Have you ever dreamed of just packing up and hitting the open road? No destination in mind, just going with the flow and seeing where you end up?
I sure have. Plenty of times! I'm always itching for that next adventure.
There's something about a road trip that just brings out that wanderlust mood in me every time!
Windows down, the tunes are blasting, the wind blowing through your hair, the stunning scenery passing by, dreaming of where you will pull over next.... What a ride!
I have been really fortunate during my life to have experienced some of the best road trips including backpacking around Australia in a vintage camper van! That was an epic adventure that I will never forget. Ever since then I have always wanted to go on other road trips and explore even more destinations around the globe.
Here's my top 3 road trip journeys that I hope I can tick off my bucket list one day soon:
1. PALM SPRINGS - JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA, USA
This is a perfect day trip for those who want to pack a lot in to a short space of time.
The route between the two destinations only takes one hour but you can stop off along the way by driving via Pioneertown.
Palm Springs is known for it's midcentury modern design aesthetic, which I am totally in love with and I am sure you've probably seen those famous brightly coloured painted front doors that pop up all over Instagram during the summer right?
PS has that old school Hollywood glamour from a bygone era and I am all for that!
Joshua Tree National Park first came on to my radar when I saw a picture of a beautifully restored vintage Airstream basking in all it's glory underneath the starry desert sky against the backdrop of it's signature Joshua trees and alien-like landscape. The second I saw this I knew I had to go there!
2. GREAT OCEAN ROAD, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
One of Australia's most scenic drives, the Great Ocean Road is a magnificent three-day self-drive touring route from surf capital Torquay to the famous 12 Apostles, ending at historic fishing village Port Fairy.
I was fortunate enough to make the journey from Sydney all the way down to the Great Ocean Road in a camper van a few years ago and it was one of the most exhilarating adventures I've ever been on.
Australia holds such a special place in my heart as half of my family live there so I feel drawn to this amazing country because I have such a personal connection.
Even though I have already done this road trip I would 100% do it again. Australia is so huge and vast, it is impossible to see EVERYTHING on just one trip, so as my family always says, "a boomerang always returns" and that's exactly what I intend to do one day soon.
3. AMALFI COAST, ITALY
This Southern Italian road trip will transport you back in time. It has everything from fishing villages, to beautiful architecture and of course there's all the delicious traditional food that you will get to taste along the way.
The cinematic Blue Highway is a 43 mile-long road that's dotted with picturesque seaside towns and glamorous beaches. Around every bend and turn is another stunning photo opportunity just waiting for you admire.
Positano, Capri and Sorrento are the most famous and beautiful towns along this coastline. Each one will charm you and make you never want to leave.
Now... Aruba isn't exactly the ideal place for a road trip considering it's only 19 miles long by 6 miles wide, but that doesn't mean there aren't any scenic roads for you to enjoy. Aruba has a varied landscape that's just waiting to be explored. Our tiny island paradise is so much more than just white sandy beaches.
Here's my favourite route to cruise along in Aruba that you will make you feel like you are on a road trip (even if it is only a short one):
SAN FUEGO - BABY BEACH
1. Start in your 4x4 at the San Fuego entrance to Arikok National Park.
2. Head Southeast on Rte 7 towards the Northern Loop and enjoy the cacti dotted landscape along the way.
3. Turn left and make a pit stop at Dos Playa. This beautiful soft sand remote beach is the perfect place to set up a private picnic and pretend you are a castaway for a couple of hours.
*PLEASE NOTE* Swimming is not recommended here due to strong under tow/current.
4. Make sure to stop on top of the hill as you leave Dos Playa and join Rte 7 again just before you reach Boca Prins. The view from here is phenomenal and you will want to capture on camera for sure.
5. Turn left before the Boca Prins Bar & Restaurant and follow the signs for the Fontein Cave. This cave is a great place to explore and see ancient petroglyphs left by Aruba's original inhabitants, the Arawak Indians.
6. After you leave the cave, walk to the right and follow the path in to the old abandoned plantation house Hofi Fontein. Here you can wander around the ruins, look out for turtles in the "sweet eye" of Aruba (fresh water pond) and even dip your feet in the cool stream and let the fishes give you a free pedicure.
7. Head back on to Rte 7 and continue on the Northern Loop, admiring the wild rugged coastline to your left as you make your way to the exit of Arikok National Park at the Vader Piet Wind Farm.
8. Once you have left Arikok, take the third road on the left, Parish Hillweg (dirt road).
9. Continue on this dirt road until the road forks then take the road to the left.
10. Keep driving straight ahead all the way to the Cascabel Airfield. When you reach the end of the road turn left.
11. Just before the road bends down to the right, be sure to stop on top of the hill for another spectacular vista. From here you can see the colourful ranches (beach huts) on Rincon Beach in the distance, where local families have been "staycationing" for decades!
*PLEASE NOTE* If you stop and explore these ranches, please respect them, do not litter, vandalise or damage them. Even though they make look abandoned they are actually frequented by locals on weekends and during special holidays throughout the year.
12. Turn right at the bottom of the hill and continue along the coastal dirt road. Look out for wild goats showing off their agility whilst climbing up and down the steep cliffside to your right and watch in awe as the kite surfers do their tricks at Boca Grandi to the left.
13. Pull over by the red anchor, a monument dedicated to all seamen. This is a one of those famous Aruba landmarks that you HAVE to take a picture at when visiting the sunrise side of the island.
14. Next stop... Coconut! Super Coco (Loco Coco on Google Maps) is located just opposite the red anchor and you can grab a fresh coconut to quench your thirst pretty much any day of the year here!
*TOP TIP* Sip it at the stand whilst it's still cold and then ask the guy to chop it in half with his machete so you can enjoy the dushi succulent flesh inside the shell.
15. Drive straight on the road towards Seroe Colorado but please go slow as we have wild donkeys roaming free along this stretch of road.
16. Turn left at the little white old bus shelter that says "I ❤️ ARUBA" and go to the top of the hill.
17. Turn right to go down hill and take your first left when you reach the bottom.
18. This road is one of the closest Aruba has to those you see on Insta with the travel girl or guy sitting in the middle, with a map and the long road stretching behind them (I have tried to recreate this kind of shot several times... Without much success might I add!). I recommend driving all the way to the look out point at the top because this is the tip of the island. You can't go any further in this direction. The 360 degree view from up here is pretty special and on a really clear day you can see the mountains in Venezuela perfectly!
19. Once you have admired the view, turned back and head down the winding road then take the first turn on the left. This dirt road will lead you to the back entrance of Baby Beach.
20. You have now reached your final destination: The world famous Baby Beach!
Take a dip, cool off, float, refresh, swim with turtles. After just five mins on this pristine beach you will understand why it is one of the best treasures in the whole of the Caribbean.
ROAD TRIP ESSENTIALS:
Roadside Emergency Kit
Paper Map/ Map.Me App
Reusable Water Bottle
Note Pad & Pen
*All outfits featured in this blog are either available online for international shipping or in store at the Sunset Shack, Aruba.
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