This past week I went on my first ever road trip! (Family driving vacations, as fun as they are, not included, for obvious reasons).
After many years of Girl Scout camping trips, it has always been a dream of ours to take a Culties road trip. Unfortunately, in the past few years, we have become more geographically distant than many of us would like to be, and having everyone in the same place at the same time is nearly impossible.
However, when a few of us found ourselves overlapping for a few days at home, it only made sense to scurry across the Midwest and see what kind of trouble we could find.
Only after about an hour of driving south on the Toll way, my mom’s suggestion as there was major construction on the highway (who knew?!) we realized that a) we didn’t know where the highway was, b) we didn’t have a map, a compass, GPS, or really any way to know where we were going! But, not a problem, Girl Scouts are always prepared, and the three of us were confident in our navigational skills.
“Look!” I exclaimed as I pointed from the front seat to a blue sign with an H in it, “The highway! We found it!”
My friends collapsed in laughter. Turns out, this means Hospital, not highway.
Guess I shouldn’t have doodled and daydreamed my way through driver’s ed.
At this point, I should probably mention that at no point in this entire journey was I behind the wheel. I shriek at the sight of a truck in my rearview mirror, the radio easily distracts me from changing traffic signals, so no, the life of my friends was not going to be put in my hands.
|Beautiful Midwestern landscape.
But this was what was so special about our trip: we each have our own special qualities that bring us closer together: humor, patience, bravery, a sense of direction, and spending countless hours in a car together forced us to bond even quicker, to take advantage of each other’s talents and utilize our strengths to get to our final destination.
We made up a license plate game to keep us entertained when miles of cornfields seemed almost unbearable (Midwest = 1 point, South = 2 points, West = 3 points, East = 4 points, Canada = 10 points, Hawaii or Alaska win the game). I highly recommend it, but be forewarned, it gets competitive when you spot Oregon simultaneously!
We made playlists of our favorite old and new music, sang the entire Dreamgirls soundtrack, reminisced about our times dancing to Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child, and learned all the words to Ellie Goulding’s newest album.
We saved a dog’s life, made quirky and interesting new friends, tried local cuisine (read: various fried foods), learned about the imprecise albeit fascinating history of Route 66, debated whether wearing boating shoes made it a cruise instead of a road trip, kept each other constantly entertained, stayed dry at a zoo in the rain, and so much more.
While the trip was short, it was so memorable. We could have been in the middle of nowhere (and we pretty much were, for the most part Southern Illinois/Missouri are not epicenters of excitement) but we had each other for everything we could ever need. Having best friends is the absolute best.