The Way Around

Nomadism: On not being sorry about anything | Wayfaring Tech Nomad


A lot of people ask me the same two questions over and over again: "How can I be a travel writer?" or "How can I become a nomad?"

The answer to both questions is the same: In order to live a life that is epic and exactly as you want it, no matter what that looks like, you basically have to not give a fuck about what anyone has to say or thinks about how you live your life. At the end of the day, you are the one who has to be happy with yourself.

I've been traveling full time since I took my readers here along with me to Doha, Qatar, when I got a TED scholarship to go in April 2012. Since that time, I've been to five countries and all over the continental U.S. The rad, epic, crazy, fun, adventurous, far-flung experiences I've had are basically innumerable. How do I do it? I just GO.

A lot of it comes down to changing priorities to travel above (almost) all else: Just do it and don't be sorry about it, at all, ever. If someone wants to gaze down because they have a different standard of living, that's their problem. Why? Because your life will be awesome and exactly as you want it. Everything else falls into place.

As an example, I'll use my "Buying legal weed in Colorado with a North Carolina" ID post. I got some comments on Twitter practically condemning me for doing the piece because, according to their beliefs, marijuana is a gateway drug - regardless of the fact that anyone who's ever been around it knows that it's not. If people are going to get addicted, they're going to get addicted, MJ or not.  I'm a travel writer and I just happened to be in a state where a noteworthy event happened - so I wrote about it. This is part of the gig that is also my life. Was I able to sleep that night? Absolutely. Was I sorry at all? NOPE.

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People are entitled to their opinions, and aspiring nomads need to know that they are, too. It seems so simple, but people complicate it with excuses. Perhaps it's the human condition. If you want to be a nomad/travel writer/pilot/live on a boat/go off the grid/whatever, do what you've got to do because at the end of every day, you're the only one that can make a happier, less lonely, or perhaps more traveled life.

Road worn...

Tiredness. We all experience it, just some of us more often than others. Nomads are no exception.

There's a concept called road-worn and it's an exhausted tiredness that isn't homesickness, but close, that nomads pick up after significant time on the road. It is often relieved by time with friends, some time with a power plug and an internet connection, and a comfortable bed. When you're traveling you can't always get the things you need and hanging out with your phone only makes things worse.

Make time for the nothing to happen.

Road-worn also shows itself on a person's outward appearance, if it's serious. Ever meet a happy long-term traveller and wonder how they stay so care free and light but then there are people who are on the same path who are heavy and pensive in their nature? The size of one's burden from the road is what causes that. It's the fire that makes some people cool, carefree gypsies and others frightened and borderline homeless.

The road will drape herself across your shoulders if you allow. Invisibility, freedom, fear, or madness; It's up to you which kind of cloak you want to be.

Hallowed...

This beautiful portrait is credited to Kevin J. Beaty!

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

The idea of up-rooting and embarking on a long-term travel adventure seems pretty much crazy to most people yet so many wish they say they could do it. Or, at least they say they wish they could.   Why?

Freedom.

Freedom to roam, freedom to run towards or run away, freedom to be who we are, etc.  

It's important to always remember that we paint ourselves into the corners of our own boxes when it comes to the things we believe we should or should not do. When you find yourself on the edge, wanting to travel to get away from or fix a situation that is yielding unhappiness because you should or should not do something, all you need to do is remember that you did this to yourself... 

 ...which means you can also un-do it to yourself if you're unhappy. You can travel anywhere, for as long as you want, change, or both, you just have to want to bad enough.

I'd argue that perhaps the majority of people embark on the journeys of their lifetime after breaking out of a jail cell of unhappiness.  Not everyone, of course, but many, many people.   During my travels I've come across many a-folk who speak with reverence about the time they spent on the road some time in their life. They talk about it like being in a love affair. As if it's a lover you'll never get closure with; The one that got away, if you will.

Being on the road  means restless searching, perpetual curiosity, and the unquenchable thirst for experience. It's true that eventually everyone stops traveling eventually but that doesn't make the time spent any less hallowed.  

Freedom is a mindset just like being on the road is or being happy is. So, when you think you've gone off course with your life or travel plans, when find yourself unhappy, or when you have lost the freedom to be yourself for whatever reason, remember that none are far off, you just have to seek them to get back on track. 

 <3

Ever wonder what I do for a living?

What's this video all about?

 I'm a candidate for Jauntaroo's Chief World Explorer!   

"The announced Top 50 Candidates will be a blended selection of popular support and those exhibiting excellent qualifications," their website says. I feel like I've got the qualifications, now I need your vote! 

There's no sign up, no info you have to put in to vote, just click the red LIKE button like the one on the left  once every 24 hours for yours truly!

Please and thank you in advance, everyone! It's support like this that has taken me this far and for that I am certainly appreciative! 

