Little John: I graduated when I was sixteen. I went to military school. My mom told me when I got home, “now that you graduated, you have thirty days to find a job.” So I got a job. I started dish washing at a family owned, all you can eat, seafood restaurant. I told her I got the job. She said, “good, I’m proud of you. Now you got thirty days to move out.” So, you know, I’m sixteen. I can’t sign a lease or anything like that.
So, jump forward about four years. I started working for Five Guys. I already had management experience at that time so I went straight into management with them. I worked for them for seven and a half years. I took off for two months [took a leave] to help my grandparents build their house in Alabama.
I came back here to see my mom and came here [the neighborhood where I met him] to score. I met some travelers. I didn’t even know people did that. Hung out with them all day and asked, “hey, can I come with you?” I dropped everything. I cancelled the lease on my apartment. I turned my Mini Cooper back in and walked away from a job making $38,000 per year with monthly and quarterly bonuses.
Little John: It was appealing. I’ve been to all the lower forty-eight states now, all by train. It’s just like anything else. It’s got it’s ups and downs. The people that you travel with, that’s your family, you know. When you’re with them, all you got to do is worry about what’s in front of you. You don’t have to worry about what’s behind you because your homies got you. It’s the very definition of freedom.
BW: Was there any time that was particularly scary?
Little John: Just leaving. Just 100% letting go. I’ve always been about structure and stability. Just being able to walk away from it was the hardest part.