Canadian 20-somethings Jillian Mann and Kyla Trethewey traveled Louisiana’s byways recently pulling a fixed-up vintage travel trailer named Bobby Jean, an homage to Bruce Springsteen’s wild girl who left town to find adventure on his “Born in the USA” album.
Driving their mechanically temperamental, money-pit station wagon, the two did what people young and old wish they could — embark on a six-month road trip across the United States.
Taking it to the extreme, the pair had two goals: never make plans and never pay for a place to stay. That meant nights in junk yards and national parks, and on the couches of newfound friends, like Dave Mooney and his partner Penni Guidry, of Baton Rouge, each old-time trailer aficionados.
Mann and Trethewey watched the fog roll in over the Mississippi River, had an up-close encounter with alligators, witnessed their first jazz funeral and enjoyed Southern hospitality at its finest. Along the way, the two posted photographs of their journey on their website, Our Wild Abandon, and grew an Instagram following to more than 59,000.
“We’ve both always been drawn to Louisiana and don’t believe there’s anywhere else like it in the world, especially not in Canada,” the two wrote. “It’s more than ‘Duck Dynasty’ or the French Quarter.”
Not making plans has consequences. Baton Rouge became the turn-around point for Mann and Trethewey. They have one month left on their six-month travel visa to make it home. And not crossing the border in time means risking being banned from the U.S. altogether.
They will be back.
Not trusting the reliability of their station wagon to pull Bobby Jean the long haul home, the pair left their vintage trailer behind.
“It’s been a crazy ride, and it’s not over,” the duo wrote. “We will be back and this wild abandon will continue. We just consider ourselves fortunate to have been able to get this far.”