Mystery Drives

One of my favourite memories from my childhood is when my family would go on mystery drives. We would start driving and each time we came to an intersection we would get to take turns choosing which direction to go. You could either choose to keep going straight, or turn right or left, etc.

The exciting part of a mystery drive is that you never knew where you would end up. Sometimes we would try and manipulate the turns so that we ended up somewhere in particular (I remember trying so hard to make it to an ice cream shop!). The difficulty was that you had 7 different people going in different directions so even if I wanted to go in one direction, chances are that we would be in a completely different place by the time it was my turn again.

Once we had been driving for a while we would stop somewhere, often a park or the beach where we would get out and have a play or go for a walk. Now my family isn’t perfect and there were definitely mystery drives that led to kids bickering in the backseat or getting really frustrated when someone chose a turn that they didn’t want. In fact, I was talking to my mum about this recently and she was saying that they sometimes had to practically drag us out of the house to go on a mystery drive. But in general, I remember our mystery drives fondly as times when we would get to spend some quality time as a family and go on an adventure together. (I must have blocked out the negative parts!)

I have gone on one or two mystery drives as an adult with some friends and they have been really fun, but I must say, it was never quite the same as when we would pile into the car as a family and go in search of an adventure. As an adult I also have a much better grasp of directions, so it is much harder to truly surprise myself at the destination. This aside, I do still enjoy turning off google maps and just driving sometimes. Getting up in the morning and deciding to go for a drive and not necessarily knowing where I will end up. It really is very exciting! This is something that I particularly miss in this time of lockdown, where getting to drive to the shops is an excitement, let alone being able to go drive freely as far as I want with no destination in mind.

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