About the Team

THE ROAD CREW:

“Blue Coyote” a.k.a. JoMarie Fecci

After more than 15 years focused on international travel, New York-based photographer JoMarie Fecci is turning her attention back home with The Great American Roadtrip 2010.

For Fecci a roadtrip is always a little magical and the excitement never gets old. She loves setting off for the unknown accompanied by a soundtrack of roadtrip music, basking in the luxury of not really being in a hurry because the journey itself is the destination. She revels in the freedom of the open road and the random montage of vistas framed through a windshield that she can actually stop and explore.

She is looking forward to just following the lines on a map to someplace else, eyes wide open and ready to take in the experience of a place, a landscape, an ambiance. For her the open road full of possibilities is a metaphor for the American Dream…

“Cactus Killer” a.k.a. Isabelle Nikolic

Isabelle Nikolic has been teaching in some of the most difficult Paris suburbs for 10 years. Previously, she spent 15 years as a charge d’assistance for French assurance firms, responding to emergencies, translating and organizing emergency medical care and repatriations for travelers in trouble.

Languages have always been important to her. Nikolic speaks French, English, Serb, and a bit of Spanish. As a child of immigrants in France, she has been traveling her whole life. She would go regularly to Yugoslavia and Greece, by car, bus or train, via Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The trips were long, and often uncomfortable, but always worth while.

Voyaging far from her home in France remains a great pleasure — seeing and feeling the lives of others, learning to understand their perspective. She enjoys discovering the common points across cultures, but also appreciates exploring the differences.

As a university exchange student, Nikolic experienced the Soviet Union under Gorbachev in 1986-87, then returned to see how life was changing there as the Soviet period came to a close in 1992.

It was only afterwards, that Nikolic discovered the U.S.A, living in Manhattan, and some years later on suburban Long Island.

For Nikolic, “The Great American Road Trip 2010,” represents “The Road,” Route 66, but it is also a larger discovery of the U.S.A. — an opportunity to get to know the country and the culture more deeply — to explore the historical and social dimensions of the nation. Route 66, the road that so many millions of men and women travelled to go West, in search of a “better life.” It is a road of hope — and opportunity — the “American Dream” that made it possible for so many to leave their homelands as immigrants to a new world. Nikolic is setting out on the journey with the hope of uncovering some of that history, but also, of experiencing the pull of the road firsthand.

“Silly Squirrel” a.k.a. Dimitri Nikolic

Dimitri Nikolic is a 12 year-old student at the International School of Sevres, France. He has been traveling regularly to the U.S.A. since age two, and spent a year living in New York where he attended a normal American public school. He speaks French, English and Serb.

Dimitri loves to travel and has already visited many countries including Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, Canada and the U.S.A. He is always ready for a road trip. And over the last few years he has developed a growing interest in photography.

One of Dimitri’s favorite things is camping in wilderness areas. He enjoys hiking in the woods, discovering nature, and photographing wildlife. He prefers the challenges of primitive tent camping, with only a bare minimum of modern conveniences, as it offers opportunities to build new skills and experience the natural world more closely. When on the road, Dimitri also enjoys visiting local attractions, museums, and the national parks and forests.

In 2008 Dimitri travelled to Moab, Utah (with his mother Isabelle Nikolic and family friend JoMarie Fecci), where he participated in a 3-day Jeep off-road adventure on the White Rim, followed by a canyoneering expedition, making his first rappels along the slickrock formations and down the Morning Glory Arch — one of the longest natural arches in the world.

Dimitri is very impatient to hit the road again, and is sure that Route 66 will be an even better trip than his all-time favorite, Moab.