| 2 | 3
| 4 >
Zack and Scott on the eve
of their departure from California. Next stop, the tip of Alaska.
Zack Hill and Tip to Tip
This month two guys in their thirties are taking
off on the untimate road trip: from the tip of Alaska to the tip of Argentina,
and they want to take you with them.
Through their web site, www.tiptotiptrip.com,
Zachary Hill and his friend Scott Cherry promise to share video clips,
photos and stories about their life on the road and the people they meet
along the way.
I talked to Zack a few days before his departure on this
WHATEVER WE RUN INTO, WHATEVER
LIZ: Briefly, what is Tip to Tip?
ZH: Tip to Tip is an exploration
of Pacific Coast culture, starting in Alaska and ending up in Argentina.
We’ll be reporting what’s going on in the coastal part of
the Americas. It’s “culture as we find it,”
with an emphasis on the culture of youth as our focus. Whatever we run
into, whatever we find.
LIZ: Why the focus on youth?
ZH: As a traveler, I’ve always really connected
with the young people that I meet. Maybe that’s because my personality
tends to revert back to childhood and I’m rather immature in some
respects [laughs], but I’ve always felt that the youth I’ve
met have been the most honest and the best representation of their country.
I mean, they may not be the most politically aware, but they know what’s
going on, and they’ll tell you.
I’ve learned so much from youth. If you’re speaking to them
in their own language and you say something wrong, they’re going
to correct you, whereas if you say something wrong to an adult they’ll
just let it fly.
That’s a lot of what this project is about: trying to find
out what the youth can teach us, about ourselves and about the current
state of our world. They’re the future, they’re the
ones that we have to be, I don’t want to say worried about,
but the ones that we have to be educating, so they can make this world
a better place to live for the next generation.
I've met have been the most honest and the best representation of their
country..." Zack teaching English to high school
students in El Salvador.
How long will this trip take you?
ZH: We’re hoping it will be no more than eight
months… we start in August, we plan to get through Argentina and
be home by the 15th of April, 2004.
What’s the purpose of your trip?
ZH: Part of the reason that we want to do this trip,
as Americans, is to counter the stereotype that Americans tend to be very
unaware of and uninterested in what’s going on in the rest of the
We also want to show people, especially kids, that travel is an
opportunity to learn, it’s such a unique form of education.
A LOT OF SACRIFICES...
How were you able to arrange your life to accommodate this?
ZH: It’s been difficult… I’m a teacher,
I work in after school programs and I also do construction. I’ve
been working really hard, and saving up. I’ve taken time off from
my work--I’m basically leaving my job, hoping I can come back to
it. We’re both borrowing a lot of money to do this, to buy camera
equipment and to pay for travel.
It’s also difficult, leaving people on hold--leaving a girlfriend
and other loved ones here, and who knows if they’ll be around
when we come back, but we’re hoping so.
So it’s been hard, it’s been a lot of sacrifices, but I think
it’ll pay off in the end, that we'll be able to create something
What do you hope to discover along the way?
ZH: If we could come up with ten really awesome groups
of people to do in-depth profiles on, and really get a feel for what they’re
doing in their part of the world, that would be ideal. If we did 20, that
would be better, if we only come up with five, then that’s what
we come up with.
But basically, we hope to get a “fly on the wall perspective”
of what people are doing--if we could capture them and their way of living
and then be able to show that to other people, that would be the ultimate,
I think, for us.
A LOT OF DIFFERENT NEIGHBORS...
What do you hope other people will get from this experience?
ZH: A different perspective on what’s going on
in the Americas. Obviously we’ll definitely involve politics, but
I would love for a kid to be able to log on to our site or watch
our film and come away thinking, “Wow, kids in El Salvador aren’t
that different from me.”
We want them get a feel for what people in other countries are doing,
what are their challenges, what makes them happy, etc. Also we hope to
get a feel for what people in the southern countries think of a typical
North American or a typical person that lives in Canada.
We want to break down stereotypes--there are a lot of people who speak
Spanish and have dark skin and they’re not all Mexicans. To show
that there are a lot of different people in this world, we have
a lot of different neighbors, and we need to embrace our similarities
and respect our differences.
(continued on page