Discovering the Magic: Why I Love Road Trips in 2024

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Discovering the Magic: Why I Love Road Trips in 2024

Love Road Trips - sign

Why do I love road trips so deeply? Traveling is in my blood. It began with my grandfather’s bold move from his homeland of Ireland in 1921 at the age of 20, to his destination in San Francisco, California. 

The Statue of Liberty welcomed him, promising an auspicious future as he navigated customs on Ellis Island. 

Road trips encapsulate the timeless allure of travel. They can be strategic or whimsical, depending on the circumstances.

Travel isn’t just a passion; it’s woven into the fabric of my family’s story. Growing up with the Air Force as my backdrop, home was wherever our next move took us. Local road trips became our way of connecting with each new landscape and community.

Then in 2023, retirement beckoned me. This transition wasn’t just a move; it was an epic coast-to-coast road trip adventure, clocking in nearly 3,000 miles and bonding over shared moments and breathtaking views.

I crossed the threshold to road-tripping. All told, my sister, brother-in-law, and I traversed the country, coast to coast, three times, racking up approximately 9,000 miles last year and traveling through 21 states.

Now, as 2024 unfolds, the call of the open road is irresistible—offering freedom, fun, and a chance for soul-searching unlike any other. 

So, why do I love road trips? Because they’re the heartbeat of adventure, the canvas for creating unforgettable memories, and frankly, it’s in my blood. 

Ready to put the pedal to the metal, turn the music on, and sail down that ribbon of highway? Buckle up and join me on this alluring journey.

Here’s Why I Love Road Trips


Our convoy left California on 6th May and our target ETA in South Carolina was 11th May at our new house. The movers were arriving with all our furniture, bright and early on the 12th! Little did we realize that this was only the beginning and we would traverse the country twice more in June!

Key starting point  – Plan your route, checking weather possibilities.

Unlocking Freedom: The Real Joy of Road Trips

There’s something undeniably freeing about setting out on the open road, with the power to detour at will, chase down the sights, or simply bask in the beauty all around us. That’s the real joy of road trips—unlocking freedom, one mile at a time.

Additionally, as you sail along those highways and byways, let the ever-changing scenery captivate you. Last year, as my wheels spun across the country, I found myself utterly fascinated by the diverse beauty—from the rolling hills of one state to the stark deserts of another, and even the unique charm within each small town.

Love Road Trips- New Mexico
Hills of New Mexico.                                                   Stretch of Arizona.                                                                                                   

Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, Tennessee

Love Road trips - So Cal

Above – Windmill farm in Southern California.

Memorial in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The left photo shows the 168 stone chairs for each  person who was in the

Murrah Federal Building on 19 April 1995 when the building was blown up. The right photo is the remains of the wall.

Love Road Trips - Utah

Park City, Utah – Olympic Ski Jumps


Love road Trips - Donner Lake
Donner Lake in Truckee, California. Our great-great-grandfather came from Scotland at age 1, grew up in Michigan, and came to Donner Lake, in about 1867, where he opened and maintained a thriving hotel business. These are the special stops that make your personal history meaningful!


Furthermore, the best part? The lack of a rigid schedule is liberating. Sure, you might have a final stop in mind, but it’s those spontaneous detours and unexpected stops that truly enrich the journey. 

Despite having timelines to meet last year, we wove a bit of magic into our travels with unplanned adventures. And guess what? Some of the best experiences didn’t cost a dime.

So, ready to add a dash of spontaneity to your travels and discover unexpected joys along the way? Let’s dive right in and explore how to make every road trip an adventure to remember.

Craft Your Adventure: Personalizing Your Journey

Gotta love road trips. There’s something uniquely thrilling about embarking on a journey, even with an eminent deadline, challenging yourself to create memorable experiences along the way.

Cruising into a new town, we whipped out our phones and uncovered hidden historical treasures right around the corner.

With my 92-year-old mom and wide-eyed 20-year-old grandson aboard, our trips transformed into a living history lesson. My mom revisited the landmarks of her youth, while my grandson soaked in stories far removed from our West Coast origins.

Traveling through Little Rock, Arkansas, we stood in awe at Little Rock Central High School, where courage and conviction clashed with segregation in 1957. The Little Rock Nine dared to stand up for their right to attend that school during the time of segregation.

Love Road Trips - Arkansas
Little Rock Central High School where the Little Rock Nine courageously entered school in 1957 bringing segregation to international attention.


Then, in Memphis, Tennessee, we paid homage at the Lorraine Motel, absorbing the weight of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and the resonance of his dream.

Love Road Trips - Lorraine Motel

These stops make history come to life.

Of course, no road trip would be complete without a nod to the classics. Cruising parts of Route 66, we landed in Winslow, Arizona—yes, “Standing on the Corner” made famous by the Eagles’ song. 

Completing our Route 66 experience, we got takeaway lunch from a diner that time forgot. It’s these moments, these detours, that other travels just can’t match.

