Travels with a Road Dog by R.K. is a narrative of the author’s own adventures as she hitchhiked through the US, Mexico, Bahamas, and Venezuela. The book itself caught my attention for two main reasons. The first one was the fact that the hitchhiker is a woman, as I secretly dreamed of hitchhiking around Europe by myself but never dared to do so. The second one was my own background. Having been born, raised, and well-traveled in Venezuela, I was interested in reading what R.K. had to say about her visit and learn about her experience hitchhiking through the country.
The story begins as R.K. decides to take off with her friends Larry, Jennifer, and Elizabeth to explore a Rainbow Gathering in Alabama, her home state. And so her amazing adventure began with one spontaneous decision, and she didn’t look back. That gathering in Alabama turned into a lifestyle change and an adventure of a lifetime as she hitchhiked her way to all coasts of North America, boarded a sailing trip to the Bahamas, made an illegal border crossing to Mexico, and took a trip to Venezuela with her dog Jambo.
The adventures themselves kept me hooked on the pages as R.K. ventured on the road, first with people she met at the Rainbow gatherings, as well as some Grateful Dead followers she kept running into. It amazed me how she trusted strangers just by instinct and how having no money made her feel free. On the other hand her attention to detailed information about the hitchhiker lifestyle makes this book a must have manual for anyone contemplating to venture onto the road and go rogue.
R.K. answered so many questions about the lifestyle: from how she managed feminine hygiene on the road having no money for products, to exposing the incredible, well-structured organization of Rainbow Gathering free kitchens, and the resourcefulness of people to find food, shelter and even drugs. I also found very insightful R.K.’s comparison of how she was viewed and treated by people in other countries, against her own country. I also found hilarious the part where she tried to get a job in Cumana! My note to R.K. is that Venezuela is a beautiful country with a diverse landscape, and I wish she could have seen a lot more and, if you would have gone west, you would have found my hometown!
I found a couple of spelling issues with some Spanish words, but honestly I think it made the story more real as she isn’t a Spanish speaker. Also, the author based her storytelling style on narrating and so it lacked dialogue, but the stories she was telling were so captivating I didn’t miss it. The true beauty of the book, though, I found it to be how R.K grew within through her travels, how she discovered the need to make her own money, and how she would aspire to travel further and make it happen. I loved Jambo too and was very surprised that it was possible to own and care for a pet while living on the road with close to zero money, and even take him out of the country.
Travels with a Road Dog was a trip through the Americas and within. R.K. did a great job sharing not just her road travels but also her journey within, as she discovered herself in faraway places while learning different cultures and experiencing different people. It’s a neat book for couch travelers, and a must have for road adventure seekers! I give it four stars and encourage all adventures at heart to check it out!Powered by Sidelines