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Name: Jim
Age: 55
From: Fairbanks, Alaska, USA.

What does he do?

He’s a cook in a public hospital and nursing home. He is currently traveling in Vietnam on bicycle.

Where did we meet him?

He found us actually. Over the Tet break we were cleaning our bikes in our hotel lobby. Jim came up and started talking to Kat. He had landed in Saigon about 2 weeks earlier with his bike all boxed up but when he arrived and saw the traffic he chickened out and left the bike in the box…… until he met us that is.

His story....

He was born in Philadelphia and escaped being drafted into the Vietnam war by a year. In his early twenties he went traveling and ended up in Alaska. He went back to Philly got his girlfriend whom he later married and started life in Alaska.

Initially he got jobs working on the huge oil pipeline that was being built in Alaska from the fields to the coast. As he says “Too much bullshit was going on” and he left. He is a man of few words so he did not divulge too much about his personal life. Though he did tell me that he is now divorced from his wife…. which is why he is able to travel quite frequently now. He has two kids, a son who just graduated from college and a daughter that still lives in Fairbanks.

He had only done one other bike tour before in Hawaii. He did this alone and it sounded quite crazy to be honest. He was setting off at noon at the hottest time of the day and riding into the night, sometimes not even knowing where he was going. Well we cyclist are a crazy bunch!

We ended up inviting Jim to ride out of Saigon with us. He said he will think about it, next day he was back 3 times looking for us but we were out. The following day I took him to a local bike shop to get the bike serviced and he looked like he was gaining confidence on the roads. He finally said he will join us and we caught a bus out of Saigon to avoid the traffic part of the way to Dalat. Amazingly on the second day of riding up to the hill town of Bao Loc we lost him!! We tried finding him once we got to Bao Loc with no luck…

We wish him the best of luck on his travels…..