Lately I’m in love with a couple of brazen kids from Portland, Oregon.

One year ago this past Tuesday, Amy and Sloan packed up a bright yellow 1977 VW camper van and took off across America for the first stage of a year of traveling throughout India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Hong Kong, Ireland, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. In preparation they’d ditched their jobs and sold all their stuff to just, you know, do it!

I found Reason to Wander through and I’m sure glad I did. Every day now, for about a week, I’ve been stealing moments to read their daily updates. Most recently in Mexico, and about to head back to the U.S., their latest entries involve a kind of quiet acknowledgment of both their adventure’s end and their empty wallets. As I follow their gradual drift homeward, I’ve gone back to the beginning to ride the building wave of their journey out.

Right now I’m on Reason To Wander Number 15. It’s sometime in December 2006. and they’re in Texas, where Sloan writes:

“You can’t shake a brisket in Texas without hitting some of that Lone Star spirit. It’s on car bumpers, street signs, billboards, t-shirts and etched into the sides of highway interchanges taller than its high rises, all of it reinforcing the popular understanding that Texas’ constitution reserves its legal right to secede from the US. While that may not be technically true, the surprising sum of all this ego is a kind of gentle charm that can only be achieved after decades of being told, ‘your Frito Pie is the best in the world, now y’all go make one for your neighbor.'”

In a world of travel blogs where people often sacrifice personality for sterile or pithy description of place, it’s refreshing to find simply smart and witty writing from a couple of characters who show their likeable selves. What’s not to love? Check it out. Live vicariously!

Photo by Alpoma