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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > November 2015 > Paul Theroux on the Great American Road Trip

Paul Theroux on the Great American Road Trip

Veteran travel writer Paul Theroux talks about exploring the winding lanes of the southern US for his new book, with photographs by Steve McCurry

Your new book is unusual, because rather than travelling by train, you're driving around in a car.

If you’re waiting for a bus or a train, you’re subject to a lot of constraints. In a car, you have complete freedom. There are no barriers for a road trip in the United States. You can’t take the same kind of trip in Europe, India, China or Russia because even though they’re big places with roads, there are obstacles on the way: there’s either a border, or a security check. In India, there’s an elephant on the road. In America, you can get in your car in Boston and a week later you’re in Los Angeles having always been on a paved road. You don’t have to go any distance to get gas, to fnd a meal, to get a room. The American road trip ideal is not about speed, it’s about connection: connection with other people.

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