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Roadtrip Nation: A Guide to Discovering Your Path in Life [Paperback]

Nathan Geghard , Mike Marriner , Joanne Gordon
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.00
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Book Description

Aug. 22 2006
SO WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO WITH YOUR LIFE?

“You should be a lawyer, a doctor, an accountant, a consultant, blah, blah, blah. Everywhere you turn people try to tell you who to be and what to do with your life. We call that the noise. Block it. Shed it. Leave it for the conformists. As a generation, we need to get back to focusing on individuality. Self-construction rather than mass production. Define your own road in life instead of traveling down someone else’s. Listen to yourself. Your road is the open road. Find it.”
—Mike and Nathan

*****
After college Mike Marriner and Nathan Gebhard had no idea what to do with their lives. All they’d been exposed to were standard career paths like doctor and consultant—roads that didn’t fit them at all.

To see what else was out there they took a roadtrip across the nation in a huge forty-foot RV to meet with people who had successfully defined their own paths in life—including the chairman of Starbucks; a lobsterman from Maine; the director of Saturday Night Live; the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic; the first female Supreme Court Justice of the United States; head stylist for Madonna; and the CEO of National Geographic Ventures. All told, one hundred and forty people candidly shared their stories about how they got from college to the present. Now in Roadtrip Nation, Mike and Nathan share the most compelling tales with you.

Along the way, they explain how you, too, can get out there and meet people on your own. From making cold calls to asking stimulating interview questions, Roadtrip Nation will give you the tools to create a life that you’ll look back on and say: “I was true to myself every step of the way.”

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From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-To broaden their knowledge of occupations, two enterprising California college students/surfers hatched an idea to interview successful adults in interesting jobs, to see what paths they took to get there. They ended up crossing the U.S. in a large RV for three months. The resultant book is not so much useful for the interviews-which, although interesting, tend to read alike-as it is for the story of how this project was conceived and executed. The inspiring angle is how two average guys with few financial resources got the money and a magazine editor's interest through their ingenuity and persistence, qualities that became useful in their quest for interviews. The final portion of the book tells readers how to go about doing what the authors did-minus the RV-with tips on cold calling, following up, being on time, keeping your word, researching and reaching people, thanking them with a letter, and more. More interviews can be found on the authors' Web site. The good advice here is applicable to dealing with people in general, and the high school yearbooklike layout will appeal to teens.
Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Booklist

