Well I haven’t had one of these in years now. My recipe for a perfect road trip would be a great car (my husband’s Verna would do), lovely location and interesting companions. My idea of a perfect location would be somewhere cold. Not bone chilling cold but pleasantly cold like Kerala in monsoon, Ooty or Kodai would also do. But first let me put down my views about certain things that I wouldn't do or want to do while on a road trip. And here they are -
The first thing that I would ask anybody who would want to come along would be, “Do you get sick on the road?” I do get a lot of funny looks over this one but I would still persist. That’s because when my sister recently took a road trip (was supposed to be romantic) to Munnar with her husband, and it spoilt a well-planned romantic trip. No they were not sick themselves but they agreed to drop a relative from one point to another. Sadly the person was prone to car sickness and my brother-in-law had to stop the car every ten minutes so that she can puke. And thus they covered, quite a bit of road and arrived very late at the said destination, which resulted in change of plans and sharing of rooms with senile snoring relatives. That’s because by the end of the day, my sister (hardened traveller if there was any) was feeling pukish too! So much for a romantic road trip!
Now that we have sorted out issue of ‘puke’ I would make sure that we have something to eat while-on-the-go. That ‘something’ would definitely not be oil laced, carbo rich but something light, mild, appetizing and most importantly homemade. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have minded eating out anywhere but for a trip that my uncle’s family took to Ooty to see the famous flower show. I remember being out of sorts the whole day, because I was tied up with work and couldn’t travel. But now I thank my stars that I didn't! They had an unsuspecting plate of vadai and sambhar at a restaurant (that worked better than any clinical enema available in the market), and arrived at Ooty sick. And according to my cousin, the only flower they eventually saw was the one drawn on the odonil pack in the toilet. Yuck. So to cut a long story short, we will carry homemade food at least for the first leg of the journey.
Forget about food, all that a perfect road trip requires is music. Long journeys in the car are incomplete without some music. So I have my Sting, AR Rahman and my husband has his collection of Illayaraja and Pink Flyod. And one important thing that I always remind him was to check is the music player, radio for travel fitness. That’s because of a cousin of mine, took a road trip on a borrowed car. It was his friend's brother’s who had recently returned from US after discovering religion. And sadly they didn’t check the music player before starting out. Armed with loads of mp3 (there was no USB port then) they tried to put in the CD but it was stuck and the existing CD wouldn’t get out. So they decided to wait until the CD ran its course. And for the next three hours, he had to sit through the discourse of a babaji who urged them to renounce their wayward life while the boys opened up their beers and tried to widen their horizon. Needless to say they enjoyed it but I wasn’t taking any risk.
Next to music, the best thing about road trips is having a great companion to share the burden of driving, enjoy the sights, share funny anecdotes. Ah! Anecdotes. A friend of mine took an impromptu trip to Bangalore with another friend of his in his brand new car. After making sure that his flashy new car license is still in its place, they embarked on their maiden highway voyage. A small road trip to Bangalore. Even before they could step out, his mother called him and entreated him to pick up a distant relative who wants to rush to Bangalore for some reason but got no tickets. Well our friend, couldn’t ignore a request (command) from his mother and they picked him up. The journey began well… until the uncle opened his mouth. He was a doctor in the government hospital and his choice of subject was highway accidents and their victims, how they looked when they came to hospital and what happened thereafter. Our friend was a good driver, just as marina murthy himself had certified but as the anecdotes went on, the speed limit kept reducing and they reached Bangalore quite late!
Oh! I could just go on! Anyway I think I have made my points well just as Mr. Collins went about his proposal to Elizabeth. So allow me to recap. Good car, good music player, home-made oil free food and good companions. There that’s my Perfect Road Trip.