Some Journeys Should Remain the Road Less Traveled

Brianna Krueger's picture

Whoever said it’s about the journey, not the destination has never traveled with my family. We get adventures, but not the kind you scream ‘yeah! Let’s do that again!’ If anything, you’re close to yelling ‘get me out of here!’ and not just because we want to escape each other.

My family could probably afford to stop and smell the roses and see the beauty of the journey, but some journeys should remain the road less traveled.


Don’t Travel the Road Overpacked

Ever since I was a kid, my dad has always overpacked our car(s). So much that we travel in two cars (for a 4-person family), plus a trailer and a rocket box.  One year, we decided to add not 1, but 2 kayaks into the mix.


Don't travel the road overpacked...


The car was tied up like a Christmas present where only the two front doors could open or else everything would spill out the back doors. Being in an overstuffed car wasn’t the problem; it was being the ‘extra’ car, whose job it was to ensure the first car didn’t come unwrapped on the highway. It was July; a little too early for Santa anyway.

No matter how many knots and tricks we learned over the years to tie up the car, something would eventually wiggle loose and we’d have to pull over and readjust. Having to stop every couple hours wasn’t the problem either.

What was the problem? While the first car was listening to music too loudly to hear their cell phone being rung by the second car, a kayak soared off the roof of the car while on the highway. Heading at that second car at 75mph. That’s a journey I’d really rather prefer to not repeat.

Unfortunately, it happened it again. Not to say we don’t learn, but well, we don’t learn. We still packed a lot, probably more, and we still tied everything up. But wind is a powerful thing and can tear about and slowly weaken any knot it feels like. Mother Nature can do what she wants.

Including having the straps come undone and a (packed) water trampoline fall off the back of a trailer, causing everyone to swerve around it because there was no way over it. (Then there was the fun of dodging into traffic to get it because we weren’t leaving thousands of dollars in the middle of the highway.)


Don’t Travel the Road Iced

Minnesota is the state you want to live in if you want to learn to survive hardcore winter weather driving. Whether it’s -50 windchill or 5 foot snow drift that turns 4 lanes into 1, Minnesota prepares you. Or so you think.


Don't travel the road iced...


Not far from our little house in the Minnesota prairie (which was not too far too from the twin cities), there was a hill that’s surrounded by farms and catches wicked snowdrift. Often it was hard to tell whether you were on the road or not, and if you were on the road you were probably in the middle of both lanes. Needless to say, it was an awful road to be commuting on. Especially going home, because at the bottom of the hill was an intersection where you turned for our subdivision.

One day, the hill didn’t seem so bad. The lanes were cleared which meant by default we had -50 windchill (because you always at least have one bad weather factor in Minnesota) but overall traffic on the hill was fine. Still, I went a little slower, but going ‘slow’ wasn’t enough. Ice decided to hide itself so I slid right through the intersection and into a goosh of slush that slid me into a snowbank. While no one was hurt and my car easily plowed out the snow, it wasn’t a journey I wanted to repeat.

But like I said, we don’t always learn.  Because while one of my first thoughts when I arrived safely in my heated garage was ‘I should probably text my mom so she knows to go even slower’ I forgot. She slid through it and into the goosh. She thought ‘I should probably text Don so he knows to go even slower.’ She forgot. And he slid through it and into the goosh too. He told my mom what happened and we all thought ‘we should text dad so he knows to go even slower.’ Three times, and we still didn’t learn because we forgot.

Lo and behold, the fourth member of our family slid through the intersection as well. That journey we decided was so great, we let all of us experience it, and thankfully survived it without anyone spinning out or hitting another car. Still, I’d prefer to not hit black ice.


Don’t Travel the Road Empty

Breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day. While I may be physically awake, my stomach is still sleeping. Putting food it in when it’s snoozing can be painful, so often I skip eating till my stomach gurgles and yells ‘feed me’ for everyone to hear.

Unfortunately, when my stomach does wake up it’s not always convenient timing. When you just got on the highway for a 7 hour road trip, getting off to feed me is not important. Even when I was 8 years old. That meant I was forced to eat whatever snacks we had for the ride – like twizzlers. Candy for breakfast, heck yeah! Every 8 year old’s dream.


Don't travel the road empty...

Flickr cc: carbonnyc


My brother thought it was a good idea too, but his friend, who sat between us, was a breakfast eater and passed. Luckily for him. In some respects.

The motion of the car, lack of real food, and the sweetness of the candy rumbled in both my brother’s and I’s stomach till we puked. (That got us off the highway!) We surrounded my brother’s friend in a lava of puke and ruined my dad’s new car. (That’s one way to get rid of new car smell….)

Nothing could rid of the sugary-smelling vomit lingering in the air when we finally got back on the road (and real food in our bellies). It probably didn’t help that my parents missed cleaning bits of puke and they ended up drying to the seat, looking like melted crayon.

None of us could wait for that journey to end, and you better your bottom dollar that my parents forced us to eat real food before the trip home. (Sometimes we do learn!!)




Sometimes it’s okay to be more of a destination than a journey person, especially if you’ve ever traveled in a situation like mine.


What roads do you not feel like traveling?



Brianna Krueger is the Chief Editor of Wandering Educators




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