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The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

Australia out of a car window

Australia+out+of+a+car+window
Photo by Bradley Beggs/ UCSD Guardian

Looking out the car window, suddenly, I am young again. A child, listening to Matchbox Twenty, seemingly the only album on my father’s phone, looking out the car window. I am watching the power lines whiz by, running my fingers along the top, wondering what it’d actually be like to ride atop the eclectic wires. I am finding faces in the clouds and cliffsides. I am picturing myself living in that big house on that hill we just passed. And I am wondering how long we have left of the drive. I am on vacation. 

For the commuters out there, you might have an adverse reaction to sitting in the car for hours, nothing to do in a cramped space, with no end in sight. Why would anyone in their right mind choose to sit in a car all day on vacation?

For the avid road-trippers out there, you may be in complete agreement. What could be better than a self-guided tour of incredible sights all in the comfort of your own car!?

Since I was little, road trips have always been the way for my family and me to travel. Whether it was long drives to our week-long mountain retreats, single-day drive-arounds to explore our surroundings, or weeks-long, intensive, and punishing day-after-day road tours, we always seemed to find ourselves in the car. It has become a mark of our travel style: on the go, on the move, never hanging around too long. 

Because of this, we have been able to see and do things that others could only dream of, and over the years, I’ve developed such an appreciation for the time and energy we put into making it happen for our family. I am luckier than most to have been able to see so much, especially so young, and I am so grateful to be a part of a loving family who equally loves to travel. 

Then again, seeing that much takes hours and hours of dedication. It takes real discipline to sit comfortably in a vehicle for hours a day with plenty of stretch breaks, snacks, and tunes. It certainly is not for the faint of heart; it is a skill only few possess.

Fortunately, I have developed an affinity for long car rides. With help from my family, the radio, and Cody Ko, I can survive pretty much any length of drive. We’ll play games like cards, I Spy, and the alphabet game. I’ll scan the radio for something half-decent before I give up and decide to take a nap. I’ll watch the downloaded YouTube videos on my phone when I’m tired of saying “cows!” everytime we pass a herd of cows. Truly, the car fears my withstanding abilities. While it’s begging for a break, I am ripped and ready to drive another hundred miles. 

There’s also something I find comforting in driving through new places. To me, it feels productive. I have inherited not only my wit from my father, but my great susceptibility to boredom. Driving around from place to place and watching the world pass by is, in my eyes, the best way to inundate your brain with new and amazing sights that tell you what it’s really like halfway across the globe. 

I will say, it was also a great help that not only was driving on the docket. We planned plenty of different excursions and experiences to offset the hours dedicated to getting there in the first place. My father has figured out the magic of this: torture your family with hours in the car and anything remotely fun or beautiful will be remarked as “life-changing.” The joke is on him though — my enjoyment of the car rides clears my vision and allows me to see my dad’s planned activities as they truly are: life-changing. 

I could go on about our snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef, cave dive with hundreds of bats flying over our head, interactions with koalas, kangaroos, and kookaburras, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, but instead, I want to talk more about driving in the car. 

Perhaps the sheer amount of time I have spent in the car has led me to a sort of Stockholm Syndrome situation, but I like to think my enjoyment of the long hours in the car can be attributed to my positive attitude. Besides, I am supposed to be on vacation; why shouldn’t I enjoy every moment?

I guess my point in writing all of this is to enjoy the little things more. I know it’s cliche, but I really find it to be true. The simple act of looking out the car window, with only music and good company by my side, is something I have truly come to love and appreciate. The unadulterated time with my family and the unforgettable beauty that lies outside our four thousand pound piece of heavy machinery careening down the turnpike is the best part of vacation to me. So, the next time you have some time to vacation, reconsider avoiding the drive; road trips can be a lot more fun than you think!

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About the Contributor
Bradley Beggs, Lifestyle Editor
Know for his wit, charm, and expert opinions, Bradley makes lifestyle look like if you were on Punk'd and Ashton Kutcher wants your reaction to the worst section of The UCSD Guardian.
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    Emama21Feb 12, 2024 at 1:36 am

    The last time I visited Perth was absolutely wonderful. Even though I am 20 years old, I was able to rent a car thanks to have more freedom of movement and explore this wonderful region. One of the best experiences was visiting Kings Park, where we enjoyed magnificent views of the city and the botanical garden. We also popped into Fremantle to enjoy the harbor atmosphere and delicious seafood.

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