RoadTrip America

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14 Reasons to Hit the Road

by the Editors of RoadTrip America

Motorcycle Road Trip

We don't think you need an excuse to jump in (or on) your wheeled vehicle and head for the horizon. But just in case you need to explain, here are fourteen tried-and-true, well-respected reasons to join the ranks of the road warriors:

Emmy Lou's Wedding - A destination with a deadline is a great reason to get moving. It's a road trip as long as you make getting there all the fun. Depending on your route, exit-by-exit guidebooks like Drive I-95 and Along Interstate 75 can help make the difference between a long, boring haul and an excellent adventure.

Red Leaves in New England

Jimmy Buffet's in Vegas - It's not only aging rock stars who inspire nomadic journeys. From storm chasing in Tornado Alley to leaf peeping in New England, special events and seasonal occurrences have the advantage of time pressure to get you out there.

Big Bang - Divorce, illness, the death of a loved one-big events rattle us to the core. Sometimes a road trip is the perfect mind cleanser, a chance to gain fresh perspectives or get a new lease on life. Trips like this are the stuff of literature. The journey documented by William Least-Heat Moon in Blue Highways began with a divorce. In Roads from the Ashes, Megan Edwards recounts a five-year odyssey that began when a wildfire burned down her house.

Monument Valley

It's Been a Long, Cold Winter - "Spring break!" is synonymous with "Road trip!" for thousands of college students eager to make the most of their vernal vacations in sunny climes around the United States. But you don't have to be a sophomore to enjoy a bone-thawing ramble to someplace warm—and you've earned it!

Angry Young Men - Rage against society is an automatic reason to go on an extended journey with one other equally bummed out companion, preferably in someone else's very expensive car. The patron saint of this tradition is, of course, the inimitable Jack Kerouac, but don't forget the fears and loathings of Hunter S. Thompson.

Hey, It's My Job - If you feel a need to be earning your keep while you mosey around the country, consider these professions: truck driver, research scientist, salesperson, animal breeder, race car driver, author, actor, musician, carnival worker. Watch out, though. You're only on a road trip if you still feel free. As one long haul driver who understands this well says, "My colleagues all have to go to work every day, but I take a long drive in the country." Interested in working on the road? Here are resources to get you out there.

Wigwam Motel

Operation U-Haul - A classic excuse for a road trip, well known to college students and military families. Never forget that the distance between an old home and a new one is a golden opportunity for a memorable adventure.

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