“You guys drove all the way from Philly?! That’s crazy!” That is the reaction we received every time we would mention our road trip to Austin for Forum. While it is true that driving for 25 hours seemed unreasonable, we decided to do it anyway and it was worth it! Here are 5 reasons why our road trip to FORUM was worth it.
1. Transportation Cost
We spent no money on transportation! Thanks to one of our members, we were able to drive in a cool Jeep that her father agreed to let us use. The car was perfect for the long trip because of its high performance. Plus, we were able to cover the cost of tolls, gas, and parking with the funds that we had raised throughout the semester
We all agreed that we would not have traveled to Nashville if it were not for the road trip. Not only did our bodies need a break but also the car needed a break from the driving. So, we decided to stop halfway to Austin in Nashville for the night. It allowed us to have a glimpse of the adorable but vibrant city of Nashville. The music scene on Broadway as well as the hip cafes and shops in the Gulch gave us a glimpse of what was waiting for us in Austin. It was the perfect way to get us excited after driving for hours.
3. Lots of Laughs
Driving to Austin was honestly exhausting. However, we had so much fun! We laughed many times at our one member who slept throughout most of the drive despite being uncomfortably sandwiched in the back seat. We transformed the car into a karaoke and had impromptu sing-offs to Sam Smith, Queen, and even High School Musical! We also loved the interesting names of cities like Friendship, Fate or Hope; and even found names of European cities along the way.
4. Mother Nature
My favorite part of the drive was getting to see the sunrise and the sunset. We left Philadelphia at Midnight and saw the sunrise as we entered Tennessee. Similarly, we got to see the sunset and its changing colors on our way back, and we watched the super moon rising. Since we all live in the city, it was fun to drive between the hills of Virginia and even watch all the cows on the side of the road.
The conference was totally worth the long drive! We met so many people from different schools, and the topics discussed were very interesting. Plus, the city of Austin was fun to explore and seemed like an ideal setting for the conference. We even left our mark as the students that drove the longest to FORUM 2017! We were not just the students from Temple University, we were also the students that drove for 25 hours.
The overall experience of driving from Philadelphia to Austin had some negative aspects to it, but they were quite minor and were dealt with easily. It definitely developed a bond between us and we do not regret taking on such journey.