There's a reason Willie Nelson sang about being on the road again. The open road is a great place for self-reflection and allowing yourself the opportunity to change your point of view. You can actually learn to see things differently when you’re a passenger instead of the driver. And if your original itinerary is derailed for some reason, your ability to create and adapt to a new plan is a totally helpful life skill! Here are some other ways hitting the road can help you grow as a person:
Make Progress by Moving Forward
Often when you cross state lines, there’s a sign that says thanks for visiting – and soon enough you’re likely to see another one welcoming you to the next state. These are a handy reminder that your journey is about new beginnings, not just dwelling on the places you’ve been or the memories you’ve made. Where will your road trip take you – and where will your life’s journey take you?
Discover Your Inner Patience
Who could forget Oprah and Gayle's epic road trip across the country? It was interesting to see two best friends discover so much about each other and themselves. Doing any kind of traveling with friends is always a test in patience, but being in a car with them for hours is a whole new ballgame. It gives you an opportunity to adapt to their quirks. Yes, there is real skill associated with being a good road trip partner!
Expand Your Comfort Zone
If you're spending time solo on the trip, this is the perfect way to push the boundaries of your comfort zone and do something out of the ordinary for yourself. Ask the barista at the coffee shop about their favorite local treasure to explore a new place from an insider’s perspective. Even just saying hello to the driver pumping gas next to you can be invigorating. Let yourself experience the freedom of allowing yourself to open up to the people around you. Traveling with pals? You can use the time in the car to expand your horizons by having conversations about your friends’ passions or (differing!) opinions.
If you’re traveling alone, this is the trip where you will learn to be your own best company. Sure, people may ask twice when you say table for one, but think about it...you can do and go wherever you want and take the time you need to enjoy your own company. There is no small talk to be made or awkward silence. You can even use the time to think about where you are in life and where you are going, both literally and figuratively. It could be a great time to consider making big decisions for yourself.
Live in the Moment
Use your road trip time to stop and smell — and see —the roses. The world is stunning and now that you have the time to stop and appreciate it, you should. It will help to learn to appreciate the rest of your life too and to not stress over things you can't handle. Sometimes we can't do anything except stop and look and be present.
Making Memories Is Paramount
The memories you make with your road trip partners, whether they are family or friends, are one of the most important aspects of the trip. The time you choose to spend with others is valuable and can have a long lasting effect on both you and them. It’s not about what you buy or where you go, but the people who you’re with and the experiences you share that help you both grow.
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