The road: a magical, serendipitous place, though often a long and lonesome one. Whether you’re a solo wanderer or not, a great read remains a crucial travel companion for any long haul adventure.
The beaming and curious smiles of the locals watch on as we load our bags into the back locker of our overland truck. The dirt road snakes its way onwards through gentle hills, punctuated by traditional thatched straw homes. Smoke from early morning cooking dots the horizon and mixes with the cool mist in the early morning sun. Another epic day on the road awaits.
It’s an iconic American image – the endless expanse of the open road. And just like Australians can’t drive more than a few hundred kilometres before coming across a giant mango or something, Americans have their own quirky fondness for bizarre roadside attractions.
What it is about America that makes people cross it in search of something? For some it’s a better life, others are looking for truth or beauty, or the best home-cooked chilli; but for thousands of travellers each year, it’s music that drives them. Many will road trip square across the country to visit the hometown of their idol, or uncover the origins of a particular music scene. From the jazz-filled hotels of New Orleans to the crooner bars of Vegas and the grunge clubs of Seattle, there’s a song and a story for almost everyone.
When a Perth-based friend recently decided to move back to Australia’s East Coast, the opportunity for an adventure was too good for Sophie Suelzle to pass up. Sophie and her boyfriend packed their bags, borrowed a tent and booked a one-way ticket to partake in what would be the most epic road trip of their young(ish) lives…
“It is a strange thing to have explored numerous places overseas, yet never the country you call home. Shamefully, until the beginning of this year, I could honestly say I had barely ventured out of Victorian borders, except for a solitary school camping trip.