Note from the Editor:
Hey Gusties! I am excited to announce a new segment here at Her Campus at Gustavus: Memoirs of a Gustie. This will be a recurring feature that will aim to share the stories and experiences of students here at Gustavus. Everyone has their own unique story and way of viewing the world, and we want you to share it with us! Write to us about studying abroad, your family, your hometown, a challenge you conquered, a battle you’re still fighting, or any story you want to share with the world! Email any ideas or articles to email@example.com, and have your voice heard and your story told.
We want to hear from you!
Katie Allen (President and Editor in Chief)
Memoirs of A Gustie: Yesenia Hildago
“I Took a Road Trip with My Family to Texas and It Was Surprisingly Amazing”
Something about being in car with your family for 19+ hours can really drive you crazy. My family has never really been the one to take family vacations. The only time we really travel is when we go to my parent’s home country to visit family, and even then we don’t all go together. I was on my way home from school to enjoy my two week Christmas recess just thinking about all the Netflix bingeing I was going to do at home when my mom let me know that we were actually going down to Texas to visit my oldest brother for break. I replied, “Great! What day did you book the flights for?” when she looked at me and said, “We’re driving there.”
The longest I have been in a car is three hours. I didn’t even have to drive then, but I got sick of being in the car. I told myself, “Okay, this can’t be that bad! I’ll see some scenic views.” Nope! My mom said we were going to mostly be driving at night so we could get there early in the morning. So maybe I wouldn’t be seeing that much scenery.
(My little brother, me, and my mom)
I know to pack for a weekend trip home or even for a three-week trip to El Salvador, but nothing prepared me for packing for a road trip. We were about to leave and I still wasn’t ready! Deciding whether or not to pack summer clothes had turned into a full on crisis. Things were off to a rocky start.
That was the least of my problems however. I had volunteered to drive first, and the roads were bad. I like to think I am a good driver, but I do like getting places fast and my mom is definitely not okay with that. Of course she decided to st in the passenger seat and for the four long hours that I drove she would not stop freaking out at me for the smallest things. “You’re driving too fast!” “You’re too close to that car!” “Look up the nearest gas station, I have to pee!” etc. **Insert eyeroll emoji here.** When my driving shift was finally over I was glad to be able to sit back and enjoy the rest of the drive.
The best part of the road trip was that my dog got to come along too! I just chilled in the backseat with him and we took a nap together. We didn’t even have an aux cord so we had to rely on the crackly radio signal, which was spotty at best. Plus, my mom isn’t much of a jammer and she does not like my siblings’ and my music taste. I’ve never been so thankful for headphones.
(Reunited with my older brother and my uncle)
Whenever I used to imagine road trips before taking this one with my family, I always imagined myself in a Volkswagen van with my friends, jamming to music constantly, and stopping to take pictures of the sweeping views on a road trip to Boulder and Las Vegas, before finally ending up in Los Angeles. However, my parents aren’t the type to even let me spend the night at friends’ houses, let alone drive to the other side of the country with them. So I had to put my West Coast road trip dreams on the back burner.
My first road trip experience may have not been the most lit, but I did get to spend some quality time with my family. For Hispanic families, family time is very important and our families tend to be very big and very close. Unfortunately, my mom has had to work a lot to provide for us and with school and other things that life throws at us, it has been difficult to spend time together. Sometimes spending time with my family can be difficult as well, because we are all different and have different interests, which can make it hard to find something to do together that we all like.
I took away a lot of valuable lessons from my road trip experience because the lack of blasting music really made time for great conversations. Even when there were silent moments it was okay because it was in company of family. I was also happy to spend time with my brothers because we haven’t always been the closest and we’ve never really been the lovey-dovey kind of siblings either. Looking back, I am even grateful that my mom worried about my reckless driving because I know she knows more than me (we did get pulled over once, but I wasn’t the one driving, hehe). I hope I can take another trip with my family soon. If you have not taken a road trip your family before—10/10, would recommend.
(My little brother and I exploring)