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Living in Brooklyn

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Living in Brooklyn

What I learned from reading Harry Franck’s Vagabond Journey Around the World:

There is no reason to ever worry when traveling, something always turns up.

9 years of travel has taught me that this, for some reason, is the truth.

I have been looking through the Craig’s list, talking to people, inquiring all over the place for a cheap place that a wandering student could live in Brooklyn, New York, and I only turned up blank stares and turn-me-down emails. I am not in the habit of persevering on any Path that becomes overtly rocky, and I tend to turn down another road as soon as I hit a dead end. I know how large the world is and I know that there is never any reason to smash my head into a brick wall. There is always another option, there is always another way.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Philadelphia, PA, USA- September 5, 2008
Travelogue Travel Photos
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The cheapest possible living option that I found in Brooklyn was a small room in a warehouse with two people I do not know for $560 a month. I have the impression that the lease holder does not even want to rent this room to me and has a very antagonistic relationship with our mutual contact. This is a room that was once held by my friend Glen from Buffalo. Glen is a happy, smiling man with dreadlocks down to his knees. He warned me that the lease holder on this apartment is hard to live with and cautioned me about moving in.

But I said that I did not care and tried to get a hold of this guy anyway. I have known plenty of assholes on planet earth and they tend not to wear me down, as I know that a blank faced smile is the perfect remedy to any manner of inter-personal strife.

Then I stopped to think:

Do I really – really – want to pay almost $2400 to live with an asshole for 15 weeks?

Do I really – really – want to pay $2400 to live anywhere with anyone for any amount of time?

No, No, No.

Do I have this much money?

Hahaha . .. no.

To live in a small and crappy room in an apartment with people who I do not know in Brooklyn will cost me at least $20 a day. This is a lot of money, and I fear that the monetary bar may be set a little too high.

I am of the opinion that my own land of Red, White, and Blue shall be traveled like anywhere else on this earth – on $10 a day with a smile on my face.

And I know that the same rule of travel will apply:

“There is no need to ever worry, something will turn up.”

Craig from TravelVice.com wrote me a comment that says that I should “get on Couchsurfing stat” and that there are more than 300 available places to stay in New York City. So I did. I send a couch surfing request to a big Israeli with an even bigger beard, a university student named Sam, and a woman named DJ Jazzy K who delights in spreading the message of Mira’s upscale cousin Barry.

To wander New York City as a hopeful vagrant is to meet people and discover places that I never would by having the money to rent a comfortable apartment.

I say with assurance that wealth and adventure are inversely proportional. The more money someone has to travel with the less stories, lessons, and excitement they will have.

To travel with lots of money is to miss one of the most valuable aspects of travel: travailing.

Perhaps no lesson can really be learned without tribulation.

When I enter back through the skyscraper gates of New York City I will do so as traveler; I will do so on the look out for any opportunity for sustenance that presents itself; I will do so with my ear kept down to the track listening for any sign of a place to sleep, a job to work, or any way to keep on keeping on to the next day.

Living only for the horizon ahead.

New York City will be hard.

Links to previous travelogue entries:

  • Chinatown Bus to Philadelphia
  • No Accommodation in Brooklyn
  • Fortunate Travel Blogger

Living in Brooklyn
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Filed under: New York City, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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