**A version of this post was published for The Ellsworth American**
By the time you’re reading this, I’m already gone. Maybe somewhere in the middle of Illinois, but hopefully not stuck trying to change a flat on a lonely stretch of Interstate 55.
This summer I’ve packed my bags and I’m shipping out of my apartment in Columbia, Mo., at the Missouri School of Journalism for a (prettier, less humid) northeast summer.
My journey’s a long one. It’s starts from my home in the middle of Missouri and takes me through 10 states over four days to a finish line in beautiful Hancock County, where I’ll be living and working in Ellsworth, Maine, as an intern for The Ellsworth American.
This whole summer is one great big opportunity. In Ellsworth I’ll get to experience life in the northeast (which means loads of lobster for this land-locked Kansas City native) and I’ll get to continue developing as a journalist by putting the reporting tools I’ve learned at the University of Missouri to work for the American.
Plus, what better excuse to take my girlfriend Beth — another reporter and MU journalism student — on a road trip across the country, through cities and countryside neither of us have ever even considered passing through (I’m looking at you, rural Pennsylvania).
Our first stop will be to see Beth’s family Thursday night in her hometown of Chicago. Then Friday morning we’ll hit I-80 and won’t look back until we’re all the way to Pennsylvania.
I’ll be blogging my way across the country, so follow along right here and on Twitter at @zach_murdock to learn more about me and read stories from our cross-country adventure.