Bertha Benz and the First Road Trip: Background information when reading America for Beginners

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America for Beginners

by Leah Franqui

America for Beginners by Leah Franqui X
America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2018, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 30, 2019, 320 pages

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Bertha Benz and the First Road Trip

This article relates to America for Beginners

Leah Franqui's novel, America for Beginners, centers on three people of diverse backgrounds making a road trip together across the United States. The term "road trip" conjures up a lengthy car journey across many miles, generally with a vague itinerary and unplanned stops as the travelers find places of interest to explore. Some feel it is the ultimate expression of freedom, the luxury to live life unplanned for a period of time. According to Travel & Leisure, one in four Americans enjoy this type of vacation every year.

Bertha Benz and Sons setting out on their expeditionThe first documented road trip is said to have been taken by Bertha Benz in August, 1888 when, without the knowledge of her husband Karl, she set off in his invention, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, to travel 60 miles from their home in Mannheim (in the southwest of Germany) to visit her mother in Pforzheim. Taking her two teenage sons with her to help push the under-powered vehicle up hills, the trip was far from leisurely. There were no roads, so the trio had to ...

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