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Travel Philosophy

  • The Wisdom of the Traveling Life

    Testing the bounds of the benefits of travel and teasing the edges of the disadvantages of living abroad.

  • The Goal of Travel is to be an Outsider Everywhere
    Travel Kapadokya Cappadocia Vagabond Journey Tristan Hicks

    On not losing the traveler mind.

  • How to Make the Most of Your Travels, Get to Amazing Places, and Meet Interesting People
    Author Pointing the Way_DCE

    A look into an easy way to make the most of your travels, get to amazing places, and meet interesting people.

  • Swastika Tattoo on Tibetan Man
    swastika tattoo tibetan

    Same symbol, different context, different meaning. You can not cherry pick meaning, it's provided for you through the interplay of the culture you're from, the one you're in, and the context of your surroundings.

  • Any Day Above The Ground . . . Senior Vagabond Rides Again
    Brujo at Catemaco_DCE

    Any day above ground is a good day. Today is a good day for me. It's been about a year and a half since my last article here on Vagabond Journey. I've had emails from people who asked, “Well, what happened?” Today I'll try to answer that question.

  • How Travel Mitigates The Health Risks Of Environmental Pollution and Toxins
    chemical-plant-china

    Want to reduce the effect of environmental pollution and food contaminants? Keep traveling.

  • Big Dreams Are Really Many Small Realities

    My friend has big dreams. When he talks about them his eyes light up, a smile creeps over his face, he becomes confident, animated, and he stares with a satisfied look off into the distance. But there are a zillion people out there with big dreams, though only a few have the humility to start [...]

  • Why Accomplishment Is Important In Travel

    So you arrived, now what? Perpetual travel isn't just about where you go, but what you accomplish.

  • Redefining Exploration In A New Age Of Discovery

    We live in wild times. So wild, in fact, that even the most outrageous and earth shattering developments are often taken as normal fare. The great age of discovery and exploration is not finished, it's just getting started.

  • Perpetual Travel Is A Gamble For Self-Determination And Sanity

    I can't talk about leaving the rat race because I never entered it to begin with. In 1999 I began traveling, working on the road, living abroad, studying abroad, going wherever and I wanted and could afford to get to. I don't have a cubicle ditcher story, I can't tell a "take this job and [...]

  • Why I Don’t Want To Blend in With The Crowd When Traveling

    I read a quote some time ago about how a traveler who's been traveling for a long time starts to blend in with the locals wherever he goes. It was easy to read this quote and just robotically nod my head as though it were true. It's not. It's a representation of a fantasy view [...]

  • Travel Is About People, The Place Is Just An Excuse To Meet

    Andy at Hobotraveler.com explains a rule for evaluating friends and continuing friendships: If I say to a friend, “Do you want to go eat tonight?” And, he or she says, “Where?” I will say, “We can figure it out, when we are in the car.” If they do not say yes, I say, “Can I [...]

  • The Traveler’s Plot Line: How To Make Your Travels Interesting

    To make the most of travel be sure to have a plot.

  • You Have to Know That You Suck To Improve

    My three year old daughter sucks at jumping. This is no problem except for the fact that she thinks she's doing it right. She jerks her little body forward and calls it a jump without really lifting her feet off the ground. It's not jumping, but she doesn't know it and she doesn't improve. It's [...]

  • How to Engage and Appreciate All Places When Traveling

    "Shanghai is just another city that's exactly like every other city. All there is here is shopping," spoke a Dutch student at a hostel in Shanghai. His compatriot, who was sitting nearby, nodded and agreed. I stumbled on my rebuttal, choked on my words, and shut up: if these two guys could not find the [...]

  • Success Means Becoming Your Image

    I had a friend when growing up who was a great musician. He led a band that played for a very defined niche audience. This social niche that he played for had a certain way of dressing, a certain way of talking, a set political outlook, a very rigidly defined idea of what was cool [...]

  • Becoming Unstuck To Travel The World

    Want to travel perpetually? Just go do it. Waiting for the right time is to wait forever.

  • On Trust and Expectation

    I don't trust anyone more than what I have to. This is not because I'm some ornery old fart that has been burned in his life more times than he can count but because I see no reason to trust others more than is absolutely necessary. I must trust the bus driver who carts me [...]

  • Learning Life, Learning Travel, Learning Expectations, Understanding Possibilities | 31st Birthday Blog Post

    Travel is ultimately about one thing: the acquisition of knowledge and experience in relation to space and time. -Wade Shepard Yes, I quoted myself above. I'm now 31 years old, I suppose I can do that sort of thing. But 31 doesn't seem as old as I once figured it to be. I can remember [...]

  • It is Easy to Travel Off the Beaten Path
    backpacker

    It is easy to get off the beaten path when traveling: you just walk out of any city on earth and you're there. It's easy to leave the tourists with backpacks behind: just go to places you've never heard of before. Don't want to go to the same destination as everyone else? Get off bus. [...]

