Why travel across the United States for four months? There's a few ways to approach this question, so I'll answer three variations separately then bring it back together at the end.
1. Why travel at all?
I have lived in Virginia for the past ten years and New Jersey for the previous eighteen since I was born. I do not consider myself well-traveled even within the US. Most of my traveling has been to visit friends on the East Coast. With the exception of a few excursions to Austin, TX and Seattle, WA, I have not seen many places outside of the mid-Atlantic.
Does that matter? Maybe, maybe not, but I want to find out. I've spent the better part of my 20s earning degrees from various universities which has helped me learn a lot and grow as a person, but I do wonder if I'm missing a different perspective on life.
2. Why travel across the US and not the entire world?
I think there's a lot of value in traveling the world and seeing different cultures. I also think that concentrating my time in the US will allow me to focus more on technology culture here. I know many other countries have interesting tech scenes, particularly in Europe and parts of Asia, but I'm not as tied into those parts of the world.
On a more mundane level, I want to drive my car across the country. Staying in the US also cuts down on logistics such as passports, cell phone connections, and exchanging currency. Staying within the 50 states is just easier in a lot of ways. I prefer spending my time focusing on technology, coding, and talking to people within the US for this trip.
3. Why travel for three to four months?
I'm sure I could fly through several cities over a few weeks or spend an even longer amount of time traveling. I think though that three to four months is the sweet spot between feeling pressured to go-go-go and feeling like I have too much time on my hands in every city. Moderate constraints often produce better results than unhinged projects. On the other hand, too many constraints, such as a very short schedule, wouldn't allow me to accomplish what I'm looking to do on this trip.
Why four months? I need to get away from Washington, DC for awhile and gain greater perspective on tech culture across the United States. Staying in the United States cuts down on logistical issues and allows me to focus on our tech culture. Four months provides a solid block of time to travel to many cities and explore each one in unique ways.