I went on a massive road trip across the UK from late May to mid June this year with one of my closest friends. Here is the first installment from our trip: a brief introduction to my partner in crime, Grace.
Grace and I have known each other since freshman year of high school and although she has moved several times in and out of the US, we remained in touch with one another. After two more turbulent years back in California, Grace and her family were permanently settling back down in the UK (where they are originally from). We started discussing our summer plans, mine working part time as a cashier while juggling college, hers adjusting to her new home up in Scotland. Our road trip idea first began over a tiny dream we both shared of traveling and adventure. “How amazing would it be if I actually came to England to visit you?!”, a constant fantasy I always poked at that slowly churned into reality over the course of our idle Facebook conversations. I promised her I would save up all my money from work to see her and after several long and tedious months of scanning peoples groceries, I finally booked a one-way ticket to London!
Little did Grace and I know the enormity of our nearly month long planned travels. After booking my flight, Grace quickly scrambled to pass her driving exams followed by rapid communication on which hotels to book and where to go. It was a frantic race to beat the clock before my arrival on May 27th! Most of the hotel bookings were done by Grace not to mention all the driving across England’s small, crooked streets. Grace was a nervous wreck and she had every right to be. Two twenty year old girls jumping from one city to the next in a soccer mom van was a frightening reality check. I was mostly in charge of getting my ass to Heathrow Airport on time and being the official navigator when our savvy, Aussie accented GPS screwed us over. Between all the anxiety attacks, junk food binges and wrong turns, we survived!
Although I have known Grace for nearly six years, being in a car with her for 3.5 weeks introduced me to a whole new person. We talked a lot about our future goals and aspirations, politics and family life. We mostly disagreed about everything and bickered constantly. We fought and drove ourselves crazy and annoyed the shit out of each other. While I was always looking for some mischief, Grace was thinking more logically. Safety came first to her while getting lost was always the first thing on my mind. Grace was comfortable on the ground, she kept our road trip steady and had her head screwed on straight. I was always up on some monstrous rock, feet dangling looking for adventure in dangerous places. Organized and clear headed, Grace was always one step ahead of me throughout the planning of our road trip. I simply sang along to the Spice Girls CD I brought, stubborn for some fun that would usually leave Grace worried. But through thick and thin, we always looked out for each other. – J
PS: Check out Grace’s side of the story! Click here to visit her new website.