July 15, 2014

A short story, of a journey

This was a journey for the soul. I wanted to see if I can walk across the country, an experiment in survival, so to speak, on just $100. I never thought it would be easy. And as I suspected, it was possible.

My name is Nick. The last name doesn’t matter. I never knew my parents. After being shuffled between several foster homes, I got into college. And graduated without a job. I never thought of myself as a storyteller. Yet, here I am, telling you about how I decided to travel in the year after college. I walked a lot, and hitchhiked whenever I could. The most important thing I found was that people always surprise you.

Food wasn’t hard to come by. Choice was, perhaps, but people would always offer me food. With some people, especially on the Appalachian trail, I worked in exchange for food, and those farmers had tales to tell!

I think the best meal I had was in the company of a woman, her father and two of her kids. She had served fried eggs for breakfast with pancakes, hash-browns, corn fritters and a sausage. Talk about a hearty meal. I had walked 20 miles the previous day, and had taken shelter in their shed when it started raining. In the morning, when I went over to explain and apologize, she welcomed me in for a meal. Susan had a husband in jail, and she took care of the farm with her sons and her father. When they heard I was doing a road trip on foot, they had plenty of questions. They wanted to know if the journey was difficult when it snowed. If people in the north were as busy and snooty as those down south imagine them to be.

In the last year, I have traveled across the country. As you can imagine, there are all kinds of people, but very few will turn down a hungry man with an interesting story. I will let you listen to my recordings over a meal.

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