Life Is a Highway: 14 Great Articles About Road Trips

Hit the highway with this collection of some of our favorite reads about epic road trips, including an 11,000-mile odyssey across Eurasia, a mother and son’s discoveries along Historic Route 66, and a science writer’s harrowing voyage to the Cretaceous Interior Seaway (also known as Western Kansas).

Taking the Great American Roadtrip

Paul Theroux • Smithsonian Magazine

In the spirit of Kerouac and Steinbeck, a celebrated travel writer fulfills a childhood fantasy: to drive across his native land.

Inside a Black Family’s Cross-Country RV Trip

Janine Rubenstein • Essence

Journalist Janine Rubenstein took her family on a road trip from New Jersey to California just days before George Floyd’s murder set this nation ablaze. Here’s what they learned about motor homes, the country and life, along the way.

Homeward Bound

Kathryn Miles • DownEast

Make a new canine friend in Maine and chances are good she’s from down south, as the dog-crazy Pine Tree State is among the most common destinations for southern rescue dogs. To understand why — and how they arrive — Kathryn Miles joined 37 very good dogs on a 1,600-mile road trip.

A Road Trip to the End of the World

Peter Brannen • The Atlantic

A science journalist tours the geological ruins of our planet’s worst mass extinction.

The Great American Chile Highway

Gustavo Arellano • Eater

A palate-scorching, Mexican hamburger- and adovada-fueled road trip up I-25 from Las Cruces to Denver

Atomic John

David Samuels • The New Yorker

A truck driver uncovers secrets about the first nuclear bombs.

Football, My Dad’s Dementia, and Me

Holly Patton • GQ

Doctors said we could blame my father’s football career for his vanishing memory. So Dad and I decided to take a road trip down south to revisit the schools that made him.

A Literary Road Trip Into the Heart of Russia

Karl Ove Knausgaard • The New York Times Magazine

In the land of Tolstoy, Turgenev and now Putin, what are the stories Russians are telling themselves?

A Mother’s Road

Mary Melton • Alta

Alta Editor at Large Mary Melton searches for a deeper connection with her autistic son—and with a divided country—on a 15-day journey along Route 66.

That Time Writer Michael Chabon Packed His Family Into a Minivan With a Stranger in Morocco

Michael Chabon • Bon Appétit

Why take your family to France or Florida when you could pack them into a minivan with a stranger in Morocco? Novelist Michael Chabon explains.

Tracking the Elusive Western Shoe Tree

Bryan Di Salvatore • Outside

A recklessly picaresque, highly philosophical, gloriously unmapped road trip in search of secret places you’ll have to find yourself.

7 Weeks, 11,000 Miles, and 2 Tiny Cars: The Mongol Rally

Meredith Carey • Condé Nast Traveler

It’s a rather insane premise: drive in a tiny, terrible car, from the U.K. to Mongolia and on into Siberia. But since 2004, when founder Tom Morgan and his Adventurists crew led the first rally with six cars, thousands of people have driven the so-called “Mongol Rally,” raising money for charity along the way.

A Deeper South

Pete Candler • Los Angeles Review of Books

A road trip through the Old South reveals uncomfortable family truths.

Drifters (Interstate 35)

Marya Hornbacher • Nowhere

Fleabag motels, caesuras, femme phases, double bank shots, stale sweat, McDonald’s, bedside Bibles, hatchbacks, counter girls, evolved orchids, tomorrow’s underwear, impetus, the Aqua City Motel & traffic signals in Laredo.

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