Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Road Trip" Ivy Pochoda

Also in the Sixth issue of Canteen, this prose piece by Ivy Pochoda, titled "Road Trip" was a quick but fascinating read. It details the author's first experience of a road trip, fifteen years ago. There were no Google Maps back then so, naturally, she got lost on multiple occasions. However, she claims that these mishaps only added to her experience, and as a result of technology, people now miss out on the unexpected things that used to happen and what really made a road trip great.
She states that "road trips are no longer adventures among colorful kitsch...but attempts to satisfy nostalgia for the trip itself." Also, that "the road trip has ceased to be a journey into the relatively uknown, but a reconfiguration of information pregathered and presorted, plotted and preordained. I definitely agree with this point, especially coming from a family in which my dad essentially made an itinerary for every trip we've ever gone on, looking up the best restaurants, hotels, and historically relevant monuments. This piece makes me want to just get in my car and drive, not knowing where the road will take me, and not caring where it does.
-Julie Kelly


Popped said...
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Popped said...

I generally agree with you Julie that it might be fun to just get in a car and drive, but this story reminds me of one my mom used to tell us. She was five when her family went on a road trip and she sat in the middle the entire time and read the maps. They were better than printing out google Map instructions because if you had to make a detour you could just look at the map and find another way. So I guess I'm pointing out that just because there wasn't always Google Maps, doesn't mean there weren't maps that people used to plan their road trips, and perhaps we just idealize those road trips now.

amra said...

I think it's really sad that we live in a time where it's almost impossible to get lost. Some of the best things happen when we make mistakes.

Popped said...

I agree with Averill and Amra, though the mention of Google Maps reminds me of a funny story. A few years ago, a couple of my high school friends were having a get-together in CT. Kevin, our friend who was hosting us, gave us the address to his house but didn't realize that his neighborhood was so new, that MapQuest/Google Maps hadn't charted it yet. For about three hours, he got calls from all ten of us circling the same streets over and over, and he had to direct us one by one to his house which, according to MapQuest, did not exist. While Google Maps/Map Quest have changed road trips in many ways, it opens up the amusing and frustrating concept of the Black Hole. I still think it's possible to have that fun road trip experience, and technology, while accurate for the most part, can get us just as lost (or in my case, I just get lost in general.)
---Jen G.

Popped said...

This summer I had to drive down to Atlanta on a deadline. I had printouts from Google Maps, a GPS, and a map of the United States with details of each state. I still got lost, especially once I reached and started driving around Atlanta. Maybe it's just me, but having all that backup actually allowed me to relax and watch the world go by, because I could look around while watching for the next road sign instead of desperately trying to find a place to pull over and peruse my maps.

I guess overall, though, I've never just gone on a road trip. The main point has always been to get from point A to point B, just watching for the attractions signs to see if there's anything we just feel like stopping to see or do. The only times we really drive just to drive is to see the holiday lights each year. This article makes me wonder if I'm missing out on something!

--Sarah Lawrence