Very excited to announce that Emilio Scotto, who has the Guinness World Record for longest motorcycle trip, just hit me back to be my first interview for my podcast. Wikipedia told me that it took him 10 years, 279 countries and a total distance of 457,000 miles. Holy shit. That’s so fucking amazing. That’s literally ten times the amount that I drove… and I did it in a car.
The road is a powerful place because it’s totally democratic. It’s a free for all. When you’re on the road, you either flip the guy off in the truck riding your ass until he pulls up beside you and shows you his bare ass while his white trash girlfriend holds the steering wheel (true story), or you politely move over to the right lane to let the asshole pass you.
Nobody owns the road other than the taxpayers, which is all of us (except Trump). It’s a place to go to when you want to punch the world in the face or you want to celebrate nature. You hit the road when you want adventure, or when you need adventure. The last time I spoke to my friend Adam from the road, he told me: you know, you really thrive on the road.
Then I thought fuck: how do I get on the road more often to be at my best? I already have the world record for road trips, am I ever going to stop? But it’s like… Do you stop brushing your teeth just cause you got your breath smellin good on Sunday? That’d be a silly plan cause by Wednesday you won’t have a friend in town. That’s how I view the road. It might calm you down after you graduate college or help you find yourself when you drop out, but then what you do after you get fired for your first time or after your first big break up?
Gotta connect with the road at least once a year. The most important lesson about the road is to never pass things that intrigue you. So many times I’ve been in the car and driven past a weird treehouse in the middle of Kentucky and thought: that shit was cool. Wish I had a picture of it… Then I drive another three hundred miles.
No. Get off at the next exit and take that two-tracker back to the treehouse and snap a pic, even if it means you might get shot. That shit is important. Never pass things you like. I also call people I haven’t talked with in a while. With the road also comes ample hours of nothingness. Fill it with relationships, what else could be more important? It’s hard to find time during the week to make catch-up phone calls, but even to call your old roommate once a year adds so much to my life.
Some other shit: Diving into audiobooks that inspire me, taking notes during podcasts, stopping off at the caverns in Virginia, the ziplines in Wyoming, that weird dinosaur museum in Colorado, The Thing highway attraction in Arizona, Pioneer Town in California, Big Bend National Park in South Texas, sleeping at the Lazy Lizard hostel in Moab, Utah and meeting someone who started a forest fire (possibly), going to an open mic night with the Canadians you met in Nashville, smoking a joint (before I was sober) with Becky Sproles from Friday Night Lights at the hostel swimming pool in New Orleans.
The road has taken me so many fuckin places that I never knew existed. If you haven’t ever taken a road trip, I highly advise you to do so ASAP. I was reading Vagabonding by Rolf Potts last night because I want to make sure I touch on all the things he didn’t in my new book tentatively called: Fuck Vacation; A Book About Travel… Or maybe just: A Practical Guide to Vagabonding, I don’t know… Let me know what you think if you have any suggestions. But I was reading his book and I found a quote I had underlined the first time I read it years ago. It’s another version of what I write about constantly. On page 5 he writes, “no combination of one-week or ten-day vacations will truly take you away from the life you lead at home.” Tweet that shit.
And now I get to chat with the dude that has half a million miles under his belt on a damn motorcycle. Fuckin nuts. If you want to know when that episode goes live, you can add your name to the email list above.