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by Alaina R. Alexander


Nathan Gebhard

Ideal Road Trip: New Zealand surfing and climbing mountains

Favorite Road Trip Movie: Freedom Wig (skateboarding film)



 It's senior year of college and you still haven't quite figured out what you will be doing after graduation. Perhaps, you've graduated 2,  3, or even five years ago and you still haven't formed a cohesive career plan. Meanwhile, well-intentioned family and friends are interrogating you about your future career plans. They are also offering up  "recycled" tips and suggestions for thriving on the path of career conformity.

Yet, you know that there is a different career path waiting for you. If only you could find it...

That's where Roadtrip Nation comes in. 

Roadtrip Nation participants drive cross-country in a bright green RV and  interview people firmly established in their professions. 

The participants  are mining for the nugget of wisdom that will help them start their own career odyssey. The interviewees discuss how they found their way through the career labyrinth. 

One of Roadtrip Nation's founders, Nathan Gebhard cites the "frustration of not knowing what to do after college." as the driving force behind the founding of Roadtrip Nation.

 Other projects from Roadtrip Nation   include:  books, an 8 part documentary,  an interactive website and a heavy presence on  many college campuses across the country. 

In the swirl of so much activity one wonders how someone can balance work responsibilities with a social life?

Nathan seems to have  found a way to strike that elusive balance:

"When work is as fun as it is it's very much intertwined in my social life. I work with my best friends and I'm addicted to the work we do almost to a fault. I'd say my biggest challenge is at times forcing myself to stop working. I would work every day into the night if I wasn't careful. My fiancée helps with that a lot. One big lesson I've learned is that if I don't nurture my life outside of work my work suffers even if I'm loving it. Every time I step back and get in the ocean or do something active I always come back to work with renewed energy and excitement for what we're doing. So right now Amy and I are up every morning during the week by 6:30am and we'll jump the ocean for a surf if there are waves, otherwise it's a kayak or run on the beach. Then I'm running to work. So I'm not sure if it's as much balance as it is integration."

During the late '90's, one could construct a five year plan and reasonably expect to follow it faithfully. These days, layoffs and company closings  have resulted in even more uncertainty for recent college graduates and others looking for work.

What does  the five year outlook have in store  for Roadtrip Nation and Nathan Gebhard?

"Beyond five years it is our vision that Roadtrip Nation continues beyond our life times. So during the next five years, seeing that we set up a foundation that will take RTN to that space. Other than that, spending a lot of time with family. Having a surf trip to Indonesia under our belt. Owning a house. I guess summing it up I'd quote Alfred Lord Tennyson:

"Drinking life to the lees'..."

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