Rolf Potts veers off-topic in this unique series of conversations with experts, public figures, and intriguing people.
United States
79 episodes
since Nov. 20, 2017


“I will never have another vagabonding journey that compares to that first one — even though I have since traveled to far more exotic parts of the world — in part because there’s something special about embarking on a long-term trip for the first time.” –Rolf Potts In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and his old friend Jeff Nienaber talk about their 8-month van trip across North America back in 1994, how they prepared for it, and how it differed from current-day #VanLife excursions (5:30); how they exercised on the road, and how the conditions and travel-hacks of van journeys were different for two young men in 1994 (23:30); the route they took through North America, what happened along the way, and how they kept daily journals recounting events (36:00); the experience riding with cops in Houston, celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans, volunteering at a church in Mississippi, meeting girls in Florida, and seeing New York for the first time (51:00); the experience of staying at a Trappist monastery in Massachusetts for one week (1:14:30); visiting National Parks in the American South, Northeast, and West, and memorable books read along the way (1:28:00); and why the trip was life-changing (1:42:00). Van trip preparation and planning links: Digital nomadism (travel lifestyle) #VanLife (travel lifestyle) Composting toilet Blue Highways, by William Least Heat-Moon (1982 book) On the Road, by Jack Kerouac (1957 book) Travels With Charley, by John Steinbeck (1962 book) Vanagon (Volkswagen van) Volkswagen Westfalia (camper van) Trangia (alcohol-burning camp-stove) Links regarding early months of the 1994 trip: 924 Gilman Street (Berkeley punk club) Northridge earthquake (1994 earthquake) “The Mystical High Church of Luck” (Salon essay about Las Vegas) Lollapalooza (music festival) O. J. Simpson murder case (1994 media incident) USCGC Northwind (Coast Guard icebreaker) Bourbon Street (historic street in New Orleans) The Geto Boys, by Rolf Potts (2016 book) Fifth Ward (Houston neighborhood) Cops (TV show) Canton (town in Mississippi) In His Steps (Mississippi Christian outreach ministry) Waffle House (southern restaurant chain) Savannah State (historically black university) Debbie Does Dallas (1978 pornographic film) Tompkins Square (New York park) Trappist monastery experience links: St. Joseph’s Abbey (Massachusetts monastery) Trappists (order of Catholic monks) Thomas Merton (Trappist monk and writer) Memento Mori (existential expression) Chant (1994 Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos album) Compline (end-of-day church service) Links regarding the final months of the 1994 trip: Ocala National Forest (protected area in Florida) Shenandoah National Park (Virginia wilderness area) Mount Washington (tallest mountain the northeast U.S.) Arches National Park (Utah wilderness area) Fisher Towers (photogenic cliffs near Moab, Utah) Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey (1968 book) Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman (1855 poetry collection) The Razor’s Edge, by W. Somerset Maugham (1944 book) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M Pirsig (1974 book) Uinta National Forest (protected area in Utah) Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming wilderness area) Glacier National Park (Montana wilderness area) Pike National Forest (protected area in Colorado) This episode of Deviate is brought to you by Tortuga Backpacks, which set the standard for the best, most durable, organized, and comfortable travel backpacks. Tortuga products also include daypacks, duffels, and other travel accessories, which are all made with the traveler in mind and have been featured by Wirecutter, The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Business Insider, Carryology, and many other industry outlets. This episode is also brought to you by AirTreks, an industry leader in multi-stop international travel. If you’ve ever planned a trip with multiple stops, you know that finding the right flights can be difficult.
Disclaimer: The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Rolf Potts, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.


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