The Scariest Part of Traveling, Part II

I don’t know which is scarier, the idea of ending my travels or saying goodbye…

The art of leaving. It takes a delicate touch saying goodbye.

People will tell you about the multitude of cultures that have no way of saying goodbye, as if it means leaving doesn’t exist to them. But it does. Leaving is human nature. And sometimes human nature is difficult. Human history has been one long practice in leaving.

It only takes one breath.

Two syllables.

Goodbye

I’ve become almost too accustomed to leaving. Saying goodbye. That’s what travel can do to a person. First it hurt. Deep, deep down it hurt to say, to leave. The hurt came from the immersion into impermanence it is to travel. Leaving a place is the acceptance of a different presence, one void of the familiarity one knows. Leaving might mean forever. That’s a long time. And that’s scary. Continue reading

A Seminarian, runner and traveler walk into a bar . . .

No, I’m not setting up a joke . . .

This is my life. When Jack asked me if I was interested in writing a piece about the intersection of religion, running and travel, I thought long and hard about what I could say.  Well, it turns out that I actually have a lot to say.

Besides my wife and family, the three greatest loves of my life are theology, running and traveling. These three things have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but to varying degrees at different times of my life. It’s only been in the last year that I’ve had the opportunity to experience all three of these at a heightened level. This has made me feel more alive than at any other time in my life. And it has helped me see how connected all three of these really are for me.

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

New York City Part 1, or Excursive Exhaustion

I could write something really contrived . . .

It would probably be about Brooklyn. A remark on finally arriving in New York City for the first time in my life; a place I have seen recreated more then enough times on a screen. I’d also include that I’ve already eaten pizza twice in the four hours since I’ve arrived.

It rose from the flat deciduous delirium that is New Jersey. That much was clear from the $7 front row, upper deck seat on the bus from Washington D.C. I struggled to stay awake at the beginning of the trip–that’s what happens when you’re at the whim of your hosts, stay up 20 hours the day before, walk all around D.C., go to two concerts, and get to sleep at 4am-ish. Almost like an accident, the skyscrapers disrupt the continuity. Continue reading

Crowd Sourced Capers

A pithy confession . . .

I don’t read blogs. It is a medium I often don’t find myself drawn to. That is part of the reason for the insistence that this is not a travel blog. The reason my colleague and I started this website was in order to create an open, accessible space for all to discuss the deeper elements of travel. In addition it is very self-serving. It is a place where M. A. Chavez and myself can publish our own original thoughts while developing a voice within this popular medium that is blogging.

I normally write spoken word poetry, incisive observations of our society, and may have been caught in the somewhat obsessive attempt to use the written word to portray that which I’ve seen. I’m outspoken. Hence why I get on a stage with a mic and yell my feelings at an audience.

This is where M. A. Chavez and myself diverge. He is a refined artist, a wordworker, purveyor of prose. yes, he does contribute pieces to this website, but he also spends months developing story lines, characters, and themes. At a rather young age (something I am not at liberty to divulge) he has one novel manuscript completed, and the impressive beginnings of a second, in addition to multiple short stories, poetry, and essays. Where I admittedly crave the snaps, claps, and cheers of the stage, he has little desire for that. His fulfillment lies in the months of work it can take to describe one scene.

In short; he’s a recluse, and I’m a shameless exhibitionist.

This is why I will be the one making the journey to New York City on a one way ticket this week. The goal of this trip–albeit a rather audacious goal–is to make contacts in the literary world to work on publishing M. A. Chavez’s debut novel. Do I know anyone in the publishing world? No. That’s the reason I’m making the literal literary pilgrimage to one of the Meccas of publishing in the United States. Also, I want to eat some really good pizza.

This will be my first time to New York City. I find it funny because everyone has an opinion about the place, even if they’ve never been. They all have some advice for me while I’m there, but they don’t actually know the first thing about it. Maybe because of the amount of traveling I’ve done I am going into this trip with very few preconceptions. I know the city is big, really big. But so were Tokyo and Mexico City. And really, I’m a human, a lot of things are bigger then me. It’s less the city that intimidates me, and more the idea of finding someone, one out of millions, that wants to publish my literary partner’s work. I have spent much time watching the development of M. A. Chavez’s characters and stories. If a character is a writer’s child they almost feel like my god-children, or even nieces and nephews. It’s important to me to see the stories spread to a broad audience, but honestly the man is a hopeless hermit. That’s where I come in.

