Reflections From a Road-Trip Gone Wrong


On August 3rd I packed up my car with everything I thought I was going to need and some things that I was not going to need for a roadtrip to Florida. I said goodbye to our families and took off on what we expected to be the highlight of our summer, the perfect beginning to Senior year, an unforgettable experience. As the ten days come to a close, the trip definitely surpassed all of my expectations, but not in the way that I had planned.

I am a planner. I plan everything down to a tee. I made an itinerary, a contact sheet, shopping lists, budgets, and other various lists that probably had no convenience whatsoever. I downloaded every single roadtrip related app that was under five dollars from iTunes. About five hours into the trip a situation occurred and I realized I needed to try to let go and let God.

Prior to coming on the road-trip my anxiety had reached a peak and I almost canceled the trip because of all the concerns swirling around in my head: my dad’s going to the hospital, my grandfather’s sick again, I have not been home, I have things to finish before Senior year, my training is going to be interrupted again. About twenty minutes outside of Newark, Delaware as I was finally relaxing and drifting in and out of consciousness as my friend drove, we hit a cone. The cone was not ones average tiny play-cone that was used during elementary school field day events. It was a massive, cylinder construction cone with a light on top and glowing white stripes circling around its body. In the battle of Acura versus cone the cone one and my sideview mirror took the damage. I tried to relax, but I was shaking and slowly losing control. Once we reached an actual house, I found the nearest room and broke down. After I regained control over my body and emotions to an extent I began to plan and make options.

Mental Plan of Action → pray → breathe → advice (three sources) → communicate → pray

Options: panic yell run away abandon ship modify trip relax explore discover

After going through the steps of my plan of action and deciding which of my options were sane and plausible I devised a new plan for the trip. We were staying in Aunt Nik’s Annapolis house- which gave us easy access to both the Bay and the downtown harbour area- giving us hundreds of things to do and discover. Since we were expected to be gone for a total of ten days, when we felt as though we were satisfied with Annapolis we would move down to Aunt Nik’s house in Rockville and spend our remaining days wandering the streets of the nation’s great capital- Washington D.C. Even though I had just finished living there for three weeks the city drew me in in a way that I had not experienced with any place close enough for me to keep going back to over and over again.

My travel partner was less than enthused with the new plan, but she felt as though she did not have much of a choice. My spirits faltered as I wanted her to be as excited as I was once again becoming, but ultimately that did not happen. As the next two days wore on while I expected things to get better they only continued deteriorating- God had more in store for me.

Monday Night: I was going to lose my travel companion on Friday.

Tuesday Afternoon: I was going to lose my travel companion on Thursday morning.

Tuesday Around Midnight: I was losing my travel companion in less than nine hours.

Another mini-meltdown followed each of these travel updates I received which each getting more dramatic and less attractive. I created another, similar plan of action and waited for God to tell me how to proceed next. He quickly came through for me as I knew he would and planted an idea in my head: have Zack come down and spend the week with me. Once I determined that this was the step God was calling me to take and He did not want me to abandon all hope and jump ship, I began to plan and make the necessary arrangements for his arrival.

At this point I could continue on and give you a play-by-play of what happened once Zack arrived and how everything was rainbows and unicorns, but that takes away from the overall meaning of this post and the meaning of my trip. The point was that I went into the situation having all of these expectations and a plan regarding how things were going to go down to almost the hour. God had a different plan for me and I got to see the way he wanted me to work through the situation and I ended up having a much more enjoyable and less stressful trip that could most definitely be considered a success.