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I’m Going Underground – USA Style (Episode 1)

Underound USA logoHello. It’s May 2nd, 2009.

On May 2nd 2006, I gave up everything I had in England and moved 4,000 miles west to the town of Charleston, South Carolina – a state which just a few months before I admit I’d heard of but didn’t really know whereabouts in America it was.

And now it’s three years later …

So … the plan:

Is to leave Charleston on June 15th 2009 and head up to the state of Maine. There is a tiny town there called Epping, which matches up with the tube station in London with the same name. I quite like the fact that Epping, Maine is located in the top right of the USA and that Epping, London is located in the top right of the tube map. A perfect way to start.

I’ve then found the name of a place in all of the mainland/contiguous 48 states of USA that shares a name with a place on the tube map (using the fantastic placenames.com) – and I’ll be driving to all of them to see what’s there. I’ll also obviously take in some of the more traditional ‘things to see’ in the USA on my way round, as well as some offbeat quirky things to.

I’m not going to announce in advance the names of the towns I’m travelling too – you’ll have to follow along and see which ones they are as I make my journey. I’ll also be having various companions coming along with me for different legs of the trip, and similarly you’ll find out who they are and what part of the trip they’re joining me for as and when they do.

The Technology:

I’ll blog (with regular writings and photos) as I go, but more importantly I’ll video every day too, and put up regular video posts (probably every three to four days) as I travel round.

Using either Google’s latitude or loopt.com you’ll be able to see a real time GPS-position of where I am at anytime in the USA.

And I’ll twitter all the way round too at twitter.com/geofftech – Look out for the hashtag #undusa which I’ll be using, and feel free to use it yourself!

The People:

Are you a Geofftech blog follower from some part of the USA? Chances are (seeing as I’ll be driving through EVERY state) that I’ll be going somewhere near you. Perhaps you once contributed 50p to me for my iPod, and now I’m coming through your hometown. Get in touch, and let’s meet up. I’ve already got three confirmed people that I’m gonna see along the way.

It will end:

About 8 to 10 weeks later in mid to late August. And then I have to decide what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. But I’m quite sure that at some point during the trip though I’ll have had an epiphany and figured that out.

The Video:

Me (or someone travelling with me) will blog everyday, and we’ll post text, photos – and a lot of video. This is a very video-centric trip. At the end of it all I’ll most likely cut the whole journey into a 90/120 minutes documentary film – to have, to keep, to distribute and maybe take to an independent film festival.

Join in:

The majority of stuff will be posted here, but additional photos and other items not favourable for a blog will be on the Underground : USA facebook group

So go join! Sign up, get involved … and enjoy the trip.

29 responses to “I’m Going Underground – USA Style (Episode 1)”

  1. Raineth says:

    *chortle* How absolutely brilliant!

    Oh my goodness, this adventure of yours is really going to be too much fun– thank you for inviting us to join you (vicariously, if nothing else!).

    Cheers

  2. tami says:

    This is exciting. I feel like I will be taking the trip with you. Esp. since I have not been arounf the USA and have been to UK more than US trips. I cant wait for you to start. Video is great! I may have to catch up to you on the leg.

  3. Henry says:

    Wow – this announcement was worth waiting for! Waiting over the last month has been a killer and then what with watching your daily blog posts to come, I’ll not be getting any work done over the next few months! Good luck and enjoy the trip!

  4. fourstar says:

    This is a brilliant idea. I’m a big fan of Tube-related antics. I’ll definitely follow your Tweets too. Best of luck from Forest Hill, SE23 (not yet on the Tube 🙂

  5. Anthony says:

    Brilliant!!! Bloody excellent. Geoff, you are officially “back”, as it were.

  6. bmk says:

    Ahhhh! Geoff, Geoff, Geoff, Geoff, GEOFF!!!! …. That. Is. BRILLIANT! Can we all guess the places that you’re going to do to then? ‘coz there’s a London Bridge in Arizona I know.

  7. Edward says:

    1. So have you applied for citizenship yet?
    2. Look me up when you get to Massachusetts.
    3. May I recommend http://www.tripadvisor.com/ to help find places on your travels? (Oh ok, I’m an engineer on the site.)
    4. Apparently my parents-in-law drove to Alaska many years ago, so maybe you shouldn’t discount it 🙂

    Good luck!

  8. Kirk says:

    How wonderfully cool! Looking forward to it – good luck Geoff!

  9. TinaO says:

    Yes, What a great idea, you taking a tent? Am bringing over essential supplies for you shortly, e.g. Ribena.

  10. almost witty says:

    Wouldn’t it be lovely if, as Geoff hits various towns, friends of Geoff (that’s not a euphemism) took a pic of themselves at the same tube stop? 😉

  11. Rudi says:

    If you stop in DC, MD or VA, let me know and we’ll meet for beverages. That way, I can hand-deliver the CD I owe ‘ya.

