The American Road Trip in our Intrepid DNA
The American road trip is to travel what baseball is to sports – an American phenomenon enshrined within our wanderlust.
With two massive coastlines and plenty to do and see and be in between, no intrepid soul should settle down before doing some sort of epic trip across the American highway system.
While new hits like “Into the Wild” carry on the tradition of inspiring young-ish people to take to the road, Jack Kerouac’s classic “On the Road” continues to be the unassailable must-read of American road trips. But over the last 60 years since the publication of “On the Road,”
GPS – Road Trips and Getting Lost Have Never Been the Same Since
They were cool when you had to buy them for a few hundred dollars on their own, but now GPS simply lives in your phone along with your flashlight, friends, FaceTime, and fantasy football team.
While a part of me is nostalgic for those bygone days of crinkled maps and wondering where the hell you are lost on poorly maintained backroads, since I have the sense of direction of an antennae-less moth, I’m keenly aware of how much GPS has saved my ass and timetable on the road
No Need to Own a Car With an “It’s My Trip” Road Trip
One of the most difficult requirements for taking an American road trip is owning a car. For a traveler living out of a suitcase, the grounding responsibilities of car ownership might just be too much.
It’s My Trip is a service that allows you to rent a car in one place in the country and leave it in another, all from your cell phone. This service allows for road trips to emerge from whimsical ideas– we can only imagine what sort of impromptu road trips we’d be reading about if Jack Kerouac had had this service.
Couch Surfing and Similar Services Change How People can Connect on Road Trips
Reading Kerouac closely, you see that much of his destinations were chosen by whom he knew there. He drew upon a nationwide network of artistically glued connections that dictated his travel.
Connecting with the right people nowadays is easy and can also be done from a cell phone. CouchSurfing is the most notorious service, but one can connect a lot of ways these days, from the traditional social media networks used in new, intrepid ways, to sites you’ve never heard of like Wayn.
Most importantly, feel free to disregard what you’ve just read. While technology might make things easier and simpler, it’s hard to simplify the already simplified. And in our modern world, what’s more grounded in simplicity than disconnecting all the invisible wires of a modern life, getting into a car, and driving across this massive land commensurate only to the size of our dreams.