Setting off on a new journey is one of the most liberating experiences you can have in this life. You’ll discover new lands, cultures, meet life-changing people, and learn so much about yourself. When planning your adventure, one of the most exciting parts is choosing just how you will get from one place to another. I’ve taken public buses throughout the length of South America, watched the country pass by on a 24+ hour train ride in China, and hitched rides across Europe. Hopefully, one day I’ll take on a more daring endeavor, like Joshua, who cycled around Europe (with his dog in tow!), or Mario, who walked across the continent of Africa. (If you’re interested in out-of-the-box ventures like this, I’d recommend Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit.)
Nonetheless, there’s nothing quite like a good road trip. I’ve only driven out of the United States twice- once in Canada and another amazing time in Iceland- but when I hit the road, it’s usually solo. Throughout the years, I’ve covered the entire West Coast of the United States, at times reaching Vancouver, BC, Canada, and reaching as far south as Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. With the windows rolled down, my long hair blowing around like wildfire, Bob Dylan on blast, and nothing but the open road ahead of me, I feel invincible. All possibilities are just ahead of me, past the next mountain range, the next state border.
If you’re considering exploring the United States, don’t cheat yourself. This country was meant to be driven across, and possibly that’s why cars are so ingrained in this culture. I mean, how much fun would On the Road have been in Sal and Dean simply took a domestic flight to New York, Colorado, or San Francisco?! There’s something to be said of the experiences to be had in between destinations. Driving a car is the best way to savor the passing of time, the setting of the sun, the melting of cityscape into landscape. Nothing could ever rival a caffeine-fueled road trip into new frontiers and new beginnings.