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Joys of Driving: The Happy Place Is Not a Destination


Edited by Nidhi Munot 


“I was lonely driving here tonight so I hugged the road.” — JAY LONDON


When the stereo is turned up and a sad song starts to play in the car, have you ever looked out of the window and pretended to be in a music video? Buzzfeed coined this as “Dramatic Window Staring Disorder”. In all of this fantasy, however, where do you place yourself? More often than not, it’s in the passenger’s seat because you don’t want to risk a car accident when superstar-you dramatically looks out of the window and your childhood dreams of rising to stardom come true. But let’s talk about what goes on behind the steering wheel. I think that that is where the magic happens. It’s when you’re in control of a vehicle that is 25 times heavier than you, and the roads can take you anywhere you desire. It’s the moment when the journey becomes so much more important than the destination. It’s the joy of driving. 


Long drives and good music are a near-perfect combination. When you’re alone, it hits differently. I’m not talking about the kind of driving where you’re stuck in traffic and move an inch every few minutes or the kind where you’re in a rush to get somewhere. I’m talking about the kind of driving when you’re in no hurry and there is contentment to be found in just being one with the road. I think one of the reasons that it is so blissful is because even when life seems so out of balance, getting into your car and maneuvering it gives you a sense of control. Moreover, the feeling of freedom (even if it’s just an illusion) that you can go anywhere, anytime, and that everything is at your pace, is heartening. 


This is all to say that the next time you watch TikTok and contemplate logging on to the viral “Drive and Listen” website, stop. Grab your car keys (and driver’s license), take a break and put on some good music. Instead of giving in to the Dramatic Window Staring Disorder, look ahead. Look ahead at the roads that can take you anywhere and whisk yourself to your happy place. Allow yourself to experience the joys of driving.

Sanjna Vivek

Ashoka '23

An avid trekker, baker, writer and optimist :)
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