There's a lot about driving people dislike, i.e. traffic jams, accidents, tickets, and more. They don't call it "road rage" for nothing. But, it's not all bad.
In fact, I've LOVED driving since I first sat behind the wheel. My dad owned a gas station and I started working summers there when I was twelve. The service station was also a U-Haul dealer and by the time I was fourteen, I was moving those big U-Haul trucks around the lot and getting them parked. I bought my first car when I turned 16 and get my license. It was a 1962 white Econoline pickup, and drove that truck with glee for a couple of years before buying a muscle car when I was nearly eighteen.
Being the oldest of seven siblings, driving was wonderful for me for two reasons -- freedom and exploration. By the time I was into my twenties, I had already driven from L.A. to San Francisco, to Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, Modesto and Merced in the Big Valley, and Joshua Tree National Forest. I was a true explorer and have been ever since. No wonder we moved into our RV the moment we could. Since then, the sights have been innumerable, and I wouldn't trade those memories for anything.
Lets not forget that this country would be very different had it not been for the automobile. Just driving a few miles on Route 66 or US Highway 20 can give you an appreciation for the mass exodus to Rural America from the east coast city life.
I received many great replies to my inquiry to people about what makes them happy about driving. Here are a few of those comments (and I've edited or paraphrased some):
K. Burkhart- I do enjoy driving fast in a car designed for it -- one that makes the speeding ticket worth it.
BLSMSS- The peace it gives you on those long, mostly uninhabited, roads. Miles of beauty and nature. Places you can see that you never thought could get any better. People you meet on the way that has the graciousness to be kinder than most. The memories and good conversations you have, especially with you the one you love. Perfect! We take little day trips to see where a less traveled rode goes to. Most often you see beautiful landscapes of mountains, quarry like valleys and all kinds of wildlife. Even traveling on roads nearby, we are amazed of the wild flowers and cactus types there are. As we travel throughout our part of the country, it reminds me of the old John Wayne movies, watching him ride through the landscape to get to the next town. There seems to be something jaw-dropping around every corner as we drive. We are so blessed .
topsarge- I love driving...anything. I've been behind the wheel of two-wheelers, off-roaders, independent-wheel-suspension Jeeps, generators, heaters, cars, pick-up trucks, cargo trucks, semi-trucks, tanks, APC's (Armored Personnel Carriers). The happiest I had ever been was driving the VTR (Vehicle Tank Retriever), 65 tons of brute strength that could go anywhere and do anything, and I have driven these vehicles the world over. I got close a couple of times to getting the opportunity to drive race cars. I would have been extremely happy to do that. I knew my abilities and the ability of the equipment and because of that, I was often told, I was crazy. I called myself smart, and that made me happy. Blue skies and sunshine!
Nadyne H.- Easy...what makes me extremely happy is a SMOOTH road! Knowing that the inside of our nomad home isn't getting rearranged by the road gives me peace and happiness! I used to LOVE driving fast! When I was ticketed for 120 mph in a 55 mph zone, the fine reeled me back in.
Peggy H.- For a commuter in LA traffic, what I look forward to is time for my podcasts and beautiful sunrises. My road trip is daily, and last 1-2 hours each way. Anything that helps me spring out of bed every morning to face all of that is something to be happy about!
Tink & Chuck- My reason to be happy driving is the promise of a new sun sets with a beautiful view. I have almost as many sunset pictures on my phone as I do pictures of my fur baby!
RicU- We drove down and back from Dallas/Fort Worth and loved it. It’s still good country to spend time in.
Bob & Maria- Knowing you are going somewhere new, seeing something different.
BobbieK- I love the anticipation of exploring a new place and experiencing new things.
24States2Go- The changes in landscape as I change areas, hills to valley, lush green to desert, lakes and streams... I also see license plates and wonder where people are headed or coming from, look at their stickers or emblems, especially RV'ers.
L.D.Clark- After 5 million+ miles I can say honestly everything -- adventure, making new friends, so many things. Life on the road my whole life has been awesome!
Canadian Hellie- I like the scenery, buildings and most of all, just being with hubby and chatting or being quiet and listening to some tunes or even a talk show on occasion. I love reading license plates, too. I also love trying to make animals, etc., out of clouds; some are very easy; others not so much.
PokeysRVadventures- All of the above plus music playing as I'm driving.
Zak- There is no comparison to driving through the country in a picture window, served up as a windshield. Class 'A' was my choice, wide and open. I would never change that decision. An album full of pics could never compare to what I've observed..... fresh with my own eyes....
LarandSus- Knowing that there is nothing else I need to be doing in that moment.
Lisa’s Fabulous Adventure- I just like to drive, which makes no sense to me! I have driven solo most of my adult life but not in a Class C. It is different and a little more stressful, but I still love it.
Kevin/Yvonne & 4 Doxies- Doing the driving, not being driven. Definitely prefer being in the driver's seat.
MikelicCC- This is so me! I LOVE driving! I feel the most free when I'm playing my tunes with my top down, I always just want to keep going!
D. & L. Hogeweide- When everyone in front of me is actually using their signals and driving safe
Buddy and Cathy- Driving good roads other than interstate unless you need to travel faster. Much more scenery.
Lilypop- Driving from Florida to North Carolina (7.5 hrs) at 11 pm on a Monday. Such an easy and pleasant drive on cruise control that you never have to disengage
Dean & Lynne- Enjoying the scenery that I have not seen before, but having good roads and traffic is what it is all about in my opinion.
Jerry Beasler- I have always loved driving from as far back as I can remember. So as soon as I could drive I did and then I wanted more so I go CDL- Class A, Then I added the passenger rating as well as air brake, Well, what happened next I took to the skies and got my pilot's license and added retractable rating and high performance and complex ratings. I am also an experienced marine captain. I love driving and the challenges it presents.
I'll close with a quote from Tom Hanks: "Growing up in northern California has had a big influence on my love and respect for the outdoors. When I lived in Oakland, we would think nothing of driving to Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz one day and then driving to the foothills of the Sierras the next day."
Thanks, everyone, for your contributions! Another topic will be posted shortly.
Jack Huber is a writer, blogger, poet and photographer. Like many, he is concerned about the psyche of our planet's inhabitants and wants to try to improve his little corner of it.