My US Road Trip, 2012 Edition

One week from today, on February 15, I’ll be setting out on a 60-day road trip around the United States.

I’ve done this before. Those of you who have been reading for a while may remember the WBSQ Road Trip 2010 project I undertook with Ash Ambirge and Andi Norris (and for the latter-part of the journey, Maren Kate Donovan).

We zig-zagged our way around the country, and in the process wrote a lot of travel stories, created numerous (and somewhat bizarre) videos, and met a whole lot of really cool people in real life, including, but not limited to Josh Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, Nina Yau, Matt Stillman, Elisa Doucette, Arielle Patrice Scott, Jodi Ettenberg, Daniel Noll & Audrey Scott, Amber RaeTony Bacigalupo, Kristin Quinn, Robert Granholm, Greg Rollett, Carl Nelson, Andrew Norcross, Nicole Antoinette, Jamie Varon, Adam Baker, Joel Runyon, Zachory Zorbas, Matt Cheuvront, Grace Boyle, James Ryan Moreau, Chelsea Latimer, Josh Hanagarne, Jenny Blake, Amber Zuckswert, Jun Loayza, Mark Powers, Josh Stevens, and many, many, many more.

These people (and the others we met along the way) helped make the road trip into an amazing experience, and I’m bracing myself to be just as blown away this time around. Thanks again to everyone involved in that last road trip; it was over a year ago, but I still have many fond memories of it that I check back in with frequently.

2012 Newness

This time, I’ll be traveling with a new blogger named Jóna Hildur Sigurðardóttir.

Those of you who are subscribed to Exiles will likely recognize Jóna as the gal I dated at the end of my time in Iceland, and who I then convinced to come live with me in Kolkata. She also happens to be a professional sushi chef, an educated expert in comparative literature, and one hell of a fashion designer. You may also know her as ‘That Chick With Blue Hair and the Enormous Salvador Dali Tattoo in Colin’s Photos.’ That’s her middle name.

On top of the change in travel company, instead of taking a car, we’ll be exploring aboard Greyhound buses.

Why Greyhound?

First, they’re the only form of ground-based mass-transit available in the US that goes all the places we want to go.

Second, they’ve got a fairly mixed reputation, and that interests us. You get from place-to-place using other services, but you don’t stand the chance of getting abandoned by your driven mid-route, or sitting next to an incarcerated prisoner. We’re not sponsored by Greyhound, either, so we assume we’ll get some great stories from the spaces in between cities.

Finally, they have this thing called a Discovery Pass, which is essentially an ‘all-you-can-ride’ ticket. We’re opting for the 60-day version, which will cost us all of $556, a ridiculously low sum (as you’ll know if you’ve ever taken a road trip and paid for the gas).

This is going to be a super-cheap way for us to see the country, and that’s part of the plan: we’re intending to put together a guide of sorts that will give step-by-step instructions on how to undertake your own ‘New Great American Road Trip,’ and the theory is that such a road trip could be undertaken by just about anyone with a few weeks or a few months to spare, regardless of how big their wallets happen to be.

How You Can Be Involved

Want to meet up with Jóna and I? Want to meet up with other people in your area? Want an excuse to get out for a drink or a meal or an adventure?

Excellent! There are several ways to get involved with this road trip.

One way is to host Jóna and I as we pass through your city or town. We’re going to be choosing our stops based on where we have a proffered bed or couch or floorspace to sleep, so if you’ve got someplace we can crash for a night, let me know and I’ll add you to our list of potential stopover spots.

Another way would be to play tour guide and show us your hometown and the things that make it special. In my experience, even the tiniest little township has something unique, and that’s what we’re looking to see. This is Jóna’s first time in the US (except for a short visit to Disneyland when she was a kid), too, so even if your town isn’t terribly interesting to you, it likely will be to us. Drop me a line!

Finally, if you want to get together a Tweetup in your area (a real-life get-together organized online), let me know. We’ll plan a tentative day to show up, and will try to get as many people in the same spot at the same time as possible. Even if just a few people show, there’s a good chance we’ll all meet some great new friends, share stories, and have a grand ol’ time. Down to give it a shot?

