Bo Keeley is a professional hobo I met at the Adventurer’s Club of Los Angeles back in 2015. He’s an expert when it comes to living on the road, which made him my focus to connect with before I left LA for the road life.
After meeting, Bo and I touched base a few times before agreeing to meet for coffee. One problem, Bo didn’t have a car. He asked if I would pick him up from a community college in Orange County where we was speaking. He then asked if I wanted to join him to say a few words about my upcoming travels to the class. After, we’d grab coffee where he’d answer all my questions followed by me driving him to his friend’s house. I thought, with a moment of hesitation, that I didn’t really know this guy but excitably agreed anyways.
Before moving on, I need to give a bit of advice. If you ever go somewhere with a strange guy (wow, that sounds as bad in writing as it does out loud!) it’s a good, no it’s a FANTASTIC idea to let others know where you are. Except your mom. Tell her after the fact, when you are safely sound at home. I told my brother where I was going, for how long and that I’d be with Bo. I gotta say I trusted Bo, yes, he was a bit strange but we hadn’t just met on the street. I met him through mutual acquaintances. That didn’t mean I wasn’t nervous, putting me on my guard. I still had to be smart.
On the drive from West Adams LA to Orange County my nerves become fueled by more than the possibility of getting diced up into tiny pieces by Bo. What was I going to say to this class about my upcoming travels? By this time I had a website and all my information but why would they want to hear from me? At least Bo would go first so I could follow his lead.
I parked, got totally lost then finally made it to the class, which was in session. Bo was sitting quietly in the back where I joined him. At the last 20 minutes of class we were both introduced. Bo walked up to speak first. His talk was identical from the night at the adventurers club, which was greatly informative but not so helpful on what I was supposed to say.
My palms started to sweat. With only moments left, I took to the front of the class. With my website projected on a large screen becoming my backdrop, I felt exposed. I felt vulnerable. And even worse, I felt like a fake that was about to be called out. I pushed these thoughts out of my head and focused on telling my story. The words began to come out naturally with ease.
The students became excited asking me all sorts of questions. As I answered their intrigue I saw that I wasn’t a fake. This reassurance felt good. It felt real good.
As Bo and I walked to the car I had a slight spring in my step. Bo said that I was good at speaking. “Not everyone is a good speaker, you should capitalize on that asset.” I was dumbfounded by his openness and insight.
On the drive, Bo made many more suggestions of things I should do and books I should read. As I eagerly listened, I gave Bo my full attention. I started to get the sense that he was enjoying this as much as I was, maybe even more, yet he tried not to show it. “Bike across Canada, walk across the US” he said. (Btw, he’s done this and more!) I felt Bo was my very own adventure fairy godmother for the night. Less Disney more Dexter Poindexter in Scrooged.
At coffee I asked Bo “What should I live out of? Should I get a small RV? Pull a trailer? Out of my car? What?”
He was absolutely against a trailer.
“Do not tow a trailer, do not tow anything!!!” He said in a firm tone.
“But what if I just towed a little something, not a trailer?” I asked.
“Do not tow anything! They get in the way if you need to get out in a hurry, they weigh you down and they become a burden on rough terrain. NOOOO towing!”
“Okay, no towing. Got it. So what then?” I asked.
“Live in your car.” Bo replied. We went to the parking lot, opened up my Scion and over the course of the next 20 minutes he shared is infinite road wisdom with me. As I stood in complete awe, Bo got in the front seat eagerly waiting to go, it was getting close to midnight.
The drive to his friend’s house was a quiet one. After I thanked him for the amazing afternoon and the insightful evening of events, I watched him walk into the house. I sat in the driveway for just a moment, taking it all in. The universe was on my side that day. I had taken a chance and it paid off. I was all smiles as I drove home, ecstatic that I hadn’t been diced up into tiny pieces.
*Despite Bo's great wisdom I ended up trading my Scion in for a Ford Transit Connect Mini Cargo Van, Jones*
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