FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When you quit an excellent job, give up a wonderful apartment and announce you're about to travel the country by yourself, people are bound to have questions. Hopefully, this page answers as many as possible.
Why are you doing this?
There really is no simple answer to this question. I have an instinctual desire to explore the unknown, to see the country, to meet new people and to try new things. Although I am happy in Binghamton, I’ve never had the opportunity to live outside of New York, and I’m very curious to see what the rest of the country is like. I believe strongly in the power of networking, and social media allows for networking in ways that we’ve never seen before. I also believe in falling in love, something that hasn’t happened to me yet in Binghamton.
How are you paying for all of this?
For now, the trip is being funded out of my own pocket. I’ve saved what I believe to be enough money to be able to complete the trip on my own, without any sort of fundraisers or sponsorships. Although there are no sponsors at this time, part of the reason I am taking the month of May off is to figure that possibility out.
Where exactly are you going?
Check out the Google Map here, and the full day-by-day itinerary here.
When did you decide you were going to do this?
December 31, 2012 -- I spent New Year’s Eve alone at my apartment, and decided my next career step would be to take this road trip.
Wait. I thought you loved your job?
Let me be very clear: I absolutely did love my job. My stint at Ad Elements was by far the most fulfilling and exciting stretch of my career. As the agency’s Social Media Director, I was able to help represent nearly 30 brands through various social media channels. I helped organize a number of social media seminars in both Binghamton and Winter Park, Fla., where our agency opened a Southern office. I got to work every day in the most beautiful office space in Binghamton, the Lackawanna Train Station, with a group of exceptionally talented individuals, and I had many enlightening, fascinating conversations with our incredible group of clients. I will always think back fondly on my time at Ad Elements and I am grateful for the opportunities that were afforded to me through the agency.
I thought you loved living in Binghamton?
Binghamton sure seems like a nice place to live. People say there are no jobs, but the job I am giving up is pretty fantastic. The apartment I live in is exceptionally affordable ($550/month), and located within walking distance of the heart of downtown, including a minor league baseball stadium and a minor league hockey team. I’ve literally watched the revitalization of downtown Binghamton, as places like Gas Lamp Gym, Galaxy Brewing Company, Water Street Brewing Company, sake-tumi, Burger Mondays, Zona’s, Binghamton Hots, The Venue and Thai Time, just to name a few, have popped up since I moved downtown.
The expansion of Binghamton University to the Downtown Center has led to the birth of numerous beautiful student housing projects, including Chenango Place, a project I’ve had the opportunity to help publicize through Ad Elements. The University’s presence led to the construction of Food & Fire in Johnson City, another incredible place to eat and drink with ownership roots stemming from BU. The presence of the University itself has allowed me to continue my connection with my beloved alma mater, as I currently serve as the co-chair of the local chapter of the Alumni Association and have spoken dozens of times on campus to current students.
I’m supremely confident in our new Republican Mayor, Rich David, and his administration headed by Jared Kraham, a brilliant young man I had the opportunity to work with for a year at Ad Elements. Despite what you might think, there is quite a bit of good going on in Binghamton; it’s simply my choice to want to see what the rest of the U.S. has to offer.
Cool! You really need to visit (this city!)
At this point in the game, the itinerary is relatively set in stone. Deciding to spend at least one night in each of the lower 48 states puts a lot of pressure on moving quickly and efficiently. Factor in scheduling around the home schedules of the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, the three half-marathons I chose to register for and the desire to be in D.C. for my birthday, and the schedule pretty much writes itself.
Cool! While you're in (city on the trip), you really need to visit ...
Yes! This is exactly the sort of feedback I am looking for. Everyone has a story, and I want to know why I should visit that divebar you did jagerbombs in in 1994, or what type of hot dog to order at that minor-league ballpark in North Dakota, or which golf course to tee up at in Minnesota. The two best ways to convey these ideas to me? Use the 'CONTACT' link on this website, or simply Tweet at me (@ChrisStrub) using the hashtag #TeamStrub. Believe me, especially during the planning stages in May, I will be listening.
Can I come with you?
Well, no. Unless you're Amanda Cerny, in which case, yes.
What is the hardest part of all of this?
Missing the Delmar/Wozniak Wedding, which will take place July 4 in Binghamton. If you'll be with me in Denver on July 4, be prepared to help me wish that crazy couple congratulations.
What is your plan for after the trip?
Quite frankly, I don’t have one. Technically, the trip is scheduled to end in Huntington Station, New York -- the place where I was born and raised. Spending more time with my family on Long Island would be a more than fine option. However, part of the big reason I’m going on the trip is to determine the next chapter. I am heading out to find myself and hopefully, when the next step for me looks me in the eye, no matter what state I’m in, I’ll know.
How many miles do you estimate the trip will be?
It appears the trip will be somewhere around 15,000 miles; maybe a bit under. (EDIT 6/10/14: It's probably going to be more than 15,000 miles.)
Are you open to returning to live in Binghamton?
Of course! Maybe I travel around the U.S. and find that Binghamton is the place for me. But after 11 years of living in the Southern Tier, I’m willing to take 90 days to see if there’s a better place for me out there. No matter what happens, Binghamton will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will always be inclined to visit the Southern Tier to reconnect with friends, former colleagues and, most importantly, my extended family at the University.
Shouldn't you have a better looking website?
Yes! My web design experience is next to none, and I wanted to make sure to have a resource up as quickly as possible. I'm taking the month of May to work on the site, so hopefully it'll get better. If you're willing to volunteer your services, use the contact me form above and we'll chat.
Wait, I have more questions ...
The best way to contact me is via Twitter -- @ChrisStrub and use the hashtag #TeamStrub. I reply to every Tweet I get (even spam!). As the word spreads about my trip, I will add to the FAQ so be sure to check back often.