For most of my life, I've lived in Baton Rouge, LA. Walk by my desk and you'll see Tiger Stadium gracing my desktop. The Bayou State is home to some of the most delicious food and most hospitable people in the country, but unfortunately, there aren't many great career opportunities for an aspiring advertising professional.
There was, however, an opportunity on the West Coast with RPA, but was I ready to leave everything behind and travel across the country? Where would I live? And most important, how would I get there?
A road trip. But not just any road trip. An awe-inspiring, life-changing trek across the United States. I decided to take the scenic route even though it would add an extra day to my trip. As we say back home, "Laissez les bon temps rouler!"
Day 1: I'm fairly certain that there are more cows than people in Texas. Thankfully, I had my music to keep me company. I listened to some old favorites such as Cake, Sublime and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. There's just something about '90s music that makes me feel at home no matter where I am. Just imagine thousands of cows wearing denim and neon windbreakers—that was Texas for me.
Day 2: I perfected my dance driving in the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona while I sang along to the best Killers songs (obviously all of them). Some of my design professors say that less is more; in the desert, barren is beautiful. I found myself struggling to stay in my lane as I stared in astonishment at my surroundings. Pink Floyd accompanied me as I drove through the desert under cover of darkness.
Day 3: Waking up in Flagstaff, AZ, was worth the trip itself. The cold mountain air was delicious, and the view was spectacular: mountains, trees and clear skies were everywhere I looked. I was feeling mellow as I headed north through the spectacular Kaibab National Forest, so I put on some Young the Giant and took in the sights. An hour later I was looking out over the most unbelievably magnificent landmark: the Grand Canyon. I ignored a few warning signs and climbed down a ledge to get a better view. As I gazed across the horizon in awe, I realized that I was actually doing it. I was traveling the country, seeing one of the most remarkable places in the world and taking control of my destiny.
Day 3-4: After an adventure-filled day of hiking and climbing, I embarked on an overnight crusade to California, fueled by copious amounts of caffeine and unleaded gasoline. To keep me focused, I put on some Jack White and Cage the Elephant. Whenever I began to feel drowsy, I'd just rock out extra hard to get my blood flowing. Twelve hours later, I parked my car and crawled to the Santa Monica Pier to get some breakfast (an ice cream cone). After meeting my stringent nutritional requirements, I took a nap on the beach while listening to the playful reggae sounds of Rebelution. The sunburn was totally worth it.
Though my road trip has come to an end, I now realize that the true journey is just beginning—my RPA summer internship will be an invaluable odyssey of learning and gaining valuable experience.
Here's a sampling of the music that inspires me.