Tag: Road Trips

Interview With Peter Hessler: Behind the Wheel in China

Interview With Peter Hessler: Behind the Wheel in China Photo by Darryl Kennedy

Frank Bures asks the New Yorker writer about his new book, "Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory"

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The Critics: ‘The Routes of Man’ by Ted Conover

Hard-traveling journalist Ted Conover’s latest, The Routes of Man: How Roads are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today, hit stores last week. The book sees Conover traveling six different roads, some official and some unofficial, from Peru’s mahogany export routes to China’s new superhighways, in an effort to understand the way they are “reshaping the world.”

The Washington Post’s Jonathan Yardley is skeptical of the concept. He writes that “what we have here essentially are a half-dozen magazine pieces, stitched together in such a way as to resemble a real book but missing the thematic core that Conover strains to locate.” However, Yardley adds, “Conover’s six reports are variously interesting in and of themselves, and one shouldn’t expect any more from them.”

Over at NPR, Maureen Corrigan notes that the “vivid armchair travel aspect of Conover’s book is undeniably a great part of its appeal,” but wonders where the women are—the book, she writes, takes place in “a road warrior universe that is pretty much all male.” The Los Angeles Times’ Taylor Antrim is less conflicted, describing “The Routes of Man” as “refreshingly nonromantic road writing.” He goes on:

What Conover has brought back is a clear-eyed understanding that roads confine as much as they liberate, that they make the world more accessible but also infinitely more dangerous and exploitable. Perhaps the only certainty he offers is that these “paths of human endeavor” are inevitable: “They are the infrastructure upon which almost all other infrastructure depends.”


Recommended Reading in Planes, Trains and Automobiles

The Millions asks its contributors to recommend reading material suited to different modes of transportation. Sample recommendation for travel by train: “I like the Russians for train travel. When you’re watching the natural landscape—the largely uninhabited regions—of a country fly by in flashes, it just feels right to be reading stories that take place over the great land mass of Mother Russia.”


The Elusiveness of the Northern Lights

Kenai Alaska Photo by Dario DiBattista

After returning from the war in Iraq, Dario DiBattista road-tripped from Alaska to Maryland in search of peace -- and a way back into the civilian world

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Jamaica: Playing Chicken with the Jerks

Jamaica: Playing Chicken with the Jerks iStockPhoto

Roger Rapoport loves Jamaica. But driving on the island's roads? Not so much.

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My Sexy Vintage Travel Trailer

airstream trailer Photo by Allison Otto

Formica countertops. Pinstripes. Aluminum. Is it any wonder Allison Otto fell hard for a 1958 Airstream?

See the full audio slideshow: »


Cosette and Me: A Dog and Traveler Love Story

dog travel Photo by Allison Otto

Allison Otto longed for the perfect travel companion. She just never thought hers would be so hairy.

See the full audio slideshow: »


William Least Heat-Moon: ‘Speed Corrupts Travel far More Than Bad Chinese Food’

CNN talks to the author of the classic travel book “Blue Highways” as part of its American Road Trips package. The Blue Highways experience, he says, is still out there:

There are still miles and miles of two-lane roads to take a traveler into recesses of America, where delights and amazements await.

The problem with an interstate is not the interstate itself but the speed at which one can move on an interstate.

(via Jaunted)


Photo You Must See: The Thin Yellow Line in Chongqing

Photo You Must See: The Thin Yellow Line in Chongqing REUTERS/Stringer Shanghai
REUTERS/Stringer Shanghai

Yellow cabs line a viaduct in Chongqing, China, while waiting to get their tanks filled during a shortage.


On the ‘Easy Rider’ Trail, 40 Years Later

Keith Phipps followed Wyatt and Billy’s path from Southern California to the Gulf Coast, and the first part of his resulting multiday series for Slate ran yesterday. It looks to be a good one. Here’s a sample:

More an elegy for a generation that never got where it wanted to go than a celebration of that generation’s superiority, it pits hopefulness against resignation and sets the battle on a lovingly photographed stretch of the United States. Easy Rider hit theaters with a memorable tag line: “A man who went looking for America. And couldn’t find it anywhere.” Star, producer, and co-writer Peter Fonda hated that line, and rightly so. It’s really the story of two men—Wyatt and Billy, played by Fonda and co-writer and director Dennis Hopper—who went looking for America and found it everywhere. They just didn’t find a place for themselves.

We paid tribute to the movie on its 40th anniversary this past summer.


Travel Song of the Day: ‘I Drove All Night’ by Roy Orbison


Photos: 10 All-American Must Sees for All Americans

yellowstone Photo by Sophia Dembling

Flyover America's Sophia Dembling shares the sights that will make you swoon

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Mapped: The U.S. Interstates, in the Style of the London Underground Map

See it in Senex Prime’s Flickr stream. (Via Coudal)


Chevy Volt Takes its First Road Trip

An eight-car convoy of Chevrolet Volts is on a three-day road trip from Michigan to West Virginia and back, Wired reports. The trip is part of final pre-production testing for the long-awaited electric car.


Finally Some Good News on Travel in Mexico

Finally Some Good News on Travel in Mexico iStockPhoto

Drug cartels. Murders. The news is often bad out of Mexico. Peter Ferry journeys beyond the headlines.

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‘The Making of a Flyover American’

Feel a traveler’s love for the United States bloom through the excerpts of a 32-year-old letter World Hum contributor Sophia Dembling shares at Flyover America. She wrote it during her first cross-country drive when she was a teenager.

Partway through the drive, I started writing a letter to my brother documenting the trip. I wrote 14 pages, all the way through the final leg of the drive, San Francisco to L.A. Nick saved the letter and returned it to me a few years ago. As literature, it’s unimpressive. But as a record of the awakening of a provincial city girl, it’s kinda special.

Indeed.


Photo You Must See: Vintage Wheels in Cuba

Photo You Must See: Vintage Wheels in Cuba REUTERS/Desmond Boylan
REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

A classic car passes state-owned farm lands near the village of Quivican, outside Havana.


Travel Song of the Day: ‘Car Song’ by Elastica


Travel Movie Watch: Yet Another ‘Vacation’ Sequel

Dust off the Family Truckster: The Griswolds are back. Well, one of them at least—apparently, in the soon-to-be fifth installment of the “Vacation” series, Clark’s now-grown son Rusty will take his own young brood on the road. Get the Big Picture’s Colin Boyd speculates:

My hunch would be that they’d look to a well-established comedic actor for the role, and the more money they have, the bigger name they could attract. I also have a hunch that it won’t matter to a lot of you, since you may have already imposed a ban on this film out of principle.

Anyone who followed along when the World Hum Travel Movie Club tackled the original last summer knows that “Vacation” is not one of my personal sacred cows. Still, it’s hard not to be suspicious of the motives for making a sequel nearly 30 years later—this wouldn’t have anything to do with the publicity generated by the recent death of John Hughes, would it?


David Lynch: ‘Interview Project’

David Lynch’s excellent travel web series, Interview Project, follows a team of filmmakers (led by Austin Lynch, David’s son, and Jason S.) as they take a 20,000-mile road trip across the States and back, talking with local folks. The resulting webisodes each feature one subject and function like intimate four-minute character studies.

We think a lot about how liberating a journey can be for the traveler, but often that liberation is contagious, and people we meet on the road open up to us in ways they normally wouldn’t. This project is a lovely example of the unique exchange between the traveler and the local. As Lynch puts it in his intro “it’s something that’s human, and you can’t stay away from it.”