The Lighter Side of Travel
Humor Catalog

Am I There Yet?
(The Long Solo Road Trip)
by Vicky Vasco

We've all been there at one time or another. You have to go on a long road trip by yourself (to me anything over 45 minutes is long). And no matter how hard you try, you can't a) invite anyone to drive with you; b) coerce anyone to drive with you, or c) get out of the drive altogether. So once again, reality rears its smirking face and you gas up and sally forth. (Even if your name is Bob.)

It's So Boring

Now you're in your car and you're just far enough away from home that the radio stations start to get fuzzy. In between verses of your favorite song, you hear some guy breaking through in a foreign language saying what sounds like, "Ya bitta bitta bitta, okayyy? Pedro? Pedro?"

Cursing, you turn off the radio and stare in silence at the endless stretch of road in front of you. Sullen and bored, you just thank God that at least you don't have to pee yet.

Ah! But it doesn't have to be that way! Why not make the most of your "alone time", by constructively using those hours to do a variety of productive things? Make it a learning experience. For instance, you could -

Reflect on your Life

It's always good to take a long, introspective look at yourself. I'm not sure why this is, but that's what people say. What better time than a nice quiet road trip? First, think of all the really good moves you've made in your life. Okay - that two minutes is over. Now the mistakes. Although quite entertaining, this can be dangerous to do, because let's face it, rehashing some of the mistakes we've made in life could trigger lots of self-loathing and even thoughts of suicide, but what the hell? You've got hundreds of miles in front of you--you've got time for a good cry. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes....like the time I had really bad PMS and decided I wasn't musical enough, so I went out and bought a $1,500 piano, plus tax (I don't play a note). Then I purchased the Liberace Big Note Songbook to learn. It cost me $1,500, plus tax, plus $14.99 (the songbook) to learn She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain, which she really never did.

Or the time when I was working as a Marilyn Monroe look-a-like and I forgot to wear underwear, so that when I twirled in my big white dress to Diamonds Are A Girls' Best Friend, every guy in the Knights of Columbus hall saw my best friend....or the time when I was an "A" student in psychology at U Mass, with a $350,000 a year earning potential as a psychiatrist in front of me, I instead opted for a career in comedy making $50 a gig in towns like East Bumcrack that took me two days to drive to, and now I need a psychiatrist...or how about the last guy I went out with that told me over dinner he'd like to tie me up and throw me in the trunk of his car for a few hours as sexual foreplay...hmmm...maybe this reflection stuff isn't so good after all...okay how about -

Positive Thinking Tapes

Ah! Much better. Get the mind in a good positive mental state! Okay...let's pop in The Science of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill. Hill talks about the "mastermind philosophy": two or more people working in harmony through a positive mental attitude for the attainment of a definite end. Well, I'm alone in the car...that means only ONE mind...I pop it out of the CD deck and slide in Positive Imaging by Norman Vincent Peale. Peale promises that by using positive imaging you can solve problems, strengthen your personality, improve your health and enhance your chances for success. With mental pictures and images, he says, there's a deep tendency in human nature to become that which what we image ourselves to be....15 minutes later, I look down at myself and I'm still not holding a bank statement that has as many digits on it as the population of China. Not to mention my thighs being the same size. (Granted, maybe I'm a little impatient.) Alright, maybe I need to do something else - I know!

Get on the Cell Phone And Call Everybody You've Ever Known!

Now that makes the time pass! What is it about being in the car alone that just tempts you to call someone? Anyone! The phone's there, you're alone, what better time to gab and gossip? Besides you'll look like like a big shot weaving through traffic, the phone growing from your ear, saying important stuff like, "Hey honey, guess how many miles I have left? Hello??"

There's oodles of people to call. Remember that friend you have that you always say you're gonna call, but never do? No time like the present! So what if they live in Anchorage. Or how about your aunt in Bayonne you haven't talked to in a year? No time like the present! Give your best friend a jingle--so what if you just talked to her only a couple of hours ago before you left home.

You'll be at your destination in no time--with a phone bill of $3,456. But hey, this was a learning experience. You learned that next time, you'll take the train!

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