“The fence is a symbol for people who care about national security, not something that actually stops people from crossing,” said Marentes, who runs a center for migrant workers on the U.S. side of the border. Bureaucrats in Washington “don’t know the border,” he said. “It’s a community you can’t separate.”
More than 2.5 million people make up the Juarez-El Paso-Las Cruces, N.M., metro area, which labels itself the largest binational region in the world. The border region is indivisible. El Paso’s downtown is staffed by workers who walk across the border every morning. Students from Juarez receive in-state tuition at the University of Texas-El Paso.
Sunland Park, New Mexico across from Juarez, Mexico. March 2018
Quotes and context taken from the LA Times.
Leaving Florida was an adventure in itself. We went from plan A to plan B to plan C, leaving Saul Goodvan at the shop and continuing on in any way possible. First, we rented a car and headed to New Orleans. From there, we hopped onto the Sunset Limited, the train line that’s run from New Orleans to Los Angeles since 1894. 30 hours later, and we stepped off the train and into El Paso, Texas.
Along the way, we met fellow wanderers, fellow artists, and fellow eye-mask-wearing, tossing-turning, exhausted coach passengers. We spent almost all of our ride in the observation car, looking out the panoramic windows at the changing scenery. From the Louisiana swamps into the flat of Texas, we fell asleep in San Antonio and woke along the Mexico border in Big Bend country.
This morning the sun rose as we ate breakfast in the dining car at a family style table, chatting with a traveler about her days protesting Vietnam and her fear for the future. By the time we disembarked we’d heard the stories of Maggie, a former schoolteacher from Arkansas who had “gypsy in [her] blood,” a large format photographer from Prescott, Arizona, a bartender from Austin who had escaped the SXSW scene for the tourism of NOLA, and a father sharing his love of travel with his son.
As we settle into El Paso, we’ll be sharing more photos and more stories from our time in New Orleans, as well as from those 30 hours on the Sunset Limited.
Sunset Limited Amtrak line, Texas. March 2018.
There’s no other city like New Orleans…
New Orleans, Louisiana. Saint Patricks Day, 2018.
If you’re looking for the Tendency to Wander email, you can sign up here. In the meantime, here’s our most recent dispatch from the road.
It’s been a while since we sent out a general update, so we thought we’d fill you in.
We arrived in Florida in December and quickly realized that, yes, life without snow is better than life with snow. (You can fight us on this one, but you won’t win. We’re team temperate weather.)
We’ve had quite a few adventures in the Sunshine State, ranging from mud bogging to alligator wrestling to Daytona Bike Week. It’s been pretty great.
We were heading to El Paso, Texas in February when Saul Goodvan decided he had other plans and quit running.
Since powering Saul like a Flinestone vehicle failed, we scheduled an engine replacement.
Six weeks later, and the update from the shop is: the old engine is out, the new, rebuilt engine is in, and the new engine is actually … broken.
We’re waiting for more news from the shop, and we’re brainstorming next steps: do we fly to El Paso? Rent a car and head temporarily west? Do we take a bus to New Orleans and a train to El Paso? Do we stick around Florida as we wait for Saul to recover? Suffice to say Saul will be washing dishes and raking leaves the rest of his van life to pay off the procedure, but we’re committed to getting back on the road.
Onward and upward. We’ll keep you posted.
Now, on to the fun stuff:
- TtW made our debut on the Bitter Southerner today with a story of Hoss, an ex-marijuana smuggler turned airboat captain we met in Everglades City. Read all about it here.
- Justin’s show, Constructed Scenery, is opening in Boston on April 6th. Come see us there from 6 - 9pm! The show will be hanging from April 6 to June 1 at Studio 229, 450 Harrison Avenue in Boston’s SoWa Arts District.
- We launched an Etsy shop, etsy.com/shop/TendencytoWander. Our mermaid greeting cards are available for purchase. They are going like hotcakes - we sold 1/3 of our inventory in 24 hours! - so don’t miss your chance!
And, as always, subscribing to Tendency to Wander via our Patreon is the best way to see photos, stories, and updates.
We’ve made our debut in the Bitter Southerner!
Two young Americans, traveling the nation gathering stories, encounter a true creature of Florida. Meet Hoss, an eighth-generation Evergladian who has only really ever left Florida for Vietnam and a brief stint in a Colombian prison. 👀 Jump on his airboat for a tour, and don’t mind the gators or those snakes falling out trees. Check out our story here.