Who We Are. Who Are We?
Your Drifters are Fiona and Jerry, a couple who have been together for 23 years. Fiona is from Dublin, Ireland and Jerry is from Sharon, Pennsylvania. We most recently resided in Portland, Maine but now we travel full-time. Nobody could be more surprised than we are right now (well, maybe those that have known us for a while) that we have put together a blog detailing our travels.
Neither of us has ever owned a cell-phone/flip phone or any kind of mobile chatting distraction. We are two of the least tech-savvy folk out there; let’s just say we have a lot of respect for Luddites!
Our pre-trip lives consisted of the usual “lather, rinse, repeat” lifestyle. Neither of us were corporate professionals, nor was there any career ladder for us to climb. We funded our travels through various jobs including refueling commercial aircraft, roasting coffee in a factory, producing lip and body balms in a small cottage industry and CADD work to name but a few.
We have traveled abroad in the past; hitchhiking in Greece, gorging on great food in Jamaica, staying in a 17th century farmhouse in Italy, and hitchhiking (again!) in The Dominican Republic. The experience we gained from those trips made us realize (realise) that great experiences can be found anywhere. Our goal then became to keep looking. Our first long-term trip was ambitious; we walked out our front door and started hitchhiking from our neighborhood with no destination in mind. Where did we end up?
Our Route: 2013-2014
_____ Route South, _____ Route North, _____ Water Route, _____ “El Chepe”, Copper Canyon Railway
Our Trip: 2013-2014
We spent one full year (365 days exactly, door to door) hitching lifts and boarding buses from Portland, Maine to the Panama Canal and back again. About 80% of the distance we travelled was by hitchhiking and the entire journey was over-land. Hitching allowed us to travel at a slower pace. While most of the places we visited were suggested in guide books, we found ourselves “off the grid”, so to speak, quite often going weeks without seeing other backpackers.
In anticipation of our first trip we did buy a $50 android device for receiving the odd wi-fi signal to allow for the occasional “we’re still alive” e-mails. Thankfully we also discovered we could take photos with this too, as our camera died a few days into our trip. We gave this device the very high-tech label of “the doodah.”
We relied on good old-fashioned paper maps for navigation and directions from passers-by. No apps, no Google Earth – just a passing-grade device in the guise of a smart-phone, of which the phone and texting capabilities we never used, nor had activated.
Our Trip: 2017-?
Our first drift in 2013 made us realise we wanted more! Upon returning to Portland we saved up our money and honed our desire to get back on the road. We are currently in the process of making that happen again and we are thrilled to know that the future holds more adventures for us. So follow along with us as we keep loose our plans, keep definite our desire to stay moving, and keep open a life devoted to experiencing more. Where do we go from here?
Our Travel Style
Having the time to get from point A to point B is a crucial part of long-term travel. We can say that our style is largely built around that. We have no desire, nor feel any need to commit ourselves to pre-booked accommodation. In fact we never book any accommodation, sights, tours or transport. Hotels are cheaper than hostels for a couple sharing.
As for meals, we eat from street vendors and local restaurants. Even on the coast we are able to find seafood cheap just by dining alongside the locals. During that initial year on the road the need to linger in spots overcame us; weeks in Mexico City and a month in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. While returning North we revisited cities or towns just because we had a good meal or a decent hotel room there, or perhaps we had more to see. It’s safe to say we did quite a bit of aimless drifting and we had a blast. That style will see us through as we continue with our travels.
Even without the need to forecast every detail of our trip we are able to do it cheap – $15 each per day is our budget with the odd extreme day ($20 each per day) thrown in on either end. Live simple and save a lot, or at least try. Wander more and wonder more. Have no expectations. Live on the brink. Realize you may or may not be amazed each day. Be alright with that.