Paul Theroux finally makes the great American road trip

It’s the end of summer, what better time for one last shot at the great American road trip? Well, if you can’t get out on the road any time soon, we’ve got the next best thing: Paul Theroux writing a slightly nostalgic, but still very good, article for Smithsonian Magazine about his recent road trip across the United States.

It’s worth keeping the backstory in mind: Smithsonian asked six well known travel writers to pick a destination and write about it (follow the previous link to get to other authors).

Theroux, surprisingly, had never traveled much in the United States so he chose the quintessential road trip — driving from coast to coast on something approaching route 66. It’s an interesting read and worth it to hear how Theroux sees America after 40 years of traveling and writing about the rest of the world.

My idea was not to linger anywhere, but to keep on the move, as though to create in my mind one long panning shot, from Los Angeles to Cape Cod; to get up each morning and set off after breakfast, going as far as I wished, and then find a place to sleep.

It’s quite long for an online piece, but well worth the read.

[Photo by Gret@Lorenz, Flickr]

Posted by | Comments (2)  | August 25, 2009
Category: General

2 Responses to “Paul Theroux finally makes the great American road trip”

  1. Dave Says:

    Funny you mention this, I have a copy of the Smithsonian magazine next to me and I’ve been looking forward to reading Paul Theroux’s piece, along with the other 5 authors.

  2. jpmccormac Says:

    Been a fan of Theroux since “The Great Railway Bazaar” came out in 1975. Had a chance to meet him in Washington, D.C. where he signed a book to my father-in-law who was headed to China after reading “Riding the Iron Rooster.”

    I think his best recent travel book is “Dark Star Safari.”