ROAD TRIPPIN’ WITH FOSTER HUNTINGTONMay 29, 2013
Imagine a life on the open road, no real home, few possessions, just you and nature living side by side. Imagine a life with few rules and responsibilities; no law forced down your throat, no boss ordering you around as you sit numb, bored of everyday society. Imagine all of this as you speed down the dusty track of life, waving goodbye to destination and agenda, speeding past the idea of schedules and plans. It’s just you, alone with your most trusted peoples, road tripping your way to nowhere and living life for no other reason than the most pure of all… to live!
Well, wouldn’t you know it, we’ve gone and stumbled across a unique individual who doesn’t have to imagine…he actually does it all. His name? Foster Huntington, a young American traveller who loves nothing more than to cross the land in his camper van. His blog, A Restless Transplant, shares his inspiring journey for the world to see, telling stories of the open road snapping up the views with his rustic photography. We just had to get in touch and find out what he’s all about, so we did! (With fingers crossed he wasn’t half way up a mountain.) Here’s what went down…
UO: Tell us about your awesome blog A Restless Transplant…
FH: I started A Restless Transplant 5 years ago when I was in College. Around the same time, I borrowed a friend’s camera and started taking photos. I had a blast doing it and eventually bought a used one. I started posting photos of the area and people around me in New England. I loved it and have been at it since. Today, it’s a documentation of my life on the road and a central place for my side projects.
UO: So you left your job a few years back for a life on the road. Nice. What brought on the decision?
FH: I was living in New York and working as a concept designer at Ralph Lauren. I liked my job but missed the outdoors. I was the youngest person on my team and saw the writing on the wall of what would happen if I kept working in design. New York is a vortex; it sucks you in and before you know it 10 years have passed. I blinked and a year and a half had gone by. I also realized that I didn’t like clothes enough to think and talk about them for 60 hours a week.
UO: #VanLife has become a movement in social media. What made you want to journal this journey as a blog?
FH: I think the notion of living and traveling around in a van is as important today as ever. There’s a huge discrepancy with generational wealth these days and very little prospect for that to get better. If we want to travel, we are going to have to do it on the cheap. Vanlife is all about that – a celebration of travel. I document it the best way I can, with a cell phone camera haha!
UO: What does your day consist of?
FH: I wake up at around 5:30 or 6:00 and find a coffee shop and do some work on my computer: send emails and edit photos. After that, I’ll try to surf if I’m near the ocean or if I’m in the mountains, I’ll find a place to go on a hike. After that, I’ll make lunch and then hit the road. I’m a morning person and my most productive hours of the day are before lunch. Then I’ll drive for a few hours and find a place to park and go a walk around sunset. When you’re living in a camper, there’s not much to do after sunset so I normally go to bed early at around 10.
UO: We’ve seen your pictures and some of the places look quiet…a little too quiet. Anything scary or straight-up weird happened?
FH: I was surfing in the very northern part of California at sunset last fall and saw something big in the water. It was either an Elephant Seal or Great White. Other than that, nothing too scary has happened, and in all reality, it was probably just an Elephant Seal.
UO: Do you always make sure you travel close to the big blue?
FH: Surfing has consumed my life in the last two years and has certainly kept me close to the ocean. Surfing makes me feel like a 9 year old jumping on a trampoline. Plus the weather is generally more pleasant near the ocean. In the fall and spring, I like traveling in the mountains.
UO: What songs or albums are a great listen when you’re speeding down the highway?
FH: I listen to books on tapes a lot. I just finished Hunter S Thompson’s selected writing from Rolling Stone and his book on the Hells Angels. I’ve also been listening to the new Daft Punk album. I have an on going fascination with Joy Division/New Order so I listen to a lot of them too. I also like the Grateful Dead a lot, especially their Cornell 77 show. The Weight by The Band is one of my favorite songs that’s always in rotation. I also listen to The Chronic by Dr. Dre too. I’m all over the place ha.
UO: If you could pick 3 people to road trip with for life, who and why?
FH: If I had to travel with three people for the rest of my life?!…
First on my list would be my younger brother Tim. We are best friends and travel well together. I really like traveling with my friend Trevor Gordon. He’s super easy going and has traveled a lot in his life. My friend Dan Opalacz and I have traveled a lot together. Some of my favorite trips of my life have been with him.
UO: …3 pieces of road tripping advice?
FH: Take about 1/4 of the shit you think you need. Take twice as long as you think it will take. Bring a warm sleeping bag, I kinda froze my ass off last night with one a friend just gave me. I’m going to revert back to my tried and true mommy bag.
UO: Where’s your best spot or city you’ve been to so far?
FH: If I told you some of places, I’d have to kill you! But I really like Baja California. It’s beautiful and untouched. I recently spent a week in Berlin and really liked that city. It reminded me how vibrant and energetic cities can be. I’d like to spend some time there in the future. My travels have given me a new appreciation for California. There are so many places to go and see there. There are mountains, ocean and deserts. It covers 80% of the things I like doing.
UO: Have you ever marveled or gotten all teary eyed at the sight of a sunrise or the stars at night?
FH: The day I picked up my Syncro, I parked for the night on some public land on the Oregon/California border. I drove up a forest service road until it dead-ended and then walked up to the top of hill. It had a 360-degree view of the area. I made it to the top at sunset. It was one of the best days of my life.
UO: What do you have planned next?
FH: I’m working on a Kickstarter book project for Vanlife with Doubleday and Cartwright that’s going up in a month or so. I’m really excited to have more control over how the book looks and feels than with the Burning House book. Other than that, I’m looking forward to continue to travel, surf and take photos. Nothing too fancy.