The Search for Everything – 90 Days US Road Trip

Posted on Posted in Featured Posts, North America, USA

A friend of mine, Ryan Gray recently had a 90-Day Road Trip across the United States of America. It was his own custom route and he ended up naming it “The Search for Everything” – taken from the name of John Mayer’s album and tour he ended up seeing 4 times! It actually lives on his tattoo.


I had a chance to ask him few questions about the trip. But first, let’s meet our guy.


Hi! I’m Ryan Gray, a 28 year old who spent 7 years of his life frequently looking at pictures of places I wanted to visit before eventually deciding that enough was enough and it was time to just go ahead and do it! Don’t buy a house, don’t make that big important car purchase, get out there and go see the world because its got so much to offer. I found myself lucky in the position that i was able to do the sort of trip I’d dreamed of, a Campervan rented for 3 months, an open road, a playlist filled with songs that could make a monk start to get down and a keen eye for adventure and want to meet as many people as possible.

People have stories that are just amazing to sit in a bar and listen to, it just takes that extra bit to jump in on a conversation and from there your own story gains another chapter in itself (storyception if you may).


Here are his answers to my questions together with some photos that he’s taken himself.

Q: How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
A: Funny, Outgoing, friendly? i guess?

Q: From what date to what date was the trip?
A: I travelled from 1st March to the 29th May 2017.

Q: Were you alone when you did the whole thing?
A: Alone completely, except for times I would make friends with strangers, or visiting existing friends I had.

Q: What was the hardest part of the trip?
A: The hardest part wasn’t hard at all, but going from the adjustment of meeting someone and spending a couple of days with them, or catching up with friends in places where i knew people.. and then going back to being alone.
There’s nothing hard about being alone, i found it so peaceful and rewarding, but it was like riding a wave at time, and the highs of sharing jokes and memories with friends led to the adjustment to being alone and moving onto the next state seem like a low.. even though in reality – it wasn’t.

Q: What was the most useful item you brought?
A: Sounds nerdy, but a charger for my laptop so I could watch TV late at night, whilst driving it would charge the laptop up and it was heavenly for the days in the wild where the evenings were just me by myself and I’d want to watch a series until I went to sleep.. that and a multi-use pocket knife came in pretty handy too!

Q: What did you wish you’d brought that you didn’t?
A: More winter clothes – I TOTALLY misjudged the weather of states like South Dakota and Montana at the time of year i was up there, i woke up one morning to find snow and i had not packed for 0 degree c. weather in the slightest! Luckily on the trip I had bought a hoodie so I had that to double up on clothing with.. but it was still COLD – there were nights I had to make sure I was wrapped up early before the cold settled in! (winter is coming!) so that was a challenge I hadn’t anticipated.. so if you go.. CHECK THE WEATHER

Q: What can’t you travel without?
A: Now it’ll be my phone and camera, I fell in love all over again with my camera and grabbing those shots that just felt right.. I’ve always had a connection with photography and this trip re-ignited that for me.

Q: What/Where did you eat during the whole trip?
A: I mostly ate out to be honest, big mistake for my waistline! EVERYTHING seems to be burgers, or covered in cheese (it is America after all) but the van itself did come with a cooker in the back, and for the nights I was parked up in the wild, or the national parks at campsites I’d cook meals for myself – I’d say it was an 75/25% split for eating out to cooking myself. Food can come in so cheap in America it was almost just more cost effective (McDonalds do a super large drink for $1 for god sake! You can see why the Americans are known for being so “larger than life” shall we say! :P)

Q: What was the highlight of your trip?
A: Of the (literally) HUNDREDS of highlights I have, to choose one, would be like choosing a favourite child… BUT very few match up to standing at the top of Observation point at Zion national park I’d hiked 10 miles that day around the park, and thought a quick 8 mile hike would be easy (having never really hiked much) let me tell you that was a BAD idea.. especially as the first 4 miles is a 2200 foot elevated climb!! But you get there and people coming down cheer you on and it’s a real achievement to get there!

Q: Did you ever feel bored during that 90-day trip?
A: Boredom isn’t something I’d like to describe it as, but mellow I did yeah.. I think, as if with anyone when you’re on a limited time scale trip you apply this self appointed pressure to always be having fun and making the most of it, because you know that light at the end of the tunnel is coming and normality is returning.. but after about a month I was tired and realised that for just a day I’d like to relax in the van, watch some TV and be a bit more at peace. You can’t go full steam for three months you’ll burn out so it’s good to just relax and be more “in” your surroundings and appreciate you made it and its okay to just take a moment to appreciate that.

Q: What was the weirdest moment?
A: I found myself on a movie set, I’d bumped into some people in New Orleans and it turned out that they were friends with a pretty big movie star, who I met later that night, the next day I’m on the movie set eating their set food and watching scenes be filmed in the studio.. was a surreal moment to stop and think “yeah, this is happening” I made some strong friendships with those guys so when I got back to LA I got to hang out with them again and was even welcomed to stay at the stars LA Mansion (with neighbours including Will.I.Am!) which was for me the American story – go out with an open mind and willingness to converse with anyone and doors will swing open and wide! (Below is the view from said mansion)

Q: How much did you spend for the whole trip?
A: I spent £10,000 – £4,000 on the Campervan (so count that as travel/lodging) and then £6k for everything else, food, drink, nights out, entry into places etc.

Q: What’s you favorite quote?
A: There’s one by John Mayer “Life is a beautiful thing. Pack a bag, make a playlist, watch the world.”

Q: Where is you next trip?
A: Next is a break, I am getting back into the working world for a bit, but eventually I’d like to take a 2-3 month trip across Australia and see that through the windscreen!

Q: What did you realize after the trip?
A: I know a lot of people go on trips to “discover themselves” but I didn’t do that, as I’ve always been pretty sure of who I am.. but I did realise that the situations I get myself into at times aren’t luck.. It’s due to being outgoing and open to letting myself find myself in those situations without a second thought!


Here’s more photos from his Instagram account.

“As you travel solo, being totally responsible for yourself, it’s inevitable that you will discover just how capable you are.”

4 thoughts on “The Search for Everything – 90 Days US Road Trip

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  2. Really enjoyed reading all about that Ryan I know I’ve heard your stories , but really put it into reality, also enjoyed the questions as well

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