Having a bad day? Hop on I-75 and go south

A few weeks ago, my Monday morning started out a bit normal. I didn’t sleep well as a result of my many sleep disorders, my stomach was in knots, the new-week stresses started to pop up and I had to work– typical college kid stuff.

By the end of the day I was in my car with one of my good friends. I had some clothes stuffed in an old gym bag, my cell phone’s GPS was ready to go, and we were off to Kentucky with about five minutes of planning– typical college kid stuff, right?

So I had a bad day, granted nothing happened too out of the norm. My day-to-day stress had built up to become anxiety, then anger, then an all-out freak-out. I absolutely panicked. I needed a getaway. So, in an instant of irrational decision making I hopped into my car with a few essentials and headed out. To where? Well, I didn’t know. I knew I-75 went for a while, and I wanted to see how far I could go.

My good friend, Andrew, didn’t need to be talked into it. A random road trip with no notice, calling off work the next day, and leaving his hometown in the rearview mirror was apparently enough of a reason. Thanks, buddy.

We had a goal. Well, sort of. It was to go to a town called Metropolis. Yes, like the city in Superman comics. It’s a small place in Illinois where every year they have a Superman convention and a big statue of the Man of Steel. Their newspaper is actually called The Daily Planet. Awesome. But it was over nine hours away, and we backed down and decided to head to Kentucky instead, only about five hours away.

We left with only one goal: don’t follow a schedule. If we make it to Kentucky, great. If not, maybe next time. It was truly releasing. No appointments, meetings or due dates. Just clicking “Cruise,” listening to the radio, and good conversations.

We slept in my car (not a comfy endeavor, I drive a Mustang) in the parking lot of a rest stop just south of Dayton, Ohio. We walked around Cincinnati and ate at a great little restaurant where all they serve are crepes. We hit the Ohio River and looked over to the rolling hills of Kentucky. We made it. Then we turned around and drove home.

It may sound like a trip of mostly driving, and it was, but it was so much more than that. For 24 hours, my biggest responsibility was to drive straight and keep my belly full. I came home less stressed and with even less money– but I can tell you it was well worth it.