Dear friends, old and new,

I stopped to sew and soak in some sun at the PA Turnpike Authority HQ

I hope this letter finds you well! I’m alive and mostly well (I picked up a head cold from my brother in Indiana) in Philadelphia. I’ve traveled around 700 miles in the last few days, mostly by hitchhiking, and made a few interesting friends along the way.

“Wait. You hitchhiked?” I hear some of you thinking (have you forgotten that I’m an amateur mindreader?). “I thought you were going for a long walk?”
Don’t worry. I’ve had a vision to walk for a long time and I’m not about to let go of it now. I will walk for at least two agenda free weeks by the end of this month.

I’m in a wedding soon and I thought it was important to get here and to prepare for it. I’d like to repair my cello (there’s a fun story for another day) and find or make clothes to fit the wedding theme.

Not many people hitchhike in this country these days, so why did I chose to travel this way? There are many wonderful reasons, and I chose to hitchhike for all of them. Here are a few of the top of my head:
I get to meet new people.

  • I want to learn to trust that my needs will be met, even if I don’t try to force the how and when (cf. the times that Jesus sent his followers out with no money or extra gear – that will be a post all its own).
  • I think it’s fun!
  • I like to redeem waste. I’m this case, an empty seat that’s headed my way.
  • I’m likely to get some nice solitude for thinking.
  • It costs less than a bus ticket or gas (if I even had a car).
  • I can do some people watching. I enjoy imaging what each person or family is up to as I watch them pass.
  • I can practice skills related to showmanship. How do I catch the attention of people who didn’t expect to be engaged by a stranger… and maybe even entertain them?

And anyhow, I was prepared to be flexible and switch to public transportation if it made more sense to me. In fact, I did take a bus for the last leg of the trip, but I’ll save that for another day. I’ll tell you more later about my strategy for hitchhiking and the people I met on this stretch.

Well, I’m going to run, but I love keeping up with friends. I’d love to hear back from you. How’s life in your neck of the world? What have you learned today?

Safe travels,

Joby

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