Why Do We Take Roadtrips?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

There are a few current VW roadtrips I’m following online and they’ve got me thinking about the reasons people take roadtrips (as opposed to just a vacation/holiday). The two I’m going to talk about seem to have completely different purposes… but are they really?

To sell an iPod charger?

The folks at Griffin Tech have just set off from their home in Nashville and are en route to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. They’ve got a public relations budget to spend and what better way to spend it than on a renovating a 1972 VW bus? Their purpose is to engage in some face-to-face networking along the way and then more widely promote Griffin via social media on the net, oh and have a bit of a party too. I foresee a few fuzzy headed mornings in their van!

They’ve documented the build up to their trip with some well produced and fun videos and are now on the road. Are they really doing all this to help sell some more iPod peripherals? While the purpose of their trip is promotional it seems like they’ve put a lot of personal effort in to their bus and their trip. My guess is that the idea grabbed them and they pursued it for the same reason as many other people do, and we’ll get to that in a minute.

As an aside, Read Write Web identify the CES Bound crew as being part of a “social media roadtrip” trend. I guess with our own more recent use of flickr, twitter, youtube and twitter, Devon21.com is too. Travelers have been writing blogs for more-or-less as long as the internet has existed, but the mobile web has now brought the sharing and documenting of trips in to the ‘realtime’ web era. Which makes it an exciting time for a roadtrip voyeur like myself!

To save the world?

Another trip I’m curious to follow that @CESBound brought to my attention, is Carole Brown and her Yes We Can Journey. Borrowing a mantra from Obama she is on a trip of discovery centered on climate change. The backstory to her journey makes clear the multi-faceted nature of a roadtrip. For Carole it seems to be a way to challenge herself and ‘do something’. It’s a way to break from everyday life, overcome fear of the unknown and engage in something meaningful.

While climate change is the hook Carole’s trip is hung from, there’s more to it than just that.

The real reason?

So do these two trips have something in common beyond a VW bus? While they are both promoting something, the real thing they seem to share is the desire to get out and experience the world. To see for themselves what’s happening out there. Their imaginations have been caught by the idea of a VW roadtrip and they rightly think ours will be too. It’s seems to me though, that having a cause or a destination could just be a good excuse. Getting philosophical, it’s a way to justify having an adventure and discovering something you weren’t looking for, and through that, putting in to perspective your own place in the world. A roadtrip is like life; not so much about the destination, but more about how you get there.

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3 Responses to “Why Do We Take Roadtrips?”

  1. […] you are saying YesWeCan CamperVan on AboutWhy Do We Take Roadt… on AboutYesWeCan CamperVan on Merry Christmas to our friends…Amy on Day 4: 18 December […]

  2. Hi Guys, Thanks so much for reading our blog and for writing about our journey. You really get it! We just responded to your smart thinking on our blog as follows ….

    OMG – thank you for your thoughts and for including us in your blog. To tell you the truth, we’re a bit blown away by the power of social media. We hoped we might get some replies here on our blog and a few words of encouragement but this is in another league!
    First we found cesbound, and made contact with them, then you found them and noticed us. Then you read about both of us and the background to our road trips. Next you put pen to paper (! old phrases live on) and waxed lyrically about both of our roadtrips on your website.
    If we’ve got that bit correct so far, then you have just demonstrated the power that social media is giving to us all. WOW!

    Power to …. be heard, to connect, to collaborate ….
    …. which is another reason we are all out here doing our thing …. because we want to do something meaningful in our lives AND inspire other people to follow their dreams too.

    Here’s to a COLLABORATIVE 2010,
    from Carole and the YesWeCan CamperVan

  3. Hi Carole

    Thanks for your comment and a very happy 2010 to you too! I’m glad you’re pleased to see your trip featured here.

    We wish you lots of luck with your trip. You’re doing something which many people think about but never do. We look forward to hearing your stories and discoveries so keep them coming. Also let us know how you’re getting on with your bus. They can be frustrating at times with poor heating and such, but they can have a strange effect of making people want to open up to you!

    Happy driving!