If you told me a year ago, my 2022 would not include one, not two, but Three cross-country road trips, and I’ll ask you with a smile, who the hell is driving me around America. I’ve had a driver’s license since the embarrassing age of 24, but people in my life generally think I’m not a “good” driver, on my first road trip On the trip—from NYC to Austin, then another from NYC to Nashville—I let my friend drive most of the time.
My third and final road trip of the year looked a little different though: I drove from Austin (where I live) to Los Angeles (where my partner lives ), and then return alone, in the space of a month. After spending about 24 hours alone in 17 years – old With nothing but empty mcdonalds bags and the occasional company flight for the honda fit, i feel like i have at least 17 Piece of wisdom sharing. Read all about it below.
- Road trip routines are key. For some, the above routine might include doing restorative yoga at sunset every day, or trying to find local art in each new city; Starbucks in Albuquerque or Santa Fe serve the same peppermint mocha and turkey bacon breakfast sandwich, rain or shine. (Are there better coffee offerings in these cities? No doubt, but I’m a creature of habit.)
- Totally fine when Driving in a sports bra when you’re really sweaty and hate all your shirts.
- The national park has very nice public baths. (For reference, in Arizona’s Painted Desert, there are posters of the desert in the restrooms, since I was too late that day to actually explore the park – which I thought was very sweet.)
- The last hour of the trip always, always, always feels the longest.
- THE ONLY WAY TO BE A CONFIDENCED DRIVER IS TO . . . drive, preferably across long distances on US highways, with few other cars on the road to intimidate your turn. (You can try to achieve defensive driving.)
- You need 20 Exercising for a few minutes a day to prevent the dreaded “driver’s knee” so bad that I had to spend an extra day in Marfa, Texas waiting for my leg to bend again.
- If you have to spend an extra day anywhere, try to make it Marfa. (The local newspaper is also a coffee shop! Great food everywhere! Erin Miles lives there, and it seems like every other hot queer artist has lived there since time immemorial!)
The only way out is through. A cliché, sure, but it certainly applies to the seven-hour drive.