Baltimore native Carla Brown never imagined that filmmaking would become her life. The Visual Arts major always had the ability to look at things from a different perspective and she also loved travel. After being inspired by her own grandparents and their travels, she decided to set out on a journey like none other.
After trying to figure out what her ultimate “gig” would be, the idea came to her. She would retrace her grandparents’ travels that they took by RV over a 35-year time frame.
“Growing up, I knew that my grandparents traveled by trailer,” Carla Brown told Travel Noire. “They were the reason that my parents bought a trailer. But, the icing on the cake was being able to get ahold of my grandfather’s travel log.”
Her grandparents started their travels in August of 1965, which was also around the time of the Watts Riots and other historical moments during the Civil Rights Era.
For 35 years, her grandfather wrote down every little thing as it related to the couple’s journeys, including how much they paid for gas in places to the miles traveled between cities.
After sitting down with her grandparents to listen to and record their personal stories, she realized she wanted to dive deeper into their why’s in her own way. In 2014, she set out on her journey, also by RV, to visit at least one place in each of the 48 states that her grandparents saw. Plus the two states they never made it too.
“I first started in Baltimore and covered the east coast down to Florida,” Carla said. “I also visited Hawaii and Alaska, the only states my grandparents didn’t visit. I was able to bring that missing piece back to them. I had to break things up into pieces because I also work my full-time job too.”
Unfortunately, Carla’s grandmother passed in 2016 but she was able to see the beginning stages of the project.
“This journey has gone way beyond my grandparent’s travel log. I want to inspire people, no matter their race or gender, to be open to new adventures. Once you do, you’ll never turn back. Hopefully seeing me and my family will inspire you to get out there.”
The goal is to have the documentary completed by 2021. Carla is also working on a travel show titled “My Dear America” that will show different interactions with people she met along her journey.