Roadtrip Essentials

One of my most favorite things to do, since I moved stateside, are roadtrips! Recently, we embarked on a 10 hour drive from northern California to North Bend, Oregon. We started our journey at 6:30AM, made five stops along the way, and arrived at our destination just a few minutes before 6PM. The MVP (Most Valuable Passenger) has got to be the driver! In our case, it was the hubby who took on the challenge and agreed to do the entire drive himself. He was a champ throughout because I was expecting him to pass me the keys at least once, but he took his responsibility seriously and embraced it. Granted, his dad was with us, for the first time ever, and maybe this compelled him to be the pilot at all times. Whatever the reason, I was glad he did it and he did a great job at it. While he was driving, I thought it would be nice to put together a list of essentials for our next road trip…so here it is!

  • SNACKS AND WATER. Eventually, you’d get thirsty or its Who-Knows-How-Many miles until the next store, restaurant, or fast food joint…and you are Starving and Hangry…snacks and water or other beverages will be a lifesaver!
  • A GREAT PLAYLIST. What’s a road trip without rockin out?
  • DRAMAMINE. Windy roads make me so dizzy and nauseous that dramamine is a close companion of mine during road trips.
  • A WARM BLANKET. Something to keep you wrapped up and cozy for those cat naps.
  • FIRST AID KIT. You hope to never use it. 🙂
  • MAP or G.P.S. Has anyone embarked on a roadtrip without a map, G.P.S., or their phone with Waze? Sadly, I’d never make it to my destination without my phone,
  • PHONE CHARGER. Using Maps or other apps on the phone will drain your battery fast, so be sure to have a car charger set up and ready to plug your phone in before its completely dead.

Also, because it Covid-times, I always carry hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, disposable masks in my bag or glove compartment. What are your roadtrip essentials? And why?

Guam to California. Lesson #1: Freeways

I decided to have a special feature on the blog every first Thursday of the month. This feature will be called Guam to California. I will be sharing personal experiences and lessons I’ve learned since leaving the rock (Guam.)

This month’s lesson is about freeways.

Prior to moving to California, I drove on two major roads from age 16-24. Those two roads were Marine Drive and Route 16. I always thought that the speed limit was 55mph but discovered recently that it was only 45mph. Oops! That is the fastest speed on island, legally. Majority of the roads on island have speed limits of 35mph or 15mph in residential areas.

So, when I moved to California I was excited to drive at the normal rate I was already going…(65mph +) and to be able to do that without feeling guilty.

The confusing part was finding out if I was going North, South, East, or West.

For two years, I was dependent on my GPS because of that. I only stopped using my GPS because it got stolen…but looking back, i’m kinda glad that happened because I was then forced to learn the roads and remember them.

I have a few funny stories about driving here in California. One day, I was heading to a meeting, and called my uncle because it was my very first time driving without him or anyone else, I wasn’t sure if I had to take 5 north or 5 south. He wasn’t answering and the exits were coming up quickly and so I just decided, on a whim, to take 5 south. So as I was exiting, he called back and he told me 5 north. So fortunately for me, I was still on the on-ramp, and I just continued on to the off-ramp and took the northbound freeway.  I made a complete circle. I felt like an idiot after that. Lol.

Another evening, I was driving back home and one of my girlfriends called me, to make sure I made it home safely. But, because I was still on the road, my GPS was giving me directions to exit and she heard the GPS speaking…she started laughing because I have been living in that studio for almost a year but still needed a GPS to give me directions to get home. Yup, that was me!

Another thing about freeways, are CARPOOL or HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes! They are amazing! Some carpool lanes require only two passengers, others a minimum of three. Carpool lanes are meant to encourage people to carpool so that there are less cars on the freeway and/or to buy/lease a low or zero emission vehicle. According to ca.gov:  “As of April 8, 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued the 63,255 Green Clean Air Vehicle decals. The maximum number of decals available is 70,000.” 

I say carpool lanes are amazing because you get by through traffic much quicker than the other lanes on most days. However, most carpool lanes are in effect only during certain hours, so before or after those hours, anyone can use those lanes.

So, as you can see…I’ve garnered more roads, highways, and mileage (and some tickets..ahem!) under my belt compared to when I was 24. And because of that, I feel that driving on Guam is WAY too EASY.

Hope you got a kick out of reading about my experiences on freeways. Happy and Safe Driving!