Interview: Jeffrey Northrup

Comments (0) Columns, Issue 1

Jeffrey Northrup is a professor of Journalism at Middlesex. This is his last semester teaching for he is hitting the road in his RV to travel the country on the road. His blog, hittheroadjeff.blogspot.com will be his ongoing journal of his travels. 

How did you decide on the idea of traveling the country in an RV?

Well, I was at a smorgasbord in Pennsylvania and got to talking to folks at the table. One couple mentioned their RV and told the story of how they had decided to travel fulltime. At that point, I thought, yeah, this is what I want to do.

Was it difficult picking out an RV?

It’s the same as picking a car, really. The one which my travelling partner and I picked has the room we need, an automatic leveling system for when we park, and the roof is made in one piece to guarantee no leaks.

Well that doesn’t sound that difficult. But, it must have been hard to decide on selling your home.

Oh- that was tough. My wife and I had lived in the house for 43 years.

Two of our kids were born in the house, well not born in it, but you know. My wife passed away in the house, so it definitely has its sentimentality

What did your family say when you told them of your plans?

They were actually very supportive. My sisters, who live in Upstate New York and Florida, figure I’ll be able to see them more. My eldest son, who’s a lawyer–very practical–thinks that I’ll be back within a year or two.

Do you have a set route of travel?

I’m going to stick to the north initially. I need to get to South Dakota as soon as I can to establish residency.

Why’s that?

They have no income tax, lower sales tax, no vehicle inspection, and they have services which forward my mail. It’s really great.

How do you go about establishing residency in South Dakota?

A receipt for one night of paid rent.

That’s all?

Yeah, that’s all.

After South Dakota, where do you plan on going?

Initially, the Northwest, Vancouver, Alaska. I’m fascinated with bears and moose; there’s a lot of them up there.

Alaska is pretty Incredible. You’ll see a lot of moose up there.

Yeah. I’ve always wanted to go. I’m pretty excited.

Where else after that?

Swamps of Florida, Mammoth Caves of Kentucky, the redwoods in California; I’ve always wanted to drive through a tree, and to look up and see a thousand feet of tree reaching into the sky.  I hope never to see snow again except on the peak of a faraway mountain.

It all sounds extraordinary Jeff, I hope that your travels go well, and I’ll be following your blog!

Thank you very much!

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