Life in a car / by Jessica Lee

You would think that driving along the coast with friends would be romantic and fun and all.

Here is how I imagined it:

Driving while the sun sets in the distant horizon over cornfields; finding a beach to camp in, falling asleep watching the stars and waking up to sunrises; cooking breakfast to birds chirping, roasting marshmallows at night…

In reality, living on the road is not like that at all.

We have driven to sunsets in the background and we have encountered a couple of beaches, however life on the road is quite rough. Here is what I've discovered so far:

1. You never know if you will get to shower, and on the off chance that there is a shower on the beach, the shower is usually cold water.
2. If it's cold and you just want to drink tea, it's not so easily accessible. I've come to realize how much I take hot water for granted, especially since some restaurants have a nasty habit of charging money for hot water.
3. Depending on where you are, you may or may not have to pee in some questionable places. I'm not going to go into further detail on this...
4. Sometimes the car smells because someone wears the same pair of socks over and over again. I am not naming any names except for the fact that this person's name starts with the letter D. And he is reading this as I am typing this... I hope you get the hint. *Ahem.*
5. Driving for long distances and waking up early because of the sunlight wears you out pretty fast. Despite being on the road only for a little more than a week, I am quite tired.

It's not all bad though. Some of the landscapes are really quite pretty. I wish I could have taken more photos from the road.

These were taken early in the morning on our way to Noosa.

Another benefit (or disadvantage- you decide!) of road trips is that you get to know your friends really really well. Like who snores for instance (you know who you are).

You can also understand someone just by the way he drives. This would be 1. without a seat belt on highways, 2. while looking at the GPS on his phone 3. sometimes not holding the wheel at all, and 4. hitting as many curbs as possible in a single block while remaining completely relaxed.

I have never been in a car where so many people have honked their horn at us!

I have also never encountered the police so many times in such a short period of time.

It is okay though. We are still alive!

Don't get mad, Dan. These are just the facts. And it's not so bad because throughout the years, you've become quite proficient at handling cops (no tickets so far! woohoo!).

Another benefit (for real) of driving on your own as opposed to taking a bus from one town to another or going with a tour bus (these are generally a bad idea) is that we get to stop wherever and whenever we want for lunch.

In previous years, I have sat through more than enough crappy all-you-can-eat lunch buffets provided by tour buses or being dropped off at a random fast food chain somewhere along the road.

This is why I am glad everyone on our trip is onboard with being hedonistic in the sense that we pick beautiful, scenic places to stop for lunch at and we really pamper ourselves in terms of diet.

Look, we are on a beach!

I made grilled fish and steamed vegetables for lunch the other day.

Then for dinner, Dan made Kangaroo steak, which we had with mashed potatoes and more veggies.

We even celebrated a birthday on the side of the road!

Though nothing is perfect, and though I miss the luxuries of readily available electricity and hot showers; I would still heartily recommend taking a long road trip with a couple of buddies. It's a unique experience in that no two road trips are exactly the same and that the people you're with make up most of what you take in. It's cliched, but it's true: "It's not what you're doing, it's who you're with."