Interview with Vagabond Journey Wade about Traveling
The following interview was done for a British student writing a dissertation on travel.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Istanbul, Turkey- March 7, 2009
Travelogue —Travel Photos –Travel Guide
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Interview about travel
1. How do you support yourself financially whilst travelling?
I work as an archaeologist, journalist, and traveling webmaster (www.vagabondjourney.com).
2. What do you miss about ‘home’ and where, if anywhere do you consider home?
My home is where my boots are. I don’t have too much of an ideological idea about “home” that goes beyond this. I live a fairly regular lifestyle, it is just the geographical background that changes. I miss shooting guns, hunting and fishing, which are a couple of things that are sometimes difficult to do while traveling. I also sometimes miss my family, though we talk often through Skype and email regularly.
3. Can you summarise how you spend your days whilst you are travelling?
Walking, writing and finding things to write about, talking to people, more walking, reading. Looking for work.
4. What is you favourite destination that you have been to so far?
Mongolia. It is the wild west out there: horse thieves, wolves, and a wide open landscape.
5. I expect when you move to a new place you generally go to the closest destination on your list. Is this the case or are there other factors that influence your decision?
I go to wherever I feel I should when I wake up in the morning. Or I just go to wherever the path looks nice on a map ha ha. Nice smooth paths look better than jagged ones. But I usually travel in jagged lines anyway. I usually try to bounce between hemispheres only once a year. So I try to stay in the eastern hemisphere for one year before a change up and going to the west. But nothing ever really goes according to plan.
6. You seem to have been to some pretty amazing places. When (or if) you return home, do you think you may be boastful (perhaps unintentionally) about your travels?
Probably not. I quickly learned that traveler tales don’t sell very well to people who don’t travel. Put me in a room with travelers and I will tell and listen to stories until we all croak, but throw me in a room with people who do not travel and my lips tend to purse shut (or at least they probably should be haha). Talking about traveling to a traveler is like talking shop. I am pretty sure that a non-lawyer would not want to hear a lawyer talk for hours about work.
7. Do you think you will ever return to a place and settle there? Why do you think this?
Hope not. Once you start traveling you don’t stop. Traveling soon becomes a way of living that is just as ordinary as staying in one place, working, and having a home. Traveling does not seem very extraordinary to those who travel. Wandering quickly becomes an ordinary, though very fulfilling, way to live.
8. Do you ever worry that if you return home you will be too unsettled to remain in the one place, or that maybe home will have changed too much?
I have been traveling for a long time – over 9 years – so have adjusted pretty well to living on the Road. I try to visit my family at least once a year, as I pass from the eastern to western hemisphere. No, I do not fear that home will have changed too much. I still keep in contact with my family, so it is not like I am removed from them by any great extent other than geographically. I probably communicate with my family just as much as the average American. There is no excuse for the modern traveler to be removed from their family.
9. What are your favourite memories of holidays (vacations) when you were a child? Do you think they have influenced what you do now whilst you are travelling?
My family does not really travel too far away from where they live. When we traveled as a family it was always a big event. Yes, these early family trips probably did lead to the planting of my Wanderlust.
10. What do you think of ‘tourists’ and how do you interpret the term ‘tourist’?
A tourist is someone who goes on tours. They are alright. Tourism is a very old occupation that seems to have changed very little over the years.
11. How do you think ‘tourists’ could have less of a negative impact on their destinations?
Do tourist have a negative impact? I think it is the people in the destinations wanting to make money off of the tourists that probably have more of a negative impact – such as gentrification and such. Tourists just want to go on vacation and enjoy it, I cannot find anything negative about this.
12. How do political conflicts/ news stories of things like murder, abduction, rape and even natural disasters affect your decisions to go to a country, particularly if it were for example, happening now, and you were due there next week?
The more bad press the better. It means I will be alone and able to stretch out my arms a little. The newspaper is sometimes the best travel guide.
13. How have the countries treated you in terms of admittance? Have visas been easy to obtain?
Not too difficult. I have a US passport.
14. I have read a recent entry on your website that you have made a plan for Turkey>Syria>Egypt, do you normally plan extensively or generally? Which do you prefer to do?
