The Breeze

Summer of Travels

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Female backpacker tourist in Icleand ready for adventure

Female backpacker tourist in Icleand ready for adventure

iko - Fotolia

iko - Fotolia

Female backpacker tourist in Icleand ready for adventure

Casey Pontes, Contributor

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Chapter One:

What if I told you right now that I was going to pack my bags and hitch-hike across the country? You might think that’s deranged and risky idea, but believe it or not there used to be a duration of time where people would travel with a complete stranger all over the place. And you may think it’s crazy, but it used to be quite normal.

Most parents in current time would be shocked and hesitant at the idea of letting their teenage son and his best friend travel across the country by themselves. However, in the 1970s, it was very common for young adults to up and leave home right when high school was finished. And that’s exactly what happened.

The year was 1972, it was a warm and humid summer in Swansea, Massachusetts. The air was filled with adventure. Newly graduated and ready for the summer of a lifetime, Guy Heneghen and best friend Glen Britland packed their bags and got ready to leave home and travel the country. As they kissed their families goodbye, they knew this would be a time to remember.

“The first two days were slow,” Guy stated during our interview. “We would walk for thirty miles or so and not get one ride.” He goes on to tell about the line of people on the highway waiting for a person to pull over and let them in. “We had to stop in each state so we could write postcards to home so they knew we were still alive.”

From Massachusetts to Connecticut things were very slow until they hit New York. Imagine being stranded in an unfamiliar place and having to try to find a place to stay without wasting money that was needed for food. Not wanting to travel during the late night, Glen and Guy decided to find somewhere to stay for the night. Unable to find a place to stay, they had to sleep in an alley in New York.

Not knowing what was in store, they set up their sleeping bags and closed their eyes to try to gain some energy for the next day.

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Summer of Travels