I just recently returned from a short trip to Chicago, in which I drove there and back (3.5-4 hours each way) in a little more than 24 hours. In the past, I've also driven from Monmouth to Spokane (and back) which consisted of two, 14-hour days in the car (each way). If you're like me, too much time sitting still and too much time alone pushes you to the limits of your sanity. However, I have devised several methods of staying mentally sound on car trips longer than 15 minutes.
1. Sing. Loudly. I'm that person that you see rocking out by herself as you drive past. You can tell that she's doing more than talking into a bluetooth because she's also dancing a little bit (okay, more than a little bit) and drumming on the steering wheel. Some new favorite songs include: "Anything, Anything" by Dramarama, "Another White Dash" by Butterfly Boucher, and "They're On to Me" by Ari Hest.
2. Bug all of your friends. When singing just doesn't do it for me, I put in my bluetooth (I'm a safe driver!) and start bothering all of my friends until I find someone to talk to. I also bug my family until they politely ask me to stop calling or I lose reception.
3. The alphabet game. This is the game you've probably played on family car trips, where you try to find every letter in the alphabet, in order, on road signs. License plates and the sides of trucks don't count. We used to play this on the way back from the lake, and whoever saw the Gonzaga University sign first usually won, as Z was all that was left. It's not as fun to play by yourself, but it keeps you awake and prevents tunnel vision.
4. Try to beat your GPS. My Garmin gives an estimated time of arrival, and I like to try to beat that time. I watch the ETA like a hawk and do a small happy dance every time the time goes down. Of course, when I'm playing this game, I'm usually speeding.
What do you do on car trips?
In other news, I had an interview today and I think it went well! I'll know whether I got the job or not soon...