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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Twin Takes: Road trips

Just take a plane

When this sleepy town shuts down in the summer, there’s nothing better than to get a group of friends together and head out on a road trip. Whether it is a drive to Disneyland, or a trip north to Phoenix, it is always fun and refreshing to visit a new place. However, before packing up and venturing out, I would recommend taking a second to stop and reflect on the less-glamorous aspects of a road trip. Sometimes, everything that could go wrong does.

First off, remember that a road trip is expensive. Gas, motels and tickets to attractions can burn a major hole in your wallet. In order to compensate for this hole, the food of choice during the trip is usually something from the value menu. However, as I’ve learned from past experiences, a lot of fast food leads to a lot of extended bathroom breaks. No one is happy when someone is feeling the pains of indigestion. Perhaps the most important thing about a road trip is the people you bring. Even if you’re the best of friends, there is a chance you’ll bicker and feud. Things become awkward quickly when two good friends get in a yelling match. The thing about a road trip is that you have spare time and it gives you plenty of opportunities to find something that ruins your friendship.

Don’t forget to factor in little downers like losing your keys. Losing the keys is perhaps the fastest way to deflate a trip. If you’re lying out on the beach or going through a loop-de-loop, those pesky keys can get away from you. Trust me, I speak from experience. The moral of the story is that things have a way of falling apart when you least expect it.

Also, you can practically kiss your rest goodbye on a road trip. Getting sleep on the road trip is one of the hardest things to do. Whether you’re busy at a beach, a theme park or a roller rink, it seems the only time you can get some shut-eye is in the car. While the backseat looks comfortable, its allure fades in a few hours. Also, if you’re a front seat passenger, immediately let go of your wish to sleep. In addition to the quasi-navigator role, the passenger needs to keep the driver engaged through conversation, music and using hand gestures at inconsiderate drivers. If you want to sleep, just crawl back into your bed at home and forget the road trip.

Without a doubt, a road trip will have many stories and experiences both good and bad. Sometimes, it’s better to just take the plane.

Wesley Smyth is a junior studying ecology and evolutionary biology. He can be contacted at

A road trip needs the open road

With summer in full gear, it’s that time of year again: summer road trip. Stories of crazy, senile drivers, good times in amusement parks and running low on gas await you. Yes, of course you’ll have the wonderful memories of your destination in Disneyland or wherever you end up, but you will also have more stories from the experience on the road. Remember that getting to your final destination is half the fun.

Road trips provide an opportunity to relax. The long car rides, sightseeing and the pervading sense that time doesn’t matter become things that make the road trip what it is. Leisurely taking in sites and detours become the adventures that flights on airplanes cannot provide. Vacations provide a chance to get away from the world. What makes a road trip unique though is that the break starts the moment you get in the car. Along the way, with the use of singing, card games, and Harry Potter audiobooks (if you so choose) it becomes more of an event. You’ll never be able to forget the four-and-a-half hour game of War to the music of your favorite summer artist playing on repeat.

Eventually, some of your buddies will doze off, providing the perfect time to mess with them. Whether you pretend like you’re going to crash, scream loudly or draw a mustache on their sleepy faces, your prank is only limited by your creativity.

One of the best parts of a road trip is that it’s cheap, if you’re smart. By knowing a few people, you can stay at a friend’s house instead of a hotel. It definitely cuts costs and is a good way to rekindle old, friendly relationships.

As you get older, it becomes more difficult to spend time with the friends that truly care about you. School gets harder and families hold a greater priority. Road trips provide a break and allow you to truly bond with people you care about. Whether it’s because your navigation system broke down on a mountain, or perhaps you picked up a hitchhiker, the memories become timeless.

Bad things will happen to you on the trip, it’s inevitable. Perhaps you’ll lose your cellphone on the beach or maybe you’ll have bowel problems from too much fast food. It’s possible you may even be left subject to the horror of unspeakable horrors: Space Mountain being closed. All the while, it’s important to remember that the journey is what matters, regardless of the outcome. As someone dear to me once said: “”Bad decisions make great stories.””

Taylor Smyth is a biology junior. He can be contacted at

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