North America

[updated] 8 things I learnt whilst on the road in the U S of A

An updated version with one more thing (#8) I learnt on my last day in San Francisco.


So the road trip is done and dusted. It seems like a distant memory now. Oh how I will always remember the good times and the great times on the wide, long, open roads.

This is the first road trip I’ve done in the states where I was the driver and here’s a few things I learnt.

1. Siri can’t be trusted. Truth. There were so many times when she got confused and told us to go the wrong way. Till she thought about it again and led us in the opposite direction. According to *E, she hates Australians so I’m pretty sure she was trying to kill me (and him in the end).

2. Buy an old skool road map. For the times when Siri is trying to kill you (if you’re Australian or road tripping with an Australian).

3. Have more than one driver. Especially if you’re going to drive more than 2000 miles in one week. Each driver won’t be as tired or hating on each other. There was only one driver on this trip. (insert evil stare at *E here)

4. Make sure your co-pilot is a great conversationalist. If there is only one driver on the trip, you need a good conversationalist in the car. There were times when I was driving the long stretches (Death Valley comes to mind) and starting to fall asleep. As soon as I said “Talk to me!!”, *E knew what to do.

One freakin' long road out of Death Valley

A post shared by sc (@_scvstheworld) on

5. A lot about wine. This is what happened when I said “Talk to me!!”.
Aside: *E is a bartender (he hates being called a mixologist but that’s what he really is) and knows a lot about wine (and alcohol in general).

6. Don’t be hating on your co-pilot. Especially when he’s sleeping and you’re driving. This will make him a better conversationalist when you actually need him to be. (insert evil stare at *E here again)

7. Be flexible and learn to compromise. Flexible is in my vocabulary but compromise is not so it was hard for me at first but seeing how easy it was for *E (me wanting to stay an extra night in trashy Vegas comes to mind), I learnt quite quickly. So our initial plan was San Diego – Grand Canyon – Las Vegas – Santa Barbara – Big Sur – San Francisco but because we hadn’t booked anything (and I mean nothing – no joke), we were able to chop and change as we wanted. In the end, our trip was San Diego – Las Vegas – Grand Canyon – Zion National Park – Death Valley – Yosemite National Park – San Francisco. Very different to the original plan right?

8. Build in some contingency for the length of your road trip. Be it a day trip or a week long trip, always factor in time for pee stops, impromptu photo taking moments, gas stops, TRAFFIC!!! This totally screwed me over when I was meant to visit my ex boss on my last day in California. We didn’t expect to hit traffic on Highway 1 back into the city on Black Friday of all days. Aren’t people meant to be shopping like crazy not coasting along Highway 1?!?! Needless to say, I didn’t make it and I left San Francisco without hugging him one last time.

SO, there you have it peoples. I’ll try to learn from these for the next one.

Road trip anyone?


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