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 pickup truck and drove out of New York City leaving behind our jobs, apartment and a storage space full of stuff.
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 200,000 mile cross-country and cross-continental working road trip through all 23 mainland countries in the Western Hemisphere. From the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego, from Lake Tahoe to Lake Titikaka, from the Rockies to the Andes ours is a true Pan-American journey through North, Central and South America.
We don't really have an itinerary but 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 three years in Central America including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
After one seriously complicated border crossing around the Darien Gap we've made it to South America where we'll spend the coming years exploring and sharing our experiences and insights with readers via our influential travel blog and through our freelance work for major travel publications in the US and Canada.
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, Woman's Day, the Sunday travel sections of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Dallas Morning News and the entire Sun newspaper group across Canada as well as Slate.com, CNN.com, RoadsandKingdoms.com, TheLatinKitchen.com (the foodie spin of off Latina magazine), TravelandEscape.ca (the website for Canada's Travel Channel), Fodors.com, Indagare.com and Jetsetter.com.
After years of planning and working and waiting, our Trans-Americas Journey 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 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.
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 so stay tuned!
Read what the media has to say about the Trans-Americas Journey.
WHO THE HECK ARE WE?
Journalist Karen Catchpole helped create Sassy and Jane magazines, has freelanced for many major US women’s magazine, produced for The Jon Stewart Show and created programming for MTV and Oxygen Media. In 2006 she left her job as deputy editor of Shop Etc. in New York City to embark on the ongoing Trans-Americas Journey, a multi-year, 200,000 mile working road trip through North, Central and South America.
Karen is a SATW award winning travel journalist and her work has appeared in Travel+Leisure, Afar, National Geographic Adventure, Woman's Day, Every Day with Rachael Ray, National Geographic Traveler American Cowboy Magazine and the Sunday travel sections of The Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Dallas Morning News and the Sun Newspaper group across Canada.
Her work also appears on top travel websites including the award winning RoadsandKingdoms.com, Slate.com, CNN.com, Jetsetter.com, Indagare.com, TheLatinKitchen.com (part of Latina magazine), AHotelLife.com and TravelandEscape.ca (the website for Canada's Travel Channel). Her Trans-Americas Journey travel blog is ranked as one of the top 25 independent travel websites in the world and Karen was a contributor to the "Moon Maya 2012: A Guide to Celebrations in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras" guidebook and the "Around the World with 40 Lonely Planet Bloggers" ebook.
Karen has been profiled by WWD (Women's Wear Daily) and More magazine, featured on The Huffington Post and Fox Business News and interviewed on the National Geographic Weekend with Boyd Matson radio program as well as in regional media througout Latin America. The Trans-Americas Journey was also featured in the book "You Want To Go Where?".
Karen grew up in the foothills of California's 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 feet in the Nepali Himalaya, taken a submarine to 300 feet below the surface of the ocean in Costa Rica. She has also survived dengue fever in Thailand. Karen can't stand it when people ask her what her favorite country is, so don't.
Photographer Eric Mohl is a former corporate lawyer who now 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, the Daily Mail and on the award winning RoadsandKingdoms.com, Slate.com, TravelandEscape.ca (the website for Canada’s Travel Channel), AHotelLife.com and TheLatinKitchen.com (part of Latina magazine).
In 2006 Eric left New York City to embark on the ongoing Trans-Americas Journey, a multi-year, 200,000 mile working road trip through North, Central and South America. His Trans-Americas Journey travel blog is ranked as one of the top 25 independent travel websites in the world. Eric contributed to the “Around the World with 40 Lonely Planet Bloggers” ebook and also contributed to the "Moon Maya 2012: A Guide to Celebrations in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras" guidebook.
Eric has been featured on Bloomberg Television's "Stealth Lawyer" series, The Huffington Post, Fox Business News and the National Geographic Weekend with Boyd Matson radio program as well as in regional media across Latin America. The Trans-Americas Journey was also featured in the book "You Want To Go Where?".
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 taken a submersible to 300 feet below the surface of the ocean in Costa Rica. Eric was also born with a GPS in his head, which is lucky since Karen certainly was not.