  • Travel Writing Should Include Both Positive and Negative Experiences

    It is often difficult to communicate the positive and neutral experiences that you've had in a country when there are negatives thrown in as well. Humans perhaps have a propensity to focus on negative statements disproportionately more than positive ones. We seem to just expect tons of positives to be present in published travel writing [...]

  • What is Cultural Fatigue?

    Cultural fatigue can be defined as a state of being where the small, adverse intricate of the culture begin to bother you out of reasonable proportion after living in another country for an extended amount of time. You may become culturally fatigued

  • What Am I Doing Here? Travel Question

    OLAFSVIK, Iceland- This has to be the most dangerous question a traveler can ask. What am I doing here? If these words come out of your mouth when traveling you are already one step from going home. Doing something while travel is essential, being able to answer "what am I doing here?" with a strong [...]

  • Perpetual Travel and Friendship

    "Wow, look at all of these people. With so many people everywhere how could you ever make friends with anyone?" a young guy once asked me as we rode in a van through Manhattan on a warm summer day in '04.  "Well, you would certainly have a lot of opportunities,"  I replied. A sickness of [...]

  • The Value of Travel is Often in Retrospect

    The value of travel is often in retrospect "No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." -Liu Yutang "Travel is only glamorous in retrospect." -Paul Theroux The true value of travel does not often make itself apparent until the journey has [...]

  • Bicycling in Iceland is Epic

    Bicycling Around Hvalfjordur Iceland My second day out from Reykjavik put me in a strange predicament: I had my end of journey epiphany at the beginning of my trip. I departed from the farm where I camped in the field with Pierre, the French tramp, at six AM. I was packed up and ready to [...]

  • Vagabond Turns 30 Years Old

    Birthday 2011, I turn 30 "The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits." -Theodore Roosevelt "Dada, birthday, dada," my daughter Petra exclaimed while pointing in my [...]

  • The Nathan Gerbe Model of Success

    As I watched the Buffalo Sabres play out seven games of the Stanly cup playoffs this year, one player stood out above most others. His name was Nathan Gerbe, and the man shows absolutely no fear on the ice -- playing full speed all the time, throwing his body around, throwing punches, fighting, scoring, showing [...]

  • Travel to Break Out of Ideological Niche

    It is not my impression that the act of world travel, in and of itself, broadens the mind. Rather, people who go abroad just tend to view the various places they visit through the same paradigm of the place they come from --they see what they expect to see through the lens of their own culture, [...]

  • Does Foreign Aid Create Dependency States?

    Does Aid to Foreign Countries Create Dependency States? A broad shouldered German girl sat across a table from me at the Finca Tatin in the eastern jungle of Guatemala. "I am a foreign observer," she stated proudly. "What do you observe?" I had to ask. "I am protecting political activists from the Guatemalan government, and [...]

  • Four Stages of Knowledge and Travel

    As far as my observations can tell, there are four stages of knowledge that most people pass through on the way from becoming a novice to a master of a given practice. When I hear someone talk about something, I make sure to note what stage they seem to be in, where I stand in [...]

  • The Essential Need for Adventure

    "To find myself in something of that scale, almost unknown, was worth every drop of sweat, every public bus ride, every fly infested nowhere border town I have invested time in, ever. Dwarfed by lush green mountains rising up to 3000ft above us, we were drawn in ever deeper with a constant eye on the [...]

  • Choosing Next Travel Destination Strategy

    One of the prime cerebral occupations of the traveler is looking into a world map, evaluating where they have been and where they are going -- dreaming into the travels of old, gazing at the travels of the future. There are transitioning points in world travel where the path ahead splinters and frays like the [...]

  • Psychology of Long Term Travel

    OAXACA, Mexico- The most difficult art of travel is perhaps nothing more than being able to move through places, cultures, and people in serial succession for many years on end and remain sane. Many travelers cannot handle this -- they either go home or end up in India trying to convince you that their name [...]

  • Vagabonds Travel for Work – Must Diversify Income

    I am Tired of Being a Poor Vagabond, I failed at travel blogging, too, must find other work MEXICO CITY, Mexico- There is a rule of long term travel that states that a traveler must eventually find work on the road or go home. Income works best in travel when it comes from a variety [...]

  • Long Term Travel Primer on How to Keep Traveling

    Question for Michael Robert Powell about how to keep traveling It has been my observation that many people who set out with a long term travel objective often hit a wall at around 6 or 7 months -- some become listless, depressed, bored, and many return home. How, after 22 years of travel through 100+ [...]

  • Travel Writing Easier when Travel is Hard

    The Irony of Travel Writing: Easier When Travel is Difficult OAXACA, Mexico- When the going is rough, the content springs from my fingers like a lake bursting through a crumbling dam; when the travel is wonderful and easy, I find less to grip on to and retell. I feel as if I am presenting an [...]

  • Three Month Travel Rule

    Three Months to Stay in One Place Limit Travel Rule I call myself a perpetual traveler, this means that I have three months to stay in any one place in the world at one span of time. Any place that seems friendly enough, any place that makes the sweet offer of work, any place where [...]

