Let Off the Gas Pedal

PC: Levi Ventura

PC: Levi Ventura


This might sound crazy to some, but I love driving. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been fascinated with anything that can move: tractors, four wheelers, skidsteers, trucks, bikes, fast cars, you name it.

The faster it moves, the better! Surprisingly, I’ve never had a speeding ticket, but I do have lots of great memories with my car. And even though it’s a 16 hour drive to my home in North Carolina, I still like driving. Sometimes, when I’m bored or just need time to myself, I’ll go for drives down random roads. It’s adventurous and exciting to me. I never know what I’ll find or where it’ll take me.

I also love road trips. Growing up, my family practically lived in our camper. We would often visit one of our favorite camping spots nearby, but other times we’d go for long trips across the country.  

On more than one occasion, my dad drove us all the way to the Pacific coast. Yes, I suppose we could’ve just flown, but that wouldn’t have made the trips nearly as memorable. The diverse scenery, stops at gas stations for restrooms and candy, books, music, and, of course, arguing with my siblings were some of the best parts.

I think a lot of times, the journey is not only about the destination, but also about how we get there. This applies not just to road trips, but to life as well. Yes, the goal right now might be to graduate as soon as possible and start a life of our own, but although that’s the destination, the journey along the way counts as well.

The people we meet, the places we visit and the opportunities we are presented with all play important roles in our lives. Instead of always rushing through life, try slowing down and enjoying the ride. It can be hard to put all our worries and thoughts of the future behind us, but by doing this, we may open up more opportunities. By enjoying each moment, whether it be with friends and family, the stranger in the cafeteria or even our time in class, life will be much more meaningful and enjoyable.

As far as road trips go, I definitely recommend you go on one. Blast some great music and eat your favorite snacks. You can go with friends, family or on your own. Either way, enjoy the ride as much as you do the destination. Seek new opportunities, talk to new people and enjoy the moments. And let off the gas pedal!

Lena Wilkie is a sophomore studying international rescue and relief.