Of course, that is not the only thing I will do in the city. I plan to visit friends, attend spoken word events, and learn more about the city I’ve heard so much about. Then who know where I’ll head, I have more then enough friends along the East Coast and curiosity to support the endeavor. Who knows, if NYC doesn’t work maybe I’ll try the publishing microcosm that is Boston.

 

Now, let’s try something. We have a good amount of loyal readers, and plenty of folks who have stumbled across this website in the past. And I would wager that more then one of you knows someone involved in the publishing industry. So, I am going to ask if you have enjoyed the work of M. A. Chavez and myself thus far, and would like to see a wonderful writer become a published author, that you share this post with your social circle. Let’s see if we can crowd-source a debut novel for M. A. Chavez. I think that would be pretty cool, and that I would have a lot more free time to explore the Big Apple.

All I’m asking for is a novel, or at the very least a good slice of pizza.

 


Jack Dawkins

is a spoken word artist and writer who has been traveling North America for the last five years. He has worked as a tour manager, ride operator, caretaker, and salmon canner, along with attending some college and many different social/environmental justice summits, conferences, and camps.

       Do you have any suggestions for Jack while he’s in NYC or want to show him around your city? Know anybody that might be able to help with publishing?

Let us know what you think: Leave us a comment, connect with us on Twitter (@VagrantAnon), Instagram (@VagrantAnonymous), or email us at VagrantAnonymous@gmail.com.

An Homage to Impermanence

I can think of very few things that bring more delight then packing for the next adventure . . .

It is a reminder of the past. For a new journey cannot begin until the previous has finished. But with that ending you are now more knowledgeable, better equipped for the next. Each mistake from the past is packed neatly along with your clothes. Tucked into each fold you can find wrong turns righted, and rightful preparations wronged. Each delicate experience is examined, in order to properly prepare for the next.

It is a token of appreciation, a sacrifice to the Travel Gods. To improperly pack is to expose yourself to discomfort, dread, or even danger. It takes an understanding of where you will be, what you will do, and who you truly are. You need to know yourself on a level deeper then most, because if you don’t the Gods of Travel will not be satisfied. They will not be appeased, and will punish you for your immature lack of forethought and in-sight.

To pack for a trip is to pay homage to impermanence. You know this experience will end, that is why you are packing for it. You know your previous experiences were not permanent, just as this will not either. You know that life is a continuous series of dis-continguous experiences that creates the illusion of permanence. You know this because you can almost smell, feel, hear, taste, see your bags packed the way they were at the beginning of your last trip. But they aren’t. Because nothing lasts forever, and you are just now beginning to pack. Again.


Anonymous 2

The author is in the process of packing for a short trip over this holiday weekend, and another longer trip coming up. But if you couldn’t tell the author was inspired by packing, maybe you should reread the piece. 

     What do you do you think about packing? Tell us some of your packing tips for all of the novices out there that don’t want to anger the Travel Gods.

Let us know what you think: Leave us a comment, connect with us on Twitter (@VagrantAnon), Instagram (@VagrantAnonymous), or email us at VagrantAnonymous@gmail.com.

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

The Scariest Part of Traveling

is the thought of not traveling anymore…

After enough time, it becomes a companion, friend, family. Traveling. So, in a way, to stop traveling would be to lose a loved one. And when you’ve traveled primarily alone, like myself, you’re not only losing a loved one, but the only one that knows what you’ve been through. The only one that has been there through it all. The good and the bad. It loves you unconditionally, never asking too much of you or to be anything other then yourself.

It encourages you. Lifts you up. Teaches you to be strong and carefully nudges you in the direction you should be going. In this relationship you learn who you are. Your needs, wants, and desires. You learn your limits.

People come and go. Live and die of their own accord. But travel only dies when you neglect it. Continue reading