Why We Need the Gen-X Way of Having Fun Today?

Keep on rollin’.

Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD
5 min readMar 25, 2022


Photo courtesy of author

I got my first car in the summer of 1987. A used Volkswagen. Crimson red. Sports steering wheel and exhaust.

A feast to the eyes and ears. Or so I believed when I was cruising around.

The reality was that the car was nothing special. But still, it was mine.

I had saved some extra cash and fitted a “high-quality” radio cassette car stereo. Remember cassette tapes? Are they even still a thing? I preferred my own mixtapes to the incessant DJ talk and advertisements that constantly interrupted the music on the radio.

After getting that car, life was never the same. There is nothing quite like that combination of driving and listening to music. That feeling of freedom and control. The sheer pleasure of being young and alive and on the road.

Every day was an adventure. Eat. Sleep. Wake. Hit the gas and off somewhere that had been out of reach before. Eighties music — amongst the best of all time — blasting at full volume.

Life was lived from day to day. I lived in the moment, looking forward to the next event. Game day. Spring break. Summertime. Holiday season. And the car made everything so much better.

I suspect many people my age will tell a similar story about their first car. About how owning a car opened so many new opportunities. Exploring the world. Running wild. Running free.

Car ownership was a life-changing event.

My “First” Road Trip

I still vividly remember my fall foliage road trip. It was October.

My friends and I had the idea to drive through New England. We had four days and wanted to visit at least the following cities, Boston (Massachusetts), Portsmouth (New Hampshire), Burlington (Vermont), and Newport (Rhode Island). Cape Cod was also a destination. It was a random list of places. We started in Hartford, Connecticut.

I had been on road trips before but being the main driver of the car made me responsible for the planning, organization, and execution of the trip. It put road trips in a completely new perspective. To be the “guy in charge.”



Erik P.M. Vermeulen, PhD

Prof (law) exploring the collision of life, work, and technology, with a current project in the works - a sci-fi novel.