Tag Archives: family


Apparently, if you’re not from the flawless, beautiful, picturesque state of perfection known as California, you don’t have real beaches.

My California friends don’t seem to realize that there are other people around the country (and world) that live quite contently even though they don’t permanently reside in California.  These people go about their day walking the dog, going to work, and hanging out with friends.  They sometimes have to put on a light jacket, but they still find happiness in life! INCREDIBLE!

Some Californians refuse to accept this.  Such arrogance was shown when I told one of my Golden State friends that I was going back to Michigan to celebrate the 4th of July on the beach.

“You know that’s not a real beach right?”

I’ll show you what a real beach is. Cue the video:




Go Trip Yourself!

Thanks, WordPress.  Last week when I was setting up my blog, you asked me for my Site Title. Easy.  I like anything with my name attached to it: street signs, monuments, schools, etc.  Road Trip Randy was the obvious choice.  But after that, you told me I should have a tagline, too.  I hadn’t given a tagline much thought, but figured it must be a good idea if you were suggesting it.

Rewind two years.

road trip randy

I’m on a boat in Vietnam (not the small one in the photo above).  My friends and I just signed up for a three-day boat cruise in Halong Bay, one of the seven natural wonders of the world! It’s cold and cloudy, but our captain assures us we’ll still be able to do everything on our itinerary including rock climbing, island camping, and cliff jumping.  Hours later he tells us that it’s all been cancelled due to the weather. Instead we’ll learn how to make spring rolls from the chef.  Unimpressed, we decide to go to our cabin and drink the 24-pack that we brought (snuck on) with us.

A couple months later, I’m in in China heading to the Great Wall.  I got a great deal on a packaged tour.  What I didn’t know is that before they take you to the Great Wall, they take you to a jade museum, a pearl exhibit, a tea ceremony, a silk shop, and a foot massage place.  Cool extras…unless they also take you to the fake Great Wall that’s nothing more than a fancy staircase.

Soon after, I’m in the sweaty, but awesome city of Bangkok, Thailand.*  I’m on a bus headed to go pet tigers!  We stop at a few places on the way and when we arrive at Tiger Temple, they tell us they’re about to close. They’ve already begun putting away the tigers!

What do these three stories have in common besides extreme momentary rage and depression?  Guided Tours.  You know what I say to that?  GO TRIP YOURSELF!  Side note: What’s great about this saying is that you can replace “trip” with another four letter word and it still accurately describes my feelings toward guided tours.

Guided and packaged tours can be okay… sometimes.  When you’re in a foreign country and you don’t speak the language, sometimes the easiest way to see the sights is to hop on a tour bus with a bunch of other people that look like you.  It’s easy to plan and very convenient.  However, the pros of guided tours end there.  Guided tours only want your money.  They’ll take you to the sites, but they determine how long you stay.  They determine what time you get there.  They determine what part of the attraction you go to.  They determine what stops you have to make before getting there.  They have complete control of your vacation from the moment you get in that van or bus to the moment you get out.

That’s why I like tripping myself. I control what I see.  Sure it’s a little more work and possibly a little more money, but in the end, well worth it.  In China, I was so disappointed with my Great Wall scam tour that I hired a private taxi the next day and spent three hours by myself at the real Great Wall.  It cost me $50 bucks and was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had.  No more guided tours for this guy!

road trip randy

And that’s why I love my new WordPress-inspired tagline.  It fits.  It has meaning that goes beyond the surface and its conspicuous, alternative insult.  It motivates you to go do things on your own and create your own path- to not just follow everyone else because it’s easy.  I struggled with this a lot as a kid.**  Don’t do something just because everyone else is doing it… unless it’s really, really fun- or something normal, like eating bread.

So the next time someone invites you on a great packaged tour, tell them to go trip themselves.  Make your own adventure.



*Let’s clear this up so I don’t sound like one of those world traveling jerks.   That year of travel was cool, but the way I wrote it makes it sound like I just hopped to exotic locations whenever I pleased.  Most of my year in Asia was actually spend in an 8x8ft “classroom” with no window.

**As a kid, my parents and my friends’ parents always tried to warn my friends and me about peer pressure.  Whenever we did something just because someone else did it, they’d ask: “If so-and-so jumped off a bridge, would you??”  I always answered with a resounding “YES!”  It really annoyed them.  But honestly, what a silly question to ask a seven-year-old.

Welcome to Road Trip Randy, Now Here’s My Story

When I was young,  I didn’t venture out much further than my neighborhood.  I was content.  When choosing a college, I didn’t even think about going anywhere out of state.  I was content.  And then I graduated college and something weird happened.  I wasn’t content.  I wanted more.  I wanted to see what else was out there.  Sure, I’d been on a few vacations out of state, but I could count those on my hand:

  1. The “You’re only a healthy family if you take your kids to Disney World at least once!” vacation.
  2. The educational Washington DC and Boston double-feature trip.
  3. The aunt’s wedding in Vegas when you’re nine vacation.  There was so much for me to enjoy on the Strip at that age!

For whatever reason, I didn’t really care about vacations very much (It was probably because I was just a miserable kid).  I was happy staying in my hometown, with the people I knew, doing the things that I enjoyed doing.

It wasn’t until after graduation and I became strange that I realized I might not want to spend the rest of my life living in my hometown.  Maybe I’ll move to another state someday.  Or even another country!

That’s when I decided to move to Korea.  Yep.  After spending my entire life living contently in Michigan and rarely stepping foot outside it’s borders, I decided I wanted to move to the other side of the world on a whim. My parents thought I was nuts.  But I was determined to do it.  And so I did.  And for a year, I lived in Seoul, South Korea teaching English.  I visited five other Asian countries and had the time of my life.  That year was when I finally learned just what else was out there.

So now I’m back in the States but no longer living in the Mitten.  I’ve moved all the way to the Golden State to pursue a career in film.  I’ve got an awesome job working in television, and when I have a weekend free or a break between shows, I try to fill it with traveling.  That’s where this blog comes in (about time!).

road trips

Californians think they live in the greatest state in the world.  To them, there’s nothing better than their beloved bear, sunshine, and vineyards.  Well, I’ll be the judge of that.  So far all I’ve seen is copious amounts of smog, awful traffic, and hippies.  Yes, I live in L.A.  I’m hoping the rest of the state makes up this disappointment, because so far, I’m unimpressed.  They say you either love LA or hate it, and that’s so true.  I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t have a strong opinion about it either way.

My plan is to take road trips.  Lots of them.  Short trips to the OC, day trips into the Mojave Desert, and hopefully, eventually some extended trips up north to the national parks.  I’d love to say I’ll be doing this everyday, full time, and making you envious of my lifestyle.  But that’s not true.  As of now, I’m dirt poor.  It wasn’t until recently I bought a real bed.  For a year I was sleeping on an air mattress (3 actually. I’d buy a new one each time one popped), unemployed, and accumulating debt.  I’m finally starting to move up in the world.  I even have matching hand and shower towels.

After reading my childhood story and knowing my new life plan, I know what you must be thinking.  But you’re wrong!  I’m not some free-spirit hippie living a vagabond lifestyle.  I actually thrive on having structure and routine in my life. I enjoy doing work and making money!  Weirdly enough, I also just like traveling and not having a single place to call home (Sigh. I sound like such bag in the wind).

What I want from you:

A group of loyal followers that tells me how great I am.  And people who give me money to go on trips and endless compliments.  Just kidding.  Really, I just want to e-meet some cool people who share my interest in traveling and adventure, have mad love or hate for LA, and aren’t on the gluten-free diet because it’s trendy.

Let’s begin!