There’s no Place like Roam

 At the crossroads of an important decision, it’s hard to resist drawing quick conclusions and darting to an answer. But if you can, first allow yourself the luxury of relaxing and exploring your options. This is not about being lazy; it’s about understanding the nature of the human mind. Whether you are considering a new relationship, building a business plan, or building a tree-fort in the backyard, take it slow and have some fun considering all the possibilities. A little bit of floundering and stumbling are, in fact, essential to the creative process.

Our parents “hands-off parenting” at 11 Sunnyside Road trained us well in the arts of floundering and stumbling. In our early twenties, the question “What am I going to do with my life?” was front of mind for each of us. East Coast guys our entire lives, we both ventured out to the Wild West in 1988. Bert had graduated from Villanova University the year before and was now putting his degree in communications to good use as an eloquent pizza delivery guy in a Colorado ski town. John was majoring in Wiffle Ball and English at Chico State in California, on exchange from the University of Massachusetts. Eager to see more of the grand old USA, we met up in Chico in full Jack Kerouac mode and began a meandering seven-week road trip that would weave across the country and bring us back to Beantown.

We began with a thin stack of cash, a map of the US, some mix tapes custom-made by our big brother Allan, and a strict plan of no plan.  Openness is an essential ingredient to any great road trip.

1. Glory BoundMartin Sexton

2. Willin’Little Feat

3. Stickshifts and SafetybeltsCake

4. Radar LoveGolden Earring

5. On the Road AgainWillie Nelson

6. Going Up The CountryCanned Heat

7. Miracle MileCold War Kids

8. Ramblin’ ManThe Allman Brothers Band

9. Thunder RoadBruce Springsteen

10. Wagon WheelOld Crow Medicine Show

Click here to our Road Trip Spotify playlist!


Read more about Bert and John’s Great Road Trip in Life is Good: The Book

This article is excerpted and adapted from the book Life is Good by Bert and John Jacobs, published by National Geographic on September 1, 2015. Copyright © 2015 The Life is Good Company