I am a well rounded traveler. When I say that I mean that I will go by foot, car, bus, train, plane, boat, whatever! All of it is a new adventure. Now, I don’t love walking (I have an ankle that needs a second surgery, and sometimes I’m lazy), but it is driving that causes me the greatest anxiety!
There are a few reasons for this:
1. I have low trust of other drivers.
A large reason for this could be because I learned to drive in New Jersey which has crazy drivers, then moved to Pennsylvania which has one of the worst drivers in the county and here’s the research to prove it, and now live in New York City which is always packed with cars that have no damn reason to be here (mine included). These drivers have no regard to me, my car, and our personal space as a duo. Often the lines in the road mean very little to them. It is more of a suggestion rather than a requirement. I am a permanent defensive driver. I don’t like it. I want to be at ease when traveling and you just won’t give me that!
2. I don’t like having other people’s lives in my hand.
How do you handle that pressure?! Every decision you make as a driver doesn’t only impact you and your car, but everyone in your car AND the people in the other cars around you. I have a constant thought that are nervous at every movement of the car. Everyone can think of a time that they were a passenger in a car and the driver did something that made them think “this is it. This is how I get dangerously injured or die”. If you haven’t, count your blessings. Now even if that moment is short, I don’t want to cause that for anyone. I’ve been scared by enough prom/graduation testimonials, commercials, and real life stories to ever want to be a statistic for the DMV.
3. I’m comfortable with my car.
This is pretty simple. I know my car. Carrie, my Kia Sportage, and I have had some great times. Some great conversations as well (6 hour drives alone will do that to you). Now often on road trips, people want you to help drive their car, a rental car or allow them to drive your car. Um, how about no? Your car rides funny. It’s too close to the ground. I don’t quite have my depth perception align to the size of your car yet. But sure why not?! And you driving my car? Sure, but can I get a copy of your license, proof of insurance, and 5 year driving history. Actually throw in your 5 year health history as well. Just don’t want any surprises.
4. Sharing costs.
Splitting gas costs and tolls sucks. Gas costs different in all different areas so odds that someone is paying more is high. Tolls also can didferent. You can say “oh you pay tolls this way and I’ll pay them back”. But a Jersey girl like me knows that it costs to leave New Jersey on a bridge but it’s free going back in. You trying to jip me?! And if we make a gas/tolls money pot, what happens if we run out? How do I budget for that?
Now most fellow travelers will probably read this and think “Wow! she needs to relax and the best way to relax is traveling!” Don’t get me wrong, when I get to the destination, I’m happy and love the experience. Great laughs, sing-a-longs, and memories can come from a quality road trip. Doesn’t change the level of anxiety I balance each time! And honestly, if I can get a traveling experience in, then I’m down either way.
Do any of you have ways you get through road trips? Have a personal distaste of driving too? Comment away!!