<3

Long Term Travel Truth: Relationships Suffer || Wayfaring Tech Nomad

It is so difficult to strike a balance between keeping relationships and losing them when traveling indefinitely. 

As a solo nomad, one of the worst things you deal with is loneliness. Eventually you want to go "home." But dealing with the loneliness is even more difficult than the feeling itself because, if you travel long enough, home becomes nowhere. Or worse, everywhere. What should one do when everything, everywhere has tiny remnants of home but it's... just... not?

It's easy to slip into feeling spread thin and to be desperate for that comfortable feeling and warm smell of "home."

So, what should be done? Seeking short-term company only does so much for the soul, and connecting via computer screens just isn't the same. Here are some "avoid being lonely principals" I have learned from 14 months on the road:

I don't have any answers, but I wish that I did. All I have to give is the truth: that your relationships with other people will suffer as you learn to suffer less at the hands of loneliness.

Read the rest of Long Term Travel Truth: Relationships Suffer || Wayfaring Tech Nomad

  

 

Good at being alone...

If you are at first lonely, be patient.
If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.
We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books; you’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there.
There is also the gym, if you’re shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in.
Then there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.
And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.
Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles.
The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by chow downers, employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town, and they, like you, will be alone.
Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.
When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner; a restaurant with linen and Silverware. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo desert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.
Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.
And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching because they’re probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats, is after-all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. Down your back, like a book of blessings.
Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might have never happened had you not been there by yourself. 
Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile nobody is dating them.
But lonely is a freedom that breathes easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.
You can stand swathed by groups and mobs or hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company.
But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them maybe lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those “sappy slogans” from pre-school over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay.
Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay.
It’s okay if no one believes like you, all experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relieved, keeps things interesting, life’s magic things in reach, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it.
Take silence and respect it.
If you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.
You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it.
If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it.
There is heat in freezing, be a testament.
- Tanya Davis

 

All that no one sees..

Portrait by Kevin J. Beaty

Each spring, for many years, I have set myself the task of writing a personal statement of belief: a Credo. When I was younger, the statement ran for many pages, trying to cover every base, with no loose ends. It sounded like a Supreme Court brief, as if words could resolve all conflicts about the meaning of existence.The Credo has grown shorter in recent years - sometimes cynical, sometimes comical, and sometimes bland - but I keep working at it. Recently I set out to get the statement of personal belief down to one page in simple terms, fully understanding the naïve idealism that implied.

The inspiration for brevity came to me at a gasoline station. I managed to fill my old car's tank with super deluxe high-octane go-juice. My old hoopy couldn't handle it and got the willies - kept sputtering out at intersections and belching going downhill. I understood. My mind and my spirit get like that from time to time. Too much high-content information, and I get the existential willies. I keep sputtering out at intersections where life choices must be made and I either know too much or not enough. The examined life is no picnic.

I realized then that I already know most of what's necessary to live a meaningful life - that it isn't all that complicated. I know it. And have known it for a long, long time. Living it - well that's another matter, yes? Here's my Credo:

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don't hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don't take things that aren't yours.

Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.

Flush.

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are - when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

- Robert L. Fulghum. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

In no time you'll be fine...

At what point does one

stop living somewhere and start living everywhere?

-

The thing about that is you have to want to

regardless of the sacrifices you must inevitably make.

<3

Write a book,

go to school,

save a life,

learn a language of a land,

love a little bit harder.

-

Oh, its just a matter of time,

'cause I ain't afraid to fail. 

Can't you tell I want it all?

-

I just want the whole world.

-

I do it all without a co-sign.

My fucking mind is a gold mine.

- Miguel ...All

We will sing the world...

Mono Lake, California

Silver Fox and Coyote Create Earth

Back then, Silver Fox was the only one living. There was no earth, only water. Silver Fox walked along through the fog, feeling lonely. So she began to sing:

I want to meet someone, I want to meet someone, I want to meet someone, I want to meet someone.

So she sang and then she met Coyote.

"I thought I was going to meet someone," Silver Fox said.

"Where are you traveling?" "Where are you traveling?" Coyote said. "Why are you traveling like this?"

"I am traveling because I am lonely," Silver Fox said.

"I am also wandering around," said Coyote" 

"Then it is better for two people to travel together," Silver Fox said. Then as they traveled, Silver Fox spoke.

"This is what I think," Silver Fox said. "Let's make the world."

"How will we do that?" Coyote said. 

"We will sing the world," said Silver Fox.

So the two of them began to sing and to dance. They danced around in a circle and Silver Fox thought of a clump of sod. Let it come, Silver Fox, thought, and then that clump of sod was there in Silver Fox's hands. Silver Fox threw it down into the fog and they kept on singing and dancing.

"Look down," Silver Fox said, "do you see something there below us?"

"I see something," Coyote said, "But it is very small."

"Then let us close our eyes and keep dancing and singing," said Silver Fox.

And that was what they did. They danced and sang and beneath them Earth took shape.

