When too busy is too much, go drive

The past year has been one of the most fruitful and satisfying of my life. My oldest daughter graduated from college, lives in Brooklyn, and is taking those first steps into self-sufficient adulthood. (Good grief, where did the time go?) Hagerty launched the Hagerty Drivers Club, and if you’re reading this, you join over a million people who love cool cars and want to save driving for future generations. I also ventured into the world of prewar full classics with the purchase of a 1931 Cadillac V-16 all-weather phaeton. On top of all that, I launched a learning and idea-sharing website (www.McKeelHagerty.com), gave dozens of speeches all over the country, and wrote a book, due out soon, about how to create what I call a “boundless” life (more on that later).

[This article originally ran in Hagerty magazine, the exclusive publication of the Hagerty Drivers Club. For the full, in-the-flesh experience of our world-class magazine—as well other great benefits like roadside assistance and automotive discounts—join HDC today.]

So life is good in the McKeel and Soon Hagerty household, and at the Hagerty HQ. The only missing element has been the time to drive and share moments with my fellow car friends. Fun, unfortunately, is often the first thing to be sacrificed on the altar of adult responsibility. That’s fine in the short term, but in the long run, skipping fun is probably not the wisest of moves. What’s that proverb? “All work and no play makes Jack a dull, stressed-out bore”? Something like that.

I need this to change. Cars have always been a huge part of my life. More than that, they’ve always been my personal form of therapy. When my head needs clearing, I drive. When I need a moment alone, I drive. When it’s nice out and the family is busy, I get out my trusty 1967 Porsche 911S and head for the excellent country roads that wind through Leelanau County, Michigan, a breathtaking region of dunes, forests, and lakes near my home. In these moments, freedom is again mine, and my cares drift away, replaced by the only-in-a-911 sounds coming from behind the rear seats. It’s pure bliss.

Some changes are in order to increase my time behind the wheel this year. Already I have planned three driving trips with family and friends. One of them is a trip I have been thinking about since my college days in the 1980s. I also shipped that same 911 to California to drive Highway 1.

I am definitely not alone in my need for such moments. A few months ago, Detroit Free Press auto writer Phoebe Wall Howard wrote a piece saying, “Fire your therapist, and buy a Camaro or Mustang instead.” When I posted a link to my social media and said I wholeheartedly agreed with that sentiment, people couldn’t wait to add comments saying they did, too. Here are a few:

“Horsepower is the best antidepressant.”

“I’m a car gal, and driving a cool car makes me happy.”

“Agree! My Z06 is my best friend.”

“My Audi RS4 is the best drug I know of.”

“Driving around in a convertible on a sunny day does more to lower my blood pressure than any medicine.”

“A top-down cruise in a Corvette cures any problem life may hand you.”

Indeed, it does. Which is why I don’t intend to let life and all its busyness do to me this year what it did to me last year. Driving season is coming up fast. It’s time to put the finishing touches on my 2019 driving bucket list. What’s on your driving bucket list this year? Let me know in the Hagerty Forums below.

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