Every summer Brad Herzog takes his wife, two young sons and his writing job on the road for an RV tour of America, the Kansas City Star reports.
They’ll stop at a KOA outside Kansas City on Wednesday (July 14), partly for a visit, partly to promote his latest book, Small World, which chronicles the small towns he has seen in his RV journeys. He’s also looking for material for his next book.
His 1999 book States of Mind reached No. 2 on Amazon.com’s bestseller list.
Here is a transcript of the Star’s interview with Herzog:
Q: Where did the idea come from to jump in an RV and travel across the country?
Herzog: Well, originally for my first travel memoir it was a sense that my wife and I being newlyweds wanted to sample life’s options before settling down. I thought how nice it would be to discover a little bit about ourselves by discovering a lot about America. With my new book, Small World, I wanted to celebrate the wonders in our own back yard and examine America post 9/11.
Q: You first wrote about towns named after virtues (Wisdom, Mont.; Love, Va.), then towns with international names (Rome, Ore.; Moscow, Maine). What’s next?
Herzog: I have an idea; we’ll see how everything plays out. The idea has to do with the Odyssey by Homer and what the notion of a hero”s journey is today.
Q: Have you found any interesting stories or places around Kansas City?
Herzog: My journeys have taken me there several times and I’ve enjoyed it, but I haven’t yet focused on a small town in that region. But I’m sure someday I will.
Q: Are you sick of living in an RV yet?
Herzog: No. I live in a beautiful area of California, but I still love getting out in an RV a couple months every summer. The appeal is ongoing, and there’s a new adventure around every corner.
Q: What is it like traveling in an RV with a 2- and 3-year-old?
Herzog: I can’t imagine traveling any other way. We recently flew to Chicago with them, and it was not fun. And traveling from hotel to hotel wouldn’t be either. In an RV, we sleep in the same bed every night, we have room to store their toys, books and movies, and we get to share this great adventure with them.
Q: What is the No. 1 thing you can’t live without when you’re traveling?
Herzog: For me it’s a map. I love examining the fine print of the atlas. It is what inspires my trips and journeys, and I can’t wait to explore every dot.
Q: After years of traveling, what is your favorite place?
Herzog: California, the small town I moved to. We chose it after doing a 48-state home search. But I’m constantly surprised how beautiful so many different places in America are.