The Ten Stages of Road Trips

This past weekend, Emily and I went on a last minute road trip to Santa Cruz to visit some friends who were camping out for a friend’s birthday. Originally, we weren’t going to go because neither of us could get time off work, but last minute we both thought… seriously what else would we be doing? Spending too much money at a bar then sitting at home watching movies all weekend? As fun as that sounds, we missed our friends. So as the young, single women we are, we threw caution to the wind and decided to do a turn around trip to Santa Cruz!

If you’ve ever road tripped, you know that you go through a bunch of different stages and emotions. Sitting in a car for more than a few hours at a time can actually drive you insane, and Emily and I already pretty much sitting on the fine line between sanity and the loony bin on a normal day so our road trip proved no different. I narrowed down the average ten stages of being cramped in the car with your best friend for hours on end.

1. Excitement:

When you first hit the road is probably the most exciting feeling of all. The trip is young and new, filled with promise and adventure. We found ourselves asking the important questions like what kind of wine will we drink around the campfire? I wonder how long this drive will take….

2. Traffic:
It usually works like this: as soon as you say, “Wow, we’re making good timing,” a car ahead of you decides to get in an accident or slow down for no apparent reason and cause an insane traffic jam. Maybe that’s just how it feels because we live just south of LA, so by the time we think that, we’re hitting rush hour traffic, but it feels like the world suddenly has it out for you.

3. Exhaustion:

Traffic is probably one of the most mind-numbingly boring things a human can ever be put through. Here. Sit here and stare at the car in front of you. Occasionally let your foot off the brake and inch forward. Now do that for a few hours. Add that to the fact that the both of us left straight from a nine hour shift and it was snoozeville, population two.


Just as you fall feel like you’re ready to snooze off, it’s time to pound back a red bull. This trip has just begun!


5. Sing-along time:

Nothing screams road trip movie bonding scene like singing full blast with your favorite music. I especially advise all those mix CDs your best friends made you in high school.


6. Where the hell do I pee?

Caffeine goes right through ya, amirite? By now, you’ve gotten to the stretch of the road trip where there is seemingly NOTHING around and seemingly no one lives. I’ve encountered this on legitimately every road trip I’ve been on, I think it’s a law of nature. No matter how far you travel, you must pass a scary looking ghost town. You finally find some truck stop or gas station to pull over at and relieve yourself in the smallest town in the country and all of a sudden it seems like the start of a scary movie or the zombie apocalypse has begun. It feels like everyone is staring at you because you walk in with your PINK sweatpants and Uggs and stand out like a sore thumb. A man in overalls walks by with his chainsaw. Everything smells faintly of manure. These people could be nice farming folk or serial killers who keep trophies of their kills hanging in their living room. Who is really to say, but with the urgency of your full bladder everything seems a thousand times more dramatic.



Not today, asshole. I gotta pee.


After your “near death” experience, it’s time to throw back some more caffeine and hurry your way out of there.


8. Sheer goofiness:
Maybe it’s the excessive caffeine, maybe it’s been that you’ve been sitting for five plus hours straight in a confined space. All I know is everything is freaking hilarious. This is my favorite stage of the road trip because this includes making up words, which is a great talent of mine (ie, blanketry: an exact crap ton of blankets that seems to have magically appeared. Mixture of blankets and sorcery. ¬†What is all kind of blanketry is this? Where did these blankets come from?). Most of the best bonding happens here. You’re so loopy you lose and filter and literally everything comes pouring out of your mouth, secrets and all.
9. Every other word is “fuck.”
Goofiness turns into literal insanity. How long have you been sitting in the same fucking seat? Where the fuck are you? It’s so fucking dark. For whatever reason fucking saying the word fuck helps you fucking calm your fucking shit. Excuse my language, but you know it’s fucking true.
10. Arrival:
This one is pretty self explanatory but it’s definitely worth basking in the glory of getting out of the car and moving your legs. You have arrived at your destination.


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