  • Halloween in Mexico

    Halloween in Mexico, now a tradition SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico- Halloween is not traditionally celebrated in Latin America. By "tradition," I mean that little trick or treaters dressed up as ghouls were not roving the streets for Halloween 100 years ago. But they do now, and Halloween, or Dia de las Brujas as [...]

  • Travel Plan for Mexico

    Mexico Travel Plan SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico- 2010 is the year for Mexico, at least this is what the president says. This year is the 200th anniversary of Mexico's independence, the 100th anniversary since its revolution, and the year that the Vagabond Journey family will go into the country deep. We are looking [...]

  • End of Perpetual Travel Conclusion

    End of Perpetual Travel Conclusion There is no way that people are going to stop traveling the world, I do no believe for a second that the perpetual travel will become an archaic apparition rearing its head only in history books: I know that the war against the backpacker cannot be won. World travel on [...]

  • World Travel About Doing People, Not Places

    Travel is About Doing People Not Places To put it simply: it is my impression that travel is not about "doing" places, it is about "doing" people. I can only feel sorrow for the traveler whose memories of the places they visited are populated with monuments, sites, buildings, cold brink and stone, vistas, and bus [...]

  • Travel Lifestyle Frees Self from Persona

    Travel Frees the Self from Persona In travel, people are striped down to their root form. Nobody knows anything about you, you are preceived exactly how you act in the moment of the acting -- there are no previous bearing on your action, you are not hemmed in by your past, nobody knows how you [...]

  • The Anatomy of Dreams

    The human mind seems incapable of sitting still, we need to keep moving, our hands feel like awkward appendages if not kept moving, our wheels must keep spinning. When our minds come too close to perilous stand still, humans seem to come with a built in contingency plan: we dream. In the idle moments between [...]

  • Are Israelis Rude or Am I a Wimp?

    Navigating Culture - Are They Rude Or Am I a Wimp? My mother would tell me to remember my manners and to be polite before venturing off to a friend's home. She did not want my animal side to come out and embarrass her, she did not want me to seem uncultured. Throughout all my [...]

  • Writing Room in Guatemala Jungle

    FINCA TATIN, Guatemala- Four walls of unpainted planks stacked end on end, a corrugated steel roof, and a cement floor is all I need. I have extravagance: I sit on a beer crate and my computer sits on two, we both have luxury. I hear voices coming from far away. Far away is the key [...]

  • Maybe People Do Not Want to Travel the World

    FINCA TATIN, Guatemala- I may have made a grave miscalculation, I may have based my work and this website on a false pretense, I realized that I may be investing massive amounts of time and effort into moot points and words that don't hit their intended mark. Vagabond Journey is based on the premise that [...]

  • Cayuco Travel Up River in Guatemala

    FINCA TATIN, Jungle near Livingston, Guatemala- A voice rang out from the docks in front of the Finca Tatin. It was an American voice. It was saying hello. My wife rushed out to the voice. "How did you get here?" I heard her ask. It was a worthy question, as no roads go to the [...]

  • Travel Anniversary 11 years or I Lost Count

    FINCA TATIN, jungle near Livingston, Guatemala- Eleven years ago on this day I left home. June 16, 1999 -- I had a rough, patchwork sort of plan to spend a lot of time moving about the world, but this did not yet crystallize into an idea of being a traveler, or of traveling perpetually. The [...]

  • The True Benefits of Boredom

    "Against boredom even the gods contend in vain," replied Nietzsche according to Vonnegut. In light of this fact, I refuse to be bored. I just will not do it. If I am sitting at a dinner table just staring at two people having a conversation amongst themselves, if I feel like an invisible man amongst [...]

  • How to Travel Long Term- Make Homes

    Long Term Travelers Make Homes Around the World SUCHITOTO, El Salvador- It is my impression that it is the goal of the long term traveler to make almost every place they go into a home. My home is the world, I can go anywhere and provision myself with the amenities and comforts of a home [...]

  • Live Travel Like a Lab Rat in a Maze

    SUCHITOTO, El Salvador- Live like a lab rat in a maze, I am not joking, this is a key to travel, a key to living. I was at a Mother's Day festival with my wife, Chaya, and the baby. Chaya was walking in front of the baby and I. She spotted one open bench. She [...]

  • Map Gazing

    SUCHITOTO, El Salvador- The following maps represent the countries of the world where Chaya, Petra, and myself have so far set foot in. It is a joyful preoccupation to sit back and gaze into maps, daydreaming about the road by which I had come, and to ponder about which roads I have yet to take. [...]

  • The Odyssey of Perpetual Travel

    SUCHITOTO, El Salvador- Petra came down with a fever a couple nights ago. It was a stressful night and morning for the Shepard camp -- doctor visits are generally pretty gruesome ordeals, much more so when it is your baby that needs to go. The situation has now stabilized, Petra's fever is now gone, she [...]

  • How to Enjoy Traveling Long Term

    SOSUA, Dominican Republic- Projects and traveling should be synonymous. To do something when traveling that you can build upon with each day that passes -- a mission, a purpose, a project -- is the first and last steps, in my opinion, to building a full life on the road.

