Roadtrip Nation

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Roadtrip Nation began in 2001 as an idea Mike, Nathan, Brian and Amanda, four friends fresh out of college, formed when they were not sure what to do with their lives. Initially, the scope of the plan was relatively small – climb aboard an old RV, paint it green, and traverse the country with the purpose of interviewing people who inspired them by living lives that centered on what was meaningful to them. Along the way, the four realized that the conversations they were having on the road could not remain within the confines of their own RV, but held relevancy that could be shared with a world that was losing the know-how of living lives that pulse on personal passion rather than someone else’s expectations.

The original Roadtrip was a learning process for the whole team. With no experience driving an RV or handling a video camera (let alone editing footage for a documentary) and no contacts for setting up interviews, the friends relied on perseverance, dedication to making the road-trip work, and their genuine belief in wanting to find their own road in life in order for the trip to be successful. And the team did discover that they could have a life built on what they loved – through the interviews and the Roadtrip process, Amanda found her path was to be a teacher, and Mike, Nate and Brian discovered a passion for sharing their experience from the road.

The friends decided they would take a road-trip across the country and talk to dozens of people who defined their own paths in life. After a bit of research, they compiled a list of inspiring individuals they wanted to interview and began cold calling. As expected, most people rejected them, but there were plenty that agreed to share their stories. They booked a handful of interviews, bought an old RV, painted it green and began mapping their route.

During their three-month journey, they met with a wide range of diverse and eclectic individuals–from winemaker Robert Mondavi to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor; from Saturday Night Live Director Beth McCarthy Miller to a lobsterman on the coast of Maine. Each interviewee had an inspiring story to tell and shared how they paved the road to self-fulfillment and success. With over 15,000 miles logged on the old RV, the group returned home with inspiring stories of their own.

From there, Roadtrip Nation grew, first with the printing of a book and the making of a film about the original Roadtrip, The Open Road. The founders wanted to prove that anyone could do what they did – set up interviews, hit the open road, and share that experience, so they sent another team across the country in their green and blue RV. Continuing with the mission of constantly wanting to spread the Movement to as many people as possible, soon three Green RV’s were making their way across the country each summer, and then across other countries. Still wanting to affect more people, Roadtrip Nation launched Independent Roadtrips, opening up the door to anyone being able go on a D.I.Y. Roadtrip.

The most recent branch of Roadtrip Nation is, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to creating educational resources around Roadtrip Nation’s Interview Archive, and has developed an interactive and project-based curriculum for middle school, high school, and college students, The Roadtrip Nation Experience. The Experience takes education out of classrooms and into the real world using 21st century skills and activity based learning.

The continuing charge of Roadtrip Nation is to get people to participate in the Movement by empowering them to find what they love, contacting people that live a life that inspires them, gather a team to interview those people in order to learn from their stories, and to share that experience with others. The story of Roadtrip Nation is not complete – every day, more and more people become a part of it.

The Roadtrip Nation Movement[edit]

Roadtrip Nation exists to empower people to define their own roads in life. Roadtrip Nation encourages people to engage in self-construction and actively participate in defining their futures by hitting the road and hearing stories from Leaders who have resisted the Noise of conformity and stayed true to themselves.

Roadtrip Nation believes that when people listen to themselves and are honest about who they are and what they love, they are able to seek out their own path and contribute to the world with their unique talents and passions. It is their belief that by helping others discover their own paths, there will be significant positive change on the world – the world needs people who are in tune with who they are and what they care about. Roadtrip Nation also believes that living a life fueled by authenticity and passion allows people the ability to offer their creativity, ingenuity and enthusiasm towards their goals and in turn will build a better the global community.

The Roadtrip Nation Movement exists to support, empower, and encourage individuals who want to define their own roads in life.[edit]

In the spring of 2008 Roadtrip Nation started a non-profit educational organization,, to bring resources, insights, and inspiration from the road to middle school, high school and college students across the country. develops curriculum and resources for students to gain access and exposure to life pathways that they may have otherwise not known existed

Their curriculum, The Roadtrip Nation Experience, is based on both the theoretical and practical components of learning. With this program, the four walls of the classic education mold are lifted and students are given the opportunity to relate what they are learning in the classroom with their opportunities for the future. Students, called Roadtrip Scholars, gain invaluable exposure to the real world as well as the 21st century skills and the necessary chance to be introspective to navigate their own road in life - all while making connections to what is already being taught in the classroom. Teachers are given a teaching experience that creates a lasting relationship between them and their students.

With multimedia resources, students are connected to the vast Roadtrip Nation Interview Archive, which has been continually built since 2001 by Roadtrippers and includes interviews from all types of Leaders from all over the world. Roadtrip Scholars are also engaged with an interactive workbook, online exercises and activities. The Roadtrip Nation Experience helps students identify their interests, make connections in their own communities, break out of their comfort zones, develop 21st century skill sets, and build road-maps for a life they are truly passionate about.

Roadtrip Nation on Public Television[edit]

In 2004 the first season of Roadtrip Nation aired on PBS. Destination Unknown followed three students from New Jersey driving through the west coast. Among the interviews featured are Aspen Skiing Company CEO Pat O'Donnell, Six Feet Under writer/producer Jill Soloway, and Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Phil Marineau. By the end of 2005, more than 200 PBS stations picked up the series.

Season One "Destination Unknown" (originally aired in 2004)[edit]

Get info of number of episodes and featured interviews at [1]. Team: Destination Unknown- [2]

Season Two (originally aired 2005)[edit]

Roadtrip Nation Season Two follows nine students who hit the road in three Green RV's to search for their own paths in life. For five weeks they traveled the country interviewing Leaders from diverse backgrounds, listening to their stories of how they got to where they are. How did they overcome that point of uncertainty, hang on to their passions, and continue to pursue efforts they believed in, amidst pressures to conform? The students wanted to find these answers, and share their experience with a world of people who are engaged in the same search, hopefully inspiring them to define their own roads in life.

