5 Reasons to Take a Road Trip across the United States

Be adventurous! Go enjoy a road trip whether it's 30 days or 3 days.

My number one reason for taking a road trip no matter your destination is to meet new people and have experiences you never realized were there or were possible. I have been taking road trips most of my life starting when I was 8 and everywhere that I go I always learn new things about what life is really about. Even when I have been to the same place a few times I always see something new and amazing. I enjoy going back to the same place just so I can see what I missed the last time I was there. Another part about going to new places is meeting new people. Almost everyone in America has a view about what people are like in parts of the country that they don't live in. So wherever you go, you can learn about what other people are like and see if your assumptions about them are correct. 

Another reason why I love going on road trips is no matter how much you research and plan, there's always something that catches you by surprise and you want to check out. If you are camping and going from place to place then you are free to go wherever you want at any time. If you want to completely abandon the original plan and do your own thing then you can. Recently on a 6000-mile road trip I was in Colorado and found my self staring at one of the most beautiful places to camp, but we were supposed to go another 100 miles that day so we completely threw out the original plan and ended up summiting a 13er and seeing the best view of my life. So no matter where you are going or what you are doing, expect the unexpected. 

My third reason which may not be on everyone's top list, is to find new food and try styles I would have never thought about. Traveling across America is really about trying new types, whether you are trying foods that are the fanciest most popular place in town or the small mom-and-pop restaurant off a dirt highway that is always busy. No matter where you go, don't just get fast food cause its easy. Go and actually enjoy the local food! On a trip a few years ago I found my self in a small town outside of Yellowstone and we noticed this small school bus that was cram packed with people and was spilling out the doors and onto a pavilion. We knew that that was the place to be, not some fancy restaurant so we tried the food and to this day I have still never had any better tacos than those. 

No matter how many pictures you look at or videos you watch, it will never be the same as going there and seeing it in real life. The experiences to be had and the gorgeous landscapes of the world are worth taking the trip every time. By looking at a picture you get a one dimensional view of the landscape or mountains or lake, but by actually going there you get the feeling of joy and happiness and being able to see the entire world around you. Pictures can't show you what the mountains really look like or what the clean air smells like or what the gusts of wind feel like and that feeling is what makes that moment so special. That's why no matter how many places you go that are similar, it will always be different. As said in my favorite movie Walter Mitty, "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life."

The best and most worthy reason to go on a road trip is to make memories that you will have forever. No matter if you are 8 or 88 years old, new memories can always be made. A memory is not something that's always the best. Making a memory on a road trip could be about that one thing that went hilariously wrong like falling in a lake while fully clothed. Memories are what life is made of. Without our memories of our friends and family, we would be nothing. So get out there take a spontaneous trip to the middle of nowhere and find that the middle of nowhere is where everything is. 

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Jared BeelerExplorer

Avid Hiker and Photographer from East Tennessee. I enjoy hiking and camping in the smoky mountains and blue ridge mountains.