(Jordi Romo in front of the Savannah Bungalow)
The summer after our freshman year of college, Manny biked across the entire United States — from Ocean City, Washington to Ocean City, Maryland, or well over 3,000 miles.
So he knew the signs. The overladen bike was an obvious one, but there were also the sock-lines on the too-tan legs, the exhaustion in the shoulders, the hungry look on the face.
Jordi Romo was sitting on a bench in downtown Savannah Friday afternoon when Manny approached him to learn about his journey. As he had suspected, Jordi was biking solo over a long distance — but he had no idea just how long this guy had been at it or how far he’d already come…
(Jordi enjoying some American fare in the backyard of the SB.)
That night we learned that Jordi, originally from Barcelona, had been working as a graphic designer when the economic downturn in Spain made him question the path he was on. He hatched a plan to embark on an around-the-world bike trip. He said goodbye to his loved ones and set off.
And as of today, Jordi has been at it for 1, 029 days — over 2 years and eight months. He has biked through 47 countries, mostly alone, and he is about three months from finishing his great adventure.
Jordi hasn’t been in the States yet for very long, and he’s traveling mainly up the east coast. Knowing his time here is limited, we decided to show him some of our finest customs, such as backyard barbecuing.
(Does it get anymore American than hotdogs with mac-and-cheese?)
(Manny and I are big fans of IPAs, and SweetWater is a Georgia staple. This was Jordi’s first IPA and he gave it good reviews.)
As with any good campfire, there were lots of stories. Jordi regaled us with tales of border crossings, ill-weather, and what it’s like to party in Tajikistan. We, in turn, filled him full of hotdogs and talked about Georgia and what it’s like to live in the American South.
One of the really great insights Jordi offered us, btw, is how this trip so far has shaped the way he thinks of his fellow humans. He said time and time again that the trip has really reinforced to him that people are good. Bad stuff happens when one travels, but every time Jordi has gotten in any sort of bind, some kind soul has showed up and helped him out. By and large, people are good. Life is good.
If you live on the east coast, keep an eye out for Jordi and invite him in — we can vouch for him. Regardless, check out his amazing website: Around the Ball. He writes in Spanish but the site has a handy translate function. It’s well organized, has tons of images, and a lot of *great* content. He writes everyday, and maintains the website often through his phone, if you can believe it.
Anyone else have exciting travel stories? Any encounters with great adventurers?