There’s a simple equation I live by:
Autumn = roadtrips.
In fact, I’m not even sure that’s a proper equation. Shouldn’t it have more than just an equals sign? And doesn’t it require a couple of numbers at least?
So it might not be a proper equation, but it’s my equation.
When it’s Autumn, any trip you take can be a roadtrip. I almost forgot I was going to work the other morning because it felt like I had loaded up the car for a dreamy trip through the misty countryside. There was a chilly bite to the air as I loaded the car and it was easy to pretend I was packing a small picnic instead of my work lunch. I drove past trees beginning to turn for Autumn and through patches of mist and fog.
And I tried really hard to remember I was driving to work and not to some scenic location for a lovely day of exploring and photographing all of the things.
If I can make a roadtrip out of my regular commute to work, then I can certainly do the same for an actual longer trip to something that’s actually fun.
Such as a long weekend visit to my parents’ place in Violet Town.
The best roadtrips begin in darkness
If there’s one thing a dedicated roadtripper knows it’s that the best roadtrips start early in the morning. It’s a lot easier to get up while it’s still dark if you know there’s a day of travelling and exploring ahead of you.
While it’s not compulsory to rise before the sun, it’s often essential to get up in the dark if you still haven’t packed yet. Luckily, I always have some assistance with this vital task.
Job done! Thanks, Polly and Missy – I couldn’t do it without you.
After you’ve evicted the cats from your suitacse and filled it with actual clothes, it’s time to head off on your roadtrip. In my case, I set off two and a quarter hours with the promise of a lovely cup of tea awaiting me at my parents’ place. It turned out a bearded dragon was also waiting for me. I love these creatures!
Incidental Roadtrip Essentials
Bearded dragons are a bit of a bonus, but hot drinks are vital for an Autumn roadtrip. I love to use them as an excuse to stop in an out-of-the-way town or to detour off a boring freeway. (In my book, the best roadtrips involve many stops and random detours because you’ve just seen an interesting sign.)
In this case, the cup of tea is an essential part of the routine at my parents’ place, but I highly recommend making it part of your roadtrip routine, too. You never know when you’ll find a little gem of a café in the middle of nowhere.
Once you have a cup of tea or coffee in you (preferably paired with some cake), you’re ready for more adventures. And even though Violet Town is quite tiny, there’s usually something new to explore every time I visit. In this case, there were two new things, but only one of them was open (which means I can save the other new thing for my next visit – handy!).
Add a little bit of history
There’s a lot to be said for adding a touch of learning to your roadtrip equation. With this in mind, I drove my mum into town and we walked past the new museum (which was shut) to visit the Southern Aurora train crash memorial (which, by virtue of being a park, was open). My great aunt and uncle were in the Southern Aurora train crash, so we have a personal connection to it.
The memorial was opened on the 7th of February this year – fifty years after the tragic event occurred. You can read more about it in this article:
We would have liked to spend a bit more at the memorial there but some rather large ants accompanied us the whole way and rudely rushed us along the paths. In the end, I spent more time looking at my feet and hopping out of the way of the ants than looking at the informative signage, but I still managed to capture a few images of the memorial.
We also went to the op shop and had plans to come back to the museum and its attendant café later the afternoon, but we ended up having to wait for an electrician to wire up my parents’ new garage. Given that they’d been waiting roughly a year for the garage to be built, they weren’t going to risk missing out on getting it electrified.
Instead, I satisfied myself with a lovely cuppa (see my point above on the importance of hot beverages) and a subsequent wander around the gardens to photograph flowers at a more leisurely pace (and without any overly-friendly ants).
It’s always important to take a break from the big excursions and adventures to notice the finer details of your trip.
As you can see, any day can be a roadtrip day (although Autumn days are particularly roadtrippy, in my book). It has nothing to do with destinations or who you’re with or what you’re doing: it’s a state of mind.
And I’m permanently in a roadtrip state of mind.
What’s your roadtripping equation? What makes you want to pack everything up and head somewhere new? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to chat about roadtripping with you!