This is the next installment of how I came to work with Bill and Dan Denning at The Agora more than 15 years ago. (Catch up on previous installments here.)
I was a subscriber to Bill’s e-letter at the time. I loved it so much, I wrote to Bill and told him I’d quit my job at Salomon Brothers in London and come work for him for free.
Addison, our colleague at the business, got back to me. He told me their newsletter wasn’t hiring but to keep in touch. I quit my job anyway and flew to Mexico City in search of adventure.
To make things interesting, I didn’t take any money with me. Not a penny. My mother was so worried about this, she cried at the airport and tried to give me a credit card “for emergencies.”
I traveled from Mexico City to Mazatlán, a port city on Mexico’s Pacific coast, by hitchhiking, riding a freight train, and sleeping outdoors. In Mazatlán, I snuck past security and onto a ship that was taking long-haul truckers across the sea to Baja California.
When I emerged from my hiding place – a crawl space at the back of the ship – I found truck drivers gathered around a little canteen on deck, drinking and eating.
I couldn’t buy anything. I ate leftovers from trays that hadn’t been cleared…
The truckers partied all night… playing loud salsa music and drinking so much beer they overflowed the ship’s dumpster with cans.
I slept on the metal deck.
In the morning, we docked at Cabo San Lucas. The drunk truckers got in their trucks and drove away. I walked off the boat and stuck out my thumb…
It took me three or four days of hitchhiking to get to San Diego. I slept outside. I caught rides with a doctor, a club owner, the supervisor at a salt factory, and several truck drivers, one of whom brought me across the border.
My brother drove me from San Diego to Las Vegas. In Vegas, I caught a ride on an eastbound freight train by climbing into the cab of a locomotive with the engineer and the brakeman.
To be continued…