Throughout the summer of 2014, the official tourism promotional agency of the USA is on a virtual road trip to Discover America. Everyone is invited to join in; 3.5 million followers already have.
The driver is Andrew Evans, Digital Nomad at National Geographic. Armchair travelers can follow him on his Discovery Highway trip on Facebook at “Where’s Andrew?” Andrew steers along the highways and byways, past iconic road signs and defining American sights caught on camera and on paper.
The best job ever
Always a global nomad at heart, Andrew says, “I was born that way — obsessed with the outside world and impatient to explore everywhere. I read the atlas, National Geographic, and Triple-A travel brochures. Long before I actually went anywhere, I had gone everywhere mentally.” Given a career lifetime of no more than two week’s annual vacation time, how well many of us baby boomers can appreciate Andrew’s wanderlust!
Get your kicks
During his first three weeks on the road, Andrew drove across 2,448 miles on The Mother Road, the full length of Route 66 starting in Chicago. To many, some 30 years after Route 66 was decommissioned and disappeared from newer maps, the diagonal passage nicknamed by John Steinbeck in “The Grapes of Wrath” 75 years ago still represents the evolution of America’s frontier west of the Mississippi. It has transitioned from a thick line on our highway maps to a state of mind, but as Nat King Cole sang in 1946, you can still “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.”
Down memory lane
Andrew has just reached the end of the trail at the Santa Monica Pier in California and heads straight out to his next road trip, snapping the sights, meeting the folks, and sampling the flavors of Americana along the way. See Andrew’s map updated as he goes.
In addition to Route 66, the Discover America Road Trips will cover:
- Kittery to Freeport
- Cruise the Pacific Coast Highway
- The Oregon Trail
- The Blues Highway (Highway 61)
- Texas BBQ Trail
- Hana Highway
- Great River Road
- Atlantic Coast – New York City to Key West
- Mountain Craft Beer Trail
Going for Georgia
Where’s Andrew off to next? Somewhere that’s likely inspired by a song, an anecdote, a poem, a name, or by “a crack of the atlas, a glance at the map.” A peek online tells us that lately, Andrew’s been thinking that he’d like to dip his toes in the Chatahoochee River. Digital nomad, indeed!