Monday, December 12, 2005


inspiration in unlikely places

i recently picked up a copy of esquire magazine - a highly unusual purchase for me...i was lured in by the interview with bill clinton.

i'd read half of the article thanksgiving morning standing in the aisle of walgreens when i realized i needed to get to my mom's. so i checked out the cover of the magazine to see if there might be anything else interesting in it that would make it worth buying...well as it turned out it was their "genius" issue and was full of stories of people doing innovative and groundbreaking work. it seemed worth the risk so i bought it.

while the magazine is clearly aimed at men, and seems to make no outward claim of being a progressive men's magazine (i was dismayed when i flipped to the letters to the editor section and saw a picture of their cover from last month: kiera knightly half naked...ahh the objectification of women alive and well) many of the stories in this genius issue were interesting and inspiring.

one that i thought was worth highlighting here is about road trip nation. the basic premise is this: three college buddies all with 9-5 corporate careers essentially lined up for them to step right into following graduation decide to chuck it all and hit the road. they buy a huge RV, paint it bright green and start traveling the country interviewing folks about what they did in their twenties and where it landed them later in life.

as they say they on their website they wanted to "find their own road in life" and find people who had done the same. they have indeed done this, with road trip nation becoming a movement on college campuses across the US, a show on public television, and a book finding the open road - these guys have successfully begun carving their own path.

the part i find most inspiring in their project is that they have made it bigger than themselves. they've published scores of the interviews they've done on their website - all of which are interesting and informative, they have a grant program to help college students and recent college grads take trips of their own and they have created a space for people to share their roadtrip stories on the site. these guys are quite literally building a road trip community.

if you've ever wondered what path real people follow to get into a specific career field, i'd encourage you to check out the interview portion of their site. it's certainly not an exhaustive list, but they've got quite a few to peruse.

and as always, post your thoughts here. i'd especially love to hear about projects in the world that you find inspiring!

dream big,

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