7 Reasons Why You Should Go On A Road Trip

1. You need to see America!

Even if you’ve lived in America your whole life, there’s a good chance you’ve only seen a small part of your country. When people travel domestic, they typically skip the off-the-beaten-path destinations and head straight for metropolitan cities. By going on a road trip, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to see all of your home—the beautiful, the surreal, and the “wow, I can’t believe this place actually exists!” Go to Mississippi for some barbecue, chill at the beach in Florida, and go figure out what’s up with North Dakota. The USA is such a diverse, strange place. Driving cross country allows you to experience all of what America has to offer (and often makes you appreciate your hometown that much more).

2. You’re young and, therefore, obligated to do crazy things

You have to take advantage of your youth; you must take advantage of the fact that the only obligations you have at a young age are to yourself. Because when you get older, time exists in a vacuum. Your job becomes something you just can’t leave whenever you want to, and then you might get married and have kids, which means two other people now must factor into every decision you make. You can’t just tell them, “BRB. Mommy/ Daddy is going on a road trip to experience some life stuff.” In a way, you’ve lost some of your personal freedom. So if you have the opportunity to skip out on your life for a certain period of time, do it! Ditch all of your obligations to create some amazing memories. Nothing says “I’m young, I’m free, and I do what I want!” quite like a road trip does. Note: If you ever actually do say something like that, make sure “Baba O’Riley” is playing. Epic song for an epic moment.

3. You need a vacation

Sometimes life can feel like Groundhog Day, doesn’t it? You have the same routine day in and day out, and you find yourself feeling bored and stressed at the same time. It’s clear that you need a vacation but you don’t have the money to stay in some posh hotel at some exotic location for ten days. Besides, you need a different type of vacation, one that will be exciting and CPR you back to life. Let’s face it, laying poolside for a week might be fun but it doesn’t exactly do wonders for the soul. Going on a road trip, however, would be the perfect solution to your Groundhog Day woes. You’d get to be in a new location every single day, if not every few hours, and you’d also be exposed to different slices of life — road trips are actually like eating a Life Pie when you think about it — which will help you gain perspective and clarity about where you are in your own life. It’s about adventure and not tied completely to work and technology, which is something everyone needs at some point in their lives.

4. It looks like so much fun when they do it in the movies!

I can’t write a post about road trips without mentioning the seminal film Crossroads, which starred Britney Spears, Zoe Saldana, and my personal Jesus, Taryn “Boomkat” Manning. If you’re unfamiliar with the plot, allow me to explain! Britney Spears plays a girl who has just graduated high school and is searching for her birth mom. She reunites with her childhood friends, White Trash With A Baby On The Way But I Want To Be A Singer Bye (Taryn Manning) and I’m Engaged And Underaged That’s It Because My Role Is Underwritten (Zoe Saldana). Together, the three girls set out on a road trip and have plenty of laughs and tears along the way. Britney’s birth mom turns out to be Samantha from Sex and the City (hey girl!) and Taryn Manning loses her baby after falling down a flight of stairs. But hey! Britney Spears discovers that she’s a performer and an okay singer so that’s fun for everyone!

5. You (or your friend) are moving cross country and you want to have one last hurrah!

If you or your friend are moving cross country, why not take it as an opportunity to squeeze in some quality time before EVERYTHING CHANGES AND YOU DRIFT APART AND SUDDENLY, YOU’RE SMILINGLY MEEKLY AT EACH OTHER AT YOUR TEN YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION? I mean, you should do it because it’s a great way to bond before undergoing a monumental change, duh! If someone’s moving cross country, chances are they’re starting a new chapter in their life. This can be difficult for anyone, let alone best friends, so why not kill two birds with one stone by going on a road trip? You can move your stuff while also savoring these last days before having to start over somewhere else. Play Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend” while bobbing your heads in unison on the open road while saying to each other, “No, but really, you’re like my bestest friend.” “No, I know. You’re my best friend too, duh!””We’re like obsessed with each other.” “Obsessed…”

6. You just want to have an excuse to make a road trip playlist, don’t you?

Everyone knows that the best place to listen to music is in a car with your friends going to some great destination. People go crazy though over deciding who gets to be in charge of the iPod. “I want to DJ this powerful moment! You can get the next one!” Making a playlist for a road trip is an epic undertaking (hopefully I’ve given you some good suggestions already!) but it’s worth it. Because when a song comes on at that perfect moment, it’s like pure ecstasy for your earbuds. Sample road trip playlist titles can include “I’m In California And I Just Want To Listen to Beach Songs” and “My Friend And I Just Had A Tiff So Here’s Some Mellow Stuff To Chill Us Both Out!”

