Hopefully you watched or read @gashalffull account of what he went through at the end of part 1. From a parents perspective it was July 4th his mother and I are not afraid of a good time, we were carefree and well lubricated and where not paying attention to our phones and were as far away from a computer as you can get! I will never forget coming back from our deck from watching fireworks and checking my phone and what I see is something from facebook messenger, I’m not a heavy user of facebook messenger, text and what’s app text while he and his sister travel is the extent of my IM’s. Here is what it says:
4:30 PM Dad Are you there?
5:15 PM Dad Are you there?
5:37 PM Dad are you there?
MISSED – What’s app call missed from unknown unrecognized number from Spain
MISSED – What’s app call missed from unknown unrecognized number in Columbia
My first reaction…….. Ohhhhhhh Sh@t he’s been kidnapped, or dead, the frantic calling his phone, what’s app calling, texting, messaging no response…..mind racing now as I let his Mom know…..her mind racing now no answers on anything, she calls Columbian Embassy we call both unknown phone numbers talk to someone in broken English who hangs up, this is not good, look calm, try not to freak out for his mom, stay calm not to freak out myself. Desperately checking everything we can for 2 hours and right as the Columbian Embassy calls back I get a facebook messenger Dad are you there!!! YES YES YES I’m here, Dad I’m Ok for the circumstances, don’t worry , but I was robbed and a gun point and had a gun to my head and tied up and left on a beach…… I’m sore and shaken up but I’m OK……… Well he’s at least alive, the banditos left him Flaco and his passport and not much else. He says he needs to get some sleep and think about what he wants to do. Ok we are here! I’ll never not pay attention to my phone again…. Not much sleep and a night later he calls and lets us know more details and that his friend from college is arriving into Bogota in a few hours, so he is going to be with him and take in Columbia and figure out what he’s going to do. Thanks to his friend Lee who helped him put the pieces together and I’m sure with lots of liquid courage they had a fun week together, Joey decided what he is going to do. He is going to drive Flaco his Van to Ipiales which is a border town near the Ecuador border and he is going to get a bus back to Bogota to fly home. He is going to work when he gets back for 6-8 months in the hopes of saving enough money to go back to Flaco and finish his trip because he doesn’t want it to end like this… He doesn’t have a phone and he doesn’t have nav but he is going to show us what a millennial can do and he is going to get to Ipiales and back with no modern communication. We don’t hear much from him as he drives to Ipiales and arranges storage for his Van, we know we need to pick him up at the date and time at the airport but not much else….. it’s a lonnnngggg week we get a call the night before he is getting on a plane, he met an interesting guy who let him borrow his phone to let us know he was at the airport in Columbia and we will see him in 24 hours… Well that’s something he’s made it that far. We pick him up at LAX and he looks like a 70’S album cover, a little weathered a little worn a little scared but still the same kid…. We drive by PECLA and he talks to his coworkers friends and boss this is a Thursday and they welcome him back and he starts on Monday! That’s quite a shock for someone who was traveling for 7 months with a top speed of about 60 MPH….
He is the same person as when he left, but he startles easy and you can see he doesn’t sleep well which is totally understandable. He is wounded and not dead and for this I am eternally grateful. He goes about his job, during the week he lives out of an old pickup we call Bambi and as he describes it it looks like a shed on wheels…. It’s an interesting dichotomy from his day job and the cars he drives but he is committed to saving money to get back to Flaco, get back to finish his journey, and I believe to heal himself. His journey for 98% percent of the time was a great one and I am so thankful we got him some training from Ed Calderon who is a friend who is now famous from the Joe Rogan podcast, you can read about him here https://www.edsmanifesto.com/about he is a good man with a weird and wild sense of humor that I think is because of all the crazy things he has seen, I truly believe Joey is alive today because of this guy and his training and also the thinking training and mental prep of @tackerdan who is a family friend and a survival trainer and a Navy Seal. https://www.facebook.com/knowyourresources/
Some cool car stuff and charity from episode 1.