Future PBS road trip series rolls on campus

Students traveling the country visited Geneseo on Monday as part of the PBS series "Roadtrip Nation."

The series, sponsored by State Farm Insurance, sends groups of three students and a camera crew on the road in their "Green RV" to travel the country and interview people who are passionate about their careers. During the six-week summer tours, the students travel wherever they want and interview whoever they want.

According to its Web site, the intent of "Roadtrip Nation" is to, "send people on the road who are interested in exploring the world outside their comfort zone, talking with individuals who chose to define their own road in life, and sharing their experiences with our generation."

This fall, the Green RV is touring college campuses as part of a promotional trip for the series. On Monday afternoon, three students set up a tent and their RV outside of Mary Jemison dining hall, where they provided information and answered questions from Geneseo students. At 1:30 p.m., they gave a screening of footage from past trips and were open to more questions.

"Roadtrip Nation" also gives grants to students who are accepted to conduct their own road trips, which are termed "indie trips." These students receive from $300 to $600 depending on their level of involvement.

On trips, students seek out people who love what they do and find out why they love it, how they decided to do it and how they got started.

"People are generally really receptive," said traveler Heather Larrabee. "They love to share their story."

Sophomore Lindsey Marotta, who stopped by the presentation, said that the program could provide a variety of experiences upon which participants could base their decisions about career paths.

"I think this is a great opportunity for people to figure out what they want to do and how they want to go about doing it." she said.

"It seems like an interesting way to find out what you want to do in life," said sophomore Chris Hinton.

Students can apply for the program online at www.roadtripnation.com. Larrabee encouraged students to apply, noting that the selection process is not very competitive and applicants have a good chance of being accepted. The program pays for gas and provides food stipends.

The footage from trips airs on PBS in a 12-part documentary series starting in October. Footage and other information can be found on the program's Web site.

"It seems cool," said freshman Julie Dmochowski. "You get to go across the country with friends and do what you want to do."