If you were to ask a group of children what they want to do when they grow up, there’s a slim chance that any of them will describe their aspiration to talk to strangers.
Perhaps even smaller is the chance that any will declare their desire to live in an RV with four other people, sleep in Wal-Mart parking lots, take cold showers, and subsist on off-brand cereal and Coca-Cola.
But that is exactly what I am doing with my grown-up life.
As a Roadtripper with the public television series “Roadtrip Nation,” I spent the summer traveling across the country on a 36- foot Green RV filming interviews with admirable and inspiring people who have defined their own roads in life.
In each interview, I told these relative strangers what scares me, what confuses me, and what excites me, with candor typically reserved for my private journal. I asked that they, too, share a piece of themselves, detailing their own moments of apprehension, failure, epiphany, and accomplishment. These people have given me invaluable new ideas to consider about creating a life for myself. From the nuclear engineer to the foreign affairs correspondent, the chemist to the outdoor educator, the video game designer to the radio host, they all illustrate that life can be a beautiful mosaic of experiences vast and varied, if only I am open to challenging myself.
This coming fall, I will get back on the Green RV to tour high school and college campuses promoting Roadtrip Nation’s mission. At each high school, we will help students realize the relevance of their schoolwork to their future personal and professional aspirations. At each college and university, we will encourage young people to get involved with the movement and create lives based on their interests and their integrity. (And maybe apply to spend a summer on the Green RV!)
For me, this position has been an incredible way to blend my passions for education, travel, and talking to people. I am so grateful for the chance to learn from a wide range of people, and in turn share my thoughts and feelings to an audience of my peers. It has been a truly wonderful experience.
As for sharing an RV bathroom… well, that is another story.
Here are some photos of the people my teammates (Jackie and Zachariah) and I interviewed (and many many more for 31 interviews in total!).
And from the road:
Thanks so much to Megan Doyle ’12 for sharing her amazing roadtrip and internship experience with us, we wish you all the best on your next adventure!
Learn more about Roadtrip Nation