for meals, though, try to keep the snacks energizing and healthy. My personal weakness is a value menu McDonald’s chicken thing + coke. Even though they’re kind of evil.

5. Exercise – squeeze your butt cheeks! Both, one, now the other one. Overhead stretches. Careful back twists. Kegels! Just because you’re sitting doesn’t mean you must sit still.

6. Healthy Driving Snacks – Apples n’ Peanut Butter!!!! This is people fuel. You can live on this forever. Extra points for dipping the slices in sunflower seeds.

7. People-Filled Pit-stops – Extroverted much? If you can, arrange to stay with humans during your time off road. Find couchsurf hosts, relatives, or unique RV parks (like ACT Campground). Utilize your network and plan pitstops in areas where you have connections though friends, family, or intentional communities!

The most important rule is to know your limits. If you’re driving and feel drowsy, STOP! No one will tease you for taking a nap in Walmart’s parking lot—especially as the store generally allows overnight parking to lure you in as a customer. Rest stops are scattered throughout the USA and make for great picnic sites, informational opportunities, or strange roadtrip photo-ops.

Fear not the open road. Go!

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