Traveling Alone

There is oneย thing I haven’t mentioned yet in these updates about Christmas in January with my family… Christopher wasn’t there. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ This was the first time in a really, really long time that we have been apart during a family Christmas (even though it was the end of January, it still felt like Christmas because we were all together and celebrating). Even before we were married we were spending Christmases together so this was the strangest feeling. To be with family, celebrating together, doing our traditional things… but to have my favorite person absent. It was certainly bittersweet.

rae and chris2005Us in 2005 at our very first family Christmas together – after we’d been dating a little over a year. (We didn’t spend our first Christmas together in 2004 because I went back to China to see my family and that was a bit far for him to travel with his girlfriend of 3 months ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

I sent him as many updates and photos (especially of the kids opening their gifts) as I could over the weekend to help him feel more involved. But he was pretty bummed to not be there. He loves my family. Like, really loves them. And he hated missing out on Christmas with them. But it’s just the busiest time of year for him right now. While we were celebrating Christmas this past Saturday he was at the office all day. It was a hard decision for him to make because he stands by the fact that family comes before work. He’s always sayingย that he “works to live, not lives to work”. He’d never miss out on a December 25th Christmas gathering, but this was such a gray area.ย  If it weren’t for the fact that he just saw most of my family over new years and will see Abby soon (she’s coming to Memphis, YAY!), then he definitely would’ve figured something out with his boss. But as it was… he ended up staying behind in Memphis to work while I traveled to Alabama.

drivin2The sky on the drive home this past Sunday. Gorgeous. ๐Ÿ™‚

drivinCruisin’. ๐Ÿ™‚ {For those concerned about my safety during this photo:ย I had my phone set up on my dashboard acting as a GPS (and in easy reach as I changed my playlist). So I pressed the 5 second timer button on my camera and badabing, took a selfie with my eyes still on the road. ๐Ÿ˜‰ }

ย This was my first ever road trip by myself. 7 hours in a car on my own. All my college road trips were with friends and I got married just after I graduated so Christopher has been my travel buddy since then. I hadn’t thought much about it, but it’s true – I’d never driven anywhere on my own (flown? Yes, plenty, but not driven). To be honest, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I thought I’d be bored out of my mind and have trouble staying awake, but I really didn’t. I had a pretty fabulous peppy playlistย (lots of boybands. lots.of.boybands and t.swift!) that kept me energized and singing at the top of my lungs. And then I had family calling to check in on me and to chat. And then a sweet friend who kept me company over the phone for the last hour and a half of my drive down there. ๐Ÿ™‚ So the drive both there and back wasn’t bad at all. I definitely prefer to travel with company, but it’s good to know that I’m grown up enough (at 27 years old, ha!) to go on a road trip by myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

How old were you when you drove a long distance (let’s say over 2 hours) by yourself for the first time?ย Am I the only one who managed to make it to my late 20sย without driving by myself? haha!

Any favorite bands/artists that always make your road trip playlist?
Love Rach


32 responses to “Traveling Alone

  1. I’ve definitely made some 3-hour trips to Texas by myself. I think the longest I’ve driven myself is 5 hours to Kansas City. It’s not necessarily weird that you haven’t done it yet! Unless I’m super tired, I don’t at all mind driving by myself. I just turn on my podcasts and enjoy the quiet ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh, I’m sorry Christopher didn’t make it to the family Christmas in January!!! I bet he was sad to miss it too…But, I’m glad you two did get plenty of family time throughout the holiday season!

    I think it’s sweet that you’ve been in each others’ lives for so long! That is really special!

    I almost always have people in the car with me when I travel, but occasionally, I do travel by myself. I’m not sure when my first long trip happened…I’m going to guess 19, maybe?!? My tricks are to have a drink and some nuts to snack on and a great playlist. I usually flip backand forth between rap and something I can sing to. I always love listening to sermons because then it feels like I’m having a conversation.

  3. So sad that Christopher didn’t get to have Christmas celebration fun with your family but that’s nice that you sent him a lot of pictures. I love listening to boy bands and peppy singers like T-Swift when I drive. Singing out loud at the top of my lungs is one of my favorite driving pastimes. ๐Ÿ™‚
    My first long roadtrip flying solo was probably August of 2003 when I was 18 and drove my parent’s truck from Tucumcari, NM to Stillwater, OK (6.5 hours) for a pre-college leadership conference. I got a little lost in OKC (went south on I-35 instead of going north!) but overall it was a smooth trip.

