One of the luxuries we’ve had in doing this project is the ability to connect and interact with potential Roadsteaders via social media or email. It gives you the opportunity to build rapport with a person before meeting face to face. However, one of the crucial ideas behind this project is variety and spontaneity. Striking up conversations with strangers with whom you have no history and who may or may not fit into the story.
We were editing a story in the Forks Library when we noticed two hitchhikers make their way to the public computers. They were your quintessential hitchhikers - comfortable clothing for walking, a water jug fastened to the backpack, with tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad in tow. We approached them as they were leaving , explained the project, and asked if they’d be interested in sharing some of their experience of backpacking across the United States.
Both Fresa and Alice are from Belgium. The duo initially met at a party in Brussels, discovered they shared a number of mutual friends, went to the same school, and soon after became partners. Though their romantic relationship has ended, the two still chose to set off on the trip they had been planning. This free-spirited attitude weaves through their friendship and overall approach towards life.
There’s a deep level of trust to the way Fresa and Alice travel. The two have navigated hitchhiking without a phone, computer, or any other electronic form of communication. After splitting at one point in southern California, they agreed to meet in Groveland, CA at the hostel outside of town. Fresa arrived to find a hand drawn map from Alice guiding her to a nearby campground, as the hostel was too expensive. No text. No email or phone call. A hand drawn map.
Listen to the full interview below.