WalkingTom getting back on the road
September 25, 2001 6:48 PM   Subscribe

WalkingTom getting back on the road Tom is a guy who started to walk across the US in 1997, and who started to log his journey on the Web in 98. In 2000, he took a year's break to get married, but in a few days he's finally getting back to finishing his journey. What travelogues have you been addicted to? Are there any good current ones?
posted by wackybrit (8 comments total)
To answer my own question.. my two other favourite travelogues are Ramon's current LetMeStayForADay.com and the now finished BikeBrats who cycled around the entire world.. although the US section is, ultimately, the most interesting 7 hour read I've ever had.
posted by wackybrit at 6:50 PM on September 25, 2001

This guy has nothing on the running man.
posted by phatboy at 7:01 PM on September 25, 2001

I got a LOT out of this one. Highly recommended.
posted by rushmc at 8:01 PM on September 25, 2001

<selflink>Notlost is a collaborative open weblog for travel stories written from the road. Read, for instance, about MeFite Claxton6's trip to Reno. &lt;/selflink>
posted by snarkout at 9:26 PM on September 25, 2001

I walked the length of New Zealand with a couple of friends in 1991. We did the whole thing on about 7 bucks a day, which meant sleeping under a lot of bridges.
Anytime I start losing faith in humankind I like to think of it - we were given many a hot dinner and warm bed by complete strangers. I used to be a bit nationalistic about that but I don't really think its a Kiwi thing anymore - I think its a human thing. If you can bail someone up with a half decent story and you manage not to frighten them, chances are they'll take you in.
I wrote the whole mess up in about 25000 words during 1992. Its not strictly a travelogue - I was walking off a minor calamity so kind of went off about that in a variety of ways.
Anyway - to anyone thinking of doing something like this: DO IT!!! Its fantastic - especially if you don't plan _too_ much, throw yourself to the elements and the mercy of strangers as much as you reasonably can.
posted by robotdinosaur at 1:45 AM on September 26, 2001

I wish I had yet that kind of faith in my fellow man, robotdinosaur. :::sadly:::
posted by rushmc at 6:36 PM on September 26, 2001

Yeah, but you have to have faith, and really you do, or you wouldn't be writing in the first place. I could never match some of the people I met, but here's a couple of stories. In the first we walked to a farmhouse to ask if we could sleep in the haybarn. A woman, who was alone there at the time, met us in the driveway and, before we could even speak, apologised that she couldn't give us a bed for the night, but that there was plenty of dinner on the stove, and wouldn't we come in.
In another we were a couple of days walk from Auckland, and standing in a phone booth. A woman ran across the road and waited for us to come out. She said they were going to a shared dinner at their church, that we should come with them then spend the night back at their house.
I don't come close to this kind of charity and faith in my own life. And you could laugh at these guys for being naive (in fact the Auckland family lived in a carshed because they loaned their house deposit to friends who forgot to return it!).
But without unreasonably _good_ people, I wonder whether the world would work at all. I've searched long and hard for a wholesome, prosperous and harmless town to live with my family. And I've come to believe that David Lynch was right - they don't really exist.
But people, thats a different story. And I don't think its a nation thing. I remember nearly kissing a stranger in London one night for taking the time to carefully explain the bus system me when I was too drunk and stupid to get home. My friends who've lived in big US cities say they contain the most charitable people on earth.
Someone asked me recently what the most important thing in life was. I decided it was "being OK about bad stuff and death". If you can't get past the bad stuff, you miss out on seeing how amazing it is to be in the world, and how wonderful most of the people on it actually are.
posted by robotdinosaur at 3:34 AM on September 27, 2001

Thanks for those cool tales, robot. I'm not sure those people in NZ were 'naive' though. There are some schools of thought that say 'if you don't help or interact with others, why live?' and they seem to have dragged it out to an extreme.

It's true. How many of us sometimes go out of our way not to talk to the neighbours.. or avoid eye contact on the train.. or cut off someone who is only trying to be friendly to us? I'm ashamed to say that I do all of these things from time to time. Why? Perhaps it's because our society partly brings us up not to talk to strangers.. and beware of the danger!

But, ultimately, you're right. At the end of the day, the majority of people would help someone in need.. and it's fun! I don't see many about, but I like picking up hitch-hikers (if they look mostly sane, of -course-). Helping other people can be a great source of fun.. and if you can help travellers, think of all the tales you'll hear.

For some reason though, many of the American tourists in London don't want to be helped, despite my best efforts! Or perhaps it's just me ;-)
posted by wackybrit at 7:56 AM on September 27, 2001

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