The Anderson Family Travel Journal – A Journey Back to Tradition

“Inspired by Nissan Pathfinder, writer Chris Atwell has written a series about the fictional Anderson Family and imagined the adventures they might have on a summer road trip with Pathfinder. The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this article are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, or entities is intended or should be inferred.”

The Ultimate Road Trip

The Anderson family road trip takes a detour to reconnect with family and the rich African-inspired traditions of the historic Gullah community on the Sea Islands of coastal South Carolina. Denise’s family roots are there, and the rugged, off-road capabilities of the all-new Nissan Pathfinder help bring geographically distant relatives—located in some challenging terrain—and multiple generations together for a celebratory reunion. Denise tells the story:

One of the big motivators behind this road trip was family.

So far, the days we’ve spent exploring the East Coast in our new Pathfinder have produced many adventures and memorable experiences for our family. It’s been quality family time.

For me, the real promise of the Pathfinder was always the opportunity to connect with our extended families, many of whom are spread out across the country—some in very remote locations. Today, I drove us to my maternal grandparents’ home in the Gullah Islands of South Carolina.

My family has lived in the Carolina Lowcountry for generations. I remember spending many summers as a child on the beautiful Sea Islands, enjoying the African-Creole-inspired food, music, and traditions unique to the region. Living and working in New York for so long has kept me away. Our kids hadn’t visited the area since they were very young.

Thankfully, our new Pathfinder made the Gullah community, its rich culture, and Grandma and Grandpa far more accessible. The drive from Virginia Beach took about 9 hours with rest stops and took us through some of the most gorgeous and undeveloped areas of the South. As we ventured further into the countryside, I used the Apple CarPlay to listen to my favorite ’90s tunes through the Bose sound system. While the kids weren’t familiar, I schooled them on the classics and let the music take me back to my teenage years driving along these same roads.

We went off-road for long stretches, driving by beautiful marshes and waterways and under acres of magnificent oaks and cypress. The new Pathfinder’s Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive helped us sail over the sudden changes in terrain that locals know but can be a challenge for visitors. It handled the varied terrain with no problem, adjusting as needed and undoubtedly ready for whatever lies ahead in our journey.

Finally, we reached Beaufort County, crossing the river to St. Helena’s Island, the center of African American Gullah culture. The homestead was as sturdy and welcoming as I remembered. I can say the same for my grandparents! It was a joyous reunion and an opportunity to pass on this community’s rich history and traditions to my children.

Felt good to be home.

  • Bose speakers and the Apple CarPlay: “Available feature.” Apple Carplay is – Available feature shown. Use feature only when safe and legal. Compatible device and service required. Subject to third party service availability. For more information see
  • Intelligent All-Wheel Drive: Intelligent All-Wheel Drive cannot prevent collisions or provide enhanced traction in all conditions. Always monitor traffic and weather conditions.