The road trip begins in Livingston, NJ on 29th April and I will first head up to New England to visit the original colonies. I will then describe a zig zag course across the continent to the West Coast and back. I will publish further details of the itinerary here as it is firmed up and will be blogging and tweeting details of the trip as it proceeds. I estimate it will last at least two months.
I hope to meet as many US readers as I can en route so do please let me know in the comments if you want me to drive by your local coffee shop or diner for a blog meet tete-a-tete. Or just sign up to the "Tour of the USA" event at my Facebook page. I will modify my itinerary accordingly wherever I can. You won't find it hard to identify me. You will hear Speranza arrive, I promise, and how many 6'7" tall limeys live in your town?
I would love it if American readers could also suggest the best places to visit. What are the most attractive or unusual locations in your home state? What locations associated with my namesake and hero - the original and best Tom Paine - should I visit? What would be the most awe-inspiring - or amusing - place you can think of to photograph Speranza? More seriously, I would love the chance to attend any Libertarian events taking place during my visit.
I hope to get to know a place I have loved from afar since watching Rawhide, goggling at Apollo launches and reading superhero comics as a boy. I have spent time there on business and as a tourist, of course, but my view of the country has still largely been formed - like that of most foreigners - by American literature and cinema. Neither is consistently kind to a country that - from the Americans I have known - I suspect is a far better place than its disloyal intellectuals would have us believe.
This trip will be my attempt to find the real America. Please help me.