Everyone’s got a road tripping story. Even if it’s only about a two hour drive to the beach, the roads of America have been the foundation for countless stories of adventure, determination, and self discovery.  This summer my college roommate Eric Hu and I are setting off on an adventure that is sure to shape us for good.  From May 27th to June 21st we’ll be driving our way from the dust and grit of New York City to the sun-drenched hills of San Francisco, with our path taking us through many of the nation’s most impressive national parks.

Eric and I are both rising juniors at New York University and it was after meeting there not even two years ago that we realized we shared a taste for adventure, for setting out into the unknown and the (relatively) unplanned.  I’m studying Narrative Design for Interactive Media while Eric is studying Media, Culture, and Communications, and our two fields of interest have made planning this trip pretty interesting.

As two college students studying in Manhattan we weren’t exactly the most financially prepared for this kind of endeavor, at least not at first.  After saving up for well over a semester we put our talents to work on a crowdfunding campaign, I on the story, and Eric on the getting that message out to people.  While we certainly could have raised more through that avenue, the experienced gained from it all will definitely help us out in the future.  After completing that campaign and reaching out to camera brands and other sponsors we’ve been able to fund almost the entire trip without paying too much out of pocket.

Many of our friends and relatives told us their plans and stories when they heard about what we we’re doing, and that outpouring of support and genuine excitement from so many has been truly touching.  We’re ecstatic to be doing this, and we’re just as happy to be donating half of our crowdfunding profit right back to the national parks themselves, in this way we’re trying to include more than ourselves in this trip by giving back to the parks we’ll call home for the next few weeks.

Our journey will take us to many of the nation’s most storied national parks including the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, the Badlands, and the Redwood Forests.  Along the way we’ll also be stopping in several major cities including Chicago, Milwaukee, Seattle, and Portland, where we hope to meet as many new faces and hear as many life stories as possible!