    Floating around the world without a tether, occupation, or commitment sounds romantic -- and it is for a month or two -- but even the greatest of romances often turn stale with age.

  • Responsible World Travel

    SOSUA- Dominican Republic- A traveler has few social obligations -- few social obligations besides sharing notes of the road ahead with other travelers. It is my impression that this is how you pay your dues in a world of perpetual motion, this is how you stake your claim to respectability. Nobody cares where you have [...]

  • On Going to the Beach

    CABARETE, Dominican Republic- All beaches sit at the end of the road. Traveling to one means coming to a point where you cannot go anymore, it means removing all impetus to travel elsewhere, to remove your boots, lay down, do nothing, and enjoy what sits directly in front of you. There is nothing else to [...]

  • Consistent Life Good for Baby Good for Travelers

    I am a traveler, my life is remarkably consistent. It is the landscape that changes before me -- like different movies being projected before a theater -- but the semantics of my days are remarkable routine. I sit back and watch the world move before me. Traveling has become as normal as white rice. Staying [...]

  • The Joys of Traveling

    Joys of Traveling, Benefits of Daydreaming -- I am an inveterate daydreamer. My grade school teachers could not figure out how to make me stop daydreaming and do the dittos and complete the busy work that they deemed I should be doing. They told my parents on me. They would tell me to stop daydreaming [...]

  • Not Possible to Travel the World

    I must admit that after ten years of vagabonding I have gone next to nowhere, seen next to nothing. Now that I have tasted a morsel of nowhere I can better gauge the incredibly large feast this planet has to offer a traveler. I traveled in the US state of Arizona for three months. I [...]

  • Traveler Dream Maps – El Salvador, Belize, Cuba early 2010

    Vagabond Journey schedule of travels early 2010 -- Travel is something that is taken moment by moment. To do otherwise is to make it a chore, a job, something that you micromanage to the point of being work. ——————— Payson, Arizona, Southwest USA, North America Thursday, November 12, 2009 Buy Travel Gear | All Travelogue [...]

  • Archaeology on Strawberry Mountain

    Archaeology Fieldwork on Top of a Mountain, Open Doors for Cages -- "Whoever is the first one to puke gets the nickname Tonto!" I am now ashamed to say that I proclaimed on that less than glorious first night of camping in the Tonto Forest with the archaeology crew. Tonto is the name of the [...]

  • Lesson on How to Live Deliberately

    "What have you been doing all night?" my wife asked me with a touch of scorn, "downloading travel guides? You don't even use travel guides!!!" She was exasperated, and rightly so. I had just worked over ten hours on the farm, returned home, and immediately ran off to chase my largest windmill: this website. (a [...]

  • They Call them the Disappeared

    "Me llaman el desaparecido | Cuando llega ya se ha ido . . ." J is gone. He gave the farm the slip in the dark of night. "J ha desaparecido," I joked with El Salvadoreno, who, himself, is leaving the day after tomorrow. It gives me a funny feeling to watch people move through [...]

  • Types of Travel Blog Posts Travelogue Entries

    After publishing more than 1,000 entries on this travelogue as I have traveled through more than 40 countries, I have fallen into a standard operating procedure for blogging. Part of this SOP is that I have been observing the different types of travelogue entries that I publish, have started to evaluated their various merits, as [...]

  • Kerouac’s Last Stand

    Kerouac's Last Stand -- I thought of Kerouac's last stand today as I picked beet greens on the farm. I thought of Kerouac's last stand last night when I realized that I was too tired from a long day of work to type any more words. I think of Kerouac's last stand as I look [...]

  • A Stranger in Every Land

    I pulled weeds in a woman's garden in Bangor, ME for the better part of a week. I tried hard to work like the migrant workers who labored quickly and efficiently on the farms of my childhood. At the end of the job, I went to be paid for my efforts. I ask if my [...]

  • Fear Not Traveling

    Fear Not Traveling, Not Travel I received the following letter from a reader looking for advice. I usually publish such letters in the Travel Questions section of the site, but this one really struck me as being heartfelt, and I wanted it to receive more exposure so that other readers could also offer little pieces [...]

  • Traveling is Easy

    “Of course, it's much harder to stay at home and be polite to people and face things, but where's the book in that? Better the boastful charade of pretending to be an adventurer.” -Paul Theroux I sometimes get emails from readers who seem to feel that traveling is difficult. They seem worried that it will be [...]

  • Patriotism Around the World Survey

    Patriotism Around the World SurveyI previously published a survey asking questions about patriotism to observe any cultural patterns behind the responses. I now have the results posted. If you would like to add your input to the survey or view the results, please follow the links below. Thanks.--------------Wade from Vagabond Journey.com in Brooklyn,New York City- [...]

  • Patriotism Survey

    Patriotism SurveyThe following survey was conducted at the request of one of my professors at the Friends World Program of Long Island University. It is an attempt to explore the notion of patriotism in a quickly globalizing world.Thank you for your time in filling it out!--------------Wade from Vagabond Journey.com in Brooklyn, New York City- December [...]

