Ever since I moved back to the States after living in England for nearly three years I’ve dreaded long road trips. I didn’t used to be that way. I used not to think twice about driving for an hour or two for a day trip, and then another two hours to come home. One thing I noticed in England was how a lot of Brits consider anything over thirty minutes and unbearably long car journey. Compare that with Americans, many of whom commute at least that much to work every day. (Thirty minutes is the average work commute time for Atlantans, fyi). Well, nowadays I find myself very much in the British camp. Anything over thirty minutes really is unbearable. I got too used to trains and buses so that now, if I have to drive, I feel like I’m missing out on precious reading time.
But Luke and I have a secret for getting through long road trips….would you like to hear it?
We download tons of This American Life episodes and listen to them back to back. Seriously! Have you ever listened to TAL? First of all, Ira Glass’s storytelling voice is mesmerizing. Secondly, each episode is an hour long, so it makes the trip go by quickly, and thirdly, the stories are seriously, conversation-provoking compelling, so you’re hardly aware of your legs cramping up.
So now when we know we have a long road trip coming up, rather than dreading the drive (which can color our whole visit/trip once we get to our destination), we’re super excited to get our TAL fix.
I thought I’d share some of my favorite episodes:
Have you ever listened to TAL? Are you a fan? What are your tricks for getting through a long road trip?
(Speaking of, I’m so excited to go see Sleepwalk With Me, which Glass produced and which stars Mike Brabiglia, a hilarious comedian who routinely appears on the radio show. Have you seen it? Will you?)
(Photo by Michael Graydon)