Sunday, January 20, 2013

Welcome To The USA

When in Yuma several years ago when I spotted a vintage VW bug with the number 53 blazoned on its sides. It was Herbie's Round The World Tour. They were traveling around the world with a vintage East German made trailer for sleeping and carrying the few items they needed for travel. Noting the European license plates on the VW and the number 53 on the VW, I had to get the story. (January 2011 blog post about Zainab and Domi.)

As I stood there in the Walmart parking lot talking to Zainab, Domi was working on the VW repairing a clutch issue. I was asking about their journeys around the world and their families in Austria. As I stood there fascinated with the journeys of Zainab and Domi, a man walks up and standing next to me he listens to some of the conversation. 

In a lull in my questions, the man asks, "Do you carry a gun?" Zainab wondered why she would want that. 

The man proceeded to say that he lives full time in an RV and wouldn't travel without a gun. I interjected that I have been living in a RV for many years and don't have a gun. He said I should. 

Later I couldn't help but think that this guy was a prisoner to the lower 48 United States. He can't travel to Canada or Mexico -- with his gun. 

This is the country I live in.

Welcome to the United States. Do you have a gun.

Considering the parts of the world that Zainab and Domi have already traveled, their current journey along the west side of Africa is a lot more challenging. With mud roads and numerous check points, guns will not be of much help. 

After reading several adventure travels of others traveling in Africa away from the tour routes, my admiration for Zainab and Domi continues. I'm not brave enough to face what they are doing. In the unlikely situation where I did start out on such a journey, at some point I would have abandoned the car and trailer and found a plane to get me -- out of there. 


  1. No gun for me at home or on the road.

  2. No gun for me. Mostly full time for the last 6 years. Mexico last winter. I am convinced that there is an addiction to guns in our culture in the US. It needs to broken, or at least the addiction to the "hard stuff" such as assault rifles and big magazines needs to end. Also, make gun companies liable if they don't put all possible safety mechanisms on the guns. That will make it so only the registered owner can use it. Make new guns that use special bullets that can be tracked and start winding down the sale of ammo that can't be tracked (or tax the old stuff immensely to get people to buy guns. It will take a while, but I remember it took a while to get all cars with seat belts and then shoulder belts. It will reduce deaths.

    Sorry for the rant.

  3. The guy who thought he needed a gun to travel probably thought that way because he conflated Unconventionality (i.e., not living in a stick and brick house in the suburbs) with Risk. This connection is not entirely crazy, even though he might be exaggerating it. You could even argue that it makes sense from an evolutionary and tribal perspective.

    1. I'm guessing the guy also had a gun in his sticks and bricks house. Because he can, he will. The reason for many Arizonans to pack hardware on their hip. They can. The law allows them to do that. Then they have to justify carrying the side arm to others who might ask.

      My offense was the guy's attitude. He didn't ask any questions about them, their travels or anything. He really didn't know the whole story. All he heard was the tail end of the conversation I was having. That is his first question.

  4. No guns for us. We are firm supporters of

  5. Hey Wandrin,

    Thanks for dedicating this post to Herbie's World Tour!

    We are still looking forward to meeting you asap! Always following your blog...

    All the best from Angola,


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