It’s the journey, not destination

When you’re behind the wheel of your car, you know its quirks and idiosyncrasies like the back of your hand. You know just how far you can push it on a winding road, and you know exactly how it handles on the highway

Photograph by IAN MAGBANUA for the daily tribune Sunset drive with the clouds.

A road trip is just a way to get from point A to point B. Well, that may be the case for most people. But for car folk, a road trip can be an emotionally fulfilling experience. It’s a journey that feeds the soul, a chance to connect with the world and explore new horizons both outside and in. As the oft-uttered saying goes, “It’s not the destination that matters, but the journey itself.”

What most people miss out on is that there is no better way to experience that journey than by hitting the open road in an amazing car, for the real beauty of a road trip lies in the adventure you experience while getting from point A to point B. It can be full of surprises, unexpected twists and turns, and opportunities for exploration. It’s a chance to slow down, savor the moment, and connect with the world around you.

There’s also a special kind of joy and excitement that comes with driving your car on a trip. Whether it’s a 40-year-old car in a perpetual state of restoration and repair, or perhaps a relatively new vehicle, there’s a feeling of familiarity and comfort that can’t be replicated in a rental car or a borrowed vehicle.

When you’re behind the wheel of your car, you know its quirks and idiosyncrasies like the back of your hand. You know just how far you can push it on a winding road, and you know exactly how it handles on the highway.


The deal we’ve negotiated is the best and indeed the only deal.


For the ultra-adventurous, you may even know exactly how far that last quarter of your gas tank will take you. To you, it’s not just a machine — it’s a trusted companion, a partner in your little adventure.

Whether you drive a 1969 VW Beetle or a 5-year-old Toyota Corolla, the longer you spend time on the road together, the deeper your bond becomes. By the end of the trip, your car feels like a part of you, a testament to the kilometers you’ve traveled and the memories you’ve made along the way.

What is it about the act of driving itself that makes a road trip so special? Perhaps it’s the sense of freedom that comes with being behind the wheel, in control of your destiny. Or maybe it’s the opportunity to explore new landscapes and connect with the natural world in a way that’s simply not possible when you’re confined to a plane, an office chair, or worse, stuck in Manila’s urban gridlock traffic.

Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that a good road trip has the power to feed the soul in ways that few other experiences can. It’s a chance to step outside of your comfort zone, to challenge yourself and see the world in a whole new way.

Just try and stop on the side of a small, quiet, tree-lined provincial road at dawn and take it all in — the beauty of the first rays of light creeping through the branches and you just standing there, feeling the breeze of a cool morning, listening to birds, and the sound of your engine idling. While the destination may be important, it’s moments like these, lost in time, that truly matter.

But what makes a road trip truly amazing? Could it be the scenery, company, or the soundtrack? All of these things are important, of course, but perhaps the most essential ingredient is you and your open mind. Your willingness to embrace the unexpected and to take the road less traveled to see where it leads you, all of these are important ingredients for an adventure in the making.

Some of my fondest memories behind the wheel involve getting lost in the middle of mountain roads and little barangays, categorically nowhere, stumbling upon a hidden gem of history, architecture, or a stunning vista that I never would have discovered if I’d stuck to the beaten path. A bit of anxiety at the unfamiliarity of it all may set in, but with an open mind, most of these instances turn into brand-new, welcome experiences.

Most of my trips up North Luzon have been of that sort. Sometimes the landscape is just so different from the city that it feels like you’ve teleported elsewhere. With some imagination, some of the roads I’ve traveled made me feel like I was in the UK, New Zealand, or even Italy. It’s these moments of serendipity that make a road trip truly special — moments when you feel like you’ve stumbled upon something that’s just for you, something that nobody else knows about.

But these trips don’t always have to be solitary excursions. Bringing friends and family along can truly elevate the experience. But yeah, I hear you. Sometimes it can go south, but with the blessing of the adventure gods, I pray your trips always end up beautiful. There’s a certain kind of camaraderie that comes with a good road trip, no matter who you’re with, and no matter where you’re going. Maybe it’s the shared experience of navigating unfamiliar terrain or the simple act of spending long hours in close quarters. Whatever the reason, a good road trip has a way of forging bonds that last long after the journey itself has ended.

So if you’re looking for a way to feed your soul, to experience the world in a whole new way, I highly recommend hitting the open road. Pack your bags, choose your route, and let the journey take you where it will. And if you’re lucky enough to be driving a great car, all the better —  because there’s nothing quite like the feeling of the open road stretching out before you, beckoning you to the far edges of freedom.

Read more Daily Tribune stories at:

Follow us on social media
Facebook: @tribunephl
Youtube: TribuneNow
Twitter: @tribunephl
Instagram: @tribunephl
TikTok: @dailytribuneofficial