What do the following songs have in common?
On the Road Again, by Willie Nelson
Counting Stars, by OneRepulic
Blue Suede Shoes, by Elvis Presly
Barracuda, by Heart
Drive My Car, by the Beatles
Truckin’, by the Grateful Dead
Born in the USA, by Bruce Springsteen
Lean on Me, by Bill Winters
Sweet Child O’ Mine, by Guns N’ Roses
The Wolf, by Mumford and Sons
Stronger, by Kanye West
That’s the Way I Like It, by KC & The Sunshine Band
Summertime, by Kenny Chesney
Happy, by Pharrell and
Hot Fun in the Summertime, by Sly and the Family Stone
Give up? All of these songs are songs I have recently heard on a Sirius Satellite Radio called “Road Trip Radio.” This station, just available for the summer, is a collection of songs from multiple genres—country, hip hop, R & B, classic rock, and pop—that all have a driving beat that makes you want to turn up the volume and sing along.
Sirius Radio is offering a free thirty day trial and so I signed up a few weeks. I stumbled upon “Road Trip Radio” on channel 18 the first day of my trial subscription and I’ve been living ever since. I haven’t had the pleasure of going on an actual road trip during this time—like so many others are doing this time of year—but I certainly have enjoyed the good vibe and energy that the station creates in me as I drive around town.
Going on a road trip is an American tradition, something not surprising at all given our love affair with the automobile. The first transcontinental road trip in America took place in 1903. Route 66, begun in 1926 and completely finished in the late 1930’s, became a “ must do” road trip for many Americans. The completion of America’s interstate highway system meant that long distance road trips were then possible for anyone with a car.
While most people who go on a road trip have a destination in mind, perhaps a tourist attraction, a national park, or to visit friends or family, the actual road trip itself is often an important part of the fun. Experiencing the freedom of the open road while driving with the windows down and the music turned up loud is often as much fun as arriving at the intended destination.
Can you remember any memorable road trips you have been on in the past? Have you been on a road trip this summer, or are you going on one soon? If so, lucky you! If not, don’t fret. As I have discovered the last few weeks, tuning into the right kind of music, rolling down your windows, turning up the volume and singing along can instantly create that free and easy feeling that one experiences on a road trip.
Road trips are a great experience in and of themselves, but they also provide some great reminders for us about living life. Life is more fun when accompanied by a great sound track. We feel most alive with the windows open and a breeze in our face. Whenever possible, take others along with us to maximize the experience. And most importantly, we are wise to remember that enjoying the journey is sometimes just as important as getting to our destination.