I’ve never loved driving. Counting the hours from point A to point B? Blech. Seated, cramped for hours on end? Ugh. Fast food and gas station sugar, just to stay awake? Sooo bad for you. And the traffic? Shoot me now.
Ever since college, during one particularly scarring 13-hour road trip — with my freshly-broken-up-ex-boyfriend — I’ve opted for air travel at every opportunity.
But I’ve since changed my tune.
In March, when I rented out my house and took off through New Mexico and Texas… I made the 18-hour trip by car. Sure, I still counted the hours. I was still cramped, hopped up on energy drinks and peanut butter M&Ms, but it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. In fact, it was kind of thrilling how far I could travel, and the flexibility my own transportation got me.
After I returned home, it was only a matter of weeks until I traded in my paid-off Honda Civic for a roomy CR-V (helloooooo, quarantine impulse buy). And I immediately put down the back seats, bought a “car mattress,” equipped myself for car camping, and planned a long weekend getaway to northern Arizona and Utah.
(Car camping — is just as it sounds. Instead of tent camping where you sleep in a tent, you sleep in your car. When I was at the dealer doing a test drive, I had the Honda sales guy put down the seats so I could lay down and make sure I fit. Thanks for indulging me, Scotty!)
Car camping: The glamorous and the not-so-glamorous
The cold hard truth about car camping? It’s no hotel, motel or RV. You wake up at the crack of dawn, feeling a little bit achy. You learn how to squat pretty fast. Face, armpits, and you-know-what, baby wipes are your multi-use best friend. You stop caring about makeup or about being a tad dirty or even changing into pajamas. I’ve definitely been known to hike and sweat ➡️ sleep ➡️ hike and sweat in the same clothing. Sexy, right? #noshame 🤷♀️
When you drive, you’re free. You can stop or change direction on a whim, whenever curiosity strikes you, whenever a place calls to you. You have nowhere to be but where you are at that moment; no bookings, no destinations, no obligations. Camping in the wild: This is the recipe for a joyful road trip. (HOW DOES THAT SOUND TO YOU?)
Car camping gives me an outlet to satisfy my wanderlust, especially given the coronavirus and the international travel restrictions. My hunger for budget solo travel is satiated, for now — domestically, within the current circumstances.
Road tripping: The continental sky is the limit. What’s next? Colorado!
Questions or thoughts about car camping and road tripping? Leave me a comment below or catch up with my adventures on my social channels!