Chris Strub quit his job, packed his bags and left his home for the summer to begin his solo 90-day journey in his 2007 Honda Accord across the lower 48 states.
Strub, who graduated from Binghamton University in 2007 with a dual-degree in English and economics, is traveling arround 175 miles a day as he attempts to visit every corner of the country.
Though Binghamton has been his home since 2003, this cross-country trip might help Strub, now 28 years old, decide where he ends up next.
“One of my biggest reasons for taking the trip was to find out where I want to live during the next stage of my life,” Strub said. “I truly enjoyed living in Binghamton, but I knew there was a lot of beauty and intrigue out here across the country.”
According to Strub, the idea for the trip came to him in late December of 2012. It became a reality this year when he quit his job as social media director for an advertising agency called Ad Elements.
Strub used to take weeklong vacations every year; after realizing how meaningful those experiences were to him, he decided to turn them into a sort of career.
He said that while informing friends and family of his plans for the summer was certainly difficult, breaking the news to his boss at Ad Elements was by far the most challenging.
“It wasn’t easy, but I convinced myself that sometimes you have to give up something good to gain something great,” Strub said.
While he is making the trip by himself, Strub is not without the support of his friends and family.
Lee Karchawer, who graduated from BU with a master’s in marketing in 2007, has been an advisor for Strub in helping to plan events and coordinate ideas along the way.
Karchawer, who now lives in New York, started a charity known as Pay Away the Layaway in 2011. The non-profit helps in paying off the layaway plans of low-income families to provide gifts during the holiday season.
Long-time friends, Strub and Karchawer are selling “#TeamStrub” t-shirts. A portion of these proceeds will go toward the charity while the rest will help support Strub on his trip.
With over 30 of his 90 days completed, he said one of his greatest challenges is the growing distance from home.
“The further West I head, the further away I am from my so-called comfort zone. Additionally, the states get wider, and so my daily driving distance will increase,” Strub said. “I try to take the journey just one step at a time, remembering to eat healthy, get my rest and travel during non-peak hours.”
Strub has been documenting his travels with the use of a GoPro camera; these posts can be found on his blog as well as his Instagram.
Strub said he wants his journey to be a message to undergraduates.
“Maybe you can’t do what I’m doing, but surely there is something in your mind you’ve always dreamed of attempting — visit a city, try a certain food, take a class in something intimidating, talk to a girl or guy who makes you nervous,” he said.
“My primary goal this summer is to inspire individuals to break down their fears and, as cheesy as this sounds, go for it.”