Why I Travel (or Lessons From a Hitchhiker: Part Two)


Long trips and options

A few years ago I landed in Calgary from Greece. I left my car in long term parking. Like a big girl I took the shuttle to the parking lot, paid the car sitting fee and pulled away. I had a seven hour drive in front of me. That's a long drive after a long flight.

I called Dave for an opinion on if I should drive straight home or not.

He said "You've been gone a month. Just head home. You can call if you get tired or you can pull over." Made sense.I began driving.


Not all hitchhikers are psychos

Only minutes outside of Calgary I heard the little voice inside my head say you need someone to talk to and instantly (I mean instantly) I saw someone holding a sign hitchhiking east.

I pulled over and picked up Anna, Gabe and Juno, their puppy. Anna was heading to nursing school that fall. Gabe just finished his bachelor's degree in creative writing and Juno was the puppy they found in Alaska.

They were from Virginia and made their way west and then north all the way to Alaska by train-car and other means. They were looking for a ride to Montreal. I got them as far as my house. They were a sweet couple. The dog slept most of the ride.

I asked why they chose such an adventure. This was Gabe's answer:

I'm a writer but as young as I am I don't think I would be taken seriously. I need more life experience behind me. Hitchhiking to Alaska, meeting people and getting by with so little was one of those experiences. I couldn't help but grow from it.

You need some life behind you before you start writing about life. Some experiences and challenges.

Although I never said "I need to travel to be taken seriously as a writer my desire to travel has definitely given me more stories, I've met characters and been in situations that caused me to grow.

Gabe is right.

Wishing them all the best.

(I wonder where they are now?)


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