2 Days: Road Trip from the Sunshine State to the Big Apple

Written by:

Aynari Garcia

“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Looking at my Maps app today, it takes 17 hours and 22 minutes to drive from south Florida to New York, not including stopping for food, gas, or bathroom breaks. In that time, you can pass 9 states, and travel about 1,250 miles. That expanse of land is something I had a slight awareness of at the time since I’d only ever flown to New York before then. When my parents planned that road trip 7 years ago, I was scared of what being stuck in a car for the majority of the trip would be like. I really did not know what to expect.

At first, everyone did what they could to keep themselves busy. My parents had the radio on to the music they wanted to listen to. My sisters and I were watching a movie (greatest movie of all time The Cat in the Hat, if you were wondering) on our portable DVD player. When my parents had the radio on a little too loud, I would put the movie’s volume up and cause a squabble about who needed to turn theirs down. When we were done with the movie, we would either nap or put in our headphones and listen to music on our own, staring out the window with blank eyes at our moving surroundings.

Wide open road on a cloudy day

It didn’t take too long for me to start to appreciate the land we were travelling on. My wandering eyes were always searching for the “Now Entering” or “Now Leaving” signs to make silent greetings and farewells to each state we passed. (I learned early on to keep them ‘silent’ since I made the mistake of vocalizing my second farewell in Georgia. My sisters still mock me about it to this day.)

Slowly and surely (around South Carolina) my sisters started warming up talking to each other instead of trying to make the time pass by with movies and sleep. Much to my chagrin, it started out with making fun of me about my goodbye to Georgia, but we eventually got to just talking and playing games like “I Spy” and “Word Association”. Eventually, our parents joined in on the gameplay. This made the second day of driving all that more engaging as we kept up with our games; instead of passively being in each other’s company on the drive, we were actively beginning to enjoy our time together – an enriching prelude to our vacation in New York.

Skyline of NYC on a beautiful cloudy day

A road trip with family can create a nice, healthy bonding experience for everyone involved. For me, taking flights makes one lose sight of all the space that lies between each destination, or the lost potential of a journey. Now, all the space between Florida and New York is now filled with loving memories of me and my family, together.

At the time, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself at all being in a car all that time. In hindsight, I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. 

Let us know about any special experiences you’ve had on a road trip!

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