“We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one noble function of the time, move.”
– Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Today marks the first day of many that I will be “On the Road.” Seven weeks many, in fact. It’s both daunting and exciting to prepare for, and it will take me all across the Eastern and Central US. From Georgia to Virginia to North Carolina to South Carolina, then to Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Further out, I’ll be heading to Maryland, maybe DC.
What I am most excited about, beyond the actual aspects of meeting people and talking about something I love, is the fact that I get to see parts of America that I have never really seen. I have traveled a fair bit around the United States, I am lucky to say, but this trip gives me a chance to spend significant time in places I often would drive straight through. And, although I will be spending usually only a day or less in each stop and most of that day working, that day will be new, exciting, and an opportunity to experience a new place.
I have loved traveling outside the US – from the Middle East to Europe to South Asia – but I have never really been able to treat America like a tourist. There are few things that I love more than the obscure culture of Americana, and this brief jaunt will be a new adventure for me.
My hope is to document my travels as I crisscross the United States and meet new people, a personal “On the Road” if you will, but I sincerely hope with less blatant drug abuse, misogyny, and frustration. I welcome, however, the constant introduction of new characters, music, and stories of American grandeur. There is something about that whole generation, that whole way of describing things exactly as you see them, exactly as they are in that moment, in that light – that is the something that best captures Americana. The IT. The everything. The Road.
My schedule will take me many places, but very few of them have extra excitement planned, so: if you were to travel around the United States, where would you go? What would you see? What would you read while traveling? What foods would you search for?