  • What is a Global Citizen

    What is a Global Citizen? “I am no more modern than ancient, no more French than Chinese, and the idea of a native country – that is to say, the imperative to live on one bit of ground marked red or blue on the map and to hate the other bits in green or black [...]

  • Culture is Never Static the Exotic is Now

    Culture is Never Static the Exotic is NowThere is a certain tendency to talk of cultures as if they are fixed devices. I do it often. It is perhaps the hallmark of ethnology. The only way of making any sense of a time, a people, or a place is to speak as if all three [...]

  • News Media and Travel

    The News Media and TravelThere is still an entire unknown world out there. And I feel as if there always will be, no matter how much I travel. The world is changing far faster than I am able to traverse it: the speed of a jet plane means nothing to the onward roll of time.--------------Wade [...]

  • Rites of Passage in Richmond Virginia

    Rites of Passage in Richmond, Virginia“I think it's very comforting to be able to say that we've got the same old problems: we've got war, we've got poverty. That way we don't have to see the main problem – if you want to call it that – is that people are free all of a [...]

  • Work in the USA

    Work in the USA“You can't, by just leading your daily life, really see a goddamn thing. You have to force yourself to get into unfamiliar areas. We're no longer living in a set feudal system.”-Tom WolfeIt is my impression that the idea of work in the USA has been perverted into something that people do [...]

  • Enjoy the Journey

    Enjoy the JourneyDestinations mean nothing if you did not enjoy the journey. I have been pondering the ideas of success and happiness during this stay in the USA, and it seems as if the notion of success is severely misplaced.--------------Wade from Vagabond Journey.com in Bangor, Maine, USA- December 1, 2008 Travelogue -- Travel Photos --------------The [...]

  • Can Cultures be Wrong Debate

    Can Cultures be Wrong? Traveler Debate #1 This is a new experiment on Vagabond Journey.com: debates! There seems to be a lot of really articulate and interesting people who comment to this travelogue, and this is an attempt to explore our differing points of view through discussion . . . or debating. Please read through [...]

  • Travel With Me

    Travel with MeIt is my impression that it must be severely annoying to travel with me. I work a full day, I read a lot, and I take a lot of notes. I take photos of everything so that I can publish them and I put myself in situations that will potentially give me something [...]

  • Traveler Re-Entry and Reverse Culture Shock

    Traveler Re-Entry to Home Country“Why would anyone return to where they came?”-from the film, Such a Long JourneyComing home means being a nobody again.I have gotten use to being a foreigner, being someone – something – different, being the focal-point at which people gaze and stare. I like people looking at me and wanting to [...]

  • No Dollar Days in Brooklyn

    No Dollar Days in BrooklynI have not spent a dollar in nearly four days. I do not even have a dollar in my wallet. I really love these no dollar days. In fact, when I go to bed at night after a day of not spending ANY money I feel absolutely victorious, I feel like [...]

  • Tourist Guilt and Helping the Poor

    They Need it More Than Me: Tourist Guilt and "Helping" the Poor“I'm delighted to be called a romanticist. It tells me that I am on the right track. They mean I'm reporting only the good and trying to make everything seem perfect; in other words, I'm inventing it. I can respect anthropology only if it [...]

  • Lonliness, Traveling, and the Open Road

    Loneliness, Traveling, and the Open RoadThis was originally written for Travel Blogs.com"To be free, you had to be alone, always, everywhere, and above all amongst people. . . Wandering and alone in a world in which he could always stay unknown, Orschanow was really free. He thought and acted as he wanted to, and no [...]

  • Global College LIU Graduation Requirements

    Global College LIU Road BlockFeeling a little sad today. Maybe a little confused. Momentarily unsure of what Road to take.Standing at the fork looking out in one direction and then the other. Thinking too much.Road my bicycle out to the Budapest island and tried to peddle it all out in my head. A road block [...]

  • Hostel Life in Budapest

    Hostel Life in Budapest"To be free, you had to be alone, always, everywhere, and above all amongst people. . . Wandering and alone in a world in which he could always stay unknown, Orschanow was really free. He thought and acted as he wanted to, and no one could pretend to control his thoughts, since [...]

  • Words of the Dead

    The Words of the DeadIn Guatemala I made an off-handed comment to Andy the Hobotraveler that I only read books written by dead people. I was then just making a half hearted jest, but now I realize that I was speaking true. I am a voracious reader; I love books- I love touching them, I [...]

  • Learning to Love Traveling Again

    Learning to Love Traveling, Again- Bike Journey Day 11"I have lost a great deal of happiness, I know, by these wanderings. It is as if I had been born to exile; but it is God's doing. . . . I am away from the perpetual hurry of civilization, and I think I see far and [...]

  • Olomouc: A Place to Hang My Hat

    Olomouc: A Place to Hang My HatI have been in Olomouc in the Czech Republic for the past week. I landed a free bed for making Hobohideout webpages for the Poets’ Corner Hostel. Good hostel; good people; good town.I bought a bicycle and am looking for the Road out of town with a heavy heart. [...]

