Esquire Names Roadtrip Nation “Best and Brightest” of 2005

Travel Blog  •  Frank Bures  •  12.16.05 | 9:06 AM ET

imageThe road trip may be a time-honored American tradition, but the guys from Roadtrip Nation, who were just chosen by Esquire as three of the “Best and Brightest” of 2005, have found a way to make it more than that. 

Here’s the story, if you’re not already familiar with it after viewing their PBS series and documentaries, or reading their books: Nathan Gebhard, Brian McAllister and Mike Marriner started Roadtrip Nation a few years ago when they were about to emabark on lives of Willy Lowmanesque quiet desperation. They said screw it, maxed out their credit cards, bought a bus, and spent three months driving across the country. “As we travel around the country,” they say in their manifesto, “we continue to witness a disturbing tendency toward conformity among our society.”

The on-the-road, non-conforming thing isn’t exactly a new idea (see: Walden, The Beats, the 1960s, Edward Abbey, etc.), but it does seem to be catching on with students. “The movement we’re trying to ignite is simply one of exploration,” says their manifesto. “We’re challenging our generation to find the open road.”

We’d like to second that.

Frank Bures is a contributing editor at World Hum, where his stories have won several awards. More of his work can be found at

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