In the midst of a chaotic year, we look back at the roads we’ve traveled both literally and metaphorically—and steer toward the road to a better world.
Long live the road trip. In a year when vacations were cancelled, weddings were postponed, and celebrations were relegated to screens, at the very least we still had the option to get in the car and just… drive.
The open road has always been synonymous with freedom. No boarding times to contend with, no rushing from one stop to the next, no need to book accommodations or make reservations ahead of time—if you’re really the go-where-the-road-takes-you type, that is.
We are all connected by the many paths that crisscross our country and globe.
In a car, where you want to go, what you want to do, and when you feel like moving on is all within your power and control. And control is a tough thing to come by these days. With the global COVID-19 pandemic still spreading, causing countries to fluctuate through closures and reopenings of restaurants, schools, and borders, long-term plans of any kind feel futile. The social uprisings that were ignited in June continue at full speed, particularly as the U.S. presidential election draws near. Meanwhile, parts of the planet are literally burning.
Over these past six months or so, going for a long drive hasn’t helped me solve the world’s problems, but it has helped to settle my mind, so that I can get clear on how I’d like to contribute on a personal level to the long road to recovery ahead. Everyone has a role to play as an individual, but it’s also important to note—always, but especially in times of quarantine and isolation—that none of us are alone. We are all connected by the many paths that crisscross our country and globe. That’s what the stories in this issue reminded me.
In these pages, we phone up Amy Yeung, founder of upcycled fashion brand Orenda Tribe, to hear how she traded life in the fast-fashion lane for a small business that gives back to her Diné community. We hear from writers all over the world about the global rite of passage that is getting your first car. We follow three creatives as they re-examine the concept of the Great American Road Trip, asking who has been escorted directly to life’s highways, and who has only been handed dead ends. We explore the most important kind of road travel this year, the street protest, and follow cover star Lamorne Morris on his personal and professional road to “Woke”-ness.
The road ahead may feel long and steep. But with the attitude of a road tripper, it can be one that’s filled with laughter and levity, fruitful detours, new connections, and lessons learned. We just have to take turns in the driver’s seat. Together, we can steer in the right direction.