Cultural Experience | All Experiences

11 reasons why roadtripping abroad is the worst

Get yourself and your friends in a van and hit the road.

If subjecting yourself to new adventures, new people and new places isn’t your thing, then these are 11 reasons why roadtripping abroad is the absolute worst.

It involves a minimal amount of planning

Roadtripping abroad involves such a minimal amount of planning – how could it possibly be fun? Rent a van for you and your friends, grab a map and some snacks. Make it even easier by getting a camper so you don’t need to book a hostel. If you’re looking to have your road trip go as smooth as possible, make sure to book your rental vehicle ahead of time and ask for a GPS. Do as little or as much research to find out what’s along the way worth stopping at. Use this site to plan your route and get information on your destinations. It’s way too easy.

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You become overly attached to a vehicle

Whether it’s for two days or two weeks – you will no doubt become a little too attached to your van. No matter how cheap it was to rent, he or she will become priceless to you. But really, who wants to get that emotional over a vehicle? It was only your home for a short time but will forever hold the memories you and your friends made along the way. And for some reason, a piece of your heart will be broken when you return Bertha back to the dealership.

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You get lost

Whether you’re dealing with a GPS in a foreign language or reading a map, chances are you’ll get lost. In that split second decision whether this is the right exit or not, both the navigator and driver will choose wrong at least once. When is getting lost ever a good thing? Maybe when you come across a hidden glacier, find yourself in the middle of a cow pasture or discover a black sand beach hidden from the world whizzing by. In those moments, you may be lost, but you’ll feel like that’s exactly where you need to be.

It’s so much slower than flying

It’s no secret flying to your destination is much quicker than driving there. Who wouldn’t want to pay more, deal with security and cram into a plane packed with strangers and too-small seats? There are plenty of budget airlines whether you’re traveling around Europe, Asia or anywhere. But then again, some of the best finds happen in the most unexpected places – and how will you find them if you’re zipping by thousands of feet above?

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You’re forced to interact with the locals

Whether it’s in a desperate attempt to ask for directions in German or buy pizza at a small market in Pisa, you’ll no doubt come across some locals during your road trip. In these situations, it may be unnerving and unfamiliar how friendly and accommodating strangers can be. Embrace it. Don’t be scared to ask questions or seek advice for the best must-see attractions or cheapest places to eat. If you’re lucky, you may even get a home cooked meal out of it. The kindness you’ll find in the places you visit will always be a humbling experience.

Basic needs aren’t important anymore

For whatever reason, road trips have the power to take away the need to eat three square meals a day, take a shower or do your hair in the morning. But really, who do you have to impress? You’ve seen each other at your worst and once you get used to it, all those things just seem so unnecessary. Creeks become perfectly acceptable shower spots and rocking a messy bun or hat is the standard. When you’re ready to get a real shower, check out the local hostels. Some offer rates for backpackers looking to use their bathroom facilities.

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If there’s anything study abroad students are, it’s adventurous. Going on a road trip in a foreign country is a promise for adventure you just can’t get sitting at home. Being lost, forgetting your wallet at the last rest stop or getting way too close to the local wildlife are all possible side effects of embarking on such a journey. And just in case things do get a little wild, it’s always a good idea to know who to call in case of emergency wherever you are.

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You get way too close with each other

Have you ever spent 14 hours sitting next to someone? Like REALLY sitting next to someone? Thighs touching, arms crammed awkwardly together surrounded by all your belongings? It creates a bond that can never be broken. After hour seven, the hard-hitting questions come out and you learn more about yourself and your travel companions than you’ve ever known about someone before. By hour 10, you’ve memorized their musical preferences, childhood best friend’s cousin’s name and every weird dream they’ve ever remembered. And when you run out of things to talk about – which rarely happens – here are some road trip games that’ll make hour 12 go by much quicker.

Suddenly wifi is the last thing on your mind

Road trips come with moments very few and far between of connection to the outside world. Think of the thousands of tweets, snaps and posts you’ll miss while traveling offline. The ability to live vicariously through the lives of your friends and families will be taken away as you embark on this journey. But if you don’t tweet about it, did it even happen? Fortunately, these thoughts rarely cross the mind of anyone road tripping abroad. When you’re surrounded by beautiful and enticingly new scenery, wifi hot spots suddenly seem pointless and much less meaningful than what’s right in front of you.

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Every thing becomes every ones

It no longer matters whose chips those were or who brought which sweater. Housekeeping isn’t a top priority when you’re seeing the world out of a van. Sharing is caring – especially when the experiences you’re having outweigh the sanctity of a pack of sour gummy worms.

And finally….

Nothing will ever compare to the memories you make on a road trip

Nothing will ever compare. And that’s why road trips abroad are the absolute worst.

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Rachel Jenkins

Susquehanna University | 4 stories

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