Brent is driving around the U.S. in a pimped-out van, in search of stories. Especially science and tech stories, but also outdoor adventure and travel stories. He wants YOU to be a part of it. Tell him places he should go, people he should talk to, things he needs to do/see/eat/drink, and maybe even meet up with him. The purpose is not just to find off-the-beaten-path stories, but to explore a modern off-the-grid, rootless lifestyle, and to see what connects us all.
The concept for Connected States was born in the early fall of 2014 when journalist Brent Rose realized a few things:
- He didn't know where he wanted to live.
- He didn't really want to settle in just one place.
- He was already spending more than 50% of his time on the road.
This led him to dream up a tether-free, off-the-grid (but still online) life. One that would allow him to go where he wanted without having to make a plan ahead of time, and yet still keep him connected, powered-on, and able to generate income. It would enable him to find stories in places he never would have thought to look. And so, after months of research, prepping, scrapping, and finagling, Connected States was born.
This site will be a catch-all for all of Brent's writings, photos, and videos, with all of the new material showing up at the blog, so make sure you subscribe.
The main goal of Connect States is to tell interesting, off-the-beaten-path stories in a fun and engaging way. While Brent is especially looking for science and technology, he'll also tell stories about the people and places that capture his imagination along the way. The vehicle and journey are important pieces of the story, too, as Brent examines the highs, lows, and various intricacies of off-grid, vagabond life. (Van-gabond life?)
The project is also intended to be a social experiment. Using the hive-mind of social media, we hope our readers will guide us to some amazing people, places, and things that we normally wouldn't have seen. As much as anything else this story is about the human experience of choosing this kind of lifestyle, and the interactions with people Brent has along the way. We hope you'll be one of them. (Note: Please do not murder Brent.)
What rules? We don't need your stinkin' rules, man.
The project is entirely free-form. It'll go for as long as Brent wants it to, and its shape will change along the way. Yes, Brent is allowed to sleep indoors sometimes. He can (and will) take flights when he needs to. There's no set path and there's no set duration. It's big-world improvisation. We'll just have to see what happens.
The blog section of this very website will act as a repository for all of Brent's work connected to this project. I plan on continue writing for Gizmodo, Wired, Outside Magazine, and others, but the way to find all of that stuff will be the Connected States website, which will act as a repository for all of those stories and more. [Note: there is no official affiliation between Connected States and any of these other websites.] Photos and videos will live there, too. You can always check back there, or you can subscribe to it via RSS, if that tickles your fancy.
This project will rely heavily on social media, not just to let our readers know when a new story, album, or video is up, but it's also where Brent will be letting people know where he's headed. If you've got recommendations, want to help out or maybe even meet up, reach out. He'll also be posting a lot of pretty pictures from all over the U.S. (and abroad) that you won't want to miss. Click the links above to follow on your platforms of choice.