Jill and I were hanging out, working on SF Tourism Tips, and decided we’d go to lunch in Petaluma.
We were going to walk to Lagunitas Brewing Company, have a beer and some food, and then walk back to Randy and Alethea’s home since it was a gorgeous day, we wanted a break from work, and we like getting out and about.
As we know, the best laid plans of mice and men…
We started walking down the main streets and saw Lombardi’s Gourmet Deli and BBQ and decided to take a detour.
We bought a sandwich, some macaroni salad and a bottle of red wine since they had a huge deck and we wanted to enjoy the view.
As we ate our food, we noticed a rather impressive Land Rover in the parking lot.
It was covered with stickers from countries all over the world and we had fun trying to guess which sticker was for each country and where the owners had traveled.
After about 15 minutes, a man walked out and started towards the car. I told Jill, “I want to go ask him what they are doing and where they are going.” She said, “Go for it!”
I walked over, flag the man down and asked him about their travels.
Bill told me that they had bought this Land Rover in the UK and then driven it all over Africa for a few years.
In opposition to the news we hear of Africa, they loved the Sudan and said that the people are very friendly and that there is very little crime. It was interesting because I’ve found that the media very often lies about conditions, here and abroad, to keep people in fear and from experiencing new places and meeting people.
They were in Petaluma on their way down to Joshua Tree, after being in Canada for a few months, and were looking for a good campground.
That is why Jill and I travel and talk to people. We think almost everyone has something to offer and we can learn from them.
Bill’s wife, Rosemary, came up to us and I invited them to sit down with Jill and me and share a bit of time and share each other’s stories.
Bill and Rosemary had traveled all over the world, starting long ago, by using their professions to get them where they wanted to be. Or, in one case, not where they wanted but then decided to stay for 10 years. But that is their story and I’ll let them tell it on their blog if they decide to. By the way, they probably have only half of the stickers from countries they’ve visited because they weren’t for sale or available while they were there. I would guess they’ve been to somewhere between 75-100 countries. I’ve been to 16. It gives me incentive and inspiration!
Jill and I were intrigued by their choice to sell their house and hit the road. Their idea of minimalism is very close to our’s, except they have a car, and they live inside their Land Rover almost all the time. They do use other services, like TrustedHousesitters, to find homes to house sit, but they are also very frugal and financially smart so they can travel for as long as they want to.
This trip started about 2 years ago after they had returned back to the the UK to see their daughter and her family. They shipped their Land Rover to Uruguay and then started driving all over Southern and Central America from there.
After moving into North America, they went through Mexico, the southwest of the USA, and up to Canada. They stayed in Canada for a few months and are now heading across the USA to the East Coast where they will ship their car, and themselves, back to the UK.
They aren’t sure if they will settle down when they get back home and are trying to figure out what to do next.
After listening to their story, and be totally amazed by their willingness to take chances, live a different life, and not be tied down to possessions and places, we told them more about our plans and beliefs. They seemed to appreciate them and were impressed that we could do all this traveling without a car and just walk, bike, bus or take mass transportation to get around.
The next day they were planning on going to San Francisco so Jill gave them some ideas and told them she would email them a plan later that day so that they could have more specifics if they wanted to use them.
After a few hours of talking, they needed to get on their way to their campsite and we needed to get home. We gave them some directions and they decided to go food shopping. After we parted, Jill and I decided to skip Lagunitas entirely, since it would be dark before we headed home, and we decided to go shopping also.
We walked about 1 mile to the grocery store and saw their truck in the parking lot. We smiled as we knew we’d get to say hi one more time and walked in and saw them immediately. We all started laughing and talked for a few more minutes before we parted and went our separate ways.
In case you want to see their travels, click the links below:
That is why we walk.