GENESEO — This July, veteran travel writer Amber Nolan embarked on a journey across the U.S. to answer the question: Is it possible to hitchhike around the country on private jets and small planes? Her unique attempt at hitchhiking has now been registered with Guinness World Records®.
Nolan, a Geneseo Central School graduate, is attempting to visit all 50 states on a shoestring budget by hitching rides with general aviation pilots. When she touches down in Kalispell, Montana on Sept. 23, she will have reached 10 states by air.
The project – dubbed “Jethiking,” – records Nolan’s adventures as she attempts to redefine modern hitchhiking, through a series of webcasts, radio interviews and on-line blogging on JetHiking.com. A 13-week television series, “The Flying Gypsy” is in preproduction. Rochester-based marketing/production company Big Kids Productions handles marketing, and is negotiating for commercial sponsorship. The production company is also speaking with PBS representatives and with other television networks for placement of the first U.S. Flying Gypsy adventure series.
“It takes a lot of research, time and networking to plan these trips,” Nolan remarks. “Getting a ride is half the challenge. I discovered very quickly that it’s not practical to sit at the airport with your thumb in the air.”
Nolan, 28, finds private pilots to be very cooperative in allowing her to “hitch” rides, once they understand her goal.
“The aviation community has been wonderful. They’ve been very supportive and have helped breathe life into this crazy idea I had.”
Nolan has been traveling the globe and reporting on her adventures since she graduated from college. Her wanderlust has taken her to exotic locations such as the jungles of Colombia, and to familiar tourist spots like Key West Florida, where she strapped on a rocket jet pack and soared through the air.
Goals of the project are to explore lesser-known tourism attractions, combat common misconceptions of the air industry and help promote flying, demonstrate that in a difficult economy, budget travel is still possible with a little creativity. Nolan is particularly interested in “eco-tourism” and will introduce her audiences to burgeoning green technology products, people, and places. The production team sees Nolan as a role model for young people, especially females.
Nolan has served as Senior Producer and Cruise Editor for Sherman’s Travel Media, an online guide to travel deals and destinations. Her work has also appeared on MSNBC, ABC Travel News, Frommers, and TheTravelWord.com. She is currently a freelance writer for 10Best.com.
Those interested may follow the adventure at: www.flyinghitchhikergypsy.com, and through Nolan’s Blog. Contact may be made at email@example.com or by calling 585-899-9151.