Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Adventures in the Great Wide Somewhere // Road Trip Essentials

For this week's travel post I thought I'd take a life imitating art point of view. Tomorrow I embark on my fourth assignment as a travel nurse. This new position is taking me to New Hampshire and I'll be starting at Dartmouth on Monday. I'm extremely excited to start this new job! Not only is it at such a highly reputed hospital but it's in the exact location I wanted to be, that being New England. Besides a short trip to Boston, I've never been to any of the New England states and I cannot express how excited I am to live there and explore all there is around there. As with all my assignments, I'll be driving there so I thought I'd share my road trip essentials as I have learned them. Whether it's for a job or for fun, these are my must-haves when departing for a long haul drive.

Taylor Swift is always my go to playlist
Epic Playlist
No matter what your musical inclinations, have your personalized epic playlist ready. Nothing is worse to me than having bad music. When I'm on a long haul I love just zoning out and listening to some good jams, feeling inspired and energized by what is coming out of my speakers. Plan ahead, get your favorite tunes ready.

Just short of bad music, forgetting sunglasses is the other cardinal rule you cannot break. Don't forget to grab your favorite pair of sunnies before heading out. An easy thing to forget if you're leaving before the sun comes up.

My personal favorite must-have is Diet Coke, Strawberry Crystal Light packets to mix with water, and whatever junk food I'm craving at the moment. I have zero room to eat healthy--ok, fine I sometimes grab a banana and apple to make me feel a little better but for the most part  I consider it a free pass to eat like garbage. Calories don't count on vacays or road trips, right?

A Map
Now let's say you're driving through Colorado and the ONLY road that travels East to West is closed for 9 hours...a map would be helpful to find an alternative route...or to realize there is no alternative route and to find a cafe to fall asleep in *cough* sit in for the foreseeable future. But for serious, when I'm on assignment and know where nothing is OR I'm in the middle of driving and get a little turned around, Google Maps is BAE. I don't know what I would do without Google Maps. I'd probably be camping out in an abandoned ditch as we speak without it.

A Companion
My most trusted companion
Not a must-have but a nice addition depending on where or what you're doing. My first cross country excursion I went with my good friend and it was a disaster. My Pacific Coast Highway road trip was a solo endeavor and rarely have I had a better experience than that day driving down the coast by myself and stopping in little towns along the way. It was seriously one of my most blessed days and I wish I could go back and do it again tomorrow. And my trip out to Maryland I was with my Mom and sister and it couldn't have been more fun. Different strokes and all that but whichever you decide, just make sure you think it through before inviting others along. But honestly, the best companion I could ask for has and always will be my car. Me and Hedwig have been everywhere and back again. She is my most trusted ally (besides my backpack) and has never let me down.

Indulging in Local Cuisine
Don't forget to take advantage of your surroundings and eat at a small town diner or some dive off the highway. More than likely it's great food...or it's awful and you have a good story to tell. Win-win either way. My favorite road trip stop was at 400 Degree Burgers, a vintage-looking diner in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California. Still one of my favorite towns to date and that's saying a lot.
Coffee and book break in Santa Cruz

Take Breaks to Take It All In
Don't be afraid to stop and smell the roses. Research small stops to stretch your legs and indulge in the local culture. Whether it's a roadside restaurant, the world's largest ball of twine, or an ocean view, take the time to live in the moment and appreciate what you're driving through.

An Open Mind
More likely than not, shit will hit the fan. I had better luck on my second cross country excursion than my first but an open mind is your best friend when things don't go as planned. Like when you're travel companion forgets his wallet back in Wisconsin; when the only highway in Colorado shuts down for 9 hours, when your (dumbass) companion books the hotel in Vegas for the wrong night, stuff like that! I am not the best at this and had more than a few rage-worthy meltdowns as I say, not as I do.

Do you like taking road trips?
What are you essential road trip items?
How did you like mine?

Don't forget to post on Instagram with the hashtag #WanderlustWednesday! It can be anything--a throwback travel photo of a place you've been, a Google image of where you want to go, an inspirational quote, a travel themed trinket you have, anything that inspires your wanderlust.


  1. Love it! Can't wait for tomorrow!��

  2. Yay road trip! I do like going on road trips (though my opportunities to do so are pretty rare, considering I don't have a US license, meep), and I definitely think those are all excellent essentials!

  3. I want to go on a road trip with some of my closest friends since I've gone with my sister and family before. I so agree with the playlist honestly! Whenever my sister and I've traveled by ourselves music has always been a MUST.


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