A Spring Break To Remember
A break from reality, a time to experience new places – spring break is an annual occurrence that everyone longs for. My friends and I sat around the kitchen table tapping our fingers and frantically typing, trying to plan the perfect getaway. With COVID-19 cutting a chunk out of our college experience, we missed the opportunity to study abroad. Soon, we would all be living in different cities working full-time jobs, so it was important to make the best of what little time we had left together.
Nashville had always been on our bucket list of places to see, but we also wanted to see as many places as we could during the coveted week off from school. So, we soon realized the only way to make this possible: turn it into a road trip. Having a car gave us the ability to go wherever we wanted, when we wanted, and even an opportunity to make changes on the go if need be. We could see all the places we dreamt of on our schedule. And, being college students on a budget, it gave us an added bonus of cost saving (as compared to flying). My mom always said to me that driving cross-country with her friends in college was, to this day, the highlight of her life. I was so excited to create that same experience for myself.
My friends and I decided to pack light and threw all of our bags into the trunk of my friend’s brand new car. We drove in long shifts – one tank of gas to empty each. Lucky for us, we had a fuel-efficient vehicle and didn’t need to constantly fill the tank. We went from Memphis to Nashville to the Bluffs to Atlanta and all the way down to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida to see the TPC Sawgrass PGA Competition. We would cover everything from live music to hiking in nature to watching our favorite sport. It was the perfect travel plan, making our bucket list dreams a reality.
The drive down to Tennessee was one of the highlights. We had all the windows down blasting music we grew up listening to on our CD players – with some top features from Rihanna and Natasha Bedingfield, of course. The Bluetooth seamlessly switched song-to-song keeping our energy and happiness alive. We drove down the highway coasting lane to lane effortlessly; those conversations and moments are some I will remember for the rest of my life.
Nashville and Memphis had some of the best barbeque I had ever eaten. I still think about Martin’s Barbecue ribs and coleslaw daily. Driving down Broadway hearing old Dolly Parton songs and seeing people dancing in the streets felt like a fever dream. The energy on “Lower Broad” was electric. Driving through the birth city of country music gave me a newfound love and appreciation for the genre, without even setting foot outside the car yet.
After a few nights of cultural enrichment and dancing, we set out for Georgia. Driving through nature gave a unique sense of serenity and peace. Seeing mountain after mountain, feeling one with nature in pure isolation was the best feeling. We set out on a two day hike and camped out in the woods. Watching the sun set over the mountains was truly magnificent. Atlanta did not disappoint either, with its gorgeous architecture and fascinating history.
As we went from place to place we picked up a new bumper sticker from each, engraving our car with all the memories we had made. Ending our trip in Florida, watching Phil Mickelson hit a birdie was the cherry on top of a perfect road trip. The only reason we got through it all was the perfect vehicle: amazing audio features, comfortable seats and safety features. This reassured my parents enough to stop texting me every five minutes, asking me “are you being safe?” This trip is an experience I will never forget and I am so glad I was able to make it happen despite all the craziness going on in the world.