BY: SAMANTHA TAPP
It is possible. In fact I just completed my first road trip with my boyfriend and yes, we are still together. We decided to take travelling together to a new level by renting a mini van for two weeks and driving together 2,415 kilometres, which is roughly 24 hours of driving, from San Francisco, CA to Phoenix, AZ. Equipped with a pair of heavy-duty relationship-saving headphones, we landed in San Francisco and began the journey across four beautiful states.
Firstly, let me say if you are travelling to any of the Southwestern states and you have a bad time, you should end the relationship with your travel partner immediately. I’m saying this because there wasn’t a day that wasn’t filled with breath-taking views and an item to cross off the bucket-list. The Golden Gate bridge, Napa Valley, Yosemite National Park, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Monument Valley and Scottsdale, AZ, were all beyond what I could’ve imagined. But that is to be expected, that is the easy part.
The real fun begins with the unexpected.
Tip #1: Don’t let stupid spats ruin your day. If you’re anything like the rest of the social media-obsessed millennials, your arguments may stem from the same issue that we faced: who gets to post what photo to Instagram. Yes, we are both aware that this is absolutely ridiculous, yet if I still glance through his page today and see a photo I took that he posted first (damn his USA data plan), the resentment is still fresh. I’m still not sure how this argument can be avoided as we still haven’t figured it out.
Tip #2: Expect the unexpected. As cliché as this sounds, it happens. For us, this meant coming face-to-face with a mountain lion at the bottom of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park in the dark. Another helpful tip would be to do some research. A little research would’ve quickly informed us that a 4.6 mile uphill hike to the top of a mountain wouldn’t take merely an hour, but three long hours. With that information we could’ve instead taken the shuttle bus to the top of the mountain and avoided running for 35 minutes after seeing a wild animal through forests in the pitch black with only our handy iPhone lights to lead the way to our van.
Tip #3: It’s not just your trip, so a little give and take is necessary. This led me trembling to a gun range where I shot a M249 SAW, which is a gun that is roughly the same size as me. This lead my boyfriend to the Britney Spears ‘Piece Of Me’ concert in Vegas. I still don’t know if I’ll ever match the complete satisfaction I felt while watching him sing along to “Scream & Shout.”
Tip #4: Remain calm at all times. Accidents happen while travelling. Whether it’s running out of gas in a desert, “accidentally” losing hundreds of dollars at a casino, a drunken stop at a Vegas tattoo shop, or a very slight car accident, try and find the humour in everything. If you’re anything like my boyfriend, it’ll be harder for you to stop laughing at all of these things, especially when the car accident may have taken place while I was behind the wheel.
Tip #5: Most importantly, remember the key to happiness on your trip. No, it’s not the love you share and it’s not even the bottle of wine you have every night. The key, and my best piece of advice on how the both of you can make it home alive is this: bring your GPS. This will save you time, arguments and possibly a break up. With that annoying voice leading your way through the trip you can rest assured you end up in the right spot, and instead you can focus on enjoying the unexpected and having the time of your life.