All posts tagged: Road Trip

The 3 Things You Need to Be a Vanner

Ashlie Atkinson outside the log cabin van (Photo: Leon Chase) Our vacation home has four wheels. And no bathroom. It’s not all that nice to look at. There’s not a lot in the way of furniture. But we have had some of the best times of our relationship in it. And we are just one couple of many. We call ourselves “Vanners.” Though local events started cropping up in the decade prior, the first National Truck-In was held in 1973, bringing together members of the custom-van subculture — a crew that would hold together through schism, aging, tragedy, astronomical gas prices and countless rounds of Bucket (a devastatingly yummy alcoholic brew passed around in a wooden bucket for all to drink; that’s the short explanation, anyway). For the past six years, my fiancé and I have fought our demanding schedules in Brooklyn so we can get away from city life and hang out with these rebellious, warm-hearted, frequently intoxicated friends, soaking up as much of their attitude as possible. Yes, we’re camping with electricity supplied by …

A Globetrotting Romance

(Graphic: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight.com) My marriage splintered after just five months when I discovered my husband deemed free trips to Miami and New Orleans a nuisance. He loathed travel, preferring to burrow into the earth in one place. I grew up believing divorce was a sin, but my need to traipse across every inch of the earth was stronger. After my divorce, I medicated myself with travel. I wanted a man who shared my odd sense of humor, was smart but kind, didn’t want kids and had the contradictory quality of loving intense travel yet having a home base. I was sure he didn’t exist. After seven years alone, I finally decided that Maddie, a little black lab, was the real love of my life. She loved road trips. The solitude of the open road has always rearranged my cells in a way I can’t pass up, so on a recent trip, I went to Portland. For the past year, I’d been tweeting with Lourens, a guy who was living there temporarily. When he learned I was in town, he …

My Year Driving Solo: Navigating the Road Back to Me

(Graphic: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight.com) With visions of Thelma and Louise in my head, and without the driving-off-into-oblivion part, I dreamed of taking an extended road trip. After some Internet searching and a few trips out of the city, I found and bought an RV from a retired couple based in Northern Virginia. Five-thousand dollars changed my life. In September of 2000, I left New York City in an old RV with my two Chihuahuas and spent the next year living on the road. The RV was my ride out of the high stress and low reward of living life in the city, of endless days of loneliness hanging over me, of anxiety filling me up like a storm. Driving away was my escape from a 10-year, going nowhere relationship where I’d lost myself and couldn’t recognize the nearly invisible woman staring back at me whenever I looked in a mirror. One week into my journey, while driving south out of Maine on I-95, the Apache’s engine turned from a roar into an angry scream. I knew …

Drive-Thru World: A Never-Get-Out-Of-Your-Car Road Trip

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published in the Philadelphia City Paper in 1993. Caveat: we were four snarky 20-somethings spending the day in the car in Philly and New Jersey. Since then, Six Flags Great Adventure no longer has the drive-thru Wild Safari, MAC machines are called ATMs, there are cell phones and Shelly and Roderik are still married. A few edits have been made for clarity and brevity — this sucker was long.  Three friends and I — Dave, Shelly and Roderik — decided to seek out all the things you can still do, in and around Philadelphia, without getting out of our car. It should be noted that one of our participants, Roderik, is a native of Holland, where they don’t do drive-thru. “It’s a very American thing,” he informed us. For entertainment in those dull moments of highway ennui, we brought Star’s special issue: Inside the FBI Secret Files, a Yes & Know trivia book with secret decoder pen, a Bugs Bunny magic slate (the kind that erases what you’ve drawn …

Margit’s Note: Pull Up to the Bumper, Baby

A glint of sun warms our forearms and we’re ready for a road trip! Top down (as if), pop in the mix tape, er put on ‘80s on 8, and let’s tool around town. Except you’re driving, because I don’t drive. I mean, I have my license, I know how to drive, I just don’t really do it, or like it, or have much occasion to get behind a wheel. Typical New Yorker. We subway, cab, occasionally bike (although those are generally tourists from Holland on that Citi Bike) and we walk a lot. This confuses people who don’t live here. A kid cousin of my husband’s once asked us, “You guys don’t have a car? Are you poor?” We don’t need a car, and that’s a beautiful thing. But I can still appreciate a good road trip — with the right, one-armed snacks and the right friends and of course the right playlist. Everything sounds better in a car. For a story in the early ‘90s. I once spent the entire day in the …

The Real Trick Is to Ask a Friend for Help

It was early 1993, in my last few months of college, and my plan to become a Famous Actress Who Would Change the World With Her Talent was knocking it out of the park. I had just returned from a thrilling trip to New York City, where I’d auditioned for and won a spot at my first choice graduate school. I had also managed to score the lead in my first paid acting gig. In Omaha. Now all I had to do was graduate a few weeks early and get myself to Nebraska in time for the first rehearsal. I talked to my professors and made up an accelerated schedule to graduate. It would be fast and furious, and I would miss all the celebrations with my friends, but I would be rewarded; my mom bought me a used car from a family friend, and I would road trip it to Omaha. Artists road trip you know, and I was an artist. One problem: I didn’t have a driver’s license. I don’t trust people who …