Carmel High School grad plans cross-country journey


By Rick Morwick

Zach Horowitz has a dream, a plan and a travel trailer. By sometime next year, his objective is to merge all three to make the former come true.

He’s working out the details now.

“Over the course of the last decade, I have dreamed of traveling the United States,” said Horowitz, a 2015 Carmel High School graduate. “I never knew exactly how I would make it happen. All I knew was that I wanted it to occur.”

If all goes according to plan, Horowitz will fulfill his dream sometime in 2020 when he completes renovations on a used 1975 Airstream Tradewind Land Yacht, a 25-foot luxury trailer that will be his home for an indefinite period of time as he attempts to visit all four corners, and everything in between, of the continental U.S. He has no timetable for how long he’ll travel.

“This travel trailer will give me the freedom I have been looking for, allowing me to travel the country, meeting new people, seeing new places and ultimately having the adventure of a lifetime,” said Horowitz, 22, who decided to follow his dream a few weeks after graduating from Indiana University in 2019 with a degree in informatics.

Horowitz, who has spent several years saving money for a potential cross-country trek, began refurbishing the 25-foot Airstream on June 1. Among other renovations, he removed the shell from the frame and re-engineered it to be light and strong. He also removed all 22 outriggers and welded on new ones; replaced window seals and door seals; installed new fans; and patched holes to create a watertight seal all around the trailer.

As work continues, Horowitz is documenting the project on a YouTube series called “Zach’s Airstream Adventure.” He plans to document the actual adventure when it begins sometime next year when the trailer is ready.

“With a project like this, it is very difficult to set a departure date,” Horowitz said. “I’d like to leave as soon as it’s done, but that date is hard to calculate. As I get closer to completion, I’ll have a better idea.”

Because his departure is still unknown, Horowitz hasn’t mapped out a route but does plan to visit 49 of the 50 states. To support himself, he plans to work along the way, be it full time, part time or whatever comes his way.

“I’ll be doing any and all work, from labor-intensive jobs to the possibility of a full-time job on the road, and everything in between,” he said. “There are plenty of opportunities out there that allow you to receive free hook-ups, water, electric, etc. in exchange for work. The beauty of these opportunities is that you’re also getting paid.”

Horowitz’s stepmom, Luisa Stiggleman, applauds his efforts.

“I think this is amazing,” Stiggleman said. “So many college kids these days are taking a gap year before they go out in the working world. He has no commitments at this stage in his life, so this is the time for this adventure. “

He can’t wait for it to begin.

“I made this decision because it was the hard one to make,” Horowitz said. “I’m going to do everything in my power to take each experience as it comes, enjoying each second of the precious time I have, doing what it is I have always dreamt of doing.”