One of my favorite things to do to fill up a day with enjoyment is to explore.
I like finding interesting locations wherever I live that I can take guests to or just go to in my own free time.
Typically when I move somewhere new I will learn all the best routes around the general area I live in before very long and know the best ones where I can go for a long board or bike ride on a free day.
Sometimes instead of just being around the area near my own home I will go further out into the world and drive around looking for novel and enjoyable locations to return to later on.
Due to the infrastructure in the USA being built entirely around the automobile (not a good look) when you go and explore outside of the area near your home you will inevitably need to drive the only exception being if you have access to public transit services to hop on.
During my high school years my hometown was located in a sea of cornfields. The town was a decent sized city but if you drove long enough in any one direction you would find yourself on a country road between two large fields before too long.
Often friends and I would drive into this sea of fields and look for something interesting. Sometimes a person would know a spot to go to, other times we would just drive until we saw something interesting and attempt to stop at it.
It was kind of like fishing, you cast your fishing rod out in the form of a drive in any direction you hadn’t been before and every once in awhile you would come across something compelling.
This could be a man made feature such as an abandoned house or a natural one such as a river you could walk along.
The one thing that was a constant though was that to really reel in the fish, (in the form of a memorable experience) you needed to get out of the car and explore the location.
I’ve been guilty of not wanting to do this before myself, a story that comes to my mind was being convinced that an abandoned house a friend knew about would be filled with coyotes at night and not wanting to go inside once arriving, (later giving in after standing outside the house in the dark alone) but regardless of the location, getting out of the car is essential.
The car is a controlled environment, essentially your own safe metal tent where you can play the music you want to play, stuff your face with food and coffee from the gas station, or talk to friends in your own private booth without much risk of interruption. But in order to really experience the area your car is in you need to at some point, at least for a few minutes, get out.
I know….. it may be cold outside, it may be raining, it may be scary, but, if you don’t get out at least for a minute and smell the outdoor air and at the BARE MINIMUM walk around the perimeter of the car you may as well have just sat in your car in the garage and ran the air conditioner while listening to some music.
If you’re worried about safety, (which, I agree, is important to consider) you shouldn’t have driven to wherever you’re at in the first place let-alone parked if even standing next to the stationary car seems too dangerous compared to sitting inside it.
It wouldn’t be that hard for a person to smash your window, knock you out and pull you out of the car like in the GTA video games especially when considering you would be attempting to fight back while sitting down and completely immobile as you’re strapped to a seat.
So the moral of the story, GET OUT OF THE CAR. You don’t go park in front of a hiking trail and not hike, you didn’t fly on the plane to a new place to sit inside a sweaty and claustrophobic metal tent, and you aren’t going to make any lasting memories if you don’t even step outside the car for a brief moment!