Driving 16 Hours Alone

With the unfortunate realities that COVID-19 has caused everyone and their families, I decided last minute to go and stay with my dad in Georgia, rather than staying in New Hampshire to finish the rest of my semester. 

I was upset that school was cancelled and we had to finish online, and I knew staying at my home in New Hampshire would be a distraction, so I told my dad I was going to stay with him until school finished. Since flying was too risky, I had to drive, and I have never driven by myself for that long of a time. I have driven from Florida to NH before, but I never drove the car and we stayed at hotels along the way.

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This decision was very last minute, meaning I decided a day before I actually left. I knew it was going to be about 16 hours and I would have to stop for gas about 4 to 5 times, but I knew I wanted to go straight there without stopping to rest. I packed my bags and brought food and water so I didn’t have to stop at fast food places, because I knew lots of them would be closed because of COVID. 

I left at 4:30 am and only slept for about 5 hours, which I was worried about because I didn’t want to fall asleep at the wheel. I stopped for a coffee to keep me awake while driving in the dark. At around 9 am is when I reached NYC and it was pretty scary how empty the highways and roads were. There was no traffic and I drove through rather quickly. After that I basically just kept driving until I needed gas or had to use the restroom. Luckily I was on the highway for most of the drive so there were plenty of rest stops to use the bathroom, and most of them had gas stations at them. I did get stuck driving in the rain for a few hours but it wasn’t too bad. I found some car ride playlists on Spotify that were 6-8 hours long each which helped me not have to keep changing songs and picking new ones. Once I reached around 4pm is when I started feeling a little tired because it had almost been 12 hours of almost non stop driving. I was super bored but tried to just sing along to songs and look at the nature around me and see how different each state is. I had a lot of time to think and plan out goals for myself, which helped me reset my mind. 

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I had finally arrived at my dads around 8:30 pm and couldn't have been more happy that I had arrived and knew I could go straight to sleep. I was also proud of myself for driving that far by myself and making this decision on my own. The weather is definitely better down here, much warmer and sunnier, and overall I am less distracted. 

Long car rides by yourself are good for the soul and mind, and I recommend you do it every once in awhile just to free your mind. You don't need to drive 16 hours, but an hour long car ride here and there is all you need.