What does it mean to be “Out on the open road”?

If you’ve seen a lot of my previous posts you can tell I like road tripping, both the day and long distance variety. My favorite phrase and thing to say when describing such a trip, as you might have guessed, is being “out on the open road”. What has that phrase meant to me and what does it mean now?

It means…

…putting all things and worries aside for a while.

…enjoying the company of others (if with fellow roadtrippers).

…venturing to the unknown, leading to discovery.

Out on the open road. Lake Hawea - New Zealand.

…stopping to get gas every few hours.

…stopping at a service plaza/travel center and grabbing random snacks and beverages.

…while at the service plaza/travel center, grabbing all the travel brochures and magazines available.

Out on the open road. Tilbury, Ontario, Canada service plaza. Out on the open road. Tilbury, Ontario,   Canada service plaza.

…the floor of the car will fill up with the aforementioned empty snack wrappers, beverage bottles, travel brochures and who knows what else.

…radio stations will come and go on the dial.

…the windshield and front of the car will become engrossed in dead bugs.

…can I or can’t talk on the phone while driving where I’m at now?

…you’ll get stopped unexpectedly due to construction or the road will be shut all together.

…you’ll start singing 99 Bottles of Beer, driving other possible travelers crazy.

…if you drive along enough you’ll be in sunny skies, under clouds of all types, the rain, the dark night skies and who knows what else.

…you’ll want to stop and get out of the car ever two seconds to capture a photo.

Out on the open road. Town of Waihi, New Zealand.

…you’ll try to capture photos while driving. Not advisable. Tip: If a passenger on such a trip, snap away!

…you’ll be begging for a gas station, McDonald’s or a rest area at some point because you have to go.

…every mile further you get from home will be another mile you’ll have on the drive back.

…you’ll keep hearing the same Top 40 songs over and over again on the FM dial. Really need Sirius Satellite Radio. ๐Ÿ™‚

…lots of tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram photos if you’re a social media geek like me. ๐Ÿ™‚

…capturing the same photos with your camera and smart phone.

…stopping and doing goofy things in front of state and town welcome-to signs.

…I’m probably tired of saying “it means” haha.

…lots of tolls and parking meter fees if around a big city.

…getting excited watching the mile-to signs going down for a destination, meaning you’re getting closer.

Out on the open road. Heading east on South Island of New Zealand

…lots of Starbucks and/or random coffee house stops for fuel.

…expect the unexpected. Things will never go completely as planned.

Most importantly it means…

…lots more experiences to write about and share with the world and

…meeting great new people along the way and

…you’re traveling!

Gotta go. It’s time for The Adventures of Elatlboy to continue “out on the open road“!

Out on the open road. Southbound I-75 in central Ohio

What else comes to mind when you think (day) road trip?

17 responses to “What does it mean to be “Out on the open road”?

  1. I loves me some Sirius radio! A six-month subscription came with my car, and I extended it and added Tim’s car to it earlier this year ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Great post, Aaron! I have my fondness for jetting around, you for an open road. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have to admin though that I do a lot of road trips too (including to Toronto – that Onroute sign looks very familiar ๐Ÿ™‚ – and besides Starbucks, I pretty much agree with everything on the list! ๐Ÿ˜€ I love putting on my iPod or finding a local station and just cruising…

    • Thanks Pola! Lot’s of Ontario time on the open road for you. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s the first Onroute rest area on the 401 heading east from Windsor. Big travel centre there with brochures for everything you can think of in Ontario! I was like a kid in a candy store. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. music is probably the most important thing to me when i’m on the open road. next drinks, gum & lip gloss, of course ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Something is missing when driving (especially solo) and there is no background music. Agree on other things, well maybe not the lip gloss haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hey, I recognize some of this : the Tim Horton’s (in Ontario); State Highway 73 signage for the road between Christchurch and the West Coast! ๐Ÿ™‚ Many years ago, two of us drove from Vancouver to Ottawa in a little original VW-bug for a 2500 mile/4000 km cross-Canada journey; with both scheduled and unscheduled stops, the road trip took about a week. One of my fondest memories is watching the sunrise directly in front of us over the flat landscape of the Prairies. That’s also when I knew I needed a pair of sunglasses.

    • Always stop at Tim Horton’s for coffee, good stuff. Lot’s of time in Ontario and some in Quรฉbec,driving across the whole country must have been amazing. Gotta love sunrises and sunsets. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I am an insane road tripper. I have done a 900 km trip (one way) just to stay for a day and a half, then turn around! Though I am tempted to ditch my car when living in the city, I just can’t because I need to have the freedom and ability to just get up and go. And as for what I like to do in the car? Sing!

    • I’ve driven four plus hours to Chicago for deep dish pizza, then turned around and headed home. A while back I drove twelve hours one way, then drove back the next day but that was for personal reasons. Even so I love every minute out on the open road in the car. The only thing I can remember singing in the car is 99 Bottle of Beer haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I think out on the open road is my happy place. Great post!

  7. Great post! I agree with everything on here! So true about the radio stations!

    • Thank you! You know you are heading on a trip when all the stations around home start to disappear off the dial. ๐Ÿ™‚

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