magazine Twenty-One: October/November 2020 · ROVA

cover image of ROVA

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ROVA is a print and digital magazine about traveling the roads of North America: the insightful stories, the spectacular images, and the people who make up this vibrant, growing community.






WHY THE ROAD? • ROVA catches up with road travelers to get the scoop on why they choose to live the nomadic life.

AN ALMOST FREE TRIAL OF VAN LIFE • RVers and van lifers obviously live the dream. Sadly, though, that dream isn’t accessible to many young people who are still in school or have just started full-time jobs, and don’t have the money to convert a van into a livable space—like me. So, instead of quitting my job, selling my stuff, and investing my life savings into a van conversion, I converted my family’s old SUV into a comfortable, livable campervan for just $1,000.

LIVING IN A VAN, SUSTAINABLY • Conventional living doesn’t seem healthy for the world anymore. Then again, was it ever? My partner and I set out to live in a van, travel, and experience a life that aligns with something that is crucial to us: the healing of our planet.

What we do to reduce our environmental impact while traveling

LIFE AT 10 MPH • Traveling across the South on a bicycle puts a young man in touch with interesting characters, and teaches him valuable lessons.

ROAD TRIP INTERRUPTED Travel in the time of COVID-19 • In February of 2020, I set out on a four-month road trip in honor of the 60th anniversary of John Steinbeck’s nonfiction classic Travels with Charley. After 18 months of planning, I thought that nothing could stop me from visiting all 50 states and writing about how America had changed since Steinbeck traveled the country in 1960. But “the best laid plans of mice and men, oft go awry”—especially during a pandemic.

THE OUTDOORS: URBAN EDITION • You don’t have to be in the middle of nowhere to experience the outdoors; there is plenty of nature to be found in even the busiest of cities.

ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD • Forty-four miles on foot and on wheels in just under 12 hours.

APPRECIATING THE STATES through the eyes of a British Family • Recently, my family traversed the lesser-visited “flyover” states of the United States, and we found endless amounts of hidden gems. Now that traveling afar is a little more complicated, it’s important to appreciate what you have in your own backyard.

BIG SUR • A photo essay

VINEYARDS, REDWOODS, AND THE UNTAMED NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COAST • Over the past six years of living primarily abroad (as well as about a year out-of-state), the thing that I dreamt about most, when I did dream of home, was the Northern California Coast.

ADVENTURE SELDOM SEEKS A STRAIGHT ROAD • When a non–fly fisherperson crosses four states to find the best fly-fishing sites, something’s up. Could it be her attraction to her companion? Along the way, this new relationship encounters some challenges that result in an appreciation for the positive, unflappable man with whom she is traveling.

KAYAKING AWAY FROM COVID • It took a pandemic to finally buy that kayak and explore Texas.

DETOUR TO VALENTINE • A good side trip can set the tone of a journey. Add a bit of pilgrimage, an old road and a big steak, and you're bound to start off on the right foot.

TIME STANDS STILL IN SMALL-TOWN KENTUCKY • Kentucky is more than horse racing, bourbon, and backwoods stereotypes. Sometimes, like the Cheers theme song says, you want to go where everybody knows your name. In La Grange, Kentucky, you can do just that.

ESCAPING THE CITY • Five months spent largely inside a New York City apartment is enough to make anyone go crazy—luckily, upstate New York is really not far away.

IN SEARCH OF MY SWEDISH ROOTS A road trip through...