Castleton Students may have noticed something unusual in the Adams-Haskell hall Courtyard on Oct. 17. Representatives from the show Roadtrip Nation were parked in their bright green RV poised to tell students about the show in hopes of getting them to sign up. According to the show’s Web site, the idea behind the show is that they “send people on the road who are interested in exploring the world outside their comfort zone, talking with individuals who chose to define their own road in life, and sharing their experiences with our generation.”
Roadtrip Nation was started in 2001 when a group of friends had just graduated from college and didn’t know what to do so they decided to go on a road trip and interview people along the way. The four friends traveled in an RV they painted green and they made a documentary of their experience.
Now instead of one green RV they have four (although one is the original that was used and no longer makes any trips) and instead of four friends there is big company.
The people who are interviewed can be anyone from a CEO of a major company to a celebrity to your average Joe. Some of the ones who have been interviewed so far are the CEO’s of Dell Inc. and Starbucks, a Section Chief for the FBI and man who plays music on buckets, dubbed Bucket Man.
There are two options for road trips, a summer long excursion and a much shorter version. On the long road trip participants travel on one of the green RV’s and are followed around by a camera crew while they interview 25 to 30 people.
On the short trip, people take their own cars and usually travel for about a week, interviewing at least three people. With that one, there is no camera crew so students have to do the videotaping and editing themselves and send the footage in.
Grant money is given so participants don’t have to pay for their travel. Anyone can apply and even if they don’t have someone in mind to go with, they’ll just be paired with other people.
Inside the RV that came to campus there was a single bed, a small bathroom that was being used as storage, a kitchen and a couple of couches. The walls and ceiling were covered with stickers and quotes from previous riders as if to say that when one is on that RV they should make it their home.
The four representatives, who gave only their first names, were Tim, Scott, Heather and Sarah. They left California three weeks ago and are traveling all over the country promoting Roadtrip Nation.
“We get along well, but sometimes it gets nuts and we need alone time,” Tim said.
While living on the road has its benefits, like being able to see new places, there are some parts that are less than ideal, like not being able to shower on a regular basis. On the road, they shower when and where they can and sometimes that means now showering for a few days.
The trip teaches people a lot though as they plan everything on their own and drive themselves. They also have to deal with unforeseen obstacles, they said.
“The windshield broke in Manhattan,” Scott said of one trip, adding that the students who were driving needed to figure out what to do.