Ok ok I’m sorry, I’ve totally been slacking in the blog department lately. My internship started yesterday and I had been trying to get everything in place for that, plus did you know about sleep? It’s awesome. But now that things have calmed down a little, it’s time for the part 2 of the downsides to traveling yourself, which of course is something that I figured out the hard way when I decided to do a solo road trip from here to Maine last week.
Traveling solo can be awesome. But traveling with somebody else can be awesome too, which is what I found out when my mom decided to come join me in Acadia National Park. If you’re traveling with somebody else, you don’t run into these problems:
1. Sketchy-ass sketchy mcsketchy Rapetown truck stops
I mentioned before that solo traveling is nice because you get to stop whenever you want. However, there’s nothing quite like stopping at some abandoned rundown rest stop fresh off the set of Criminal Minds, at 11 pm, because literally the only alternative was peeing all over your car, to realize that you are one lone, mortal being. Now keep in mind, I’m not a small girl. I’m 5’10 and get mistaken for a soccer player multiple times a week (that’s a compliment, right? all the girl soccer players I know are hot, anyways). But it doesn’t how matter how strong your quads are if you’ve just been attacked with Chloroform and a knife. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, that’s morbid. BUT THAT’S WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR HEAD AT 11 PM AT AN ABANDONED TRUCK STOP BATHROOM IN RAPETOWN.
2. You feel super, super awkward eating at restaurants.
The only time I ever actually ate at nice restaurants on this trip was when I was with my mom. And by that, I mean that had my mom not been there, I would not have had a meal in a sit-down restaurant one time. I know, I know, I’m pathetic. And I obviously don’t think poorly of people that eat by themselves at restaurants, which is why I thought nothing of the idea of it before this trip. But then you go to actually do it, and everybody is holding hands with their lover boy or giggling with their girlfriends, and you finally just cave and go, “Ummm…do you do carry-out?”
3. You don’t get to explore the nightlife.
Just for the record, I had every intention to go to bars in Boston and Philly completely by myself, just so that I could blog about the experience. That was the plan, and I was sticking to it. And then I really thought about the plan, and about how fucking weird that plan made me feel, and I just decided that watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix in Philly was just as unique of an experience. So yes, I guess that’s what the kids call “chickening out.”
4. Getting up early to do things is much, much harder
When I originally made my itinerary, I planned to wake up every morning at 7. Do you know when I actually woke up? Usually around 9:50, and only because free breakfast stopped being served at 10. As it turns out, when I have no work or plans or other obligations, food is literally the only thing that gets me out of bed. So. There’s that.
But when my mom was there, we actually did wake up at 7, and got a lot more done as a result. So. There’s that.
5. Driving through cities SUCKS
Have you ever driven through Boston by yourself, without a navigator besides your piece-of-goddamn-shit-GPS? No? Let me tell you about it. You’re driving along on the highway, mentally preparing yourself for the shitstorm that is Boston drivers, and all of a sudden your GPS (who I came to christen Mindi, because I’ve never met a Mindi I liked), goes, “TURN. RIGHT. AT. ELM. ST.” So you turn right at Elm St, you’re driving along, and all of a sudden Mindi goes, “TURN. LEFT. AT. OAK. ST.,” which, by the way, is LITERALLY the very next turn, so Mindi essentially just gave you one second to merge over four lanes of Boston city traffic. Fucking Mindi. You don’t have a death wish, so you just keep driving straight, while Mindi goes, “Recalculating,” in a voice that sounds remarkably judgmental for an inanimate object and changes your ETA for forty-five minutes later than it just was two seconds ago. You decide to suck it up and keep driving, when all of a sudden you come across a seven-way traffic circle intersection? What the fuck is this? Where do I go from here? Mindi of course isn’t helping the cause by going, “CONTINUE. ON. ELM. ST.” WHICH INTERSECTION IS ELM ST, MINDI? WHICH ONE? You decide to take a gamble and go for the one directly across the intersection, since that seems logical, but….oh, nope, it was the one right next to you, leading you to go around Dante Inferno’s Seventh Circle of Traffic Hell about four or five times until you finally take the right one. Finally, you just admit defeat and accept your fate of getting lost in the slums of Boston until you somehow stumble upon your hostel.
That entire experience would be much easier with a wingman. I’m just throwing that out there.
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