  • Traveling Decisions

    Traveling Man Can’t Have Everything but the WorldI woke up one morning with the startling realization that I cannot have everything that I want. This struck me as a sort of odd relevation, as I am the type of fellow who has the impression that they can get anything they want if they try hard [...]

  • The Devil Drives

    The Devil DrivesWhy do I leave a good home and loving parents to travel a no man’s land into some unplanned oblivion?The Devil drives.Why do I leave my wonderful girlfriend to walk a lonely Road without cuddle or embrace?The Devil drives.--------------Wade from Vagabond Journey.com in JFK Airport, New York City, USA- June 4, 2008Song of [...]

  • Old Man Smoking a Pipe

    Old Man Smoking a PipeThe 23rd of May, My Birthday. I have become and old man smoking a pipe.At twenty five years of age, I still pretended that I was a youth, and at 26, I was just one year away from 25; but at 27, I cannot deny that I am a full grown, [...]

  • Travel Work Skills

    Travel Work SkillsI received the yearly travel work offer emails from the archaeology firms in the USA. Each year around this time I receive emails from three different companies inviting me to come and work on their projects. I usually take these offers, as this is the time of year when I usually start to [...]

  • Under the Wing of the Hobo Traveler

    Under the Wing of the Hobo TravelerI sat in awe as the un-conjoined links of what was once my disaster-zone knowledge of web-site construction began to solidify together in a solid chain. One piece smoothly lead into another and I am now starting to see the big picture of websites, SEO, and the internet for [...]

  • Copan Expat Barroom Wisdom

    Copan Expat Barroom Wisdom“My friends say, ‘Quinn how do you travel the world? How do you do it?’”“I do it because I want to do it.” - Red the Copan expatIn Copan, they think that I do not have any huevos. I like orange juice. I go out to the local expat bar on Friday [...]

  • Writing for Magazines and Newspapers

    The Writing Life and the Struggle for Nickels and Dimes“Put writing in your heart. Thus you may protect yourself from any kind of labour.” -Egyptian scribe to his son 2400 BC.This is the idea. To find a way to write for my food. By any means necessary. But I have found that to do so [...]

  • Tourist Charity and Street Children

    Tourist Charity and Street ChildrenI walked to the internet café tonight. They were closed. Their front gate was securely fastened shut with a steel chain and a big strong padlock; the lights inside were off. In futility, I shook the gate a few times for no good measure. The sign on the door read that [...]

  • Javanese Proverb

    Javanese Proverb“If you start off north, go north, don’t turn east, west, or south.”-Javanese ProverbI read this proverb from Java a few days ago and have not been able to shake it since. To take one single direction to fruition has never been my fancy. But the thought of it, has gotten my wheels a [...]

  • The Romance of Traveling

    The Romance of Traveling“Once the traveler found civilizations radically different from his own awaiting him at the end of his journey. Now he finds impoverished imitations of his own, set off here and there by the relics of a discarded past.”-Clifford Geertz, The Cerebral Savage: On the Work of Claude Levi-StraussWhen I speak of the [...]

  • New Travel Strategy

    New Travel StrategyI have never really given much thought to how I plan my journeys, what countries I go to, or the number of lands I have ventured in. Rather, I have usually just traveled to what ever place strikes my fancy at any given time. A look at the cover of a book, an [...]

  • Low Density High Income Tourism

    Low density, High Income TourismThis is the creed of Panamanian tourism. Resorts, resorts, and the cars and buses that bring the people to the resorts. But those upright shafts to boredom have nothing for me. I walked by them for kicks tonight, and peered into the White Man bars. They were smiling and laughing pasted [...]

  • Boots or Hearts

    Boots or HeartsBoots or Hearts- this is what Erik the Pilot told me. I sometimes loath writing about the lull points in travel when the romance of the Open Road begins to run around to the lee side of the island; when I find myself hitting the occasional wall and looking around in an attempt [...]

  • Costa Rica Walking

    Costa Rica WalkingI think to be a good travel photographer you have to be conspicuous, uncouth, and obvious. How else are you going to get people to look at you?The police are just criminals with guns who have no fear of the police. I must wonder about where anthropologists get off at being so pretentious. [...]

  • Rest and Relaxation in Costa Rica

    Rest and Relaxation in Costa RicaI put off going to Panama for a couple of days. I need to figure out what is going on with the archaeology project at Copan in Honduras before I go running off. I also need to finish writing an article. So I found a smile and am just sitting [...]

  • No Good Feeling Here

    No Good Feeling HereI caught a bus into San Jose today because I was on my to Panama. I arrived in the city and began looking for the Tica Bus station. I had a folded square of paper in my hand that had Torre Mercedes written upon it. The Tica Bus station was two blocks [...]

  • Speak Badly About the USA

    Speak Badly About The USAI am in Latin America. Many of the people here blame the USA for the perceived state of decay that their countries are in. To a large extent, they are correct. In what seems like an attempt to even up the ante, many people try to force me into conversations in [...]

