Every year for as long as I can remember, I have gone on a summer road trip with my dad. We pack up the car and head out into Europe. The target of our adventure is a changing destination with a very fixed theme.
We run to the sun and find a Grand Prix to watch. It is something both of us love and it gets us a week of just father and son time. We put all of our worries aside and make sure we have a tent in the boot. The car goes via a garage for the safety check and then we hit the road.
The drive is split through a number of stages and we start with the most boring one. Driving around the M25 and heading down the M20 is not one of the routes which will make anyone’s top ten lists. The roads are typically British, they are typical motorways and they are typically normal.
The ferry acts as a physical break between the mundane and the mystical. When we disembark, we are on foreign soil and the adventure has begun. We try our hardest to avoid motorways in Europe, not because they are bad, but because they would make us avoid the real reason we road trip.
We love stopping in a random village, finding a local roadside cafe and sitting with an espresso whilst watching local life go by. You see the retired locals pottering about, the youth making their ways through life and then the everyday actions of the modern professional. Life is different in every single town.
We can drive the back roads for an hour, settle down into the next village and have a relaxing drink. The miles will not clock up very quickly, the car will rarely go above sixty miles-per-hour, but this is the reason we get to chill out and enjoy our road trip.
We are not trying to find the most picturesque roads in Europe, yet we seem to find them every day. We drive under neatly aligned rows of trees, we find the coastal route along the cliff top and we take the road which hugs the outside wall of the ancient castle.
Our route would make a three-year-olds drawing look normal. WE criss-cross our way around the country and somehow, we end up at a race track. The journey being just as much a part of our trip as the race is.
My favourite road trip is not about one road, it is not about one specific trip and it is not even about one car we have driven. My favourite road trip is always the next one I am going to head out on with my dad.
We’re driving to Italy next year and it is going to be full of adventure, coffee and great stories. That will become my favourite road trip, I just know it will.