This past year, I discovered the positive effects of road trips when it comes to mental and emotional health.
I’ve was feeling a bit gloomy the past week so I decided to take my son and I on a road trip to the beautiful North Georgia Mountains! We went to Blue Ridge GA, then Vogel State Park, and then we ended our adventure at Helen, GA.
FYI, that picture above is not a picture of the GA mountains but it looks similar. I was so amazed by the scenery that it didn’t dawn on me to take pictures until later, and there were some parts that had me so full of angst that I was not going to take my eyes off the road or the steering wheel. Check out my video about it (that’s slightly off topic), then bring your butt back here and finish reading…please 🙂
For some people, the idea of traveling with family is downright terrifying! If you have kids, you’re probably already thinking about banging your head against your steering wheel, and you haven’t even planned a trip yet!
The idea of having a road trip, especially with family, seems daunting but let’s consider that there are different types of stress. According to American Psychological Association, stress can be broken down into acute, episodic, and chronic and you want to know more aboutit, you can read about it by clicking HERE (great information!). But you’re in Veronica’s World (locking the door behind you) and for the purpose of my post, I’m going to discuss stress and anxiety by dividing it into two parts, good and bad. Simple.
Bad stress and anxiety has nothing positive to offer. It can manifest into physical issues and cause you to develop negative coping habits. Good stress and anxiety has a whole lot of goodness, and gold, and butterflies mixed within. No matter what happens, it all adds up to an amazing experience! And let’s keep in mind, life is not what happens to you, life is how you roll with the punches. You’re going to roll with whatever life throws your way, find the humor in it, and you’re still going to have a great time! Now get your *bleep* in the car and start your amazing journey, now! Ok…I’m sorry, let me retract that. Your trip will be AMAZING no matter what (now get your *bleep* in the car!)
Here are steps you should take before your road trip:
- Research your destination and it’s topography. I NEVER use the word topography. It’s been a lonely orphan in the back of my mind, just waiting for an opportunity to shine! TOPOGRAPHY, I hope your dancing like no one is watching.
- If there is more than one person going, determine if the destination is compatible for the both of you, or all of you if this is a family outing. You can’t please everyone. In a group, there is at least one person who will see a piece of $h!# in the rainbow and harp on it, despite it being colorful and void of all smells because rainbows are magical. I mean, lets think about it…maybe the $h!# is trying to change for the better, but to that one person in the group, it’s still a piece of $h!t. If you can, leave that person home! If it’s a child, you tell them like it is BEFORE your trip because this trip WILL BE a wonderful experience!
- Car maintenance! This is a must, especially if you’re going on a long road trip: Oil change, tire pressure check, fluid check, check your spare tire, ensure that you have a tire repair kit, palette jack and know how to use it, and tire inflator (they are not expensive anymore).
- Ensure you have adequate snacks such as bottles of water, gold fish crackers, fruit (fresh or container). You never know what will happen. Your car could stop in a place where there isn’t a cell phone signal.
- Keep various forms of non-electronic entertainment in the car, just in case: cross word puzzle, Sudoku, fidget spinner (anxiety and anger relief!), and/or a few books.
- High powered flashlight and portable heavy duty power charger.
- Map out your trip please and thank you! Sit at a computer or laptop and go over your whole trip, terrain and all. Heck, Google Earth it! Don’t wing it by using your GPS. If you watch my video, you will know that I learned this the hard way because I obviously didn’t think of this step. I had way more adventure then I could handle because GPS thought it would be fun to mess with me!
- If you have a smart phone, download an offline map. (This step saved me in Mexico City!) Google has a great tutorial and you can locate it by clicking HERE . This is a lifesaver if you can’t get a signal. If you’re old school, get a map. Heck, keep a map in your glove box anyway! Talking about glove box…
- Make sure you have your driver’s license and health insurance card on you. Ensure that your auto registration and car insurance is up to date, printed, and in your glove compartment. I didn’t perform this step either. A few miles into my trip, it hit me to check my glove compartment and I realized that I didn’t print out my updated insurance card! I was riding dirty! I was able to download it as an offline file in Google Drive, but you never know if a cop will accept it in that form.
- Bring a seperate camera or camcorder, because if you use your phone, people will call you when you’re about the take the most amazing shot! My mother called my son when he was about to take the perfect picture during our drive and I wasn’t in the position to pull over. “Grandma, I’m gonna call you right back…I have to call you back…I’m trying to take a picture and I can’t because you called me…call me back.” That was hilarious.
Some people wing it and that’s their prerogative, but refusing to take precaution is simply asking for trouble. The purpose of a road trip is to take you away from your troubles, not to create more by being a hard head. That’s my job, and I’m not even hard headed on purpose. Learn from my mistakes so you can have a better experience?
I hope you enjoyed my post and received some good food for thought and entertainment. If you like my post, let me know by giving me a like and follow me by email as well. I do notice and it makes me feel good! Lol!
I have a Youtube channel now! You will learn more about me, imperfections and all! Some of my videos don’t exactly align with my blog topics because I wing it, for now, but in the meantime you will still enjoy me 🙂
You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter where I try my darndest to practice what I preach. Thank you for reading!