Years ago, over drinks one night, my clean-cut yuppie roommate turned to me and said: “F**k it. We should just quit our jobs and ride the rails around the U.S.”
He was rarely serious about such ludicrous, idealistic off-the-cuff comments. But the sincerity in his voice told me that if I was on board (so to speak), we’d leave tomorrow.
We were both 22 years old and it was one of those ideas that, at the time, made sense and seemed without real consequence. But I told him he was nuts and we both raised our beers and got up the next day for our morning return to cubicle hell. Part of me wondered: do people really still do that? I pictured Boxcar Willie in stained corduroys, a tattered wide-brimmed hat, and the requisite bottle of Old Granddad.
As it turns out, the vagabond lifestyle is alive and well.
This intriguing, heartbreaking and poignant photo essay tells the tale. (Warning: contains some graphic photos)
All photos © Ziza.es