In April 2014, Kristen Blanton and Matt Jozwiak packed up her Jeep Grand Cherokee and hit the road. Blessed by the patron saints of Kickstarter who related to Kristen’s unsatiated itch to move, the couple threw their stuff in storage, sublet their home in Austin, Texas, and set out on a four-month road trip across America.
Twenty months later, Blanton and Jozwiak are still living out of the back of their car nearly full-time. The truck has been upgraded to a roomier Toyota Tacoma and is currently parked in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, waiting for El NiÃ±o. Plus, the two are making good on one of their original goals for the trip: to document their travels on film (yeah…film) and pull them into a book, due out in mid- to late 2016.
Now, under the name Hello America, they support their travel with freelance writing, boat captaining, guiding dives, and working with brands who dig their photography. “The core of what we do has always been to shoot for ourselves,” explained Blanton. “We incorporate the content into trips we were already taking, already had planned. This has allowed the heart of what we do to remain.”
Have you been to every U.S. state or region?
In terms of Hello America (not our individual, pre-Hello America travels), I want to say the only places we’ve not been are the Virginia’s. Maybe Iowa and North Dakota too. Oh! And Alaska and Hawaii, which are our numbers one and one. We’re trying to make this happen next year.
In your travels, which region surprised you the most – especially in light of your expectations of what it would have been like?
We didn’t start out with many expectations. The whole idea of the trip was to just take it as it comes. We knew the landscapes would be insane, but we didn’t expect the people we met to surprise us most. They were generous and inviting.
Now that this is a lifestyle – with no presumable end in sight – how do you decide when it’s time to move on to the next place?
We make decisions to go somewhere pretty simply. Matt will say, “What about Colorado this winter?” And I’ll say, “Yeah we can do work there, that sounds good.” Or I’ll say, “Hey the month of May I’m thinking about doing a road trip from Florida to California with a sister-friend” and he will say, “I think you should do it.”
What’s the best part about living on the road?
Kristen: Waking in new places next to the same beautiful face every single damn day.
Matt: Having everything you need right in the backseat and taking it all wherever you feel like going next.
What’s the hardest/worst/most challenging part about living on the road?
Kristen: Not having a proper toilet.
Matt: Hygiene and clean socks.
Photos by Hello America.