This is a couple I met today while at Wendy’s (I didn’t eat there, only got water and rested in their air conditioned space). They are hitch hiking around Florida. They started in Fort Myers, and have been to Tampa, Miami, and Fort Peirce already.
They had seen my bike outside, so when Skip saw me inside he asked me what I was doing because his wife didn’t believe him when he said that I was probably traveling.
If it wasn’t for the time and place that I ran into this couple I definitely would have been sketched by this couple. Fortunatly, meeting them in the day time in a very public spot this wasn’t the case. We talked a bunch about living on the road and how incredible it was to live a life without deadlines and commitments.
The most surprising thing I learned from this couple is how much you can make pan handling. They sit near an enterance to fast food or low end restaraunts with a sign that says “Stranded”. More often than not people won’t want to pick them up, but are more than willing to give them money. They said that in the three days that they had been where they were they made $30 in three hours the first day, and then $75 and $100 the next two, each in only an hour. They spend the rest of the day by the pool of a motel or hotel, go out to a decent dinner and then sleep under a tarp they pitched in the woods. They said that they didn’t like to be deceiptful, but if I let the air out of one of my tires and had a sign that said “Help. Flat tire”, that I’d rake in the money.
I definitely took everything these people said with a grain of salt, but I think they felt were basically doing the same thing so they were pretty honest with me. Either way, it was a fun conversation.