Get info of number of episodes and featured interviews here: [3]

Teams: Northern Route [4] Central Route [5] Southern Route [6]

Season Three (originally aired 2006)[edit]

In Roadtrip Nation Season Three, three teams of students from the UK, Canada, and America traveled across the country in three green RV's, meeting with individuals from all walks of life along the way to ask them how they got to where they are today. All of them shared their stories of where they were at in their early 20s and how they stayed true to themselves while setting out to define their own roads in life. Contrary to what they had learned from academia and society, the students found out that nobody had it all mapped out in their early 20's. Everyone wandered at one point, and it was through this ambiguous period of exploration that their paths began to surface.

Get info of number of episodes and featured interviews here: [7]

Teams: UK Team [8] Canada Team [9] America Team [10]

Season Four (originally aired 2007)[edit]

Roadtrip Nation Season Four follows the journeys of two groups of friends across North America. In a five-week coast-to-coast journey, students from San Jose State University, Emory University and Concordia University speak with individuals from diverse backgrounds that have defined themselves by following their passions. Interviews include artist Cheryl Foster, Academy Award-winning film editor Walter Murch, University of Texas track and field coach Beverly Kearney and Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers.

Get info of number of episodes and featured interviews here: [11]

Teams: San Jose Team - [12] Atalanta Team - [13]

Season Five (originally aired 2008)[edit]

Roadtrip Nation’s fifth season spans two continents. As one team of college students from the University of Miami crosses the United States, another team of young Australians hits the road “down under.” Despite living half a world away, both teams of roadtrippers share a common quest: to connect with inspiring individuals who have discovered their own roads in life. Roadtrip Nation 2008 documents these journeys of self-discovery in a free-spirited, adventurous series that encourages people all across the globe to move outside their comfort zones and explore the world.

Get info of number of episodes and featured interviews here: [14]

Teams: Australia - [15] Miami Dream Team - [16]

Season Six (originally aired 2009)[edit]

Roadtrip Nation’s sixth season finds two teams of young people heading halfway across the world to help discover their own roads in life. Ray, Fawna, and Allison, three Americans, journey to New Zealand, where they spend four weeks traveling in a camper van, interviewing New Zealanders from all walks of life. Meanwhile, three Australians—Camilla, Mariana, and Su-Yin—travel to the United States and meet up with inspirational Americans on a six-week RV journey.

Get info of number of episodes and featured interviews here: [17]

Teams: Yankee Kiwis - [18] Aussie Girls - [19]

Season Seven[edit]

Will air in Fall 2010 through KQED and American Public Television

Description: The members of Roadtrip Nation’s seventh season embark on their journeys across America from Southern California, hoping to discover more about themselves and their future paths. The teams have a deep desire to discover and follow their own Roads. Traveling in the large green RVs, the teams will interview a range of Leaders about the passions that drove them, the fears that they faced, and the roads that they took along the way.

In ten episodes that include over 25 interviews, the Roadtrippers gain insights and perspectives about defining their own roads in life from a wide range of people with unique life paths. The viewer is able to observe insights from both the teams and the Leaders interviewed.

Roadtrip Nation on FUEL TV[edit]

In the summer of 2008, Roadtrip Nation teamed up with FuelTV to put together the first Action Sports themed Roadtrip. Ashley, James, and Jesse are recent college grads who are not sure what they want to do with their lives. Instead of following safe paths toward money and security, they are getting together and hitting the road in a green RV to interview people in the Action Sports industry. From professional surfers, skaters, and snowboarders to artists and entrepreneurs, the people they meet share their stories and struggles and inspire them to stay true to their passions.

Get info of number of episodes and featured interviews here: [20]

The Music and Musicians of Roadtrip Nation[edit]

Roadtrip Nation's musicians make a great soundtrack for drives around town and across the country, so get ready for an amazing audible experience when you listen to them at home, throughout your day, and anywhere on the Open Road.

Both Roadtrip Nation and use music to enhance the Roadtrip experience. Their music selection is based upon supporting indie musicians, and draw from an eclectic mix of genres in order to set the best tone for each episode of the series. Roadtrip Nation is dedicated to supporting independent musicians, who are creating lives based on doing what they love.

There have been over 200 musicians featured in the six seasons of Roadtrip Nation, and the talent spans the globe; musicians to contribute to the soundtrack come from a variety of countries, including England, Canada, Greenland, Sweden, and China.

Recently, Roadtrip Nation launched Listen on their website, where you can check out music from the past six seasons of Roadtrip Nation, hear their soundtracks, and find out more about the musicians at their artist profiles. To find out more about the musicians featured, go to

Roadtrip Nation Social Media Links[edit]

Listen [21]

Twitter: [22]

Flickr: [23]

MySpace: [24]

Facebook: [25]

YouTube: [26]

Roadtrip Nation Materials[edit]

Roadtrip Nation has also released three companion books: Roadtrip Nation: A Guide to Discovering Your Path in Life (Ballantine Books / Random House, 2003); Destination Unknown: Define Your Own Road in Life (Roadtrip Productions, 2004); and Finding the Open Road: A Guide to Self-Construction Rather than Mass Production (Ten Speed Press, 2005).

The hub for the Roadtrip Nation movement is–an informational and community-building Web site where students who have hit the road can create their own Web pages within the Roadtrip Nation community, there, they can upload their daily blogs, interview transcriptions, travel photos and roadtrip coordinates.

External links[edit]