#76 In Roads-Traveling teens
The skies have opened up and dumped buckets as I trudge down to get dinner from the fire pit of the KOA camp office. Even though I’m in full rain gear, I’m soaked to the bone before I’m half way there. I place the order with high school kid with the accent and she repeats it to me correctly before I ask where she’s from.
“I’m from Russia,” she tells me with excitement, with no inkling of pride or shame. She tells me about her two workmates her age who have traveled with her. They are from Bulgaria.
“I’m a student so I got to come here, then somewhere else for two months, then we get to do what we want for a month.” I ask if she likes Montana. She wrinkles her nose. I suggest she doesn’t like the weather as I wring out my money. My pockets are full of water. She smiles and shrugs but says nothing. I ask where her next choice will be and she tells me she’s not sure. “One of the other girls met really nice people from Washington State and she will go there. I find the people are different from state-to-state.” She sounds surprised as I agree and share that each area has its own agenda. She says she is personally interested in California and I ask what she knows about the state other than the Beach Boys depiction of sandy beaches and surfing. She shrugs as I explain the vast differences between NorCal and SoCal.
“Where would you go?” she asks. I take a few minutes to explain that my answer will be different than her interests because I ride a motorcycle so I have a different agenda. She’s well educated and seems more geographically aware than most. She also comprehends the difference in politics of the individual states. More so than most kids her age, let alone the American kids I talk to. Still, she asks my thoughts on where she should spend her remaining time in America. Given the choice of Washington or California, where would you direct a young traveler?