This past summer, 21-year-old Caleb Provan decided to take a semi-spontaneous trip, driving and camping his way across the country with his younger brother Stephen. 15 days and 10,000 miles later, here are his photos and his story.
- What made you want to take this trip? One thing that really bothers me is the expectations that other people have for what you’re going to do with your life… college, job, marriage, kids, retire…there’s this set timeline. A lot of my friends have been getting married recently and suddenly couldn’t hang out anymore. So I decided that I’m going to go ahead and do the things I’m passionate about while I’m free to still do it. You can make fun a necessity, and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I don’t make traveling an option. Just like paying a bill for your car or phone, you have to make your passions a priority.
- Roughly how expensive was it? It was my brother and I, so it was split 2 ways. We got a good deal on a rental car. Now bear in mind, we only had about two nights at hotels and crashed at friends places one or two nights. We were mostly camping in national parks, sleeping in the car, and driving through the night. But with everything included, food, gas, admissions, tickets, etc., it was about $550 each.
- Where did you start? We started in North Carolina went through Virginia and West Virginia to Tennessee. Then we went Indiana and from Indiana it was a straight shot to Colorado. We hit almost every state at some point, plus Mexico and Canada.
- So how many states did you end up visiting total? Something like 42 or 43.
- Which is approximately how many miles? It was just a little over 10,000 miles.
- What do you think was the most difficult thing about the trip? Well my brother wasn’t able to drive the rental car because he’s not 21, so I had to drive the entire time. The first stretch was 32 hours and we didn’t even stop for food. But the hardest thing for me was, I guess whenever you get a taste of a city or park and it’s really amazing, you want to see more and really experience it. So that was hard because sometimes we just kind of wanted to stay somewhere but we only had a day or even a couple hours there. That was the main thing.
- What was something that surprised you about traveling? I have something for this and it’s something I have a problem with. I always try to make at least one friend every time I go somewhere. Well I literally didn’t make one friend from the United States because they weren’t there. It was kind of annoying to me. We get to live in this beautiful place with so much to offer yet so few from our country are actually enjoying it, while so many people from abroad are the ones who really appreciate it.
- Did you meet any cool people? Yeah we met a couple from Germany, Dominic and Elena, in Arizona near the Grand Canyon. Dominic and I are very similar people so we got along well and we actually ended up running into them everywhere we went. They were on a similar schedule I guess. I’m even planning a trip with Dominic for next year as well.
- What was your favorite place you visited? Favorite overall state was Oregon. Here’s the thing, Oregon has a very drastic landscape. It’s full of evergreens, lakes, waterfalls, and wildlife. People all talk about California’s beautiful views, and I’ve spent a lot of time there, and while there are plenty of beautiful things, the drought has made it miserable. Oregon has everything people talk about California having but it’s actually there. It’s peaceful and underdeveloped so it just seems more untouched and wild.
- My favorite spot on the trip? Honestly I’m gonna say my favorite spot on earth that I’ve been so far is Zion National park. Especially the narrows portion, it’s like another word. I could walk around there forever. It’s very grand and just makes you take a step back.
- What would you say to someone who wanted to travel, or take a trip similar to yours? My primary advice is to make it a priority. You’re going to do something with your money and time, and if you really want to do it you’ll make it a priority, not an option. If you can afford a new phone than you can afford a trip around the USA, just do it.
You can [follow Caleb on Instagram.