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!