5 ways you know you’re a child of the eighties on a road trip

Being born in the eighties and having family all over the country, I remember taking all sorts of road trips. As a kid, my family wasn’t that well-off. We were your standard middle-class, station wagon driving, suburb dwellers. Since we couldn’t ever afford to fly, I remember what it was like to go on these road trips two or three times a year without all the frills and thrills that kids experience today.

I’ve watched my nieces and nephews and in some cases my younger siblings on a road trip and there are so many ways that road trips have changed. For me as an adult I realize, however, that I am still an eighties baby. Any time I take a long car trip I am reminded of my age. Here’s just five of the many ways this happens to me:

  1. When your younger friend or relative says they made a mix tape for the trip, you reply, “But my car doesn’t have a tape deck.” Or you immediately envision this…

2) When you stop at a rest stop to use the facilities, you still reach for a lever to flush the toilet. When you stand up and the toilet flushes on it’s own, you find this not only surprising but a little scary. Or, worse, it flushes while you’re still sitting and you find yourself slightly offended at the presumption that the porcelain seat made that you are done. (Perhaps it was trying to politely tell you to get up.)

Where did these go to?

3) Still at the rest stop, you grab the bathroom handle with a paper towel to keep your hands clean. (Especially when you saw that little teenie bopper leave without washing their hands, what is this world coming to?)

4) You reach a dead zone, and your phone navigation goes out, so you pull out a map. (Ha ha, just kidding no one uses a map anymore) You pull out your Garmin, we are old enough to remember having GPS navigation devices. Have you ever tried to talk to someone younger than you about GPS navigational systems? They all look at you funny and say the same thing, “Why would you need that?”

5) You’re not afraid to make unscheduled stops when a billboard advertisement sparks your interest. We are old enough to remember what boredom on a car trip felt like, so we learned how to break up that monotony with frequent stops. After all, getting to our destination is only half the fun of the journey.