Tag Archives: Road Trip

On the road, but this time a mother-daughter team in “Miss You Like Hell”

Having read Jack Kerouac’s 1957 classic On the Road, I am fascinated by the idea of the “road trip.”  To just go-despite being “so lonely, so sad, so tired, so quivering, so broken, so beat”-represents absolute freedom and complete agency.

Road trips have come to be an essential part of American society. The romanticized notion is best captured in Jack Kerouac’s book, “On the Road.” (image credit: 2010 movie “On the Road”)

The advent of automobiles in the 1950s, combined with highway expansion (the Interstate Highway System was created by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956) and cheap gas prices ($0.60 per gallon), strengthened accessibility and mobility throughout the country. Driving, or road trips, became synonymous with the American identity.

John Steinbeck declares in Travels with Charley: In Search of America that Americans hunger to move: “I saw in their eyes something I was to see over and over in every part of the nation-a burning desire to go, to move, to get under way, anyplace, away from any Here.”

This past Saturday, at La Jolla Playhouse, a road trip took place. The road-less-travelled kind, that of a Latina mother (Beatriz) and her 16-year-old daughter (Olivia).

"Miss You Like Hell" takes a complicated mother/daughter story and brings that relationship on the road, literally traveling from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. (Image Credit: La Jolla Playhouse/UCSD)

“Miss You Like Hell” takes a complicated mother/daughter story and brings that relationship on the road, literally traveling from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. (Image Credit: La Jolla Playhouse/UCSD)

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Romancing the notion of “On the Road”

Viva la road trip! The advent of automobile paired with highway building and cheap gas prices ($0.60 per gallon!) in the 50s meant greater mobility — one could travel great distance in a car. The drive to go places, to search for the where, what, and why may be best exemplified by Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, which captures the essence of the “Beat” sensibility. Despite the fact that Kerouac depicts the Beat generation as “so lonely, so sad, so tired, so quivering, so broken, so beat,” to be “on the road” is largely romanticized — the American landscape appears expansive and beautiful.

Credit: online image, busbank.com

Credit: online image, busbank.com

My idea of a road trip (definitely romanticized) connotes image of open roads and feeling of absolute freedom. That illusion, however, was before I went on my New England road trip in April. The reality is, we were driving a lot. Hence, should you ever be tempted to go on a road trip, be careful who you pick as your travel buddy (-ies).

Route (800.8 mi): Boston, MA → Portland, ME → Jackson, NH → Portland, ME → Cape Cod, MA

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