No one can deny that there’s a certain amount of freedom and independence to be gained by getting your driver’s license. Seriously, it’s been culturally ingrained into our collective consciouness that this is a serious rite of passage. To act of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and going pretty much anywhere is an amazing concept once you actually experience it. There’s an enormous amount of responsibility one holds in getting behind the wheel of a car. Not only do you have to be aware of your surroundings and worry about yourself but also to be hyper-aware of other people that you are sharing the road with.
Now, I don’t know what it is about movies centered around road trips but something is always falling to pieces. Always. There’s an adventure, someone’s bound to get lost or be on the run from the authorities. Road trips are fun and I recommend everyone experience one at least once in their life but unless you find yourself as a lead in a Hollywood movie here’s what NOT to do on a road trip.
1) Don’t have your vehicle checked/inspected before you embark on your trip. Don’t fill the tank with gas. Be unprepared for the unexpected. Be confident that there’s no way your car will ever, ever break down or run out gas along a stretch of deserted road. That’ll never happen.
REALITY: Listen, if you learn anything from a road trip movie, your vehicle will break down, you will be stranded and you need to be prepared for when this does happen. Charge your cell phone, have extra cash on you. Have a plan B and a plan C. Be prepared.
2) Embrace your inner road rage demon. Did someone pass you on your blindside or didn’t signal before turning? Ooh, watch out. Do you feel a muscle-ly, green, angry thing wanting to emerge from the depths of your soul? Well, then I definitely foresee a happy ending in the works. No major catastrophes or deaths. And wait, has someone done something to you in their car? Then by all means, go get your road revenge on.
REALITY: Leave this for the movies. Please. Unless, your life is in danger and the cops are taking their sweet time to get to you. Calm down, Mad Max. And don’t do anything stupid.
3) Your road trip is only about getting from point A to point B. That’s it. There’s absolutely no need to enjoy the scenery or the people that you are with. But most importantly, the journey is not part of the experience. I repeat, the actual journey has nothing to do with the experience. That’s not what a road trip is about.
REALITY: You will grow. You will change. Hopefully, for the better. You will realize something about yourself or your friends. It could be as menial as discovering someone’s favorite type of breakfast or as core-shaking as the truth behind your childhood but rest assured, it will happen.
4) Do something really stupid like armed robbery or go on a killing spree and expect to get away from the authorities. Because that’s really going end well. Why would the cops want to perpetuate law and order?? That totally goes against everything they stand for. You can definitely make the border before getting caught. Totally.
REALITY: C’mon now. Almost every movie about a road trip is bound to have a car chase or someone with homicidal tendencies running around. It’s all part of the suspense but keep this in the movies folks. Take it easy, cowboy.
5) Be absolutely reckless with your life and others. That includes and is not limited to: drinking while driving, thinking that you are an Indy Formula 1 racer, or believing that you are invincible. Don’t tell anyone what you’re doing and where you’re going. Try to re-enact the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas road trip, you won’t do anything stupid and won’t get caught.
REALITY: Tell someone where you are going. I know we all want to be independent and free but there is absolutely nothing wrong with letting people know where you are. There’s only one Hunter S. Thompson, you are not him. Most importantly, don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
There you have it: 5 things NOT to do on a road trip. We love movies for their escapism and entertainment value but sometimes they are filled with the worst kinds of advice. Enjoy your road trip but refrain from doing anything detrimental to your health and freedom. However, be aware, that things are going to go wrong, you will probably not stick to the plan and that is all part of what makes the experience and gives you a great story to tell.
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