The steps of the Department of Motor Vehicles were very cold at six in the morning in the middle of December. I had been waiting for this day for 16 years. I was first in line. It was all worth it when I drove away later that morning a fully licensed driver. The funniest thing about that day was that all of sudden I had no idea where anything was. Every day for the past several years I had gone with my mom to the grocery store and every day we drove by the school. Now that I was behind the wheel everything seemed new. Rights and Lefts had new meaning and new depth. It was exhilarating.
That was almost 34 years ago and I keep thinking that one of these days I will get tired of the Road Trip. That one day I will grumble at the thought of getting behind the wheel to get from point A to point B. That hasn’t happened yet. Since my 16th birthday I have driven across the country and into Canada several times and have looped the US (only missing N. Dakota and Maine) a couple of times.
Driving in the Middle East
It was a thrill to get a driver’s license in the Middle East. This required an official letter from my husband, translated into arabic, granting me permission to drive. Driving in the United Arab Emirates is like inserting yourself into a real life 3-D racing video game. In THAT game the winner is the one who gets no points. Stop signs seemed more like a suggestion than a traffic requirement. On a couple of occasions I ended up doing an extra loop around the four lane roundabout to get to the correct street.
Small Winding Roads of the Caribbean
On one of our adventures we rented a car and I was able to drive around the entire island of St. Lucia. The cars were American but the roads on this little Caribbean island were European. So even though the steering wheel and car were familiar I had to remind myself to drive on the left side of the road instead of the right. St. Lucia is known for its beautiful Piton mountains and rain forests along with the sleepy little fishing villages. The roads wind around steep terrain and are often narrow. It is common to come across goats, dogs, and other wildlife in the road. A quick tap on the horn from a car coming your direction quickly lets you know that they are going to speed around you even though the road seems more fit for one car than two.
Road Trips with Friends
This past summer my road trip adventures found me in a rented Cadillac with GoodnCrazy TravelingMom, Carissa Rogers, on our way to a blogging conference. Traveling with friends can be fun but you don’t always know how you will get along after 15 hours in a car. Fortunately, I did most of the driving and Carissa did most of the talking and so it all worked out great.
My kids have grown up taking long road trips and so they know that getting there is just part of the adventure.
* Remember! Never Text and Drive. That is not fearless – that is just wreckless.