Stronger Together: Bonding on the Open Road

Traveling the ribbon of highway, mile after mile, hour after hour, lends itself well to telling stories, reminiscing, and simply bonding.

To sprinkle a bit more fun into the mix, we turned our travels into a music game. As each new town or state loomed on the horizon, we scrambled to find the perfect song that matched our location, turning our playlist into a soundtrack for our journey. 

It’s these simple joys, these spontaneous moments of connection, that can transform even the most mundane stretches of road into something magical and memorable.

Some journeys are overshadowed by a sad or stressful event. The open road can work its magic, by turning a journey of necessity into a therapeutic escape, a chance to heal together.

Stay Healthy on the Go: Road Trip Wellness

Do you love road trips but worry about staying healthy on the go? It’s all about balancing mental wellness, physical health, and safety while embracing the freedom of the open road. 

Prepping your ride with an emergency kit, cozy blankets, and pillows is just the start of road trip wellness.

First up, packing efficiently is key. I stick to a carry-on’s worth of essentials, always checking weather apps to dress appropriately, and never forgetting my trusty umbrella for those unexpected showers or harsh sun.

Next, plotting your journey is crucial. Knowing your daily mileage goal helps pinpoint where you’ll rest each night, ensuring you’re not left scrambling for accommodations. End-of-day destinations are important.

Sometimes the flexibility of roadtripping tests you with the unexpected. On one leg of our cross-country jaunts last year, we decided to change it up a bit, altering the route to incorporate new experiences. 

We ended up “car camping” at a Love’s Travel Stop, at 1:45 AM, due to no vacancies at our intended destination or in the next three towns. Love’s, a favorite among long-haul truckers, is perfect for a safe snooze with their clean facilities and assortment of amenities. 


Then, on the road again while taking in the magic of the sunrise. Yes, some memorable new experiences!

Speaking of health, don’t forget hydration and snacks. Your packing checklist should always include refillable water bottles. Ditching fast food for healthier options not only keeps your energy up but also makes those dining stops a part of the adventure. 

1882 is the name of this restaurant in Truckee, California. It was built in 1882. The food was delicious and the atmosphere fun.

The Reward of the Ride: Celebrating Milestones

Love Road Trips - Photos

Long road trips can be a challenge. Embrace the adventure. Why not document every step of the way with photos? In this digital age, snapping pics has never been easier.

On our trips, we made it a mission to photograph every state’s welcome sign—our way of ticking off the miles and celebrating each new landscape we conquered. From breathtaking sceneries to spontaneous laughs shared, these pictures became the chapters of our journey’s story.

But it’s not just about capturing memories. Keeping your loved ones in the loop is crucial as well. 

We found the app, Life 360, to be a game-changer for this. It’s an app where you can create a private group so your family can keep an eye on your journey’s progress, adding an extra layer of safety and connection.

At the end of your road trip, you’ll have a photo journal filled with milestones and memories. It’s not just a collection of images but a narrative of freedom, discovery, and the bonds strengthened along the way. 


Community Connections: Giving Back as You Go

Right at the outset, let’s remember that hitting the road isn’t just about exploring new places; it’s also about how we can positively impact the communities we visit. From ensuring we leave no trace behind to boosting local economies and connecting with locals, every action counts.

Road-tripping has the added benefit of meeting new people, hearing their stories, and learning new perspectives along the way. People are fascinating and everyone’s life is uniquely different and each new interaction is a chance to gain insight and perspectives that differ from our own. 

It’s truly remarkable how much we can learn from just listening. Each person I meet is a gift.

But giving back doesn’t stop there. It’s rooted in the very choices we make, from where we refuel our cars to where we lay our heads at night. Every purchase at a local diner, gas station, or souvenir shop plays a part in supporting the local economy.

Furthermore, sometimes, it’s the simple act of showing genuine interest and kindness towards the people we meet that leaves the most lasting impact.

Embracing the Journey: The Heartbeat of Adventure

My passion for why I “Love Road Trips” is clear. My love for the open road is inherited, a legacy of bold moves and new beginnings, and every mile traveled is a tribute to those who journeyed before me.

The allure of the open road transcends mere travel—it’s a voyage into the heart of what it means to truly live. 

Road trips aren’t just getaways; the transformative power of road trips is liberating and exhilarating.  Whether you’re mapping out your first trek or you’re a habitual nomad, there’s always something new under the sun just waiting for you.

But perhaps the most profound takeaway is the reminder that the journey itself is the destination. Along these winding roads, you’ll find laughter, lessons, and a sense of belonging that no other form of travel can replicate.

So, I urge you, don’t let the unknown deter you. Pack your bags, queue up your playlist, and let the road lead you to stories you’ll tell for years to come.

Are you ready to embark on a journey that promises more than just destinations, but a deeper connection with the world around you? 

Let’s dive right in, embracing the open road with arms wide open and eyes ready to behold the adventure in every mile.