Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Bringing back the Sunday Drive

Not a challenge prompt today! I know, shocking. But I have something I experienced that I need to share, and that is the Sunday Drive.
For those of you who don't know, the "Sunday drive" is a concept which was particularly popular in 1950's America in which, on a Sunday, you got into your car in some relatively presentable clothes and just drove through town or the country side. sounds kind of silly doesn't it? But last weekend I got a bad itch to move and see things and that is just what I did. Armed with a cardigan, my keys, and my phone only, I hopped into my car and set out into the roads around my father's house.

Assuming you don't make a point to know all the little details of my life (Even if it is fab) let me explain, my father's house is about 10 minutes out from anything resembling a suburb or town and 30 minutes on the interstate away from a respectably sized one. So, long story short, old houses, dirt roads, and trees abound. Everywhere.
I let my dad know I was going on this drive, to which he offered advice on what roads to take. And I should say, I've lived at this house my whole life, part time after age 6 and I knew the area pretty well but not well enough to be acquainted with all the little roads so I was quite open to his suggestions. After learning his directions, I set off, eager to go somewhere or do something other than surf tumblr.
I gotta say guys, I expected it to be pleasant but it was so much more than that. It was so many things I needed to have the time to do. Let me explain;

It was time to spend alone with my thoughts and with a clear head. Driving occupies your hands and enough of your brain to not be bored but little enough for you to still think naturally.
I turned the radio on scan, stopping it wherever I heard something that I thought interesting. It was a time to do things without any pressure or assurance. You just make decisions based on what you feel like.
I didn't have anywhere to be or anywhere to go. It was cathartic for me to be able to decompress and not rush anywhere or have to hurry around. I could go as slow or fast as I felt like without stressing.
I stopped whenever I saw something I was taken with because it was a back road and had little traffic. A few times I actually pulled over to the side of the road to pick flowers or rabbit's tobacco.
It was really just a time for me to breathe and think and move and not worry about the consequences of any of it. It was freedom for a while.

So what to do with this information?
Go on a Sunday drive yourself. Here are some tips:

  • No distractions. If you can leave your phone at home and just take a camera all the better. This is time for you.
  • Don't let guilt get you. If you want to pull over on the side of the road to pick some flowers, damn sure do it! Don't let the idea that you shouldn't or other drivers will think you're weird doing it stop you. What does that matter anyway, you're not breaking any laws.
  • Don't have a return time. If you set a time to be back home then you'll constantly be concerned with getting back by then, detracting from the experience.
  • Have a map or a GPS. This way, you wont be worried about getting lost or having to stay on main roads. Have a fall back on so when you go adventuring it wont matter, because that's an important part of this-- impulse. Follow whatever you feel like, just mind your blinkers.
  • Have a way to document. A camera is good, or a camera phone. Don't get to caught up in recording everything though!
  • Look for dirt roads and countryside. Driving around town is nice, but it can be a bit restricting. Stop lights, traffic, loud noises. Ditch that and find some back roads with trees and maybe some cows if you're feeling really frisky. No stop signs, little traffic. It's great.
  • Dress for the weather. Yes, you're in a car, but don't think you're going to be the entire time. If you find something amazing, get the hell out of the car and investigate! These things are things you shouldn't be missing just because you're "supposed" to be on a drive. This is all about you uninhibited.
  • If you want to scream, or beat a tree with a baseball bat, or do cartwheels, do it! This is your time, and no one is going to get you in trouble for doing what you want to (so long as it isn't private, watched property. Ie. You can get away with smashing a tree in a huge forest type area or the back of a field. Not so much in a suburb....well, if it's not your tree)
That's it. Go forth. Drive

1 comment:

  1. I'd do this but I don't have a car or license. My alternative is to just go walking and explore a part of the city I haven't ventured to before.