7. You’re doing this for love… or something

You know that romantic saying, “I’ll meet you to the ends of the earth”? Well, it really just means, “I’ll take a road trip to go visit my BF/ GF because I miss them so much, oh my god!” Traveling to see someone you love seems like a great reason to go on a road trip. Truthfully, I’m not sure if people ever do it anymore. It seems like the grand romantic gesture has died a fiery death but you can singlehandedly revive it with your dedication and love! Surprise your beau by just showing up at their doorstep. “Peekaboo!” you’ll scream through the screen door. “Guess who just came all this way to see you?!” TC mark

image -©iStockphoto.com/Nikada

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • meghan

    oh man I just got back from my 2 week road trip a couple hours ago! It was nuts! We went to Memphis and Nashville and Asheville and VA to PA to CT to VT. Hell yeah! There was vomiting and music festivals and overnight car rides and a SHIT ton of playlists! I second this motion, but don’t be sad if you end up losing your  binge at Pancake Pantry 3 hours into the drive to Asheville.

    • Randal McNally

      I miss the curvy roads!

      I’m from near Asheville and dated a girl from Houston. I drove out thrice times in my 95 Camry, which I finally got rid of at 300,000 miles.

      I surprised her at the restaurant where she worked once and it was amazing. And now we’re married! The end.

      Carpe diem!

  • Lo

    Hahaha. Life Pie.

  • GreenLA


  • tc reader

    can there please be a filter for ryan o’connell articles??? they appear way too frequently and are not up to the standard of quality the other articles possess.

    • emily

      Actually I disagree. I stumbled upon TC randomly but Ryan’s articles stuck out the most to me and are some of my favorite on the site.

      I do think a tag for each writer could be helpful though, easier for everyone to check out the writers they want to and skip the ones they want to avoid.

      • Jonas

        Great article, Ryan.   I really wanna go on a road trip now.  

        P.S. Emily – they have that feature: http://thoughtcatalog.com/author/ryanoconnell/.  You can just bookmark that URL, and check out your favorite authors that way. 

      • http://twitter.com/MissKimball misskimball

        that page is ok but what we really need is a dedicated ryan control, some sort of slider where users can fine tune their individual ryan-levels:
        0% Ryan 100% Ryan

    • lianne

      lol this is a sponsored article, so it’s even worse that ryan o’s regular content.  I didn’t even know that his regular content COULD get worse!

  • Anonymous

    awesome. i’ve done #7. within the past 3 years. didn’t end well, but the trip was awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/robinmalik Robin

    Ryan, stop writing and go on a road trip.

    (Serious question: what %age of the articles on here are written by him?)

    • Anonymous

      (agreed, lots%) I’m a big fan of ~1 out of every 4 entries; less might be more?

  • http://www.facebook.com/hannaraddness Hanna Nichole Mullins

    Too bad it’d cost a shit ton. 

    • http://kharlamovaa.wordpress.com Arina Kharlamova

      Feckin gas prices.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

        bike places

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

        bike places

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

        bike places

    • Anonymous

      If you stay at a national or state park, it’s like $20/night. My boyfriend did spend $400 on gas for our 1,200+ mile roadtrip, though. :/

  • http://www.facebook.com/hannaraddness Hanna Nichole Mullins

    Too bad it’d cost a shit ton. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Betty-White/100003018259569 Betty White

    ……http://alturl.com/vzpxg    ….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Betty-White/100003018259569 Betty White

    I can’t believe….My best friend’s mom makes $77 an hour on the computer. She has been out of job for 9 months but last month her check was $5487 just working on the computer for a few hours…………..

  • Anonymous

    ahh I’m traveling from Philly to Chicago in November to see Morrissey and this just made me even more excited.. I just wish I had more then a weekend to do it hah

  • Myemail

    No mention of “I Drove All Night” (Roy Orbison preferred, Cyndi Lauper welcomed, Celine Dion unacceptable) for the Love Trip?

  • http://www.facebook.com/t.jason.ham Jason Ham

    and Taryn Manning loses her baby after falling down a flight of stairs.

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