There’s an itinerary for that
By Greg Barbera
One great way to revitalize your getaway routine is to eschew driving maps and the GPS for a day or two and just wing it. But there needs to be method to this madness. It begins with a little self-imposed amnesia: Try to forget everything you know. Then pick a place that’s previously gone unexplored in your life. Your Chevrolet Spark offers the perfect combination of safety, advanced technology and good old-fashioned spunk for this randomized road trip.
1. Pick a destination at least 90 miles away: We’re creatures of habit. Too often we fall back on doing things the same way over and over again. Your Spark can help you break that habit. Simply pick a destination (not too close but not too far away, either); use the available Chevrolet MyLink* system to create a playlist on Pandora for your road trip; turn the ignition, and start your adventure. Oh, and (if weather permits) put the windows down.
2. Stop three times along the way and ask a local what to see: People are like snowflakes—no two are the same. It’s a beautiful thing. Ask the clerk behind the deli counter where you stopped for lunch or a stranger pumping gas next to you what you should see in their town. If you live in North Carolina like I do, you may discover a park of whimsical whirly gigs from an outsider artist or “critters” carved out of wood with chainsaws. For those who don’t happen to be smartphone-savvy, use OnStar** to find the iconic spots the locals suggest to you.
3. Turn left when you think you should turn right: This concept is kind of like playing Marco Polo—just on asphalt and in your car, where you intuitively use your senses in a different manner. You may stumble on a quaint little neighborhood full of antique stores or a food truck rodeo. The BringGo*** smartphone app (for those who live in an app-centric world), used in conjunction with your Spark’s in-dash navigation system, will locate where you are to keep you from really getting lost.
4. Once you reach your destination, take an alternative route home: Don’t go back the way you came. (That’s boring.) Choose a different return route. If you used the highway to get into the city, then take surface roads back home. You may pass an eclectic enclave, like NoDa in Charlotte, and spot your dream house. If you don’t have a partner riding shotgun with a smartphone to help with directions, use Siri Eyes Free**** to help you navigate without taking your eyes off the road, so you can enjoy the ride and see the sights stress-free.
5. Document your experience: Snap a photo of your car in all the exciting places you went and post it on Chevrolet's Facebook page. Spark owners, as you know, are a breed of their own. Find like-minded souls on the site and check out what shade others picked for their car. Was it Lemonade? Denim? Jalapeño? You might even forge a new friendship.
The trademarks mentioned in this story are held by their respective owners.
Greg Barbera of DadCentric is a dad blogger, beer magazine editor and the singer/bass player for the punk band Chest Pains. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. You can follow him on Twitter @gregeboy, Tumblr, Facebook and Blogger.
*MyLink functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. MyLink on
Spark and Sonic does not include functionality such as enhanced voice recognition, Gracenote and CD player.
**Visit onstar.com for coverage map, details and system limitations.
***BringGo app must be purchased separately. Requires compatible smartphone. Data plan rates apply. See dealer or call 1-855-4-SUPPORT
(1-855-4-787-7678) for more information.
****Requires available Chevrolet MyLink and compatible iPhone running iOS 6. Software update may be required. See your dealer for more information.