Out there on the bitumen cord, you need more than a tank of gas and a favorite sled.
1. Heavily curated music.
Rule one on the road trip is that it ain't going to be an endless playlist of non-hits and critics favourites. A car ride only lights up when it's reverberating with the off-key falsettos and baritones of its inhabitants and that's only going to happen with cheeseball retro-fantastico tunes. A little country (Willie Nelson), hip-hop (Jay-Z), some dance floor anthems, it ain't rocket science. You know your pals. Give 'em the goods aurally.
2. Eyes Wide Open.
Driving is hypnotism, and anything over six hours is going to test the outermost limits of your fortitude. And, therefore, you want a cooler at your feet inflated with your favourite energy drink.
3. A sleek attitude.
You'll get lost, your car will blow a tire, you'll get axle-deep in sand, and at some point, when you're sleeping in it, you'll feel as if you'll actually freeze to death. But you don't. And every single thing will catalogue itself in your brain as the finest of memories, created back when you chased swells and good times and not career rungs and expensive frills.
4. A profound lack of comfort.
No pillows, one shared blanket and the only food allowed must come from a drive-through. Character only grows in the troughs of great suffering. You'll find more within the skin of a kid diving for pennies at a Filipino port or an ice-cream seller on the beaches of Gaza or the father of six massaging the squishy bones of Australians on Kuta Beach than in most western surfers.
5. Hip hop poetry jams.
These light up a crowd like nothing else. Def Jam. Get 'em. Learn 'em. Fun times, good times, the best of times.