"Look down now," Silver Fox said. Coyote looked  down.

"I see it," said Coyote. "It is very big now. It is big enough."

Then the two of them jumped down onto Earth. They danced and sang and stretched it out even more. They made everything on Earth, the valleys and the mountains and rivers and the lakes, the pines and the cedars and the birds and the animal people.

That was what they did way back then.

Joseph Bruchac

Do before you die: Ride Indian outlaw style | Wayfaring Tech Nomad

It's not a stretch to find freedom on a motorcycle. Tons of people do it. Not everyone's all Sons of Anarchy'd out — many are just fans of the road, and that's the crowd I found myself with during my most recent trip to the Morongo Indian Reservation in California last week. I had the opportunity to hop on the back of a hog and wahoo! This is totally something to do before you die.

While I don't recommend Facebooking photos live from the back of said hog like a new media badass, nor filming your shit-eatin' grin while you're doing it (because you might not be as lucky as I was to only almost lose your phone), if you ever get the chance to get on the open road on a bike, DO IT. Especially if that opportunity brings you to sacred Indian land because the untouched beauty is unparalleled. You will never be the same.

Read the rest! Do before you die: Ride Indian outlaw style | Wayfaring Tech Nomad.

Filled to the top with fear...

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The flower and the feather

together in a sack

hardly touching one another

peer forward, never looking back

___

Baggage; heavy on the shoulders, stuffed to the brim

___

 The cut flower, no water

it's softness unrefined

urgent, sweetness is all it knows

has no time to be undermined

___

Vane; the path to the sky these days is looking grim

___

The plucked, pretty pennaceous

known for beauty and light

once floated so serenely, a shame

no longer lifting, giving flight

___

Bloom; no time for the feather, lest it wilt on a whim

___

Yet still, in the sack they sit

Camouflaged, delicate

traversing the land, imminent

neither aware that they're different

Might as well fall in...

[ push play, then read ]

 I once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet but an unplanned series of unfortunate events saw those dreams dashed and divided like a million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again, sparkling and broken. But, I didn't really mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted then losing it to know what true freedom is.
When the people I used to know found out about what I'd been doing and how I'd been living they asked me why but there's no use talking to people who have a home. They have no idea what it's like to seek safety in other people, for home to be wherever you lie your head.
I was always an unusual girl.
My mother told me I had a chameleon soul, no moral compass pointing to the North, no fixed personality, just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide and unwavering as the ocean.
And if I said I didn't plan for it to turn out this way I'd be lying because I was born to be the other woman. I belonged to no one who belonged to everyone; Who had nothing, who wanted everything with a fire for every experience and an obsession with freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn't even talk about and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both tasseled and dizzied me.
Every night I used to pray that I'd find my people and finally I did on the open road. We had nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore except to make our lives into a work of art. Live fast, die young, be wild and have fun. I believe in the country America used to be. I believe in the person I want to become. I believe in the freedom of the open road and my motto is the same as ever. I believe in the kindness of strangers and when I'm at war with myself I ride. I just ride. 
Who are you? Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies? Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them? I have. I am fucking crazy but I am free.

- Lana Del Rey

The minor fall and the major lift...

[ ... of my turquoise tinted life.]

Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth, I believe. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it.

He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it. He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind. He ought to recollect the glare of noon and all the colors of the dawn and dusk.

For we are held by more than the force of gravity to the earth. It is the entity from which we are sprung, and that into which we are dissolved in time. The blood of the whole human race is invested in it. We are moored there, rooted as surely, as deeply as are the ancient redwoods and bristlecones.

- N. Scott Momaday

Chicago

Hong Kong

NYC

Estes Park

DC

Covina

Kow Loon

Charlotte

Mojave Desert

Train travel out of Charlotte is borderline orgasmic | Wayfaring Tech Nomad

Hate how hopping on a plane removes you from the world? Want to travel but can't afford the time away from emails, phone and the regular business day happenings? Well, rejoice in knowing there's a way to slow down but not fully stop while traveling. Because, really, who can stand being so disconnected and all cramped on a plane when you have so many things to do?On the very random opportunity to ride Amtrak's Carolinian from Charlotte to D.C. this past weekend, I hopped on the train at the buttcrack of dawn and am simply elated at what I discovered: everything a person needs and wants to keep going while getting out of dodge.

Remember the fog the other morning? Here's what it looked like from the train outside of Salisbury, which was the highlight of my trip:

 Salisbury, NC foggy & beautiful

Salisbury, NC foggy & beautiful

The ride is scenic, accompanied by free wifi, power outlets for all, no distractions — unless you want them — and ubiquitous cell coverage for the entirety of the trip. It begs the questions: Why wouldn't you want to take a train?

Seriously... :) Read the rest by yours truly, if you're into it:  Train travel out of Charlotte is borderline orgasmic | Wayfaring Tech Nomad.