Road Trip Therapy


One year of lockdowns and the population is getting beyond restless and downright desperate to breathe new air, see new things, get far away....

Road trip therapy is the answer. 

It would seem that campers and RVs are sold out, rented out, and all over the roads boondocking in remote locations just to be one with nature for a time. 

But, you don't have to drive a house around the roadways to enjoy the getaway vibe. Here's some ideas for inspiration - 

Getting lost

This concept is pretty simple. Pack a cooler. Get in the car and head out on the interstate and pull off at a random exit you've never taken. Let your curiosity guide you through unknown backroads, small towns, lonely forest roads. 

The novelty of this is wonderful. You don't know what you're going to come upon. You might need to do some u-turns, but try and avoid your Google Maps app and just enjoy the mystery.

When most of our weekdays are action-oriented and goal-directed, having no goal, having no action plan is a refreshing and liberating feeling. 

You will be surprised of the things you run into. I've done this quite a few times and I found abandoned buildings that I love to photograph, small towns with a great diner, a cemetery where I got the best sunset pictures ever. 

As always, have maps or a map app on your phone for when it's time to go home, but I also suggest you give it a try and see if you can do it without aid. It's a good mind puzzle.

I highly suggest this one if your daily routine has become way too routine and way too daily. 

Day tripping

A simple day trip might be all you need to reset your buttons. I suggest you look at your map and see what small towns within a few hours' drive are available. Pick one you've never been to. In fact, don't even research the town's history or look up pics of it. Simply plot your trek, load the car, and go!

I highly suggest this one if you are restless and time-limited.

Weekend getaway

If you can afford to take an entire weekend off and away, there are so many possibilities. There is camping, glamping, AirBNBs, hotels, and ranches. 

Ideally, get into a new setting, but not so far away that your entire weekend involves driving. Find a place to stay that offers a view or fun amenities like a heated pool. 

This type of getaway is really about immersing yourself in another town for a brief time to come home and feel you had a mini vacay.

Remember, mini vacays involve unique places, unique experiences, unique foods. Don't just go to a hotel to catch up on sleep.

Good weekend getaways can include wine tastings, seeing historic spots, renting a boat on a lake, burning a fire in a cabin fireplace, getting a massage, tasting fine foods, making a memory of a new place you've never been before, staring into a campfire with a stick and a hot dog and recalling all the other camping treks in your lifetime.

I highly suggest this one if you have been burning the candle at both ends so long that you need to reset your breathing pattern and feel less deprived. 

Distance perspective

Upon occasion, you need to get away - REALLY get away. Distance brings you into a very different environment, different people, different vibe. 

The very act of watching pavement go by for hours on end is a liberating feeling. Haven't we all at one time wanted to just drive off into the distance not to be heard from again? 

This kind of trek is going to take days (weeks?) and it needs to take you over state lines. Everything must be unfamiliar to have no frame of reference to where you were. Stay long enough to get into a local pattern of eating, hiking, windowshopping, feeling like a local. 

I highly suggest this one if you need to rethink your life situation and priorities, do some real soul-searching. 

Trip down memory lane

We've been locked down a long while now and many have not seen friends and relatives. It's easy to feel a bit lost and adrift.

This kind of trip involves going to a hometown, your old college campus, maybe a place you raised your kids. Just get in the car and head out to retrack your steps and get some perspective.

There is nothing like driving by the old homestead or walking an old hiking path of your youth to make you recall who you were then and where life has taken you to now. That perspective is critical for understanding what you value, what you've accomplished, and remind you of the things that make you unique. 

I highly recommend this one if you feel detached from your origins and unsure of who you are and what you want or need.

If you wonder at the effects of a road trip as therapy, you might want to read Julie's and my book about what it did for our lives -