Roadside Chinese

State: Florida

Today I got up and found a rather large spider in my boot.

Law of survival: always check your boots before you put them on.

I packed up and headed out. As I was walking I decided I wouldn’t spend any money on food the rest of the week because I was alright on my road food (almonds, tuna fish, jerky, ect) and I had splurged a bit on eating out at subway and such. Then if I made it to the end of the week, I would treat myself to chinese food, which I’d been craving for quite a while.

The reason I did this is because I’m keenly aware of how much money I have at any given point in time because my income is fan funding from those that like my stories and any jobs I get along the way. So with $157.00 to my name at that point I was alright, but budgeting and being careful so that I could continue my journey.

After walking for a few hours, my pack began to seep into my shoulders and my legs begged me for a break, which I obliged.

Sitting on the side of the road, I was checking my progress on my GPS when I noticed this van pull off to the side of the road opposite me. I was getting ready to check and see if they had a flat or needed any help when this kid crosses the road and says to me:

“Hi Sir, I’ve got this chinese and I’m not gonna eat it and I figured you could have it,” he said handing me a full box of chinese food.

My first thought was “No way.”

“Wow, thank you,” I said.

“Oh, and I’ve got some chips and drinks I want you to have too,” he said handing me a full bag of food and drinks.

I was dumbstruck and could only repeat myself.

“Wow, thank you so much!”

“Oh, and tell you what. Here I want you to have this too,” he said and handed me $40.

It was at this point you couldn’t wipe the grin off my face if you tried.

“Man, thank you so much!” I said and hugged him.

“No problem man,” he said brushing it off as if it was no big deal.

“My name is Seth. What’s your name?”

“Martin.”

“Well Martin, I’m a writer and you’re going to be in my daily story tonight and my book,” I said handing him my business card.

“Also what was your mom’s name?” I asked because she was driving.

“Erika,” he said.

We crossed the road so I could thank Erika as well. We talked a little and I told her about my trip. I thank them both again and told them how incredible this was because I had been craving chinese and that there was no doubt in my mind it was God that sent them. I thanked them again and crossed the road and sat down to enjoy my roadside chinese (special delivery). When I noticed Erika pull over to my side of the road and waved me over.

“That last one was from him. This one is from me,” she said handing me $100.

“Wha…are you sure?”

“Absolutely, God works in mysterious ways. We were going to AT&T today, but the store was closed. So we went to the one at the mall. Then we decided to get Chinese. Martin said he wasn’t that hungry and that he’d eat it at home. But then he saw you and said ‘lets give it to him’. And you won’t find many kids his age that will do that.”

“I seriously can’t thank you guys enough. But I can tell you this. I’ve got a lot of people praying for me and you have no idea how much you’re going to be blessed for this. Especially, when I tell this story.”

Erika smiled “Yeah, I know faith is important. I lost two kids and Martin had Meningitis when he little. He wasn’t supposed to be able to walk or anything. But I had faith. It was hard and I’ve had my lows, but Gods got me in a high place in my life and I know he would want me to help you out.”

After many more thank yous and a promise that they would be in my daily story, Erika and Martin left me on the side of the road, not just with a box of chinese, a full bag of food, and $140, but one of the best stories of my trip so far.

So I’m asking all of my fans to say a prayer of blessing for Erika and Martin because they are truly good people who deserve to be blessed a million fold for what they did for me today.

But the day doesn’t end there.

After I sat on the roadside eating my chinese and unable to stop grinning, I tried calling my whole family to tell them what just happened. Of course with good news you can never get a hold of anybody.

Once I told a few people and finished my chinese, I got back on the road. A few more miles in, this guy on a Harley pulls over and it was Hugh from the Laundromat the other day (him and his wife Karen gave me $6 for laundry a few days prior).

We got talking and Hugh said he’d seen my posts and that I was still in the area and when he saw me he thought he’d come say hi.

Hugh told me that he was a Marine Biologist and worked in the school system, but was retired now.

“Yeah, I was gonna see if you were going to be in the area for a while. Cause we could take you out on the boat and show you around.”

I told Hugh that I’d definitely take him up on that when I got back to Florida on my trip, since I wanted to be in Maine in May. He also mentioned he could get me work on a crab boat, when I told him about how I get jobs in every state.

We talked awhile longer and another car stopped by. A man got out and introduced himself as Carl.

“Yeah, I saw you backpacking there and I figured if you were still there when I got back I’d come and say hello.”

I introduced myself and Hugh said that he looked familiar. Turns out they were neighbors and didn’t know it.

After we swapped some stories, I said goodbye to each of them and continued down the road.

Then this car slowed beside me and asked me what I was doing.

“Backpacking across America, all 50 states.” I said.

“That’s awesome,” the guy said pulling away because there were other cars behind them.

I ran into them further down the road at a Gas station.

“So hurry up and tell us your story,” the woman said.

I told them what I was doing and the awesome day I had. Then Nancy and Michael, gave me $5. I thanked them and gave them my businesses card.

“We’ll follow you (online). Stay safe and make sure to hydrate,” Nancy said.

Right as they left, the car behind them pulls up to me and the guy (Rono) hands me a buck and said “God’s already blessing me for giving you this.”

I thanked him and handed him my business card, which he had me sign.

“You’re gonna be rich one day,” Rono said.

“In memories, I already am man,” I said.

“That’s right my man,” Rono said giving me a fist bump.

I thanked him again and then left the gas station and continued on my way. After a few more miles, I stopped at another gas station to throw away my trash and that’s when I met Shank and Kat.

Continued in “Backpacking to Bikers” blog post.

Forever your friend,

~The Outsider

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