Out on the open road, opportunities for adventure might seem endless. You can toss maps aside for a freewheeling cruise down Highway 1 or drive with purpose, following your GPS from point A to Zabriskie Point. And then there are innovative approaches, like this new personality quiz that aims to answer that age-old question: "Where to next?"
HearHere, a location-based storytelling app cofounded by Academy Award–winning director-actor Kevin Costner and CEO Woody Sears, teamed up with the online personality-test developer Truity to launch this road trip quiz that unpacks your travel traits using the “Big Five” personality system. With 24 questions, the test takes less than five minutes to assess what makes you tick and thrive while on the road. You're assigned one of eight archetypes with an accompanying itinerary for exploring the Golden State.
“Differences in Big Five personality factors help us to understand why people may react differently, behave differently, and see things differently—and explain why one person’s dream trip can be another’s tedious nightmare,” says Molly Owens, Truity’s CEO and founder.
The adventurous, organized, and energetic “Trip Maximizer,” for example, might fill his or her itinerary with pre-booked activities and dinner reservations. The knack for planning can ensure that no two days are alike in an urban oasis like San Francisco, where a morning starts with a cable car ride to grab breakfast at the Ferry Building and leads to a night tour of Alcatraz.
Low-key road trippers like the “Zen Traveler,” however, can go with the flow at coastal retreats like Malibu, where they can rise with the sun to watch gray whales migrate or sunbathe on Zuma Beach. Their high-energy counterpart, the “Nonstop Nomad,” will also love Southern California’s beach towns, albeit at a different speed. This spontaneous personality can surf and SUP from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara, stopping to enjoy the nightlife[JS1] and street scene in cities like Venice.
Every travel profile includes a few complimentary HearHere stories about their road trip destination. Adrenaline junkies like the “No Limits Adventurer” can fill their drive to Tahoe's slopes and trails with hair-raising tales of Wild West gunfights in Truckee or the Donner Party’s fateful trip through the Sierra Nevada. “Culture Hounds,” on the other hand, can soak up stories about San Francisco’s so-called Summer of Love as a prelude to a tour of Haight-Ashbury, where music icons like Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin once strutted their stuff.
“Our goal is simple: Provide the right story at the right time. It’s a transformational way to explore the country, as if the roads are talking to you,” Costner says. “Collecting the experiences of the past in a way people can easily enjoy is creating an entirely new future for travel.”
Launched in 2020 by Costner, Woody Sears, and Bill Werlin, HearHere offers listeners short audio vignettes about the culture, characters, and history at thousands of road-trip destinations. Stories are narrated by familiar voices, including Costner, former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, and actor John Lithgow. For an annual fee, users can stream content as they pass through a point of interest or download in advance for offline listening.
There's a story for every destination and a destination for every traveler. So should you take a solo trek through Big Sur or escape to the luxury enclave of La Jolla? Next time you hit the road, let your personality take the wheel to explore all the Golden State has to offer.
For another way to find inspiration, peruse the 50-plus itineraries on Visit California’s Road Trip Republic hub. With themes that range from cuisine tasting tours to outdoorsy activities to national parks and urban adventures, the perfect excursion awaits.