1. Be Better at…Road Trips.

    Last week I embarked on an 8 day road trip with the boyfriend. 8 days, 8 cities. It was quite the undertaking and before we took off, I’ll admit, I was nervous. Boyfriend and I get along swimmingly, so that wasn’t the worry but being trapped in a refrigerator on wheels with one person for hours on end, well…it’s tough for this NYC car-less lady. I think even Mother Teresa and I might have fist-fought before the end of the week, that is, if Mother Teresa took road trips with mediocre bloggers.

    Disclaimer: The trip was awesome.

    There were a couple “raised-voice” moments in the car (like when I was so tired, I ran a red light and Charlie thought we were going to die (btw we were not close to dying)), but overall it went seamlessly. Here are some things I learned on the way to make every road trip, easy as pie.

    -Music vs. Muzak: This is a biggie. No one has the energy to talk for every minute of the trip, so you are gonna need some good tunes to keep happy vibrations alive. Here’s how this worked out on our trip: I’m not discerning enough to only pick super meaningful, emotion inducing music, perfect for the scenario and locale. I would have Wilco followed by the Ting Tings, bookended with Jay-Z and Bob Dylan. The shuffle option is my friend, but I am realizing, that not everyone is that way. My co pilot picked the right music for each scenario (cue Fleet Foxes at high volume played through the curvy roads of the Smokies, so good) but then at specific moments, I jammed that AV converter into my jumbled Spotify account and played loud hip hop through the Atlanta streets in the early morning hours (I may have played Bieber at one point). Let whoever cares the most, pick the music and then they’ll be happy to have you takeover when you are needing to groove a bit. Chances are you aren’t dating someone with horrible musical taste anyway. Also, switch it up with a little variance, we added in a TED talk and a couple This American Life’s to get our brains functioning and to kill some time.

    -Need to Pee: I think my legs were slowly turning to mannequin legs from driving and not walking city streets, so I was a bit more inclined to stop and take bathroom breaks on this trip. If you are going to take a road trip, you can’t be mad when your fellow traveller has to go pee pee. It’s natural and it means you’ve probably had a lot of cocktails or coffee in the last 24 hours, so it’s at least for good reason. Don’t be that person (usually male) that sighs and throws a hissy fit when we have to stop and use the ladies. We don’t need to heavy sighs and the “really? again?”. Look at it this way, you’ll save money later when I don’t have f*cking kidney stones in my old age. Try to sync up on your bathroom time and then you’ll make half as many stops and eat half as many Slim Jims. (note, Charlie was great with my frequent bathroom stops, yay for male patience!)

    -Getting Sidetracked: You both need to be on the same page about wanting to take a more scenic route, or if you want to grind and just get there. OR you can accidentally give your boyfriend sleep-inducing allergy meds that you purchased at the dollar store, and then make frequent stops at boiled peanut stands/creeks/DQ while he doses in and out of a heavy slumber. Be flexible and split it up, some scenic, some grinding…that way, everybody wins!

    -Directionally Challenged: I have learned I kinda suck at directions. I also learned that women and men utilize Google maps in very different ways. For the most part in my study of ladies (because I am the proud owner of girl parts), we typically don’t use things like cardinal directions or mileage. I want to start a Google maps product for women, here’s how it would go:

    • REGULAR VERSION: “Head southeast on 6th Ave N toward Charlotte Ave for 1.5 miles and then merge onto 1-35W”
    • LADIES VERSION: “Keep going the way your car is pointed on 6th Ave toward the Starbucks and then after 2 minutes or so, take a right at the Party Wagon Supply Store and then get on the highway, yes, that highway, right there”
    I was frequently asked…”in how many miles are we going to do that?”. I sat dumbfounded. Do you men have some sort of permanent odometer built into your brain? 

    -Keep Tabs on Your Co-Pilot: One thing we constantly did, that kept us both happy and not wanting to run our car into a swamp? We checked in with each other frequently to make sure we were hanging in there, helped each other out when we could and kept ourselves fed, watered, and caffeinated.  Also, if your co pilot’s face starts to look sullen and glazed over (mine), you might want stop and take a little break with them, pump up the jams, and pacify them with Chex Mix. 

    Happy Roadtripping Y’all,