I met Huntley and Jenna at a Dick’s drive-in burger joint in Seattle during the summer of 2009. They were traveling across the country in an old series II Land Rover which got 8 miles to the gallon, and was so loud that it had a headset system just so you could talk to the person next to you.
Our meeting was prompted by an acquaintance of an acquaintance—the flimsiest of connections. Almost instantly, however, I felt that kinship one feels with another traveler—that recognition of a supple and hopeful free spirit. Jenna was from Ireland. Huntley had been traveling on observation vessels with NOAA.
Our conversations had the easy pace and wide view of those restless in their search for meaning and glory, but calm in their acceptance of life’s absurdity. I drove them around Seattle, playing tour guide as best as I could. I offered them our couch for the night and helped them fix the timing in their Land Rover. The next morning we ate breakfast and said our goodbye’s.
“Thanks for everything. That was so generous of you.”
“No problem.” I said. “Children of the world, right?!”
“Yeah, man. Children of the world.”