UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A Sony a6000 camera, a white 2001 Blue Bird International 65-seat school bus, and a passion for people and the outdoors are all that Penn State senior Sam Reiser needs.
Reiser, born in the United Kingdom and raised in Australia, is majoring in journalism in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications with a minor in psychology. A member of Penn State’s track and field team, Reiser has found more to be passionate about than just his athletic and academic success.
Having developed a love for the outdoors at a young age from family camping trips and a year at an outdoor adventure high school in Australia, Reiser has been developing skills that can turn his passion into a career and lifestyle. In each of his three summers while studying at Penn State, Reiser has traveled with friends across the United States, visiting both easily-recognizable and off-the-beaten-path destinations and becoming a self-taught adventure photographer. His academic focus is print and digital journalism.
With three coast-to-coast trips under his belt and just five states left to visit in the U.S., Reiser has seen and photographed more of the country than most people who have lived here their whole lives. One of his favorite aspects of traveling is bringing along people who would not have taken a trip on their own.
“That’s been a really nice portion of it, just taking people outside of their comfort zones and just showing them what they’re capable of,” Reiser said.
Though Reiser’s adventures keep getting larger and more ambitious — with each journey he finds himself packing less. Living minimally on trips has inspired him to do the same in his everyday life.
To do so, Reiser is currently transforming a school bus into his own tiny home. By essentially eliminating rent for himself in the future, Reiser said he will be able to focus less on material things and more on what he is constantly looking for in his travels and life: experiences.