A GREAT part of this year has been travelling for both my wife and I myself. We are just fortunate that the work we do demands that we do things together. And a big part of our work asks us to travel. If I try to look back at the past ten months, we have been out three weeks every month. And a great deal of that is spent on the road. Which is also rather fortunate because I like to take long drives and my wife likes to sleep in the car.
I have learned many things while doing those long drives - the average time is about 5 hours. Let me share some of them.
Lesson Number One. It is good to have Spotify Premium. They have an extensive list of almost all genres and my phone is almost filled to capacity with my playlists. Rock, New Age, Classcial, Standards, Jazz and whatever. Even included are poems. I am still looking for a playlist of Bisaya jokes that can come in handy when I get sleepy. Those songs help me think, those songs help me drive. You can download the songs so as not to waste so much data.
Lesson Number Two. The huge trucks and vans go slow but sure and you need to be familiar with the route because if you get yourself caught on a winding steep road, chances are you would be there for a long time. Those huge things just lumber and could not care less about you aching for the open road. Still there are other drivers who will signal you that the road is clear. Anticipate.
Lesson Number Three. While the huge trucks go slow but sure, the smaller ones can be quite a challenge because they seem to think that they can fly and you have to watch those. Once we noticed this really small car that could barely seat four just crisccross and weave through big trucks. My wife commented kung sino pa yung maliit sya pa yung sira ulo. Food for thought there.
Lesson Number Four. Remember the 15 to 30 second rule. Simply put look ahead for at least 15 seconds. That way you are aware of what the road looks like. Know what lies ahead so you can be prepared.
Lesson Number Five. Do not join someone in overtaking. They might get back in the lane on time and you may not. You will get caught and that would be not so good for you.
Lesson Number Six. If on a long stretch do not play rock. You may find yourself enjoying too much and your speed might increase conversely. My wife finds it amusing that when I reach a certain part of the road trip, I switch playlists. At the start I usually play fast songs so as to perk me up. But when I get to the staright paths, I play lingering piano music or quiet melodies. That way I do not zoom like maniac. Besides the roads we take seem to be always under repair. Take for example Santa Cruz near Digos.
We have been passing that way for the past two years now and still road under repair. The people of Santa Cruz must really love dust and inconvenience. On the contrary, the road construction in Comval and Caraga seem to be going fast. The stretch in Montevista is such a joy with Vivaldi.
Lesson Number Seven. Choose your riding partner well. You will be together for a long time. I am lucky, I have my wife as a riding partner. We have shared many roads together.
Lesson Number Eight. Vary your speed. Take time to take in the scenery. Reflect a little but keep your eyes on the road. It is sheer delight to drive in gentle rain with Judy Collins and Govi and Bill Douglas and Michael Hoppe and Sumer. Drive fast when needed. Drive slow for enlightenment.
The roads beckon once more and once more I make a playlist for those roads that embrace and soothe and reveal.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on October 23, 2017.
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