Nicole Paulhus
July 03, 2013 8:00 am

Happy 4th of July! This weekend, in honor Amurrica, I will be going on an eight hour road trip with thirteen of my closest friends. Even though I know it’s going to be a great trip, this week has been full of questions and anxious email chains. Who’s driving? What are we doing for food? Exactly how illegal are fireworks? You get the picture. I’m sure everything will go perfectly smooth once we get there, but the whole getting there part still makes me nervous.

Thus, here are ten reasons why road trips make me nervous.

1. Who Drives?

I don’t do well driving with other people in my car. I get too caught up interacting with them that I miss turns, go way too fast or hit parked cars, etc. While I hate being the person who’s all “not it!” to driving, it’s really in everyone’s best interest that I don’t. This trip I’ve volunteered my car under the stipulation that I never have to drive it. Everybody wins! Well, sorta.

2. Playlist Panic

Music on long road trips is KEY. No matter how great of friends you are, eight hours is too many hours to be alone without jams and nothing brings people together quite like car singing. The problem here is how do you make a playlist that pleases everyone? We’ve put my friend Nate in charge of playlist production. We’ll see how he does. If there isn’t any Miley on that pod, I’m walkin’.

3. Snackage

I must have starved to death in a past life, because I am constantly nervous that I’m not going to have enough food. Every time I end up packing too much and getting sick, but that doesn’t stop my panic as I get into the car worrying about rationing granola bars and fruit snacks.

4. Having To Pee

I have the world’s tiniest bladder, making me the world’s worst people to road trip with. I try to hold off on my fluid intake and hold it until someone else has to go, but I’m always the one who is about to burst at the seams and needs to stop ASAP. I hate being the annoying one in the group, but hey ya gotta go when ya gotta go.

5. Sleeping Passengers

I cannot sleep in cars, so it really bothers me when other people fall asleep during a road trip. Everyone else has to be quiet and courteous and the time goes by so much slower. During a road trip a few years ago this one girl fell asleep on top of me and no matter how many times I forcefully shoved her off, she kept tipping on back. It was awful. We’re no longer friends.

6. Car Sickness

I don’t get car sick. I can read, write and do arithmetic in a moving vehicle. However, I do get “watching people get car sick” sickness. Watching someone vomit churns my stomach immediately. I know it’s not your fault if you get car sick, but I’d just prefer to not be trapped in a moving metal box with you while it’s happening.

7. Complainers

I am currently writing an article complaining about road trips. The irony of that is not lost on me. However, while actually in the vehicle and on the road trip, I keep my complaints to myself. What’s the point in complaining? It’s not going to get us there any faster. Complainers drive me bananas. Shut up and play a round of Car Bingo.

8. Traffic

When I have a number in my head of how long a trip is going to take it seems doable. Eight hours? I’ve done LOST marathons longer than that! Easy peasy, no problemo. Then, when we hit even the smallest patch of traffic and that number starts to go up, everything turns to crap. I was mentally prepared for eight, not nine or nine and a half. Had I known it was going to take this long I would have rationed my granola bars more carefully! I start to get desperate and panicky and contemplate teleportation.

9. Running Out of Gas

While I’m proud to report that I’ve never run out of gas, I have almost run out of gas many times. I always assume there will be another gas station between me and my tank hitting empty. I’ve skidded into my fair share of Shells running on fumes. It’s dumb, but it seems to happen every time and it makes me very nervous.

10. Dead Zones

From my experience, dead zones usually coincide with unpopulated areas. Meaning, if your car breaks down in a dead zone, there’s probably not a huge chance there will be a gas station within walking distance. This is the stuff horror movies are made from. I can’t even handle watching horror movies, let alone living them! I still have nightmares that a killer is hiding in my back seat after watching ten minutes of Urban Legend in sixth grade!

Feature Image found via favim.com

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