TANGO: Congratulations! Still, this was a big project to take on…
Mat: I’ve been taught from an early age that you need to visualize your dreams. We knew we had to do this right. We wanted to do the road trip of all times. TANGO: So your next step was…? Mat: [Laughing] Well, Jason’s really good at Photoshop, so we created a “vision board.” We put up all these pictures of RVs, visualized leaving June 1. The only problem was…
Mat: We were broke! I was selling LifeAlert…
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Mat: You know, “Help, I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” Jason: And I was selling chicken and living off residuals of a commercial I’d done.
TANGO: Wow. It’s a long way from there to…
Mat: Yeah. Finally, we got sponsors, and a shiny, new 36’ RV. So with that, and our credit cards, we figured we could just about get across the USA. We had already done 150 interviews on the West Coast. We decided to build our dream team.
TANGO: So who came with you?
Mat: My grandma did.
Mat: Yeah. She was 88 at the time. She just turned 89. Jason and I were mad at each other for most of the trip. Grandma was our shining example of “be in the moment.”
TANGO: What kinds of moments did you hope to find? J
ason: Well, 30,000 people emailed us, wanting us to interview their grandparents. We had interview forms up to here [Editor’s note: he gestures to his knee.] Really, we were looking for anything dramatic or heartwarming.
TANGO: You said neither of you come from a writing background. How did you know how to do interviews?
Mat: [laughing] My mom said, “Study Barbara Walters.” In the beginning, we were asking three-part questions that were five minutes long. And these were old people! Finally, one guy looked at me and said: “Son, I’m not really sure what you just asked me…”
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TANGO: So what was the most heartwarming part of the journey?
Jason: When they packed goodie bags for us. I mean, fruit juice, cookies…one lady said, “I made you my special peach cobbler.” We were such fat-asses by the end of the trip!