When Mike McIntyre found his job and life so far to be unfulfilled, he decided to make a move. He steps away from his job, his home, and his girlfriend. As an experiment in human kindness, Mike decided to hitchhike from San Fransisco to Cape Fear North Carolina with only his back pack. He would take no money and accept no money along the way, only food and shelter.
The result was unpredictable. Along the way Mike found his way on to a talk show. He stays in homes of those who have nothing and those who have plenty, he spends time with drug addicts, abused and used people, families, and loners. Many times he finds shelter in homes or in a tent. A few times he battles the elements of weather.
Mike comes out of this experience as a changed man, one who knows more about the society we live in, the generous and the not, probably more than most of us do.
I didn’t love it.
When I picked up this audio I had visions of WILD and struggling through the elements trying to find yourself and that was not this listen. AND maybe, that is my issue that I did not find it to be the hardship I was expecting, the life changing experiment… and that is on me.
What I did find was that for the most part people are still caring and generous. Mike rarely goes hungry. Often he is taken to homes for meals as well as out to restaurants. Many times he accepts a meal just so not to be rude although he is not really hungry. There are times he turns down food to take with him as he does not have the ability to carry it.
It was interesting to hear about the different people he stayed with, but I was turned off by some of the dialogue he included in the book. I did not need to know about sexual escapades of those he stayed with. I did not need to know about those who were hoping for a little more from Mike or his attraction to one of the women he stayed with. I felt that took away form the main story.
I did find it interesting how the faith community reacted to him, where often he was not allowed to stay in the churches themselves, they usually offered him a place to stay including a few times, hotels.
Overall, I did not walk away from this one with any “AHA” moment. I was also surprised to learn that this journey took place almost 20 years ago where I thought I was hearing about a recent journey.