We grew up in the 747 Age. It is just as easy to go to the Andaman Islands,
New Zealand, or Prague as it is to get to Buffalo. It might even be cheaper. If
it is now so easy to learn about other cultures, why take to the Interstate? To
learn something about yourself.
Most of the people that you talk to every day share the same values. You won't
find too many New Yorkers who think money is unimportant. You won't find too many
Washingtonians who question the value of government. You won't find too many
Cantabrigians who doubt that a PhD is worth 10 years of sacrifice. You won't get
a confused look from an Angeleno if you're contemplating plastic surgery.
There are eccentrics and iconoclasts in every community, but it is tough to
seek them out when you're running between work and friends. Do you go to the
supermarket with an open heart toward strangers or do you just want to get milk
and get out?
A long solo trip of any kind forces you to confront loneliness and turn to the
people around you. If you take the trip in North America, the people around you
will speak your language and understand your culture. You've got a better chance
of a complete personality makeover in a Buddhist monastery in Nepal but if you
are looking for lessons that you can use within American society, then here are
some road trips for you...