10 Things I Learned On A Road Trip With An (Almost) Complete Stranger

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First, some quick back story:

Rewind to about two months ago. My ex and I had started planning a trip to Portland, Oregon. We’d talked about how we wanted to move there together, and we decided it would be a good idea to go check it out first.

Fast forward one month. I find out he’d been cheating…again and lying about it for months.

Fast forward another month. I went to a birthday party for a good friend I hadn’t seen in years. I was so excited to be there and to see everyone again. When I was introduced to Ryan, my friend informed me that we are “the exact same person”. He wasn’t wrong. We got along instantly and he invited me on one of his basically weekly road trips. I told him I wanted to go to Portland, he said okay, and we planned for Labor Day weekend.

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Before you stop reading to text/call me to tell me how stupid of a decision that is, just know that I made sure to look into this guy first. He had gone on a road trip with a female co-worker of mine a few weeks before, and he checked out. So I began packing my bags.

I learned a few things on my trip to Oregon with an almost complete stranger. Some serious things, some just completely random. But luckily they all added up to a fantastic experience.

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  1. ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS take the opportunity to use an actual restroom when one is available.
  2. Every city is basically the same. It is what I decide to do and who I decide to spend my time with that makes the biggest difference. Basically, it is up to me to make a place worthwhile.
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  3. I actually really like listening to Selena Gomez. That girl’s voice…mmm.
  4. I can talk about what happened between me and my ex without crying…finally! (I know Ryan really appreciated this one.)
  5. Apparently, I also don’t cry when we run over cute, fluffy things with a car. What kind of monster have I become??

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  6. Logan, UT doesn’t seem so small anymore. I’m actually really glad it does not look anything like the horror movie-like towns we drove through.
  7. “You’re dumb” is another phrase for “you’re super rad”.
  8. “Run from your problems, but you cannot run from yourself.” No matter how much I try, I can’t run from my thoughts or feelings. The only way through is to accept the and then to move forward. “You’ve gotta leave your behind in your past!”

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  9. If you don’t feel like building your own fire, go up to a random group of people listening to Linkin Park and offer them beer in exchange for a place to sit around their fire. Boom! Six new friends and an effort-free camp fire.
  10. Sometimes, you can leave on a three-day road trip with a stranger and come out not only alive, but with a pretty rad new friend.

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