Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Wonder Friend. Wonder Friend Wonders, “Have You Ever Been on a Road Trip?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Wonder Friend!
Woo hoo! It's time to hit the open road. Jump on into the Wonderopolis convertible and let's get a move on. We have places to go and things to do and people to meet. It's going to be a wild ride, so hang on!
What are we talking about? We're talking about that fabled American tradition known as the road trip. No, it's not just a vacation. It's not just going to Grandma's house. It's so much more than that.
When you go on vacation, you might fly on an airplane. Or you could take a boat. You might even drive. But the point is that you're going to one particular place and you have a desire to get there as quickly as possible. You have a destination in mind, and the journey to get there is just something you have to do to get from Point A to Point B.
When it comes to a road trip, though, your journey is the destination. Sure, you might have an ultimate place in mind where you will end your travels, but getting to that place is not a task. In fact, on a road trip, it's all about the getting there. It's all about the journey.
Road trips require a vehicle of some sort. What kind of vehicle? Well, that depends upon you and what type of road trip you want to take. A road trip implies that you'll be traveling on roads, obviously. So whatever vehicle you choose to ride on the open road is fine.
Some people like to go on a road trip in a small car with just one buddy along for the ride. Others might prefer to hit the road alone on a motorcycle. Still others might pile into a minivan with a half-dozen of their best friends for the trip of a lifetime.
Road trips are all about seeing the countryside between your origin and your final destination. They're about taking your time and enjoying the journey. Their focus is on quality time with friends or family members as you all experience new places, people, and things.
A highlight of a road trip might be stopping in an out-of-the-way town to see what someone believes is the world's largest ball of string. Or it could be eating at a small diner in the middle of nowhere and discovering the best piece of homemade apple pie you've ever tasted.
Road trips are about seeing as much of the world around you as you can. On a road trip, you don't need to plan or map out every single detail of your trip. You want to leave room for whimsy to wreak havoc with your schedule. If someone sees a roadside billboard advertising an alligator farm, you want to have the flexibility to live in the moment and stop to make memories you'll have for a lifetime.
Road trips have a long history. The world's first ever road trip by automobile may have taken place in Germany in 1888, when Bertha Benz traveled over 60 miles in an experimental motor car with a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour.
Today, road trips have become an iconic part of American pop culture. College students look forward to road trips with friends. Modern-day explorers of all ages look forward to long drives to explore areas of the country they've never seen before, often using historic highways, such as Route 66. Many people set out each year to drive from one coast to the other, seeing as much of the country as they can along the way.
Modern technology helps today's road trip enthusiasts make the most of their time on the road. Global positioning system (GPS) devices help them map out their journeys. Smartphones allow Internet access while on the road, so travelers can look up nearby attractions that they don't want to miss. In-vehicle audio and video systems help travelers enjoy their time on the road, as they listen to their favorite music and even watch their favorite movies.