WEST CHAZY — Rob and Jaki Roy inherited traveling genes, which, in part, led them to establish Earthwood Building School in West Chazy 32 years ago.
Rob cruised with his parents through Haiti and Panama as a lad of 12. He still recalls the beauty of the tropical flora and fauna and a magical-lit sky. Jaki’s first adventures were with her four older siblings along the River Dee in her native England. When she was a teen, her parents sent her to France to improve her French.
In their latest book, “The Coincidental Traveler: Adventure Travel for Budget-minded Grown-ups,” they recount the roots of their experiential journeys, solo and together, and those of friends and family around the globe.
Quoting Paul Theroux in AFAR magazine’s May/June 2011 issue, they write: “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been; travelers don’t know where they’re going.”
They heartily embrace Theroux’s sentiment and came up with five philosophies to achieve travel goals:
▶ Getting to really know the country we are visiting, and its people.
▶ Doing exciting and adventurous things.
▶ Being good ambassadors for our country.
▶ Traveling responsibly, having a minimal impact on the planet and the places we visit.
▶ Traveling inexpensively.
If your travel plans center around a Hilton hotel or a Cunard cruise, Rob and Jaki are a little too authentic for you. Consummate backpackers, they prefer hostels, guest houses and couch surfing.
They just returned from a 15-day sojourn in the Virgin Islands.
“It’s a very expensive place,” Rob said. “We were able to keep it affordable and stay with friends on St. John who invited us and do some couch surfing on Water Island off St. Thomas. We went to www.couchsurfing.org. You put up a profile telling about yourself and read the profiles of people you’ll like to surf with. It’s free accommodations. It’s against the rules to charge anyone.”