We all only have so much time during the year to go on a big vacation – or in my case: roadtrip! So finding a person who you cannot only endure to be with in a (relatively) small space (car) for long hours at times but actually enjoy to be with is crucial for the whole trip. I have collected a few thoughts on what it is that makes a person the right fit for your journey.
1 The Driving
Roadtrips contain a lot of driving, as the word already suggests. So either you find someone who has a valid drivers license and likes to put the pedal to the metal or somebody who will sing you songs and makes up stories for you in order to keep you as the driver entertained and awake.
2 The duties of a co-driver
If you’re the one who’s driving, it’s always good to have somebody next to you whom you can ask to take pictures of the landscape, who hands you over the coffee mug or opens a bottle of water for you, who has an idea where you’re going next, who’s good at navigating (or cute enough that you’re forgiving him the fact that he says things like “right here left”) and knows how to regulate the AC, has playlists ready and feeds you molten chocolate through a straw.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the same taste in music. Honestly. There’s always a compromise. I love metal, my brother is into techno. So we listened to country music. I love metal, my former companion hates it. So we listened to his music, cause I was in love (with him). Find somebody funny, somebody who can make you laugh at stupid and random things, like a man in a car next to your stall at Sonic who looks like a mass murderer. Cause some drives are just too long to be endured only. And too beautiful to not be enjoyed. I can’t imagine something less fun than roadtripping with a bore. I loved making up car games or stopping at roadside attractions my companions enjoy.
4 The Smoking Question
A dedicated non-smoker won’t have a good time with a heavy smoker, cause either you end up holding your head out of the window like a puppy or stopping every twenty minute for “just a quick one”. Talk about that before you decide to go on a roadtrip together. I was lucky as me and companion one had the same smoking rhythm (and both weren’t heavy smokers), so we stopped now and then for a cig. After I quit smoking I agreed with my brother (companion two) on regular stops and he was agreeing not to smoke in the car.
5 The Food
It would drive me crazy if I’d have to spend my precious vacation time by trying to find a gluten-, dairy-, sugar-, meat- and funfree restaurant. I love food. Sonic, Wendy’s, fries animal style at Denny’s, Panda… you name it. Peanutbuttercups, Hershey’s Chocolate, Wawa-Coffee and Snyder Pretzels; my taste is simple (but good). If you travel with a loved one do not underestimate the romance a slice of Domino’s Pizza (eaten in the bed) holds.
6 The Itinerary
Imagine you’re traveling with a friend. Just somebody random. You’re polite, so when he asks you where you wanna go, you’re like “uh… I don’t know” (even though you DO know that you want to see this and that). “Where do you want to go?” – “I don’t know..” See, tedious. So travel with somebody whom you love, then it doesn’t matter where you go as long as you’re together. Even if it’s Lake Havasu. Or travel with somebody who has the same idea about the route and where to stop on the way.
7 Traveling with a Local
You can learn a lot when being on the road with a local who laughs at you when you try to tip at a gas station (the US), who explains traffic rules to you (“use the suicide lane”) and knows about shady places, the good shitty fast food and comic book stores.
You know you’ve found the right person when your heart just sinks towards the end of the journey together, when you go through what you experienced together over and over again, when you’re looking forward to the next time you’ll be on the road and can’t help it but smile even on your saddest days – as soon as you come across a picture or souvenir that reminds you of the trip.