I had just connected with a large group of “travelers” handing out Hanes socks before meeting Jon and Brenda. Travelers are a subculture of the homeless population often known for hopping trains. You’ve seen them hanging out in your city. They almost have a uniform wearing brown clothes and often have dogs and musical instruments. Many are kids that have been “thrown away” by their families and find community traveling with others.
I used to think no one wants to be homeless, and that is the truth for the vast majority of people sleeping outside. Even the ones who tell you that want to be homeless, at one time tried to get out of homelessness, but after hitting so many barriers, they just give up. It’s called “learned helplessness.”
But now, after meeting a few people like Jon and Brenda, I have changed. There are a few people that want to live a nomadic lifestyle.
Jon and Brenda are a married couple that travels by choice. They normally go up and down California, but this time, they decided to head east a little and visit Austin during SXSW.
They start by telling a story of joining up with a group of hippies. A fun moment is when we chat a little about what’s the difference between a hippie and a traveler. You’ll have to watch for the answer.
While passing through San Antonio, police picked them up and placed them in detox for smoking marijuana. That’s insane!
I love that their three wishes were so simple, but that’s the traveling lifestyle. Jon and Brenda are great kids. I wish them safe travels on all of their journeys.