Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Kelly's World | Road trip. ah no

Published:Monday | October 2, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Road trips are kinda like climbing Blue Mountain Peak or running a 5k, everyone says they want to do it until the pain kicks in.

Before I started driving, I told myself I'd be motoring all across this beautiful island I call home. I envisioned driving to all parts of Jamaica, from the urban meccas of rural towns to the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies of 'deep bush'. I had it all planned out. I was going to be Daviot The Explorer. Dora would have nothing on me.

However, by the time I started falling into potholes, getting overtaken by crazy bus drivers at spots that were not meant for overtaking, and then realising that other than some parts of the Corporate Area, I didn't really know where I was going, the whole exploration sensation quickly faded.

Don't get me wrong, I like going on the road. I just hate being the driver. That's a bit too much responsibility for me, especially when the journey is outside my comfort zone.

 

NAVIGATION SYSTEM

 

Thing is, at the time I started driving, I'm pretty sure navigation systems and Google Maps were around. But I've never really trusted (at least not entirely) the readings of a mechanical device. Furthermore, you have to take your eyes off the road to look at said device because it's not always convenient to pull over, depending on where you are. The other drivers, the ones who do know the area you happen to be in, don't help either. Instead of taking their time (apparently a lost art in the world today), these drivers honk and curse and 'bad drive' you, not realising that they are only making things worse, especially for a young driver.

I've had what I consider to be bad experiences when going to towns with which I'm unfamiliar. Like when I got to Montego Bay and taxi men couldn't give me directions to get to Cornwall Regional Hospital, and then other people couldn't give me directions to get back out. Then there was the time I practically wrecked the car on (what feels like) every pothole in the parish of Westmoreland. Just my luck, it rained earlier that day (of course it would) so I was looking at swimming pools where roads allegedly were. As for nearly getting vertigo from missing my turns at roundabouts in Manchester, well, let's not go there.

Arguably, the most difficult part is that passengers don't get it, even the ones who are drivers themselves. I know I'm an expert at making mountains out of molehills, but once they're not behind the wheel, they go into another world. They merrily talk among themselves, seemingly oblivious to the mental strain you're dealing with. They don't seem to mind until it's brutally obvious you're all lost, or when you're about to head off that cliff the GPS didn't quite tell you about.

That's why I love companies like the Knutsford Express. They do the driving for me. Other than that, if I'm going to do Daviot The Explorer thing, I'll have to do it the old-fashioned way, on foot.

- Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com