This Road Trip Is A Labor Of Love

road trip
Flickr/MSVG

Common road trip themes include stopping at small town parks for touch football on a sports focused journey, eating at only hole-in-the-wall barbecue places, collecting tacky souvenirs from truck stops and more. But how about a focus on love? That’s exactly what two former strangers are doing, trying to document 100 love stories as they drive from coast to coast.

Nate Bagley and Melissa Joy Kong have been traveling across the United States in a Mini Cooper hoping to “learn what makes a lasting marriage and dispel all the myths around real love,” says an ANI News report. Looking for couples involved in what might be considered a successful relationship, The Loveumentary has already produced more than two-dozen podcast interviews.

Learning the difference between real love and marriage myths, Loveumentarians Bagley and Kong want to continue their travels and document at least 54 more relationships. To do that, a Kickstarter project has been launched to help pay for future accommodations, gas and other incidentals.Want to get an idea of what The Loveumentary road trip is all about, who these people are and what they are up to? Check this video that tells us “One day consists of 86,400 seconds. This is one of them….”


This 10-Foot-Tall Robocop Sculpture Belongs To Detroit Now

RoboCop from PishPosh.tv on Vimeo.

Kickstarter campaigns can bring a lot of ideas to life these days. In the case of some determined Robocop fans in Detroit, Kickstarter has brought a 10-foot tall bronze Robocop sculpture to the city. Though the exact final location of the statue has yet to be determined, this will soon be a permanent Detroit fixture. And once it has found its forever home in Detroit, Robocop fans will undoubtedly begin making plans to visit it. The construction of this project is still underway. The above video shows the current status of the Detroit Robocop.

Video Of The Day: The $20,000 Timelapse Of Europe


Kickstarter campaigns seem to be all the rage lately — but it’s more rare to see the finished product of whatever campaign passes through the news. Luke Shepard, an American student studying abroad at the American University of Paris, took three months to visit 36 cities in 21 countries. After shooting thousands of photographs, he strung them together in post-production to produce Nightvision. Make sure to view this in full-screen HD so you can really take it in.

We’d love to feature your photos and videos on Gadling, so please add them to our Flickr Pool (with Creative Commons licensing!), tag @GadlingTravel on Instagram or email us at OfTheDay@gadling.com.

Forget Segways, Electric Skateboards Are The New Way To Explore

Courtesy Boosted Boards.

Too cool for a Segway tour? No need to worry, battery-powered skateboards will soon be on the market thanks to a new company called Boosted Boards.

Less bulky than bikes, these boards have the potential to change the way people explore cities. They can be carried anywhere – including on airplanes – allowing people to stop and go as they please (and easily hop off to bypass obstacles like stairs). A handheld remote control allows the rider to control the speed and brakes, so all the rider has to do is worry about balancing and avoiding barriers.

The battery lasts for about six miles, and when its time to recharge, the board just needs to be plugged into a normal wall outlet for 15 minutes (at that rate, it means about a dollar of electricity can power one of these skateboards for more than 600 miles). And if you’re worried about oomph, consider this: the boards have so much gusto they can climb up the hills of San Francisco at 20 mph.

More than 1,100 people got behind the boards on Kickstarter, where inventors reeled in more than four times the money they needed to launch. Boosted Boards is now accepting pre-orders for the new mode of transport, which the company plans to deliver in winter 2013.

[via Mashable and TED talks]

Your Kickstarter Vacation. My Money. No.

When we ran out of money, we were on a beach in Corfu. My boyfriend trawled the construction sites until he found a job hauling cement. I checked in at restaurants and hotels, but failed to turn anything up. I gave up after about a week; there was no work to be had. I spent the days reading on the beach. My boyfriend would come back to our campsite in the shell of an unfinished holiday cottage with his hands raw. We would buy bread and cheese and olives with the cash he’d been paid on that day. This went on for about two weeks, and when the gypsies started giving us food we knew it was over.