Again, our route will be determined by where we have places to crash and do stuff, so let me know if you’re interested in hosting, touring-guiding, or partying with us somewhere along the way!

Bonus

For additional inspiration, here’s a brief collection of photos from the last road trip in 2010. As you can see, everyone involved had a ball, and I’d love to have some photos of you to include as inspiration the next time around!

Thanks in advance, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

23 comments

  1. If you go through Portland, OR, I can probably host you two and also show you around, depending on when you will be coming through town. I think we could also plan a tweetup with the local travel community here, maybe do something with @bootsnall? Greyhound is always an “interesting” experience. I can’t wait to hear your stories.

  2. @colinismyname amazing. I’m leaving for an 8mo road trip in April… Maybe I should stop calling it a trip and admit I’ll be living in a van

  3. Am debating a USA roadtrip this summer with a friend–just had a massive chat about it yesterday, in fact–and was wondering if it would even be possible without a car. Very interested to see how you go with Greyhound!

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  5. I’ve definitely heard mixed things about Greyhound buses but it sure is a cheap way to travel. You’re gonna meet a whole lot of interesting people that way.

  6. thanks for the great tips , specially the Discovery pass thing. I thins is better to do these kind of trip by bus if you dont intend to spend a fortune in gas. My tripwill be different only in one aspect : Me and my travel partner arranged house swapsin some cities that we inted to spend more time , in order to keep the budget affordable. I’m doing my trip only in April so i’m looking forward to read your stories ! thanks again!

  7. thanks for the great tips , specially the Discovery pass thing. I thins is better to do these kind of trip by bus if you dont intend to spend a fortune in gas. My tripwill be different only in one aspect : Me and my travel partner arranged house swaps in some cities that we inted to spend more time , in order to keep the budget affordable. I’m doing my trip only in April so i’m looking forward to read your stories ! thanks again!

  8. thanks for the useful tips , specially the Discovery pass thing. I think this is the best way to do these kinds of trip if your dont intend to spend a fortune with the abusive gas prices on the road. I’m doing a cross country trip as well, but mine is a little bit different of yours: me and my travel partner arranged house swaps in this http://www.quickhome.com website ( but just for the places we are planning to spend more time in ) to keep the budget affordable. My trip is gonna take place only in April so i am looking forward to read all about your trip in order to avoid any future headaches. Good american adventure!! thanks again

  9. thanks for the useful tips , specially the Discovery pass thing. I think this is the best way to do these kinds of trip if your dont intend to spend a fortune with the abusive gas prices on the road. I’m doing a cross country trip as well, but mine is a little bit different of yours: me and my travel partner arranged house swaps in this <a http://www.quickhome.com website ( but just for the places we are planning to spend more time in ) to keep the budget affordable. My trip is gonna take place only in April so i am looking forward to read all about your trip in order to avoid any future headaches. Good american adventure!! thanks again

  10. I wish I could host you here in beautiful Leucadia (just north of San Diego CA) but I live in an Airstream and it’s too small for guests. 

  11. Hi Colin, I’ll be returning to the states in March and spending time with family before my big walk. Would love to meet up with you. Anytime starting March 17, I’m happy to host you in rural WI. We are close to the Greyhound stops at Tomah, WI and Sparta, WI and we’re happy to pick you up from there. We’d be staying at my parents’ hobby farm and you can sample my dad’s home made wine and beer. There’s plenty of natural beauty in the area.Alternately, I’d be happy to meet up with you guys in Milwaukee. I can probably help arrange a couch or guest room for you and there are a ton of sites I’d love to show you. Including one of the most breathtaking art museums in the world! Let me know if these will work for you. I should be in and around WI through May. 

  12. I see you’re from No. Cal, but the two of you are more than welcome to come stay with us in Morgan Hill, CA on your newest US Road Trip, 2012. Let’s chat.

  13. Interesting…. May I suggest from experience: don’t sit in the back by the bathroom on long rides. No matter how tempting those three seats are when you want to stretch out and sleep. It’s not worth it, man….

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