WHAT IS THE TRANS-AMERICAS JOURNEY?
Ever wanted to quit your job, hit the road and just see where it takes you? Yeah, us too. That's why we did it. In April 2006 photographer Eric Mohl and journalist Karen Catchpole hopped into a big truck and drove out of New York City leaving jobs, their apartment and a storage space full of stuff behind.
Inspired, in part, by the events of 9-11 we headed out to explore our own backyard—the Americas--to better understand where we live and where we fit into the wider world.
What we've steered ourselves straight into is a multi-year, 200,000 mile cross-country and cross-continental working road trip through all 23 countries in the Western Hemisphere. From the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. From Lake Tahoe to Lake Titikaka. From the Rockies to the Andes. A true Pan-American journey. We don't really have an itinerary. We can tell you that in December of 2008 we wrapped up two years in the US and Canada and crossed the border into Mexico where we spent 18 months and drove nearly 25,000 miles. Then we spent almost three months in Belize, almost five months in Guatemala, nearly three months in Honduras and just over two months in El Salvador before heading for Nicaragua. Costa Rica and Panama where we're focused right now.
After five years on the road we've explored 10 countries, sharing our experiences and insights with readers via our blog and through our freelance work for major travel magazines and newspapers in the US and Canada. There's much more to come as our Trans-Americas Journey road trip continues south, all the way to Tierra del Fuego where the road literally ends.
Along the way, we're focusing as much as possible on the more than 850 national parks, state parks, preserves and wildlife sanctuaries, 136 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and a pulse-quickening number of provincial and regional parks and reserves to be found in North America, Central America and South America.
You may not believe us, but this trip is our job too. What we discover during our journey is often turned into stories for the magazines, newspapers and web sites we regularly contribute to including Travel + Leisure, National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, Afar, Elle, Every Day with Rachael Ray, the travel sections of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Dallas Morning News, www.fodors.com, www.indagare.com and www.itravelishop.com. Check out the Published Work page on this site to read everything that’s been published so far.
After six years of planning and working and waiting, this trip is a dream come true and a unique opportunity to explore and better understand our own backyard. Our goal is to make the Trans-Americas Journey nothing less than the ultimate independent overland road trip through the Americas, avoiding highways and focusing on byways and back roads to get to the people and places that make every dot on the map unique. Yes, even the dinky dots.
Read what the media has to say about the Trans-Americas Journey.
WHO THE HECK ARE WE?
Journalist Karen Catchpole, has spent more than 20-years as a writer, editor and TV and web producer, creating major women's magazines Sassy and JANE and writing and editing for many others including Allure, Elle, Self, Every Day with Rachael Ray and SHOP Etc. She has now shifted her focus to high-end and adventure travel. Her travel-related work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Afar, Escape, Action Asia, Asian Geographic, Asian Diver, National Geographic Adventure and National Geographic Traveler as well as the travel sections of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Dallas Morning News. Her work also appears on high-end travel websites including jetsetter.com, indagare.com and itravelishop.com. Her Trans-Americas Journey blog has also been part of the elite Lonely Planet Featured Blogger program since 2010 and she recently contributed to an e-book called "Around the World with 40 Lonely Planet Bloggers." Karen has also produced shows for Lifetime Television, Oxygen Media and MTV.
Karen grew up in Paso Robles, California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains where she spent time hiking, camping, fishing, climbing, horseback riding and snowshoeing. She can kill a rattlesnake with a hoe but she’s terrified of spiders. Karen has since added ice climbing, free diving, kayaking and SCUBA diving to her list of favorite things to do. She's climbed as high as 18,000 ft. (in the Nepali Himalaya) and completed two 500 mile bike rides, one from Fairbanks to Anchorage, Alaska (the long way) and another from Montreal to Portland, Maine. Oh, and she survived dengue fever in Thailand. She can't stand it when people ask her what her favorite country is, so don't. Now pass the DEET. Read Karen's resume here.
Photographer Eric Mohl, is a former corporate lawyer (emphasis on former) who now happily specializes in travel, nature and outdoor adventure photography. His work has appeared in National Geographic Adventure, Afar, Escape, Outside, JANE, Action Asia, Asian Geographic, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, the Toronto Sun and various in-flight magazines as well as in promotional material for a high-end adventure travel company. Though born and raised in New York City, Eric was drawn to the outdoors from an early age (his application video for the first season of "Survivor" included a squirrel hunt in Central Park). He has been an avid skier, hiker, SCUBA diver and climber all his life and has climbed to just shy of 20,000 feet (in the Nepali Himalaya) and completed two 500 mile bike rides, one from Fairbanks to Anchorage, Alaska (the long way) and another from Montreal to Portland, Maine. His Trans-Americas Journey blog has been part of the elite Lonely Planet Featured Blogger program since 2010 and he recently contributed photographs to an e-book called “Around the World with 40 Lonely Planet Bloggers.” Eric was also born with a GPS in his head, which is lucky since Karen certainly was not.