We swallowed our pride, called our parents and asked them to wire us money so we could get off the island and go somewhere that we could find work. We ended up farming in Israel where we got housing and three squares and a paltry salary that we saved because there was little to spend it on and beer was very cheap.

Today, there’s a better way than sucking it up and calling Mom and Dad. You can avoid the dirt and damage of manual labor. You need an Internet connection, maybe a blog and nerve. You’ll need to offer up something as incentive – a $5 donation receives a postcard from your exotic locale, a $10 donation gets a download code for a copy of your, as of yet unwritten, essay about your travels, a $25 donation gets a print of a photo you took that you think is pretty good – come on, it’s totally National Geographic quality, right? Plus, anyone who donates get this pleasure, no, let’s be realistic, honor, of supporting your travels. Open a Kickstarter fund for your travels and ask total strangers to pay for them. You’re doing them a favor, really.

My parents did not react with the gratitude I was hoping for when I called from my crash pad on a London sofa, broke again, to ask for airfare and spending money. The roommates in the London flat where I awaited the arrival of wired funds weren’t thrilled either. They were gracious, they knew I was on hard times, but they weren’t so into my before its time “Occupy the Living Room” movement. Nobody saw the benefit in their role of making it possible for me continue my travels abroad, no matter how many postcards and photos and essay length letters I sent home, or how many dishes I washed, or how many rounds I pitched in for when it was my turn to buy.When did it become acceptable to ask total strangers for money so we can go on vacation? When did we start assuming that of course people will back our vanity travel publishing project, after all, we are just that special? This couple from Arizona thinks you should give them money to cross China.

“…we received a quote for the total cost of entering China twice to complete our proposed route. The expected cost is over $20,000. We will continue to pay for all other travel related expenses; our Kickstarter project will only fund our ability to cross China.

This falls outside of our budget, but the ability to cross China will enable us to have a once in a lifetime driving experience along an ancient trade route. A journey worthy of being written into a book.”

Of course, funding their once in a lifetime trip makes more sense than funding my own, right? And they are not that unusual. Here’s a young man from Florida who wants you to pay for his documentary about his cycling trip around Iceland.

“What are my qualifications for making this documentary? I have a lot of experience getting things done. For example, here is a book I wrote called ‘Start Importing from China’ and here is a website I launched called Wiki Cancel. Second, I have a lot of travel experience, which makes me comfortable in foreign countries. Third, I am not afraid of trying things or approaching new people, which means you will see a lot of interesting things on the documentary.”

I, too, am unafraid of trying things, but instead of doing so myself, perhaps I should fund this group of guys who want to share their style of travel with us.

“…the backpacker’s life; the life that depends on the road and the bag, the warmth and affordability of hostels/BNBs, and the unique people who you meet and learn from along the way.”

Perhaps these four admittedly very appealing young men are unfamiliar with a company called Lonely Planet – the company that documented the backpacker’s life for decades. For about $17, I can get a book that tells me not about a random stranger’s travels, but how to plan my own.

I would like to remodel my kitchen, have my garden landscaped and buy a tiny studio apartment somewhere in Hawaii. These are things that would be great fun for me, and I could invite you over for a meal in my new kitchen, or perhaps you would like a photo of my garden. I could write a book about my part-time life in Hawaii and if you pay for my apartment, I will give you a code so you can download the manuscript for free. Is this not appealing to you? How are the pitches to fund my travel any different?

These Kickstarter plans seem like grand adventures for the travelers. God speed. May they travel safely, meet kind strangers, and never have to pack away a wet tent. But I am not paying for it, no way, no how. Here’s the thing: I, too, would like to travel the Silk Road. I too would like to ride a bicycle around an island nation. I would like to share stories of how my adventures transpire in an insightful and interesting manner. This fall, I hope to do a big camping trip with my husband around the American Southwest. To do this, we will work, save our money and then, go travel.

Perhaps I am making a mistake and I should be asking you to pay for it. But I cannot think of one good reason why you should.

[Image by bradleygee via Flickr]