  12. Scott says:

    Fantastic, You already have a follower. I was so close with my guess of cities with undergrounds. Good Luck Geoff. 🙂

  13. Alan Pryor says:

    Good luck with your adventure, will be keeping a close eye on your travels.

  14. Richard says:

    I thought list ticking would be involved. I’ve just taken a look at a map and noticed the town of Plaistow in New Hampshire…

  15. Sam says:

    Wow. Thats awesome. That is the ultimate road trip. Jealous doesn’t even cover it. I always thought it would be nice to travel to the lesser known parts of America and not just stick to the tourist areas. I look forward to seeing all the videos.

  16. geofftech says:

    BING! we have winner..!

    i can confirm that Plaistow, New Hampshire is one of the places that I will be going to – right at the start of the trip. Can you now work out the other 46 ??

    Rudi – I’m gonna be around DC on June 22nd. Let’s meet up!

  17. greatkingrat says:

    I reckon you will be finishing in Olympia, Washington (possibly the biggest place to share its name with a tube station?)

  18. geofftech says:

    ok, i *AM* going to Olympia, Washington, yes! But i’m not finishing there…

    that’s 45/48.

  19. geofftech says:

    Oh, and Richmond, Virgina … that’s quite big too. Bigger than Olympia?

    [checks wikipedia]

    Olympia: population – 42,000
    Richmond: population – 200,000

    but Richmond is NOT the place i’m going to in VA.

  20. great idea! Ashley told me about this project today. Will be following with interest!

  21. Jon Allen says:

    What an Epping adventure. I am looking forward to following the trip with some more of your superbly presented videos. I guess you don’t need to visit Camden in Maine.

    I hope you’ve found a Mornington Crescent to visit?

  22. geofftech says:

    Morning Crescent in USA has got a red cross through it – it’s closed for several years for refurbishment. Ha ha ha!

    Nah, unfortunately, no Radio 4 quiz show joke tie-ins to be had here. Shame.

    But the North East corner (New England) is FULL of names (obviously!) that match back in London, but places like Montana and New Mexico were a LOT harder to find…!

  23. Leyton Danio says:

    Please tell me that you’ve found a Tottenham Hale.

    Good luck, your trip sounds ace.

  24. geofftech says:

    There are no Tottenham’s in the whole of the USA! Really.. i looked hard. I suppose i could go and visit the San Antonio Spurs basketball team, after all, Facebook does rather amusingly keep plagueing me with ‘customised’ adverts for “We see your a fan of the Spurs…”. Yeah, well done FB, wrong frikkin’ Spurs tho.

    More galling though, is that there is a Soccer (Yes, i said “soccer, get over it) team in one of the states – a ladies side – that calls themselves Arsenal. and yes “Arsenal” tallies in with a name of a tube station, obviously. *sigh*

    Don’t worry, i’m taking my Spurs shirt with me to wear that day to see if they get it.

  25. Tasha says:

    Good luck with yur adventure Geoff…..cnt wait for it 2 kick off !!!!

    What does yur Mum think about it?

  26. Sissy says:

    paleeeze nothing personal but this is has got to be the silliest thing i have ever heard of.
    It this for a cancer drive? any other health causes, etc?
    this is all just for the names of the tube in London?
    absurd! sorry. paleeze i just can’t see this! it’s crazy and really for no cause at all!
    unreal

  27. geofftech says:

    Hey Sissy, thanks for contributing.

    I would guess that you’ve obviously failed to watch any of the videos that I’ve published so far to understand what the real reason behind doing this is, the motivation, or what I hope to personally get out of it.

    When you also consider that I am funding the whole trip myself, and am doing nothing other than providing entertainment to others – because I’ll be making a documentary as I go similar to what you might see on television, AND i’m not forcing you to look at my website, then I find your comment to be the thing that is rather ‘unreal’ !

    Do you send emails to travel documentray companies that make TV programmes that you don’t watch saying that their programmes suck? No… you just… choose not to watch that programme again. So, any particular reason why you felt like picking on me? Just wondered.

    Thank heavens that I have some warm, wonderful and welcoming people here in the south, and that they are not all uncessarily critical like you, as you do your town & country no favours for what visitors like me think of your part of the world. shame on you.

  28. Raineth says:

    Pfffft. Eh, a foul fart in the breeze, and nothing more… What a poopie pants troll! A troll FAR outnumbered by the people who think you’re on to something very exciting and good.
    Why would this trip have to have a “larger cause,” other than personal fulfillment & enjoyment?? Besides which, the ripples of cause and effect will occur as you travel. You will affect many people’s lives in a positive way just because of who you are, and how you relate to them, whether you realise it or not. Heck, people relating stories of what you’re (going to be) doing is bound to bring a smile to someone else’s face– and that’s always a good thing!

    And Holy Cow, you are leaving so soon!! May you have a good journey ahead of you.

  29. me says:

    this is retarded. this is why americans probably didn’t want you here. there is nothing special about a fuckin’ roadtrip, or at least not special enough to try and documentary on it. english people appearently are made of horrible ideas, dry tasteless humor, and shitty food.

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