Viva la road trip! The advent of automobile paired with highway building and cheap gas prices ($0.60 per gallon!) in the 50s meant greater mobility. One could travel great distance in a car compared to horse-drawn carriages.
The drive to go places, to search for something else is best exemplified by Jack Kerouac’s autobiographical On the Road, which captures the essence of the “Beat” sensibility. Despite the fact that Kerouac depicts the Beat generation as “so lonely, so sad, so tired, so quivering, so broken, so beat,” to be “on the road” is largely romanticized and the book portrays the American landscape as expansive and beautiful.