Sometimes there are reasons why we can’t travel and see the world – we have full time jobs, don’t have annual leave, financial reasons – all that jazz. But I have found a quick and partially satisfying fix that feeds that exploration itch – Road Trips. I don’t think there is necessarily a right or wrong way to do road trips but with the gift of hindsight and the habit of note taking, over the years I have come to realise that there are a few factors I like to keep in mind when hitting the road:
1 | PIT STOPS
Last Autumn, I was on a road trip to Bright (one of my personal favorite destinations in Victoria – would definitely recommend this town of beautiful wonder!). As my friends and I were driving down the Great Alpine Road, the sunrise was melting the morning dew on the grass before us,creating this magical looking cloudy mist. One of us yelled the two words that everyone in the car was thinking: “Pull over!”. So the 4 of us clambered out and ran through the mist like children. Curiosity led us from one thing to another and before we knew it, we wandered away from our car and into a beautiful grand pine forest.
When on your journey, keep an open agenda – allow the day to be a bendable continuum where anything can happen. And definitely don’t be bashful from the idea of pulling the car over to admire something you deem beautiful: flower fields, forests, a sunrise. Because I’ve found that it is there, that a lot of memories and magic take place.
2 | GOOD COMPANY
I see company to be everything on road trips. The people you endeavour with are the pillars that hold the atmosphere of the day. Choose the kind of people that will make you laugh in the face of adversity like a flat tyre or being caught in the rain in the middle of a hike; they will bring the best out of you in the worst of times and still bring out the best of you in the best of times.
There may be days where all the company you need for your road trip is your dog or even just yourself. And I don’t think there’s anything weird about that. Sometimes it’s nice to drive yourself to the coast and watch a sunset by yourself as your dog runs a graceless catastrophe somewhere on the shore.
3 | MEMORABILIA
Pinecones, leaves, bus tickets, flowers, any souvenirs hold just as much story as a photo. Place these little pieces around your world – hang small flowers off your rear view mirror, stick photos in your room, paste tickets on your wall or tuck them in your wallet. Because these little pieces are more than memories of once were – they’re a reminder to keep exploring.
In my room I have a pine cone hanging from my ceiling alongside some dried wild flowers. This pine cone was picked from the very same pine forest I wrote about earlier and it makes me smile every time I see it because of the stories it represents. It’s a hanging reminder to go back and make more memories.
Road trips have now become a hobby and to some degree, a kind of art to me. It’s all about finding your niche and what works for you. If in the near future you find yourself with a free day and full tank of petrol… Go.
– All images by: Abegail Mazo