How to Travel at Home

There are many travel blogs out there . . .

A lot of them will tell you about what it’s like to walk off a plane into some remote culture. The bliss that comes with eating fresh coconut on a beautiful beach in the Caribbean. You will read these things, and you will feel jealous. Wanderlust, itchy-feet, maybe you will relish their experience because it brings you back. Continue reading

The Scariest Part of Traveling, Part III: The Art of Saying Good-Bye

Even though I tried to prepare myself, even though I felt it coming, one cannot truly be ready to hear it . . .

Good-bye.

You never said those two syllables. They didn’t slip out of your lips and into the receiver. Your expansive vocabulary said it, but in a different way. Not in a definitive way. Not in a way that puts a period at the end. It was like a whisper, a secret. You never said it with words.

But you still did. Continue reading

How to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Whenever I leave to travel I do my best to be prepared for the best and the worst . . .

Usually a positive attitude and open mind suffice for making the best possible. Unfortunately travel–and the toll it takes on me–also makes me susceptible to the occasional bug, virus, or ailment of one form or another.

So here is what I travel with to take care of myself: Continue reading

Before You Go to Mesa Verde

The park ranger reminded me of an ancient alien theorist . . .

Maybe because my friends semi-jokingly insisted that the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde were built by them. Or because the striking ambiguity behind their claims.

“We will be descending into an alcove where these ancient people resided,” Is something along the line of how the speech started, “What do you do? Are you a doctor? Carpenter? Teacher, student, farmer? I want you to imagine what you do on a daily basis as you enter this place, because these people were living their lives much the same way we do.” Continue reading

5 Reasons Not to Call Yourself a “Gypsy”

Odds are if you are reading this you aren’t a Gypsy . . .

Not because Roma People (those referred to as Gypsy in English) don’t use computers or aren’t into what I have to say. It’s simply because by high estimates there are around 15 million Roma worldwide, or roughly .21% of the world population. So, if the number of people who visit this website is in any way indicative of the broader world that would mean 1.11 of you are Roma. The rest are not.

Here at Vagrant Anonymous we are in no way anti-Roma. In fact, we find the culture to be fascinating. A group of nomadic people, coming from a mysterious beginning in India, and slowly dispersing around the rest of the world over centuries is very interesting. The Roma have a unique story, history, and culture which I know very little about.

What I do know mostly comes from the internet, and it reminds me that the Roma have been subjected to forced assimilation, sterilization, and genocide; something all too reminiscent of the fate of many indigenous people from the ‘Americas’. Continue reading

Why You Should Take a Gap Year for Summer Vacation (And Maybe Never Come Back)

An average person graduating this year . . .

in the United States of America is expected to make $39,045 per year. If the class of 2015 is anything like the class of 2014 they will also have an average student loan debt of $33,000, with monthly payments of $242 until it is paid off in 2025, 10 years being the standard for college loans.

      Based on a very unofficial calculation of the U.S. Average cost of living (from M.I.T.’s Living Wage Calculator), a person should expect to pay $21,000 per year for basic expenses. This leaves the average person $1,261 per month ($15,132 annually) to save or indulge in other expenses. Let’s say this person graduates at the age of 25, works until the age of retirement 62, and doesn’t spend their money on anything beyond living expenses. They would have $559,884 saved up to retire with after 37 years of working (if they retire at the anticipated age for millennials, 55, they will have $453,960). Continue reading

Slow. Travel. Movement.

On Average, in one minute, a human heart beats 60 times . . .

71 planes take off, and 4,500 hamburgers are sold by the McDonald’s Corporation worldwide. All in one minute. Every minute, of every day, of every year.

Fast travel is fast food. There might not be as many flights per minute, the rate of traveling by plane, train, or ship might not have a direct correlation with heart disease and high cholesterol, and traveling isn’t food. Duh. But inasmuch as travel is brain food, nourishment for the soul, fast travel is fast food. It’s clogging our social arteries, ultimately slowing our capacity to connect with other cultures, along with understanding ourselves. Continue reading

Blame it on the Tetons

I work with the band Indigenous Robot…

as their tour manager. A perfect arrangement for a vagrant like myself and a band like them. Since I started helping them at last year’s South by South West, we have traveled through nine states, one Canadian province, four cities in Japan, and I have heard them place at least 80 times in 65 days. That’s an average of one show every five days.

Thursday night they played a great show in Denver at the Marquis Theater with the legendary mr. Gnome. The weekend was supposed to look like; Friday-10am drive to Salt Lake City and spend the night there, Saturday drive to Boise, play a sold out Record Store Day after-party at the Neurolux with mr. Gnome, Sunday the band would leave me in Boise to return to Denver and I would find my way to Seattle for the birth of my nephew.

Obviously, that isn’t anything close to what the weekend looked like, because we wanted to cross the Rockies in spring, and we had plans. Continue reading

Travel By Numbers

I’ve been in Denver for 23 days…

At this point I have worked 13 of those days. Three of them being 10 or more hours. Now, a lot of people might be thinking, 23 days is two days over three weeks, a work week is five days, so who’s this schmuck to get off writing about the difficulties of work?

It’s not work that I have picked up my notebook to write about. It is work with the absence of home, personal space, or stability that is on my mind.

So far, I have slept on three different couches and one bed between four apartments and houses. Continue reading

The Law of Attraction

I was a little nervous…

A friend—actually someone I had met through Couchsurfing. Once. Four years ago for maybe two hours. That kind of friend, the ones you meet and know, even though you barely know them. I had a crush on her back then too. So I was a little nervous when she contacted me out of the blue to say she was in Colorado and it would be nice to catch up.

Back in September I attended a 10-day silent meditation retreat. It was for a form of meditation called Vipassana. These are the teachings that Buddha passed down, so I am not going to attempt to teach them to you over 140 characters. Continue reading