Meet A Man Who Drove 25,000 Miles And Visited All 50 States, Stopping At National Parks Along The Way

Life & Culture Editor
01.20.16 9 Comments
Jay Zantos poses with the state flags he's collected.

For most of us, the idea of dropping our jobs to spend months traveling the country is nothing more than a pipe dream. A distant fantasy — like a car commercial with plenty of lens flares and acoustic guitar strumming in the background. Sure, it’d be great to leave it all behind and just hit the road, but who has that kind of time? Who has that kind of money? Is such a thing even possible in 2016?

Meet Jay Zantos, the man who took his bold vision of traveling through all 50 states (and all their national parks) and turned it into the adventure of a lifetime.

Zantos — an engineer by trade — didn’t just get into his car and go. Like any big project, his “epic road trip” took time and planning. If you also yearn to leave the “real world” behind to seek a life of adventure, you’re sure to go through some trial and error. Luckily, Zantos is refreshingly open and eager to help fellow vagabonds, and he was more than happy to share lessons from the road with Uproxx.

After seeing photos of Zantos’ trip on imgur, we spoke to him about his odyssey, the loneliness of the open road, and whether people really are (as The Twilight Zone suggests) alike all over. If nothing else, we learned that it’s unlikely you’ll get eaten by a bear and that you can sleep overnight at a Walmart.