5 Ways to 'Find Yourself' Out on the Road

There comes a time in many people's lives when they realize they barely know themselves at all. If you've reached this point, there are a variety of methods to "find yourself." One of the best tools in the quest for self-actualization is the open road, and if you're up for such a trip, here are a few tactics that might work.

Plan the Perfect Route

If you're traveling with kids, you're used to planning out a route in advance, but even if you're going solo, having the perfect route in mind is a big plus. Research, and then choose, all the sites and sounds along your route that appeal to you the most. Plan to visit a variety of sites, but leave some leeway in your plans in case something piques your interest.

Have No Plan At All

While planning out the "perfect" road trip is one way of finding yourself -- and a great way to save money on gas -- hitting the road with no real plan at all has more of an appeal to some. Just have a general direction in mind and choose where the road will take you as it comes along. Your journey could include making random turns or choosing one of the top 5 driving roads. Either way, this is a great way to meet others who are doing the same.

Go Nighttime Driving

Many people prefer driving at night, which means you'll encounter far fewer vehicles on the road. Additionally, this gives you the chance to stay in a certain town during the day and really explore everything it has to offer before hitting the road again.

Pick the Right Music

Whether you're driving a 1954 Roadmaster or a new Buick Regal, you'll likely have the radio to keep you company. If you've decided on a more regional road trip, for instance, listen to local stations to find out what's important in certain areas.

For longer journeys, bring a self-help audio book that delves deep into the soul. Or clear your mind and think more clearly with hours of your favorite soft melodies.

Take a Risk

Turning your trip into a risk-taking experience could be just what you need. This doesn't mean, of course, that you should engage in distracted driving or other risk-taking behaviors. Instead, head in one direction, even if the main roads don't take you there. Apply for different jobs across the country and then head out. Pack all of your things and decide to live in whatever town you end up in on Day 5 of your journey.

Of course, it's important to have contingency plans. You shouldn't, for instance, head in one general direction without having a map on hand. Taking risks can be a quick metaphorical road to self-actualization, but make sure they're controlled risks.

Finding yourself is a journey, so why not make it a literal journey on the road? It may take some time, but by engaging in the aforementioned steps, you might just find enlightenment after all.