Marriner and Gebhard, California college students who didn't know what they wanted to do with their lives, decided to take a road trip across the country, interviewing successful people who had made their own way in the world. A few phone calls later, they had a contract with monster.com to document their travels, and eventually the road-trip idea became its own multifaceted business that includes teaching classes to would-be road-trippers and, of course, producing documentaries. This book, written with freelancer Joanne Gordon, is another of the spin-offs that have developed from the original venture. Some of the interview subjects seem oddly chosen (the CEO of Starbucks, hardly a favorite company among many young people), but the energy and enthusiasm of the authors are infectious, and they certainly capture the nonconforming yet entrepreneurial attitudes of so many twentysomethings today. This could well become the What Color Is Your Parachute? of its era, despite the fact that when John Belushi shouted "Road trip!" in Animal House, he wasn't talking about interviewing CEOs. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
This is a great book for anyone nearing the close of any scholastic or professional carreer. The book is an easy read and the interviews are short enough that even young readers would enjoy this book. It is a great window into life lived with passion. It is an example that success is not always immediate, but if you stay true to yourself and your dreams, the payoff is personal success, which is always greater than personal gain which is much easier to find. The interviews are fun and diverse. No matter what path in life you are taking, there is an interview that will probably mirror your experience. Even more interensting than the interviews themselves though, is the story of the author and how he and his friends landed the interviews in the book. The only reason for the four star rating is that I was always wanting more at the end of each interview. Although this may be the goal of the author, it is not everyday that someone gets to peek into the lives of some of the world's most successful people. Overall though, I highly reccomend the book.
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Format:Paperback
This is a great book for anyone nearing the close of any scholastic or professional carreer. The book is an easy read and the interviews are short enough that even young readers would enjoy this book. It is a great window into life lived with passion. It is an example that success is not always immediate, but if you stay true to yourself and your dreams, the payoff is personal success, which is always greater than personal gain which is much easier to find. The interviews are fun and diverse. No matter what path in life you are taking, there is an interview that will probably mirror your experience. Even more interensting than the interviews themselves though, is the story of the author and how he and his friends landed the interviews in the book. The only reason for the four star rating is that I was always wanting more at the end of each interview. Although this may be the goal of the author, it is not everyday that someone gets to peek into the lives of some of the world's most successful people. Overall though, I highly reccomend the book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Luck is all you need April 30 2003
Format:Paperback
The concept for Roadtrip Nation is great. Go on a roadtrip, meet lots of people, talk about their lives, and bring it all together in a single tome of great wisdom and clarity for all to benefit from. But it doesn't really work. First, there is a selection bias at work here, in that the people these folks chose to talk to are all successful. Most of them freely admit that they were lucky, or that circumstances just lined up for them. That said, the advice they give is not bad advice: work hard, follow your passion, don't be shy, explore each opportunity as it comes along. But it's unclear how many UNsuccessful people have done exactly the same thing. The number of struggling filmmakers and artists and entrepeneurs is a testament to that. So I would find it especially interesting if they compared the stories (or "roads") of less successful people to find what they would have done differently. Or as I like to say, learn from the mistakes of others. Another problem is that the "interviews" (which read more like nicely edited monologues) are much too short and lack detail. There must be countless illustrative anecdotes that are simply glossed over in a few paragraphs, but instead we get a larger font size and bigger margins, and a peppering of inane asides about the RV they drove around. Another problem is that the set of people they interview fall mainly within the boundaries of business and the arts. Very few technical professions are represented, so the book lacks balance in that respect.
To summarize, the idea of the book and its message are great. There are many roads in life, and your parents and school hardly ever give you an accurate picture of all the possibilities. So you should explore, meet people, find your passion, work at it, and don't be discouraged when you don't meet instant success. But when it comes to fleshing out these ideas, the book's superficial profiles fall short. Stick with the website.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for College Students April 20 2003
Format:Paperback
I am a college student who has switched my major three times and I am about to enter my senior year and Indiana University and I am still not sure what I want to do with my life. Around me are friends and people I know who have goals and paths to life but are not inspired by love of their major but more so by money. I want to succeed not only with money but also more importantly with a love of my job. This book gives me insight to people who chose other paths and in the end they are happier and still able to succeed. The basis of this book is don't set a course to follow because everyone is different, just do what you love and let that be your guide. Truly an inspiring book that all college students, graduates, and twenty something people must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for 20 Somethings July 17 2003
Format:Paperback
I just finished reading "Roadtrip Nation" and I must say that I'm inspired to go out and find people new areas to explore and talk to people to find out what I want to do with my life. I am at the exact same spot that Mike and Nate were in during their senior year of college so it feels much more attainable than someone writing who is in their 40s telling you how to live your life. As for the reviewer who writes that there aren't enough people in technical positions or less successful people interviewed that's the beauty of the book. You're allowed and encouraged to go and search out people that interest you. The idea is to explore. Have fun.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational read
I wasn't sure what to expect about this book at first, but I was quickly engaged in the content. It's extrememly easy to read and it's completely real. Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2003 by Jacques
5.0 out of 5 stars A cool book
Very nice, easy to read book. Without any verbiage or pomposity, gives you a sense in how many different ways people live out their lives, and how different things matter to... Read more
Published on May 25 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars ROADTRIP NATION
This book is a great guide for a person of any age. It shows the routes various people have taken in their careers to get to where they are while at the same time encouraging its... Read more
Published on April 9 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars an inspiring find
this book is a great find for someone that is looking for an inspiring read. each interview illustrates that not all big shots had a master plan before they made it big... Read more
Published on April 8 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars roadtrip nation
I WISH I WOULD HAVE HAD A BOOK LIKE THIS WHEN I WAS JUST STARTING OUT. IT MAKES YOU REALIZE THAT IT IS OK TO CHANGE YOUR ROAD, AS LONG AS YOU ARE MOVING. Read more
Published on April 7 2003 by Dick
5.0 out of 5 stars Roadtrip Nation
I picked up this book to take with me on a weekend trip. I would highly recommend this for anyone from a junior in high school to the college graduate and a little beyond. Read more
Published on April 5 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and Captivating
I received my copy of Roadtrip Nation this weekend and began reading it immediately. The leaders that are interviewed in the book are diverse, yet they all have success stories... Read more
Published on March 31 2003
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