The best part of life’s journey is the people we meet along the way…
The locos first met each other in online social networks. LocoUno (Diego Arango) lives in Atlanta, GA but travels often to his native Colombia, South America. Diego is a member of Horizons Unlimited, a travel network that links motorcyclists and adventurists from all over the world. Through Horizons Unlimited, LocoUno met LocoTres (Patrick Spanfelner), a professional off-road racer from Denmark. Patrick wanted to travel the United States from one end of the country to the other, and wanted to complete the trip before Summer 2011, when he had to be back in Denmark to hop a plane to San Paolo. After communicating online with Diego, Patrick bought a plane ticket to the U.S. and then bought an inexpensive dirt bike for Locomototrip, which he plans to sell dirt cheap after the journey.
LocoUno met LocoDos through the latter’s father, who travels often to Colombia, and who happened to strike up a conversation with LocoUno during a recent flight. After a little background research (and maybe a little background check? Just sayin’!) LocoDos’s father introduced his son to LocoUno.
LocoDos (Joshua Palmer from Atlanta, GA) had just graduated from college and wanted a graduate-level adventure. Josh’s father, a bit of a free-spirit himself, was in favor of an adventure as long as Josh was learning something. The official deal: LocoDos has to learn Spanish by the end of the summer. The official teacher: LocoUno, the Colombian native, is fluent in both Spanish and English. The plus factor: LocoTres, the son of a Danish mother and an expat American father, is fluent in Danish, English, and German. Welcome to the Loco League of Nations!
Within a month, LocoUno and LocoDos had prepped their bikes, done their research, and rolled on down the highway. They left the north Georgia mountains in mid-October, riding 150-200 miles a day and camping at night. They picked up LocoTres somewhere in Missouri, who’d just spent the night in a state park loo after torrential rains and pummeling hail had soaked his clothes and sent him scrambling for shelter.
Along the way, the locos have found plenty of places to clean up and bunk down through the online social network, Couch Surfing, whose mission is to “create a better world, one couch at a time.” The locos have met people of all ages and backgrounds through this worldwide network, crashing on couches from Ohio to Oklahoma. More importantly, they’ve established new connections and have made new friends as they traveled across the country.
Locomototrip is on Facebook, too, the world’s largest online social network. As the locos “moto” across the U.S., their families and friends can stay in touch, and the friends they meet along the way can follow the locos online.
It is truly a small world (after all), and thanks to social networking, the world becomes smaller (and friendlier) every day.