Road trip. Two months. Five European friends across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver and through the States from San Francisco back to Toronto via as many cool places in between as we can find. We’ve used cities as way-markers but our interest is in the land we’ll travel through between them. Along the way we’ll pass through more National Parks than you can shake a stick at. Camp stoves, beaches, forests, mountains, waterfalls, adventures and waking up in a tent somewhere new every morning.
Introductions. We are Ciaran, Dian, Lara, Robbie and Sam – we’ve spent the year on exchange at Trent University but now exams are finished, school’s out and summer’s nearly here; time for a change of scene. You’ll get to know us along the way but for now:
Ciaran, 20, from England studies history – his most recent big adventure was climbing Africa’s highest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro.
Dian, 21 from the Netherlands studies psychology and is our most seasoned road-tripper – having driven all over Europe in what’s possibly the world’s tiniest two door hatchback.
Lara, 20, from Germany studies environmental sciences, we’re all convinced that if she’d been growing up in the 60’s she would have made a great hippie.
Robbie, 21, from Scotland studies archaeology and spent his childhood scrambling up the Munros of northwest Scotland.
Sam, 21, from Scotland studies astrophysics and spent last summer hitchhiking and walking around Iceland. Very rarely spotted not carrying at least one camera.
Why do we obsess about the destination? We hyperfocus on the goal, the trip at the end of the road, the special place that needed a special permit reserved six months in advance by the luck of a lottery draw. The plane tickets, the hotel reservations, the airport parking shuttle. It seems that we can sometimes forget the adventure and freedom of the road, forget what it’s like to explore the world in person. Living out of a car for a long road trip should be a rite of passage for Americans, young and old. Our country is so vast, one trip will never be enough, igniting fervor inside for a journey through the nation. (more…)
In February, Nate Damm stepped out in Lewes, Delaware and started his walk across America. On October 15, he reached his destination: San Francisco, California.
I did my best to approach the trip without expectations, to just walk and see what happened if I kept an open mind. Since getting home about a week ago and having some time to reflect, I’ve realized that whatever expectations I didn’t shake were greatly exceeded by how much I enjoyed the trip. It changed everything for me… Here are a few big realizations about America that I got out this trek…
- People are good.
- Everyone has a story.
- America is full of beauty.
It may not take a walk across America to find those things, but Nate’s story serves as a good reminder to keep exploring, listening and taking in the beauty of whatever place it is that you call home.
Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. Since it’s about this time of year that people seem to start getting antsy with wanderlust, we figured we’d feature one of our favorite topics: travel. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
In the day and age of all-internet-all-the-time, even when we embark on an adventure it’s hard to totally disconnect. Case in point: you can now tweet from Everest. But what’s it like to really unplug?
New York Times media columnist David Carr embarks on “a vacation that’s about absolutely nothing,” to find out exactly that. Six straight days completely disconnected on a lonely island in the Bahamas; no Twitter, no Facebook, no anything, just a Flip video camera to capture his thoughts. The resulting video — which you can watch here — reminds us how easy it is to get caught up in the everyday flurry of a “connected” life. As Carr muses, “I think the modern lifestyle gives us very poor visibility into the environment that we move through.” Agreed!
The great thing about travel is that you’re forced to push your comfort zones. Language barriers, cultural differences and even confusing and humorous road signs are all part of the game. But to get the full effect you have to go all out and dive right on in. That’s particularly true when it comes to food. National Geographic has a great photo gallery on street food to get you thinking about all the culinary possibilities your next trip could entail, if you’re ready to take them on.
And speaking of diving in, apparently Americans are not. At least according to a new survey that says Americans are the least adventurous travelers. Now granted the survey was based on respondents answering how likely they were to eat fried tarantula, stay with a local family, haggle at a local market and other activities, but the fact that America is lagging behind some of our anglophone friends is a little cause for concern. Maybe it’s because we’re spending too much time concerned with being connected??
Solution? Get out and get more active! At least that’s the Osprey mantra.
So in celebration of disconnecting and diving in, here’s to a great weekend!
Image: Giorgio Montersino
Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. Since we were so excited for the launch of our bike blog last month, we decided to continue with that theme for all of October. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
With bicycling infrastructure taking its sweet time to make it to American streets, some kids are taking things into their own hands. A group of high school students in Florida wake up early every morning to meet up and bike, as a group, to school.
“When I ride my bike, I feel better throughout the day. Like school is worth going to if I get to ride my bike.”
Some are there because they want to help the environment, others are psyched to be part of a sweet Florida bike posse (my words) and all love to ride their bikes.
“Riding your bike gives you so much freedom. You don’t have to wait for you bus. You don’t have to wait for your parents. It’s just you and your bike. You just pedal the speed you want.”
I found this over on Copenhagenize and all in all, it’s a sweet little video about a group of kids taking action to change their world. We could use a little more of this.
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And we agree. We could use A LOT more of this!
So for our final bike-themed Friday Round-Up, we’ve decided to give you a couple more inspiring videos to get you on your bike…