Choosing his bicycle over his bachelor's degree, for now
After two years of college in Boston, Evan Miglorie, 20, of Fauntleroy had an important decision to make, and followed Yogi Berra's advice. When he came to a fork in the road, he took it.
Miglorie felt disillusioned with school and decided not to continue right away. He acquired a tent, sleeping bag, a little pot, the kind you cook rice and noodles in, purchased an '80's bicycle frame with new accessories at "Bikes Not Bombs", a Boston area shop that is "part of a worldwide movement for peace and responsible stewardship of the earth" and he took off, in the rain, May 15 for Georgia. It was 1,200 miles down the road, and where a college pal lived.
"I don't think being the age of 20 you're supposed to have all your ducks in a row," Evan said in a phone interview from his friend's home in Cumming, Georgia, north of Atlanta where he arrived June 15, one month to the day later. "The apartment, and going to school was definitely a lot of structure. If you're not jazzed going to school every day, then just change it.
"College just wasn't- I couldn't really find anything I wanted to dig into, to commit to. It was so expensive. I didn't want to spend all my parents' money on something I didn't have my whole heart in and so I did some traveling. Sometimes you just need to kind of breathe."
He had attend Suffolk University's College of Arts and Sciences.
Miglorie's first day on the road got him to Providence to visit an en ex-girlfriend attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Then he it was on to New London, CT., where he caught the ferry across the Long island Sound, and pressed on to Brooklyn which took two or three days.That is where he got his first flat tire.
"I took the ferry under the Brooklyn Bridge to Highlands, N.J., the last public transportation I took on the trip," he said. "I chose a lot of back roads. I had an iPhone with Maps app and switched between using that, Google maps, and old school hard copy maps from Adventure Cycling Association.
Highlights including connecting with strangers.
"A few times what would happen is I would just be in kind of a nowheresville, no camping, no motel," he recalled. "I had done seven hours of riding, and would be pretty tired. I got this idea to knock on people's doors and ask if they knew any churches or anything to camp around. Sometimes they said, 'Sure. We have open ground in our backyard you are more than welcome to do that.' One time in Maryland I knocked on this guy's door and he said, 'Nobody lives in the house next to us, so you are welcome to stay in his backyard.'
"When I was in my tent, he brought me out two turkey wraps and a chocolate bar. It was just so beautiful because I was tired and down on the world, it was so hard. He said, 'I'm going to take my kids to the pool so you can take a shower here, and then he invited me to the pool with his kids. I showered and hopped in the pool. Just 30 minutes before meeting him I was sitting in this dive, a sports grill. Then here I was in the pool with these three or four kids and the dad. Anything can happen when you're out there. That goes for both good and bad things. Hopefully you just stick more on the good side and enjoy the ride."
In mid-July he will again enjoy the ride, this time on four wheels. A friend from West Seattle is driving across the country, will pick him up, and they'll drive to California and then north, back to West Seattle.
So what's next for Miglorie?
"I'd like to work on a farm," he said. "There's a cool organization called WWOOF, which is World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. You can work anywhere in the world. You volunteer, and get room and board. I am also interested in going to Hawaii for a while, maybe work and have a little spending money. I'm not trying to get a great job, I'm the cashier, the sandwich maker."
And yes, WWOOF has farms located in Hawaii.