Buzzfeed and Roadtrips

I won’t lie to you, I love Buzzfeed.  Read “love” as “spend too much time on” or “may likely be addicted to” Buzzfeed.  In fact, if you really want me to read something, the best way to catch my attention is which a numerical list filled with pretty pictures, funny gifs, and a minimum on the text.  Next to Pinterest, it’s my favorite Internet guilty pleasure.  So while most of my pre-proposal research was spent looking up the adventure themed books that friends and colleagues had recommended, my next stop was (you guessed it) Buzzfeed.  It may not be the most academic of sources, but damn they have their multimedia down.

Before I delve into the specifics, let me give you a quick recap as to what exactly I’m researching.  I’ve always had a desire in the back of my mind to someday with somebody take a road trip to someplace and not come back for a long, long time.  Until talking to a professional mentor who had done pretty much exactly that (a solo, ten month, post undergrad tour of the US), it never occurred to me that, “Hey, I can do that after I graduate, why not?!”  And why not indeed?  I know for certain that I am not alone in having dreams of adventure but no specified date to take off.  Something always gets in the way–money, time, not having the right travel companions, or a perception that now isn’t the right time.  So what made me curious was what were the incendiary moments that pushed people past their objections and made travel not only a desire but an undeniable need.  I turned to books for the lengthy, in depth answers; I turned to Buzzfeed for the sometimes humorous and in general collaborative answers.

 (Trust that here I tried fruitlessly to embed a video for your listening pleasure.)

1. You can experience a genre in a whole new way.

Buzzfeed
Photo from Buzzfeed

2. Apparently, on solo road trips you can take whatever route you fancy, embrace fast food induced flatulence, and serenade your steering wheel without apology to anyone.

Buzzfeed
Photo from Buzzfeed

3. And you can do what I’m trying to do: explore some really great road trip related readings to put your finger on “Why do it, anyways?”

2 thoughts to “Buzzfeed and Roadtrips”

  1. This is great. I have an image of a long open road surrounded by desert with Harry Potter playing on tape through the car’s stereo system. I love the connection between music, literature, and adventuring. That will make your project unique with a good distinction between academic and “fun.” Have you thought of setting your project up like a buzzfeed? That could be very cool and could incorporate another thing that you love. One more thing. I know you defined an adventure as something you do on your own, but you talk here about how you have always wanted to go on a road trip with someone. That could be an interesting aspect to add to your project. What are the benefits of going by yourself versus with a good friend or family member??

  2. I always think that in the planning stages of any sort of trip, it doesn’t feel real until I start making playlists and choosing which books to take with me. Of course the bigger decisions, like budgeting and deciding where you want to go, etc. can be motivating and exciting, but to me it’s the little details (music!) that make me the most excited. Especially because if I were to go on a trip alone, the voices of musicians and audiobook narrators would be my companions.

    I definitely think you can work music and literature into your project in the context of crafting a personal adventure experience. The music you choose to listen to and the books you choose to read (and any other sort of media you choose to consume) give shape to the narrative of the trip in retrospect, if that makes sense. When I look back on vacations (or any time in my life, really) and try to remember specific moments, I often think, “Oh, that’s when I was reading _____” or “That’s the day that I listened to such-and-such song/album on repeat.”

    It’s interesting to think about what people choose to listen to depending on what they’re hoping to get out of a trip. Do they choose mostly new music and unread books, untainted by memory, to listen to because they’re looking for as many new experiences as possible? Or do they make nostalgic playlists to comfort them/keep them company/help them think through problems that they hope to figure out during the course of the road trip?

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