Blue. the sky, the ocean, all the world’s unexplored vastness. untouchable beauty and a powerful tide. her dress on the first night out, jumping into a lake at night. the sight of the entire universe before you. calm.

Green. the land, the growth, all that’s known. stability for the seas. the street light as you’re driving out of town. the feeling of grass beneath your feet in a new place. freedom to belong.

Yellow. the brightness of the sun, shining on. a new awakening.  a field of flowers after a wrong turn, a signal to slow down. a warning sign. cautionary happiness.

Orange. a fiery passion, an expansion. a phoenix, rising from ashes and becoming again. the sky after a long, never ending day. a vast canyon, reaching for miles. the neon vacancy sign welcomes you. hope.

Pink. a delicacy, the balance between power and reserve. the morning sky and a new beginning, every day. the lipstick that you borrowed from a friend and your beloved pet’s nose. love.

Gray. a looming sadness and a forlorn sky. the moments before the storm and the feelings after. a vibrancy and ethereal peace. the long, empty road reaching for miles. a world of possibility. risk.

The holidays are nearly over, which means we’re at a convenient intersection between summer travels and back-to-school college visits, both of which often mean a lot of driving! To help combat the boredom and make sure you stay productive, here are a few of my favourite tips :D

What to bring

  1. A neck pillow (they really do help)
  2. Apps for learning (try duolingo or memrise)
  3. Audiobooks or podcasts (you can download some for free at LibriVox!)
  4. Electronics (whatever you’ll need to be productive— phone, computer, tablet)
  5. Snacks and water (try and be healthy!! snacks need to keep you energized)
  6. Some good headphones (they’ll keep you in the zone)
  7. Things to charge your electronics with (this means cords and a portable charger!)

Things to do alone

  1. Write some blog posts/essays: road trips provide plenty of time without the distractions of the internet to get stuff done! Of course, this isn’t a good idea if you’re driving, but if you’re the passenger then take full advantage of the time and do some work.
  2. Annotate: if you’re in a language class that requires annotations, take the time and relative smoothness afforded by a road trip on motorways and get some chapters done!
  3. Listen to some podcasts: most are free to download, and they’re a great way to pass the time while you learn something new. If you’re interested, here are some of my podcast recommendations!
  4. Read a book: if it doesn’t make you too sick, try enjoying some literature, whether digital or physical. The length of most road trips make them a great time to do some uninterrupted reading.
  5. Learn something new: with the wide availability of mobile devices, apps can help you learn something new whether stationary or on the move!! Try duolingo, memrise, tinycards, or quizlet.

Enjoy your company

  1. Listen to an audiobook together: whether traveling with family or friends, listening to a book you’ll all enjoy makes time pass much more quickly, and can also help to keep the driver awake.
  2. Play vocal games: these are especially good if you’re traveling with little siblings! Classics like I Spy, Twenty Questions, and the license plate game (if you’re in the US) are always good fun.

Avoid motion sickness

  1. Try sitting in the front seat: it lets you look at the road, so your body and brain stay in sync with what they’re perceiving.
  2. Don’t eat too much fast food: greasy, spicy, and heavy foods won’t help with nausea.
  3. Take breaks: getting out to stretch your legs or run around for a little bit will make you feel a lot better in the long run, since it gets you some fresh air and stops the constant motion.
  4. Open the windows: again, fresh air is your friend!
  5. Don’t read/use the computer/text: you might not be as productive, but it’ll be worthwhile! If you focus on one thing, it makes your brain think you’re still, but all the bumps and turns in the road will contradict this and make you sick.
  6. Eat little and often: grazing is good for you! Try grapes, crackers, or pretzels as snacks, and remember to drink water.

Get some rest

  1. Get comfy: don’t wear your favourite pyjamas, but cozy trackie bottoms or shorts and soft t-shirts always help! Use your neck pillow for comfort and take off your shoes.
  2. Get rid of distractions like light and sound: sleep masks and headphones with a relaxing playlist make sure the daylight doesn’t stop you from sleeping, and neither does any chatting going on in the car.
  3. Make use of reclining seats: if you’re in the front, make it the most like a bed you possibly can to maximize comfort!

I hope some of these suggestions help you out! Don’t get too stressed and try and have at least a little fun when you’re on the road. Happy summer and good luck in the new school year!!

(If you’d like to see more of my posts, you can take a look here!)