Monday, November 24, 2008

Are The Goals Our Own

We work toward goals that are not our own. The new car that is only needed because the commercial says we must trade in the "old" one after three years. The house that has to be a little bigger than the neighbor's, even though only two people will live in it. The guitar that we only know four chords for so that we can brag about "playing".
We tie ourselves down with notes and mortgages and credit card debt and insurance plans and service contracts. And when we dream of travel, it becomes just that; a dream. We have 19 more months on the cell phone contract, 9 more months on the insurance, 62 payments on the credit cards and 28 years on the mortgage. And despite shoveling out thousands of dollars each month for years, we don't own anything.
If we stick with it long enough, we'll own the car for six months before trading it in for the yoke of another note.
We fight and bleed and sacrifice and die for our freedom only to willingly throw it away as we shackle ourselves to decades of a career that we're sure we can't live without but we're not sure why.

From all your herds, a cup or two of milk,
From all your granaries, a loaf of bread,
In all your palace, only half a bed,
Can man use more? And do you own the rest?
~Ancient Sanskrit Poem

Random Thoughts

I'm tired of the hum-drum of "civilized" life. There's so much noise. So much chaos. So many responsibilities to chores that do not matter. The greatest emphasis is placed on the most trivial of activities. Everything is loud and everyone is in a rush to be someplace else. We're constantly traveling but never arriving, and at the end of the day we just collapse from the exhaustion of doing nothing.
Time is being stolen at an alarming rate and everyone seems content with it. When asked "what's going on?" everyone replies with the same answer. "Same old shit, different day". How pathetic we are that we allow our lives to pass us by and the most exciting thing we can recount is that we did the same thing today as we did yesterday.

"Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life?"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Why would I want to do this? Why would I wish to sell everything except what I can carry on my back and roam aimlessly? Why would I live as a vagrant when I have a good job?

The answer is simple: I wish to discover. I believe that there are places much more majestic, pure and beautiful than ANYTHING that can be found in a travel brochure. I believe that the best places to visit are often those that are rarely visited. There is so much out there that can only be found by accident.

If you look at a map of Southwest Louisiana, you'll notice a peculiar bulge in the Houston River east of Highway 27. But no such bulge exists at that part of the river. Every map I've seen shows a large, round swell where the river suddenly widens. But it's not like that at all. There's an island there. In the middle of the river is a small island and the river flows around it. You can't find that island on the map, but you can camp out on it.

I found that island by mistake, paddling down the river when I was 17. I discovered it. A thousand people knew about it before me, but no one had ever told me about it. I found it on my own, on a river I'd paddled on many times before.

Remembering that island, I can't help but think of all the interesting places that don't exist on maps or in travel brochures. I want to find places like that on accident. I want to discover them myself.

“And to think, there are still places in the world where man has not been, where he has left no footprints, where the mysteries stand secure, untouched by human eyes. I want to go to these places, the quiet, timeless, ageless places, and sit, letting silence and solitude be my teachers.” ~Evan Tanner

Thursday, August 28, 2008

About the Trip

In 2009 I plan to set out on a 3-12 month adventure, exploring as much of the United States as I possibly can as I roam from place to place. There will be no plotted course and no schedule. There will be no itinerary or list of stops. Only the open road and the endless possibilities that come with the freedom of such unconventional means of travel. I'll hike to towns and cities I've never seen before and hitchhike across states I've never visited. I'll sleep in clumps of trees and beneath overpasses to save money. I'll shower in truck stops and bathe in streams. I'll be a vagrant, a wanderer, a vagabond. But as a poor guy, unrestrained by career and schedule, I'll travel more in a matter of months than many wealthy people will in years.

"Long term travel requires only that we walk through the world in a more deliberate way." ~Rolf Potts