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Travels with a Road Dog: Hitchhiking Along the Roads of the Americas Paperback – October 22, 2012
"Reminiscent at times of Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, this is a real salt of the Earth account of a life less ordinary and more lived by a free spirit that inspires travel and adventure - standing testament to the endless possibilities of an alternative existence to that of the daily grind." (Catherine Tosko, Self Publishing Review)
"... an entertaining armchair travel book for those who are less intrepid than the author, but who still have some wanderlust in their hearts. Other readers will be fascinated by her accounts of Rainbow Gathering, Deadhead, and hitchhiker subcultures. In an era when everyone seems to be hardwired to his or her cell phone or laptop, it is refreshing to read about such an adventurous yet simply lived journey." Rachel Jagareski (ForeWord Clarion Review)
"A young woman recounts her adventures traveling through four countries in this vivid debut memoir.... she has a strong practical streak that helps her live successfully in the moment. It's a quality she brings to this enjoyable memoir. One woman's tale of adventure on the road, in the great American tradition." (Kirkus Indie Review)
"In the end, the author offers a memoir that's intriguing because of these locales and the people she meets along the way. Her freedom, her calmness in the face of danger, cold or sickness, her moments of picking through McDonald's waste receptacles for breakfast - all of these chapters come together to form a young life that's filled with adventure, excitement, and learning about oneself..... A journey filled with every emotion from humor to loneliness that many readers will surely relate to." (Amy Lignor, Feathered Quill,)
"The true beauty of the book is how R.K grew within through her travels. I loved Jambo and was surprised 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. R.K. did a great job sharing her road travels 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!" (Susan Violante, Reader Views)
About the Author
R.K. was born in Maryland and grew up in Northern Alabama where she enjoyed hiking, canoeing, white water rafting and swimming. She always had a rebellious nature and was sent to an outdoor education program for 18 months as a young teenager where she lived in the woods building cabins, bridges, sheds and outhouses.
When she was 20 years old, she gave away her belongings to begin a 4.5 year journey hitchhiking and vagabonding around the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas and Venezuela. Her travels were inspired by a basic desire to see and experience the world in which she lives. Coming from a poor upbringing, she wanted to see if it was possible travel and experience the world without needing much in the way of material possessions, or money. She learned that it is indeed possible to travel in this way and, although most people probably wouldn't enjoy living with so little, she found it refreshing.
She now lives in southern California where she owns a small business and lives with her husband, four cats and two bunnies.
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It is disappointing when some books come to an end because it means the adventure is over. This was one of them.
great read. Something I could never do is hitchhiking, kudos to her for being so adventurous, plus this is her first book?
What do you do after you flunk out of college? Some people get a job, some join the military, some move back home to continue to live as children, and then there are the few who are daring enough to take to the road. For a young woman, the idea of hitchhiking can be threatening, but with a little luck and learning who to trust, what a thrilling way to find out about themselves and to learn some life lessons while becoming what is known to hitchhikers as a "road dog".
R.K. decided that she wanted to see the country. With few financial resources, she departed from her mother's home for a life of possibilities, deciding to hitchhike along the way.
One of her first rides was with an old man who was drinking. After being rescued by the police, she made the decision early on to never ride again with someone who was drinking.
She quickly discovered the world of the Rainbow Gatherings around the country. Either walking, riding with acquaintances, or hitchhiking she found a way of life that perfectly matched her current ideals. This communal gathering excited her with the gypsy lifestyle at first, taught her much, and allowed her to discover certain qualities in herself and others. Along the way she met many generous people and managed to travel with two extraordinary dogs for companionship and protection.
This book is her memory of particular events and places she experienced through her naive and adventurous eyes. While looking for safety, shelter, and companionship, this young woman also discovers much about herself relying on her
personal instincts. The lessons learned as solutions to particular problems changed her life especially in the area of natural medicine. Traveling without much money but literally by her wits, she finds that there are numerous ways around the bureaucracy of passports and visas. Also, learning about people, problems, and trust makes Travels with a Road Dog an educational, but enlightening read through an unusual perspective.
Most of the names of the characters were changed. However, there was one place where the changed name was confused with the real name, making the recounted memory a little confusing for this one episode. For the most part, the book was well edited and especially well-organized. The strength of the writing was definitely the author's passion with her choices at this particular time in her life.
This account was wonderful in experiencing another lifestyle through someone else. Her experiences and problems are informative and uplifting with her solutions and sometimes, learning with her from the failures. Travels with a Road Dog is the true account and lessons learned from a young woman while discovering more about other people, places, and most importantly, about herself.
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