  • Like an Old Turd

    Like an Old TurdYou never know how much you love someone until they are suppose to meet back up with you in five minutes and you don’t know if they will show. This is a funny feeling. I have been feeling it a lot with Mira these past weeks. Maybe she is out partying and [...]

  • Travel and Love- An Unbridgeable Chasm?

    Travel and Love- An Unbridgeable Chasm?I believe that I have never met a happy woman. I suppose happiness equates to doing just what you want, when you want to do it. Well, perhaps. Maybe women are so inherently social minded that they feel responsible for the people around them, and expect these people to feel [...]

  • The Way to Costa Rica

    The Way to Costa RicaI say proudly that I have never followed anyone anywhere before. Until now. Mira is atthe reins as we wander on towards Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, anywhere we happen to set foot. I must say that I was at the head of our travels around Asia and North Africa for the [...]

  • On Becoming a Misanthrope

    On Becoming a MisanthropeI have now, officially, become a misanthrope. I have just realized the extent to which I try to avoid people, the schemes and excuses I make to subvert small talk.I hate small talk.If I am going to speak to someone rather than write, read, or think, I want to discuss something. I [...]

  • Love and the Open Road

    Love and the Open Road. To travel is to feel free- to act upon one’s own intuition at every moment. To pursue love is to act in accordance to the powers of spontaneity. To love is also to feel free. But this initial love seems to grow into something else- dependence, perhaps- that inhibits the [...]

  • Visit to USA- Back to Family

    Visit to the USA- Back with FamilyI must say that it is nice to past through my homeland of the USA every once in a while. I get to spend a little time with my family, check up on my old friends, read my books (I have lots of books!), play with my sister’s son [...]

  • Travel- Happiness- and Aging

    Travel, Happiness, and AgingI am now back in the USA. A ten day stay that is now down to a week. Visiting my family, talking to some old friends. Things have changed. People grew up, people carved out the identities that they will carry with them throughout their lives. Stubbs is no longer afraid of [...]

  • Traveling and Projects

    Traveling and ProjectsAfter eight years of traveling, I have come to the realization that travelers need projects to keep them going. My mother always tells me that people need to work to be happy; I now know that she is correct. I loathe the role of the employee, but I do not mind working . [...]

  • Back in Casablanca

    Back in CasablancaI am now writing from the very place that I began the Moroccan portion of my journey almost exactly four months ago: the Foucauld Hotel in Casablanca. Four months of traveling, four countries. I sit here thinking about these travels, and my life up to here. What have I done? What am I [...]

  • French Hygiene and Stereotypes

    French Hygiene and StereotypesHygiene in France- if there is such a thing- is somewhat different than in most parts of the planet. I am in a position where I must state that the smelly French man stereotype really did come from somewhere. It is true- French people stink.Well, so do I. But I am a [...]

  • On Leaving Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal

    On Leaving Vila Nova de Milfontes, PortugalThe time has come again to leave behind yet another beautiful place. Today, when I get on the bus, I will leave Vila Nova de Milfontes heavy-hearted. I will look back over my shoulder and watch this town slowly fade from view. I do not want to leave. I [...]

  • When Two Travelers Fall in Love

    When Two Travelers Fall in LoveIt is hard. Sometimes it seems like a two headed snake trying to pull itself apart.Wade and Mira.We both are running our own roads together, though in a mutual state of detour. But a middle line is found when these two roads are combined, and, although there are rough patches [...]

  • Fireworks . . .and the Pogues

    Fireworks . . . and the Pogues“You remember when the ship went downYou left me on the deckThe captain's corpse jumped upAnd threw his arms around my neckFor all these years I've had him on my backThis debt cannot be paid with all your jack”-The Pogues, Turkish Song of the Damned“Fuck you, Wade!” Mira cried [...]

  • Interview with the Traveler, Loren Everly

    Interview with the Traveler: The Wanderings and Musings of Loren EverlyBy: Wade P. ShepardI first met Loren Everly (http://www.loreneverly.org/) in the windswept, desolate city of Ulanbaatar, Mongolia. We were both staying at the Golden Gobi guesthouse and bonded when I offered him an orange (a real delicacy in the non-fertile shrublands of the Gobi) and, [...]

  • The Joys of Traveling by Bicycle

    The Joys of Traveling by BicycleVila Nova de Milfontes, PortugalNovember 1, 2007Wade from: http://www.vagabondjourney.com/To take trains and busses is to merely travel from point A to point B; to travel the same route by bicycle is to feel it every rock, hill, breeze, tribulation and joy of the entire way. Traveling by bicycle is the [...]

  • On Masterpieces and Messes

    On Masterpieces and MessesVila Nova de Milfontes, PortugalOctober 30, 2007Homepage: www.VagabondJourney.com"I have always been an idle fellow, and prone to play the vagabond."-Buckthorne, Tales of a Traveller, by: Washington Irving" . . .great geniuses never studied, but were always idle . . ."-Buckthorne, Tales of a Traveller, by: Washington IrvingI have either made a masterpiece [...]

