• Flux Magazine

"Why Does it Feel So Good to Drive Away?" by Katherine Breeher

Escapism or adventure? Maybe both.


Is it because a car is a symbol of freedom, mobility, independence? Because you could, theoretically, go anywhere you want if you have a map and a tank of gas? Maybe it's about control. Physically deciding where you are taking yourself, with your own hands on the wheel instead of everybody else’s?

Is it because of the potential of adventure? Of new things and new people and new places? Or not even the new, necessarily, just the relief of getting rid of the old things and people and places? Exploration can be invigorating. Maybe it’s just something to pass the time and cure the boredom.


Is it to symbolically leave the world behind? Is it because you have some time to yourself to listen to music as loud as you want and think? All your inhibitions are literally flying over your head and being left in the dust as you push down on the gas pedal, putting as much distance between you and those thoughts as possible.

But maybe driving feels so good because you’re operating a machine so big and powerful, it’s as dangerous as a loaded gun. Driving, statistically, is very unsafe. And yet people do it every day. Maybe it feels good to drive because there’s a thrill of taunting death each time you turn your keys in the ignition. Do you dare yourself to drive off the bridge?

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