Plans that are made are made to be broken. I just plan because it is fun to do so. I really don’t know where in the world I will be tomorrow.
15. Do you have any opinions about certain methods of travel due to reasons like pollution?
I am a traveler; I merely pass from point to point on the globe. I do not think that I am so important that the world will be impacted if I walk rather than take a bus. If a country does not mind that their air is an exhaust pit, then I will choke just like everyone else while traveling like everyone else. No, I do not have ideological qualms about transport.
I sometimes travel by bicycle, but this is just because I want to and it is cheaper. I don’t do it to try to cut down on pollution.
16. What were your reasons for packing up and travelling?
I just wanted to. I have always wanted to travel, to find out what was on the other side of the hill, around the next corner, over the next fence. Travelers tend to be born that way.
In the words of my friend, www.Loreneverly.org, “I travel because I am lazy, and it is the easiest way to live.”
17. What is your opinion on the modern gap year? In general young people, mostly students, taking time off between levels of education or post education/pre career…
If you feel you need some time off, then take it. If you feel you need to do something, then do it. I don’t think everything in life needs formal declarations. I suppose I took a half dozen gap years before I graduated from university, but I never thought of it in such formal terms. If you listen to your heart – and not your head – you will be alright.
18. What do you think are the benefits of this time off?
Space to figure out what you really want to do, what you like, what you don’t. There are no preset paths in life, and sometimes it takes a few moments to figure out where you are standing. It is my impression that taking some time off to figure this out is good for finding your own way. I recommend not going to university until you are at least thirty.
19. Do you think there is a certain level of competition between travellers to have the best stories? I’m sure you have come across a few people like this?
No, I don’t think so. We are not sailors, haha. I think most travelers listen to the yarns of others with wide open ears, for they know that they could very well be in similar circumstances further down the Road.
20. Do you think one experience of travelling can outrank another (for example a person may think hiking in the Andes is more impressive than backpacking round Thailand simply because it has been done by so many more people)
I don’t know. Just visiting almost anywhere in the world is not too remarkable of a feat. It is more about the individual stories that are impressive, what the person actually did. It depends on the traveler: a story about traveling in Canada could be far more impressive than one about Iran.
21. Would you say it was your experiences directly or you memories of places that give you a good/bad impression of a place after you have left it?
It is my impression that after you leave a place all you have are memories, and memories are made up of experiences.
22. How have you benefitted from your travelling?
I enjoy what I do every day.
23. What’s you favourite funny or random story from your time travelling?
I am not sure if I have a favorite, there are lots on the travelogue. My family likes stories about the times that I have to share taxi cabs with goats and other livestock. Every day is a funny story when you are traveling.
One story that I like in particular happened in the summer of 2006 in Nicaragua.
Myself and my best friend Erik the Pilot got up really early one morning after a night of drinking beer (with Erik drinking far more than I) to climb a volcano. We got half way up it when a rain storm broke out and the path was quickly turned into a muddy torrent. Erik gave up and went back to the finca that we were staying at, whereas I keep going to the top. With the rain coming down the mountain like a river, it was a slightly challenging climb, but I managed to make it to the top.
When I came down I found Erik and began telling of my feat. That was when I noticed that he had a real sad look on his face and a bandage around his elbow. I stopped short and asked him what had happened, thinking that he fell when hiking back down the mountain. I began to feel really bad.
After a slight pause, he admitted that he was fine while descending the mountain but had slipped in the shower and needed to be stitched up by the local seamstress.
The full version of this story can be found at, Erik the Broken Hearted.
More potentially humorous stories can be found at, Underwear Shopping in Istanbul, Contra Dancing in Maine, Office Pranks, Baby Bananas and the Beady Eyed Fruit Man, How to Drink Absinthe, Strip Clubs in Prague, Don’t Touch the Electric Shower, Can Anyone Read Nepali, Four Sinners Search for a Birthday Beer, The Toilet: Always Room for Cultural Misinterpreta…, A visit to the US Embassy, Hitching across the Middle Kingdom, Pants-less Women in China, Hitching through Japan Part I, 88 temple pilgramage
24. I intend to go travelling when I graduate. What advice could you give me?
Just take everything in and walk slow. Know that everything will work out.
Interview with Wade about Traveling