Note to Self: First road trip lesson learned

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Things I learned while driving across the country!

Well I mean every time you venture out of your comforts zone I feel like you inevitable have some take aways from the experience. So I thought this would be a great time to tell you what mine were… Don’t Judge haha we all learn things different ways, I happen to learn by living hahah

 

1
Don't set an unrealistic schedule!

In fact if possible, give yourself extra time for any unexpected occurrences! This way you can avoid falling behind schedule and all the stress that comes with being behind, checking the time, trying to speed to catch up, road rage, traffic ptsd and having to omit things you really wanted to do... Just save yourself the grey hairs and counseling and build in time buffers to your trip!

2
Don't be unrealistic about your driving habits!!

If you are the type of driver that can't stand driving for longer than 2 hrs? Then accept thats who you are and plan your drive with 2 hr increments. If you know you start falling asleep as soon as it gets dark? Or hate being awake in the early morning? Don't torture yourself and try to wake up at 4am to get on the road early because someone somewhere said thats the best time to avoid traffic!! That person probably thrives at 4am. Trust me, just save yourself the misery! Why not wake up at 9am, eat a leisurely breakfast and hit the road around 10am after the morning traffic has died down and everyone is safely in their cubicles working away!

The same goes for late night driving, which is the category I fall into. I just can not for the life of me stay up once my body gets cozy at night. I am one of those people who find driving or being driven very very soothing!! I blame my dad who used to drive me around when I was a baby to put me to sleep. So I tell people straight up, if you are looking for a co-pilot, driving buddy to keep you company... I am not the one! I will fall asleep in that cozy therapeutic passenger seat regardless of what time of day it is! By now, I know not to lie to myself, and think that all of a sudden just because I am on a road trip I will miraculously be able to drive and stay awake at night... I won't happen, I am who I am, and I am NOT a night time driver! Accepting the type of driver you are just makes the road safer for everyone and I mean who doesn't want that?!?

3
SAFETY CORRIDORS ARE NOT WHAT YOU THOUGHT!!!

As I was crossing state lines on my fantastic trip I kept seeing several signs repeated, most of which I knew the meaning of for example; winding road, max speed, slow down, slippery road etc... C'mon we all know these! However the one I didn't know was Safety Corridor, well I just figured that was pretty self explanatory. This is a Safe Corridor, meaning this strip of road is safe and it made sense to me as I typically saw this sign on perfectly paved straightaways. With a sigh of relief, I'm thinking nice, no bumps, no turns, no random animal crossings just me and the straight open road!

Well then, I was wondering why did they feel the need to give me peace of mind and tell me that this was a safe part of the road? I mean who does that? Every other sign is some type of warning... potential flash floods, sandstorm possibility, limited visibility, intense fog and then a positive sign about a safe road? Which one of these doesn't belong? My assumed definition of  safety corridor of course! The correct definition of a Safety Corridor is "Road with accident and fatality rates above the average may have some of their lengths designated as "Safe Corridor" areas. Which I figured out when curiosity got the best of me and I googled during a rest stop. Talk about complete opposites, here I was relieved when I should have been extra cautious! Thanks google and wikipedia for the reality check lol So I may be the only one who thought this, in that case jokes on me! Either way if you didn't know, now you do!

4
Those little signs about this, that, or the other animal crossing are for real! 

I mean you think this one would be pretty explanatory... I mean the sign does warn you! What you don't understand is how many times I have seen these signs driving in, around, and near the cities I have lived in! Well, to be honest I have never really seen the animal crossing! Maybe it's just because i've spent most of my time driving in metropolitan areas or maybe its just luck, maybe the animals gave up on crossing in those area's because they were tired of loosing one of the herd? I don't know, but I do know that whatever the reason was it didn't apply to majority of the roads I drove on from NYC to Cali.

I saw everything from alligators, snakes, turtles, cows, coyotes, deer, elk, wolves, possums, skunks, raccoons and animals I couldn't and didn't even want to identify cross the road while driving! I literally came face to face with a moose and if I hadn't randomly switched to the slow lane before the curve, I would have drove around that bend and straight into Mr. Moose!  So if you are predominantly a city driver, these signs are not a joke! Just remember that you are driving through the animal's neighborhood and you are the visitor.  So pay attention to road and the critters that inhabit the land your driving through! If your not a city driver then.. well you already know this!

[To be continued as I learn more from the open road ;-) ]

  • mm

    “ Dee is the woman behind Dee.Life, an online magazine focused on redefining your life by exploring the world. “

  • Show Comments (5)

  • Nicolle Dan

    Thanks for your explanation on safety corridor, made things clearer, I am not a night time driver too,I try not to drive at night and about you facing all sort of animals, that got me scared hahaha, thanks for the points you listed, will guide me on the road trip am planning…so happy I found this website

    • Dee

      Thank you! glad you enjoyed!

  • Cheska J

    Yes, I’m “that type of driver” who can’t stand sitting my butt out for 2 hours straight, I always always alwaaays have to plot out stops which my friends hate because they’re the types who want to arrive at the destination right away. It’s ridiculous how they can survive just taking out and eating in the car and as much as possible being on the go regardless of the time of day. I’m sure you had fun in your first road trip, Dee! To many more road trips to come. 🙂

    • Dee

      Hahah I agree with you!! I am definitely not the “get to the destination as quick as possible and at all costs” type of driver haha I like to enjoy the trip, with many stops!

  • Katie Marks

    I think it’s so cool that you travel around the country, looking to uncover the great beauties it has to offer! I only wish I’d have the time and money to do this as well. Right now, I’m more focused on finishing renovating my apartment and maybe when I’m done I can think about traveling a bit. You’ve inspired me to try to make time for this (although I don’t really know where I will find the time but who knows?). Thanks and keep posting, Dee!

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