Drivecations & Memories!
“Roads were meant for journeys, not destinations!”
For most people, drivecations or self drive holidays would be terrific remembrances as children with their parents. Being kids, sitting in the backseat of the car and taking long drives to unknown destinations, stopping en route at multiple locations, savoring various snacks, dragging mom to the tiny local toy stores at each eatery for travel time pass goodies like chewing gums, chocolates, chips, and even some toys or cards to play, and parents would gladly oblige because they did not want the kids to get bored and cranky.
As a child, none of this happened to me. My parent’s although avid travelers, did not drive. As a result, we did not own a car nor did we opt for too many driving holidays. It was more of trains and flights. Within the city of Mumbai (then Bombay), it was always the “Kaali Peeli” which was the preferred mode of transport. So the joys of the drives were unknown until I got married.
My husband being a driving enthusiast we started the drivecations as early as our honeymoon. It wasn’t a joy for me then, it was more of unknown territory and I would just be sleeping all thru the journey. So my first few drivecations I don’t even remember much because all I did was sleep like a log all thru the journey.
But a few more trips and then I figured, it was getting boring for the man and I had no escape really from these long drives because we were taking one almost every month & then we had kids – with those devils around there was no way I was getting any sleep. So I adapted to being more vigilant …. Or let’s say discovering the joys of self drive holidays!
Being based out of the Capital, we have a plethora of options to drive around and by nature of work we landed up taking a lot of short breaks to destinations near and far…. Himachal, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Ladakh, Goa, South Africa, Bhutan & so many choices and some we even visited almost half a dozen times!
Earlier there used to be route maps, signage which was followed… or the age-old Indian way of and asking locals…. Stopping by at a shop or asking a vendor which is the right route ahead… Making friendly conversations. All that changed for GPS on our phones.
The arrangements for a long drive, carrying some home-made food for the road, leaving at ungodly hours so as to beat the traffic, followed by the magic that unfolds at Dawn, witnessing the sunrise while driving, multiple stops for delectable food en route, each town has it’s own characteristic and peculiarity in fare, making numerable stops to savor them, finding a local juice vendor right outside the fields, for fruits fresh off the farm and relish a glass of juice right in the middle of the fields.
Passing by small towns, watching the cotton clouds form disparate shapes, running thru the mustard fields, and taking loads of pictures, listening to music, and singing along, each highway has a different landscape to explore …. The joys of eating piping hot fresh food at a Dhaba, the flexibility of being on your own without any timeline to beat… long conversations on life and future, enjoying the journey with your loved ones….. no flight to catch, no agenda on mind… just the car and us!
Drive on…. Make more memories!!!