Work hard, play harder.

As I’ve said several times, this new life does NOT consist of me sitting still. I’m thankful to have a girlfriend that has as flexible a schedule as I have and wants to see as much as we can together, meeting new people along the way. So we travel. Planes, trains and this time- automobiles.

As a child, we would take road trips to South Carolina, Florida and Ohio to either vacation or visit family. To save money, mom would be up late frying chicken so we could eat along the way. She’d pack a loaf of bread and be sure we had drinks and other snacks to share. We all helped each other prepare our sandwiches or items to fill our bellies while we sang, told stories, or took turns sleeping.

Road trips back in college consisted of a group of my friends, driving to different campuses along I-95 through Virginia or 40W throughout North Carolina. We laughed, told stories, and took great joy flashing truck drivers so they’d beep their horn. Yep, those were insane times.

As a young adult, road trip distances increased but the same shenanigans took place. Passengers took turns sleeping. Stories were repeated. Laughs ensued. Truck drivers were flashed. Again, insane, good times.

As a grown, working adult, I wanted to experience that again so I planned a road trip to a place I had been dying to visit, Toronto. Originally I had planned a bus trip to attend Caribana. However, communication was off with the travel group and I didn’t think we’d be able to see as much throughout the drive. Since I have a “new to me” car, I thought “Why not just drive?” Amazing idea! Whoddathunk you can drive all the way to Canada?!

Stopping along the road trip, visiting the beautiful Niagara Falls, Canadian side; A place that must be revisited.

Anywho, not all travel is for everybody. Sometimes folks just need to sit home and imagine traveling. Look at some pictures. Eat some Italian food. French kiss a cutie. Make some Jerk chicken. Salute the Canadian flag. Travel isn’t for everybody, period.

Me and my girl were invited to an amazing spot where we had the VIP experience. We left the mute in the room and met a female in the Uber along the way, who seemed like she should have been with us the whole trip. This was my moment of being completely ME!

Here are few tips to ensure your next road trip goes smoothly, cause mine sure as hell didn’t when my girlfriend decided to invite a mute on the trip:

1. When asked to bring snacks to share, bring more than one elementary school lunchableΒ and an apple.

2. If you can’t drive or don’t want to drive, offer your driver more than $10. These days, $10 won’t even get you to the next city, much less next country.

3. If you choose not to offer your driving support, be able to carry on a conversation to help the driver stay awake. Make jokes, laugh, participate in conversations.

4. Ask the driver periodically if they are ok. Offer them some of their snacks (chicken, sandwiches, chips, drinks) that they brought (since the lunchable that you brought is already gone).

5. When stopping for gas, if you aren’t contributing financially, offer to either pump, go pay or if the driver would want anything from inside.

6. Be prepared for random expenses such as entrance fees, parking, food, gifts. Ya know, because traveling on prayer just isn’t enough.

7. It’s vacation. The room is there for eventual sleeping. Not for depressing the hell out of the entire room with silence and awkwardness. My usual vacations consist of “Team no sleep” participants. Anything else needs to stay in the country. Not just the U.S. but, the country- with pigs and cows.

8. Go with the flow. There’s no schedule. Nothing is set in stone so if plans change, go with it. Enjoy the atmosphere and just let loose. It’s vacation for pete’s sakes.

9. Don’t be a mute. If you can’t interject yourself in adult conversations, perhaps you don’t need to hang with adults. If you don’t have anything to say for four days, that chicken and cow atmosphere might just be where you need to stay. My personality is huge. If you don’t laugh at me at least once, it’s not me, it’s you. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

10. Say THANK YOU! No matter how angry or upset you may be because you were called out on your muteness, the respectful thing to do is to at least show appreciation for the driver not putting your ass out on the street to catch a flight back to your bullshit life. No matter how upset you may be, someone just drove you over 20 hours, showed you a new country and planned a wonderful trip that you should be grateful for. Your character lies in your ability to swallow everything else and be grateful for safe travels.

Happy traveling folks!