Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Noob of the Road

Noob of the Road: Apropos of nothing but my late life appreciation of road trips we have none other than Paul Theroux -- who has traveled throughout the world, from some of the more remote and undeveloped areas to great sprawling Asian cities, from railing across continents to sailing across oceans -- now in his sixties and taking his first road trip across the U.S. having seen pretty much none of his own country.

In my life, I had sought out other parts of the world--Patagonia, Assam, the Yangtze; I had not realized that the dramatic desert I had imagined Patagonia to be was visible on my way from Sedona to Santa Fe, that the rolling hills of West Virginia were reminiscent of Assam and that my sight of the Mississippi recalled other great rivers. I'm glad I saw the rest of the world before I drove across America. I have traveled so often in other countries and am so accustomed to other landscapes, I sometimes felt on my trip that I was seeing America, coast to coast, with the eyes of a foreigner, feeling overwhelmed, humbled and grateful.

Yep. Nothing compares to flyover country. Theroux did it wrong to some extent, barreling through the nation at a breakneck pace. He acknowledges this, saying that he didn't really see places long enough to do anything but make a list of where he wants to spend a proper amount of time. That would be awesome. If we suddenly got a slew U.S. travel stories from Theroux, I think we'd all be grateful for his road trips.

Open offer to Paul: drop me an email and I'll design you an epic itinerary.