  4. That picture of you two is adorable!!!! When does abby come in?!

  5. I was probably 18 or so when I did that for the first time, but was definitely well into my 20s before I saw it as an opportunity, not a burden. Now I LOVE solo road (and air) trips. It’s hard not to have the person you want to be with there though!

  6. Oh that’s so tough! This past summer, I went on a mini-vacay with my parents and sister, while Nate had to stay back home. And although I had fun, I really struggled wth leaving him behind! (Like you, I sent him lots of texts and pictures)!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Also, that was my first time driving a long distance by myself as well (about 4 hours). AND like you, I listened to lots of boy bands and Taylor Swift to keep me awake and energized. Ha, ha. It was kind of fun, not going to lie. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Oh, and I love the driving selfie! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. So sad that Christopher had to miss out! Justin would have probably been glad to be able to skip a family gathering–haha! (But to be fair, we do see my family a LOT now that we live in the same town.) And that is a REALLY long drive to make by yourself! I did an 8 hour drive once, from North Carolina (where my parents lived at the time) back to Tallahassee for the fall semester. But it didn’t feel like I was by myself because my dad caravanned with me (he needed to have his own car to drive back after helping me move into my dorm) and we used walkie-talkies (haha! This was pre-unlimited-minutes cell phone days) to talk to each other during the drive. I’m glad you made it! I would have needed an audio book or something!

    On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 10:33 AM, wrote:

    > Rach @ This Italian Family posted: “There is one thing I haven’t > mentioned yet in these updates about Christmas in January with my family… > Christopher wasn’t there. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ This was the first time in a really, really > long time that we have been apart during a family Christmas (even though it > w”

  8. So sad that Christopher couldn’t be there with you guys!! But super sweet that he gets along so well with your family ๐Ÿ™‚ You are a rockstar for doing that trip by yourself, girl! And totally not alone in waiting so long for your first solo road tripโ€ฆI’m pretty much in the exact same situation! The longest I’ve ever done on my own is 3 hours, which wasn’t terrible, but any longer would probably have felt like forever!

  9. I haven’t been on a SUPER far road trip alone, but I do enjoy going on 2-3 hr road trips alone. Does that count?? HA.

    • That totally counts! I think an hour and a half was the longest I’d driven by myself before this trip. Well, and the 8 hour drive up from the beach over New Year’s, but we were caravaning so that doesn’t count since I wasn’t totally on my own. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Aww! I know how sad it is to lose time with our sweet hubbies. I’m sorry he missed out, but you did good traveling alone!

  11. Wait your family is in Alabama? May I ask here? I have family in both Huntsville & Birmingham.

    • Neat! You’ll have to let me know if you’re ever in the area – I’d love to meet you and those little girls of yours! ๐Ÿ™‚ My sister’s family lives in Mobile and my parents live close by there as well. They’re about 30-45 minutes from the beach which is definitely a perk. ๐Ÿ™‚ My parents moved to Alabama during my sophomore year of college when they came back to the States. So weirdly a lot of my family lives there, but I’ve never actually lived there. I even had an Alabama driver’s license in college because that’s where my “home” address was (because my parents lived there). Alabama is a lot of fun! We are there at least a couple of times a year to visit family. ๐Ÿ™‚ โ€‹

  12. I was driving alone on road trips from the moment i passed my test, I just loved it! And i was always the designated driver when I went on road trips with the girls. Sorry Christopher couldn’t make it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  13. I don’t really like being away from my husband, but I have been on a few long trips by myself (10 weeks travelling round the U.S) and I loved it. Sometimes some time alone is good.

  14. driving home from college–it was 3.5 hours. i usually followed my boyfriend but we had broken up, so i had to do it alone. the longest alone trip after that was from GA to Charleston. now, i live 5 hours from family so it’s not a big deal at all to drive alone. usually i have charlie. he sleeps in the back so he is not the best driving company! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. solo road trip? that’s one of those things that would make me feel like a true adult pretty gosh darn fast. i’ve never gone more than a few hours on my own, but the prospect seems a little daunting – i love having someone to pull over and explore with. i guess the good thing is you have plenty of time to make phonecalls and catch up with loved ones โค hopefully christopher got lots done at home, too ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Aww, I’m sorry Christopher wasn’t able to be with you and your family during your celebrations. I’m sure that was tough, but thank goodness for technology these days so you can keep in touch!

    I haven’t been on a road trip by myself.. yet?! I feel like you thoight you would feel… I would have trouble staying awake/would be bored. I guess the key is a good playlist!

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