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Talking Travel with Jessica Dunham

by John Wroblewski

Nov 26, 2023

I love road trips. They are a great way to see the country. A road trip with friends brings special bonding moments. Alone, a road trip can be a time for peaceful introspection. Either way, you see lots of fantastic places.

Recently I found someone who appreciates road trips more than I do. A veteran of countless road trips, author Jessica Dunham shared her passion with me on the latest interview of Talking Travel.

Dunham already had a normal interest in travel when she became an editor for travel guides. Learning about places all over the United States and Canada increased her passion and curiosity. Early in the interview, Dunham describes learning about each area’s personality and realizing the endless potential. Now a freelance writer based in Phoenix, Dunham’s love of road trips is stronger than ever.

After giving a short bio, Dunham described her version of a perfect road trip. I questioned whether, as an expert road tripper, Dunham preferred leading or following (for a change of pace). Having coordinated dozens of road trips with my friends, letting others take control can be liberating but also challenging.

Talk turned to how she decided on her list for The Open Road: 50 Best Road Trips in the USA. I previously scanned the chapter titles and did not see my hometown, Chicago, listed, but Dunham
assured me my Chicago is well-represented, as are many other cities, despite not being in any of the titles. After all, a road trip encompasses several areas.

In “Route 66 Road Trip” Dunham takes a deep dive into the famous roadway. Dunham explained why her look at Route 66 differs from other books about it.

Dunham’s enthusiasm for road trips is what impressed me most. This isn’t just a job for her. She’d take road trips whether she wrote about them or not.

Talking Travel is an interview series on Global Traveler. Subscribe to the GT YouTube channel to be notified of all future interviews and other travel-related videos.

— John Wroblewski, online writer

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