Thursday, January 6, 2011


Advice for the Solo Woman Road Warrior

- Before you leave, get your nails done. You’re gonna be staring at them on the steering wheel for many hours in a row.

- Wear pants with a minimum of three percent spandex. You may be tempted by a high-waisted vintage Levi’s situation (yeah, I know, Thelma and Louise!), but YOU WILL PAY for your commitment to this look. Also, make sure your pants are machine washable, as they will frequently double as a napkin.

- Make a playlist of songs that you want to master for karaoke. Sing them over and over and over.

- Snacks always ride shotgun.

- Pack your weed and vibrator in an accessible place so as to avoid having to pull over in a Culver’s parking lot off Highway 61 and rummage through your entire car. Sub-tip: Don’t use either of these things on freeways with a lot of semi traffic. Also, don’t use them at the same time, while driving.

- To stay entertained, play a little game I have dubbed “Porn vs. Abortion.” Count the number of XXX Adult Superstore billboards and Choose Life signs, respectively. Depending on which you’ve seen more of, either buy some porn or get an abortion once you reach your destination.

- Definitely do not drive off the road while attempting to take a photo of a wind farm.

- Two words: Car kegels.

- Roll down the window every once in awhile and let the wind whip through your hair. I don’t care how cold it is. This is essential to achieving that tousled “road babe” look.

- Never, ever take a scenic byway in Kansas.

- When you stop at a small-town diner, ask if they have a businesswoman special. Also, never get pie to go. It will only end in heartbreak.

- Don’t try to take pictures of a Western sunset with your cellphone, you asshole. Just enjoy it.

Ann Friedman quit her job and is halfway through a month-long, 5,000-mile road trip, which she is taking alone.

Photo via Flickr

29 Comments / Post A Comment

Jolie Kerr

That weed & a vibrator are a solo road-trip given more or less sums up why The Hairpin is the home I've always wanted but never knew I needed.


cosign this


So did you engage in one giant drug transaction right at the get-go, or do you have suppliers scattered at depots throughout the country? I could see the argument for either.

Jolie Kerr

It's perfect, really, that on this issue I get emotional while you get right down to brass tacks.


one buy at the get-go but hide it well and no paraphernalia (just a pouch of rolling tobacco to excuse the papers you're carrying). who wants to try to find weed on a tuesday in missoula?


I couldn't agree more with the "don't take a picture, enjoy it!" bit. I've done my fair share of solo traveling and would remind myself to just put my camera away because it's better to just be in the moment enjoying something than trying to capture it (because you usually can't, anyway).

Also, I wish I were on a 5000 mile crazy roadtrip alone right now.

Bonnie Downing

Why does getting pie to go end in heartbreak?


I'm thinking it's because most of it would end up in your lap if you try to eat it while driving.

Bonnie Downing

No problem, I have been advised to wear washable pants.


YES there is a problem, you do not get to eat all of your pie!!!


As a car-less male, I have very little to add, except to ask, wouldn't your fingernails be on the other, non-visible side of the steering wheel? *ducks*






Yes, katiechasm, you're right! Paint your thumbs as bright and beautiful as a shining star.

forget it i quit

Weed and vibrators. Simultaneous usage thereof. Yet another thing to be jealous of the ladies. The coordination required for the mens is like patting your head and rubbing your belly.

I mean, not that I would know but I imagine it would be.


I converted to books-on-tape for my last road trip and I don't think I'm ever going back.


I was visiting a friend recently whose name I will not mention but it starts with "K" (let's call her "K____") and she had just had a baby and we were in her car and she had made a "K" on the steering wheel in electrical tape and I said "Hey, it's K for K____!" and she got embarrassed and her husband started laughing and then she told me that it was to remind her to do her kegels while waiting at stoplights and then I too was embarrassed. But it was OK in the long run.


And everyone laughed and laughed and did their kegels at the next stoplight.


Also, do not go hunting for ghost towns at the end of an abandoned stretch of Route 66. You will pass a graveyard of car parts and industrial meat-processing machines and then realize that someone lives there. And then you'll notice the road has gotten too narrow for you to turn around. Yeah.


McLean TX? Had a similar experience. Do not recommend.


I am a loser/meanie for thinking it's unsafe for a woman to drive cross country alone? Like, there are bad people out there n' shit.


There are???????? Ahhhhhhhh!


Your username is making me guilty about not hanging out my laundry.


But if you're in the car and it's moving they can only get you stop, right?


One cannot underestimate the pump-up power of listening to Lionel Ritchie's "Dancing on the Ceiling" in ~hour 10 of a solo car ride. At this point you will have become sufficiently slaphappy, and it will be the best song you've ever heard in your life. Especially if you clap along with him when he requests it.


Oh god, that "businesswoman special" comment made me lol. Romy & Michelle for the absolute win.

Jonas Ruess

Thanks for this glorious article. Yet another thing to mention is that many digital cameras can come equipped with a new zoom lens that allows more or less of your scene being included through 'zooming' in and out. Most of these changes in concentration length are generally reflected inside viewfinder and on large display screen at the back of the actual camera. Hay Day Hack Android

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