This I Believe

Christopher - Rockford, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, family

Our family minivan is now seven years old and has nearly 180,000 miles on it. But, I believe that those extra 120,000 miles on our car hold more value than any mileage that could be attained through a form of aeronautical or nautical transportation. Although I have never ridden on an airplane myself, I believe that the monotony caused by stale peanuts and a repetitive view and the hours wasted by delays and safety checks are far inferior to gift shops, time spent with family, and an ever-changing, bona fide, 360 degree panorama. Some want others to believe that by traveling by air, one gets to their destination faster and this will allocate more time to have fun. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. I believe road trips are 24/7. The vacation starts the minute you sit down in a comfortable, reclining chair with a manually changeable heating and cooling system right at your fingertips. The three hours wasted on an airplane are replaced by random side trips to places like Ruby Falls, Sanibel Island, Wall Drug, and even whole states like Vermont and New Hampshire. I believe that road trips are more relaxing than trips taken on airplanes due to this inherent nonstop feature. One does not have to keep a schedule on road trips. There are no deadlines, missed flights, crowded hotels. Everything is impromptu when one travels by car. If something interesting is spotted on our trip, we just pull over and realize that we’ll just have to stay at the next locally owned and vacant motel and eat at the local restaurant. I believe this feature also allows one to be more connected to this nation. I feel more connected to the nation by recording all of the state license plates I spot on our journeys than I would eavesdropping to all of the yuppies yapping boisterously amongst themselves as if everyone wanted to hear. I believe I am more connected to this country by experiences. I have experienced Lambert’s, home of the thrown rolls. My family and I have been impeded by the blackout of 2003 when we ran out of gas while driving through Canada on our way from New York City. I believe that by experiencing, not just driving or flying through, but by truly experiencing 35 of the 50 states, I am being more patriotic to this interesting country of ours. I have grown closer to my family by the forced but desired close contact while camping at Yellowstone driving to Mexico on a whim, and witnessing DEA bust at a small hotel with one of the foreign exchange students my family had. I believe that I wouldn’t have experienced some of the most enjoyable moments in my life had I not taken these spur-of-the-moment trips with my family. I believe in road trips.