There are 30,800 fatal car crashes in america annually. Yet, cars to me were not really something I feared, but rather a place of comfort and adventure. As a little kid curled up in my usual seat behind my mother, road trips were full of “grammy nominee” CDs and anticipation to reach the destination. Battling the seat buckle for a comfortable position, I could watch the world pass by me, my window opening a porthole of curiosity about the individuality of each place we drove by and when the next snack break would be, all narrated by my parents chatting and my siblings’ snoring. The infinitely long annual trek to northern Vermont to see my grandparents gave me plenty of time to ask a thousand questions ranging from “Do you think Mimi will make meatballs?” to “When will my cousins be there?” I was incredibly excited about what would happen when we arrived, what my family would do, the new ice cream place we would discover, and the memories we’d make.
This kind of excitement was often found in the back-seat, whether it be on the way to Nationals or a tiny theatre competition in rural Virginia (a part of my home state unfamiliar to me) or even just driving 10 minutes through our nation's capitol and peaking at the various monuments along the way. Departing from Virginia to go to Athens, Georgia in August felt weirdly similar to all of these road-trips that filled my childhood. The car was jammed, a grammy nominees CD was playing and my head was full of questions. I sat in the backseat wondering what in the world a Zaxby’s was and if my roommate would be awaiting my arrival when I would get there. I wondered about the memories I’d make in the supposed “best four years of my life”. It was an 10 hour quest to let my curiosity boil and lose another battle to the seat buckle of frustration. However, I must admit that the best part of any road-trip is climbing out of the car at the end and stretching your legs.