MINI Takes the States 2012: Fast-Forward Travelling
MINI Takes The States 2012 (MTTS) has drawn to a close and so has my very own personal MINI trip of a lifetime. A fast-track 11-day trip where I crossed four time zones, checked in and out of eleven hotels across America, and took almost 1,500 photos. But what does one really experience when one crosses the American continent from East to West on such a fast-track journey?
An incredible amount, that’s what. And yet at the same time one experiences very little of the individual places along the way. Because even though I can now tick off having been in the so many new places like Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Nashville, Chicago, Boulder, and Los Angeles, I usually spent a maximum of a single night there. With stages up to 500 miles (800 kilometers) long, MINI Takes The States gives you more of a sweeping panorama of the United States rather than an up-close-and-personal look at every stop along the way. Still, we took in some incredible sights. Up to 300 MINI fans with their multifarious MINI celebrated across the nation on museum rooftopss, in country music saloons, in baseball stadiums, on race tracks, in zoos, shopping malls, and MINI showrooms… even a swimming pool!
There’s hardly any time to breathe, as time races by like a film on fast-forward. It's in the evening, over a cool beverage and good eats after a long day on the road that one finally gets the chance to sit down with MINI compatriots and hear their stories from the road, their unique ways of customizing their cars, and the reasons they have for embarking on this grueling but invigorating tour. It’s their passion for the time-tested brand and the friendships that stem from a common love. And as is the case with any healthy community, sharing is a must. On the race track near Chicago, a fellow traveler whom I had met just moments ago let me take the wheel of a MINI Cooper S Sidewalk Cabrio, on the sole condition that she ride along and I tell her all about the riding on the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife. Everyone’s eager to share their unique MINI perspectives.
Even though the trip was undertaken at a remarkably fast pace, it allowed me to meet many like-minded individuals. And almost all of them confirmed one thing: I’m not the only one living my dream!
Even during the more tedious points on the trip – like when the road stretched straight and flat all the way to the horizon – we all had to make the same journey together, and knowing you were part of a team really helped. The impressive expansiveness of the Great Plains between Chicago, Illinois and Boulder, Colorado left me truly astounded. So much space, it was almost overwhelming.
What makes MINI Takes The States so special and how does it create such an indescribable team spirit? It’s those unique moments when all come to a halt after hours straight on the road, and there, at one of the very few gas stations in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, one suddenly finds oneself in the midst of a troupe of MINI drivers all beaming with joy. We spend a few brief moments chatting and laughing together, then reconvene the convoy and continue together westwards. During those moments, one has this sudden realization on this trip of a lifetime: MINI has achieved something truly unique worldwide. MINI connects so many, but it’s not just about the car – it’s the people who are driving it. This realization stayed firmly in my mind for the entire journey through 16 American states. MINI Takes The States – an unforgettable trip in fast-forward, which I will remember for a long time to come!
Would I do this trip again? Definitely! Can one repeat the trip of a lifetime? That’s a more difficult question. But a new MINI Takes The States has already been announced for 2014, with a new route, probably many familiar faces. The wanderlust will surely draws the MINI masses again. Who’s game?
The MINI International Vol. 43
What happens when the brains of two brilliant, visionary-minded men collide? The MINI Clubman Vision GT, a brand new MINI concept car for video game sensation Gran Turismo, is born.
It's not just its iconic silhouette that makes a MINI unique. Step into the MINI Design studio and get a closer look at the high quality features to set your MINI apart from the many.
The Go Boundless design competition asked the MINI Space community to see where the extra mile might take them. The evidence of adventures has been reviewed and the winners are in.
Parked 2200 meters above sea level in the frozen Swiss Alps, a MINI Countryman stands as an unlikely art installation. See the creative twist Geoff McFetridge put on the 2015 Burton European Open.
The MINI International Vol. 43
On a business trip to the historic Spanish city of Seville, barber consultant Lord Jack Knife explores the ancient roots of his profession from the wheel of the MINI Countryman Park Lane - a car as classy as its driver.
The name says it all. MINI Lovers Kenya is filled with passionate tinkerers, petrolheads and overall MINI admirers. See how they ride in this adventurous trip through Kenya.