The British newspaper called the Independent, has covered an incredible journey that one man has taken across his home country. That man is called Doug Levitt and his journey involves traveling hundreds of thousands of miles across the United States. His travels began in 2003 and continue to this very day. One of the culminations of his travels is a book that is titled The Greyhound Diaries which recounts his experiences traveling on a bus in first person. The diaries also contain photographs to show the places and some of the people that Levitt encountered on his journey.
Doug Levitt describes that the beginning of the Greyhound journey took place in 2004. He was living in Los Angeles, California at the time and he had volunteered to register voters in undecided areas in the 2004 presidential election for Democratic candidate John Kerry. Levitt would travel by bus to towns far and wide that were largely undecided in how they would vote in critical swing states. What began as a volunteer project to a political campaign would transform Doug Levitt and become a way of life.
Doug Levitt would see a cross section of people that were living in the United States while he traveled by bus. He would also see what is described as the forgotten underbelly of the country. This includes Neo-Nazis, former veterans, and people who have struggled to get by in a post recession economy. Levitt admits that Greyhound and buses in general are seen as the last resort of travel and that traveling by bus often carries a stigma in our society that is driven by automobiles and trucks.
One of his most memorable meetings and conversations was with a man who was just released from prison. He was a Neo-Nazi and white supremacist who had tattoos of Hitler, a swastika and the Aryan Brotherhood. The Nazi was kind to Doug Levitt who happened to be Jewish and even described how the prison system worked. He described that prisons quickly become racially segregated and that white inmates often end up becoming white supremacist while in jail. Such stories and conversations are more the norm than the exception says Levitt when traveling by bus from city to city as he does.