I moved back to the U.S. after four years in South Africa just two weeks before the election, and I felt like I didn’t recognize the home I’d returned to. So this summer, I hit the road, armed with a checklist of Americana I wanted to experience: cowboys, country music, guns, church, Graceland, megamalls, and more. The resulting story is on the cover of next weekend’s New York Times Travel section, and is online now — front and center on the NYTimes.com homepage!