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What A Teen Learned From a Road Trip with No Electronics

Car provided by Kia

Every summer I go on a road trip with just my mom, me and occasionally my little brother. Going on a trip with my older brother is practically unheard of because he ‘IS’ a typical teenager and all he likes to do is spend time in his room.

My mom told me that we would be making a road trip (just the three of us) with no plans. We were just going to drive in her Kia Sorento with no set hotel reservations or destination, and only one thing in mind – to take our time exploring and connecting with one another. Now, my older brother is a huge planner, so I had no idea how that was going to work, but we made it happen. I learned some really valuable things while on this trip with my mom and brother, and I want to share one important one with you.

Before we left in our Kia Sorento, my mom gave us some rules. No one was allowed to use electronics unless we were all settled down in the hotel room for the night. My brother and I love our electronics. So hearing that was kind of a huge slap in the face especially because we were going to be on the road for long periods of hours at a time. We put up a good argument, but my mom was set on the rule. I thought nothing worse could be happening to me at the time (and Andrew was even worse), but we made it through the week just fine.

Andrew and I both love to read, so it was a plus that we got to go to Barnes and Noble at the beginning of the trip to pick out some new books. We started our road trip, and we were all doing our own thing and then came the issue. None of us had any idea where we actually were going, and we couldn’t go on our phones to see what or where we wanted to go (except for my mom navigating us to some random spots on the map.)

I thought that having no electronics would mean the most boring trip of my life, but it honestly wasn’t that bad. I know if you are a teen and you’re reading this your probably like, “Nope, that is never something I would get through,” but it actually made the trip more fun in a way. Instead of being on our phones we thought board games would be a good alternative. And I don’t mean boring ol’ Monopoly. We found some unique games that we have never seen or played and gave them a chance. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and we all laughed way more than if we had been on our phones.

The car ride to and from places wasn’t bad at all. We started using real maps, and it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen my family do. We got in a food fight over who could read the map better and ended up more lost than we were in the beginning, but it was okay because we were all laughing the entire time. I kid you not we literally started throwing Milk Duds and Skittles at each other on a little two lane road trying to get to a waterfall. When we were lost, we were in the middle of nowhere and tried to get service on the iPhone and iPad to help guide us, and both had no service. Finally, we realized that we could use the GPS in my mom’s Kia Sorento help us find the trail we were looking for to the waterfall we wanted to see (even though it was a 12 mile hike…ouch)

This non-electronic trip turned out to be one of my favorites for multiple reasons, but there being no electronics was a big one. I actually got to talk to my brother for more than just ten minutes without both of our faces buried in our phones. We had more laughs than I have ever had on a trip. If you’re a mom wondering if you should do the same things for your kids…I say do it. They will end up thanking you later, trust me.

It also helped that the Kia Sorento is one of the most comfortable cars, so it was convenient just to sit and look out the window. If we got bored we could use the Apple Car Play to play our favorite Spotify playlist while making fun of our mom’s terrible dance moves (sorry mom).

What I learned? I can survive a week without electronics. I love my mom’s crazy wild sense of adventure. I love my brothers fear of it. I love that when you’re in a moment, you are in it.

Next week, I am so excited to have another fun road trip adventure with my mom without my electronics in the all-new 2019 Kia Sorento. I wonder what color the car will be? The exciting part is that we decided tonight that it will just be my mom, me and older brother again (our last trip encouraged him to want to leave his room to enjoy adventure like me and my mom).

Ella is the OC Mom Blog teen blogger. She is an integrated arts student at the Orange County School of the Arts by day, and a fashionista by night. She loves baking, teddy bears and nice people. Read her column here
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One Comment

  1. This is such a great story! I’m so glad you guys took the time to bond without a screen in your face. It’s so important to make that effort. Good for you guys for being so open minded and adventurous! It’s inspiring!

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