Keeping Yourself Sane on Solo Road Trips

February 15th, 2013 by

road tripI feel proud of the special skills I’ve picked up in life, and knowing how to keep myself sane on long, solo car trips is one of the them. After moving to a small town for work one year, I found myself taking the two and a half hour commute home most weekends to see my girlfriend. The drive became rough.

While this complaint sounds petty when compared with the work put in by truck drivers everywhere, I found that I quickly exhausted my tolerance for my music collection, making the repetitiveness of the trip melt my brain even faster.

While the prospect of going to see my girlfriend far outweighed the burden of driving there, I was desperate to find a solution to my boredom. The answer became easy once I looked at driving differently.  While concentrating on the road was my main focus, I still had a chance to enrich myself in some way. Finding new music that I liked or was willing to buy was always a bit of a challenge for me, so I decided to give audio books and podcasts a try.

Many Honda vehicles come with either an iPod or auxiliary input cable, allowing you to connect your MP3 player to your audio system. Bluetooth enabled vehicles allow you to stream audio this way, too. Sites like Audible.com allow you to download audio books for cheap and have a wide range of options. Podcasts are also great, too, with topics ranging from comedy, to sports, to science, and more.

Even drivers who don’t have an MP3 player or smartphone still have plenty of options available to them. Most libraries have large collections of audiobooks open to lenders. Selections are usually pretty extensive too, with subjects often ranging from fiction to a wealth of non-fiction options, including biographies, histories, science books, and more. Most libraries also have large collections of music CD’s, too. I used this as a chance to freely explore new musical interests, including genres like jazz, flamenco, folk, opera and more.

Used book stores are also a great place to find audio books. While expensive in typical bookstores, used audio books will sell for a fraction of their original cost. (Selections may be more limited, though, than from other sources.) Once you’re done with them, you can often sell them back and put that credit towards your next audio book purchase!

Now that I’ve come to see driving as a personal relaxation time, I not only enjoy my road trips, but look forward to them!