  • By Bike: From Lisbon, Portugal to France

    By Bike: From Lisbon, Portugal to France Oeiras, Portugal October 21, 2007Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.comMy New Steed.Mira and her decked out ride.This is the plan. Mira and I just bought two new, blue mountain bikes from the Decathlon in Lisbon yesterday. We then attached a couple of gear racks and rear view mirrors on them and then [...]

  • The Ferry from Tangier to Algeciras

    The Ferry from Tangier to AlgecirasOeiras, PortugalOctober 20, 2007Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.comOn the night of the October15th, Mira and I were sitting around our little pink room in the Hotel Marraketch in Rabat joking and scheming up plans of how we would travel around Morocco. Before we knew it we hashed out a plan to go way [...]

  • The End of the Road: Figuig

    The End of the Road: FiguigRabat, MoroccoOctober 11, 2007Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.comThe end of the road is where a traveller’s dream begins. All travelers have a special affection for the places where long roads meet their end. From the looks of it, Figuig, hidden in the farthest south eastern corner of Morocco, is such a place. I [...]

  • Warnings from Casablanca

    Warnings From CasablancaRabat, MoroccoOctober 11, 2007Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.comI swung through Casablanca and scooped up Mira at the airport yesterday. She came in right on time, and I was hiding behind a post as she was squirted out of the customs area. I watched her from my hiding place, laughing to myself as she looked nervously all [...]

  • On Moroccan Touts

    The following is a comment that Ubertramp www.ubertramp.com left on Travel Tip #5- Not Your Friend. I feel this comment (don't worry, it is not the one about his avocado underwear) deserves to be posted properly for the sake of further discussion, as he brings up a trick that the Moroccan tout, in particular, is [...]

  • In Meknes, Morocco

    In Meknes, MoroccoMeknes, MoroccoOctober 6, 2007Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.comOpen park area that serves as the city's meeting place, in Meknes, Morocco.In Meknes, Morocco the men in the streets perpetually engage each other in verbal conflict and pretend that they are going to fight. It just seems to be a normal thing to do. I have yet to [...]

  • Trust and Travel and the Complexities of Adventure

    Trust and Travel and the Complexities of AdventureMeknes, Morocco October 2, 2007Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.comTrust is perhaps the hardest lesson for a traveller to learn. Knowing when and who to trust while travelling can mean the difference between a beautiful inter-cultural exchange and a boring night in a hotel room, enjoying a nice day of city strolling [...]

  • Renewed Spirits in Meknes

    Renewed Spirits in MeknesMeknes, MoroccoSeptember 27,2007Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com/North Africa Page: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com/northafrica View from rooftop.“Travelling and dreaming are part of the same phenomenon. If you don’t allow yourself to dream while travelling, you are missing half of the show.”I wrote these words but a few days ago. I think that I momentarily stopped dreaming here in Meknes. [...]

  • These Days in Meknes

    These Days in MeknesMeknes, MoroccoSeptember 24, 2007Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com/North Africa page: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com/northafricaThese Meknes days have been relaxing to say the least:I wake up casually in the morningDo a little writing or readingEat a little breakfastPut my clothes onWalk a few meters to the internet parlorWork for three to five hoursWalk a few meters back to the [...]

  • A Traveller . . .

    A Traveller . . .Meknes, MoroccoSeptember 24, 2007Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.comA traveller . . .Knows that “. . . an uncomfortable bed free is better than a comfortable bed unfree.” -KerouacGoes the wrong way. . . and doesn’t care.Uses a television only to hang wet laundry on.Always takes a free meal, even when they are well-fed.Knows that [...]

  • Comfortable in Meknes

    Comfortable in MeknesMeknes, MoroccoSeptember 21, 2007Homepage: North Africa Page: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com/northafrica The sole ripe orange that hangs outside of my window just beyond my reach. There is one ripe orange in the orange grove outside of my window in the Maroc Hotel. There are many green oranges, but only one orange one. It is, of course, [...]

  • Thoughts in Fes

    Thoughts In FesFes, MoroccoSeptember 14, 2007Homepage: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com/North Africa Page: http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com/northafrica“Ali Baba Ali Baba Goodbye,” said the manager of the hotel that I spent a few days at in Rabat. Wherever I go I hear this joking taunt. I don’t mind it, it is better than the yells of “Bin Ladan ” that I would get [...]

  • Rambling and the Process of Being at "Home"

    Rambling and the Process of Being at “Home”Buffalo, NYAugust 29, 2007http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.comThese open fields and orchards are my home. This is where I grew up- out on the farms, riding bikes and playing football. The place where a person was raised, the place where they take their first bearings on the world, sticks with them through [...]

  • The Archaeology

    Hanover, Pennsylvania, USAAugust 14, 2007http://canciondelvagabundo.googlepages.com/Archaeologist working on Powerline site, Middlesex/ Essex project. Beginning of an excavation unit. Depending on soil disposition and artifact frequency, these units can be over a meter deep. Two projectile points."Traveler, there is no path; paths are made by walking."-Antonio Machado CantoresWell friends, it has finally happened: I found myself a [...]

  • Back in the USA

    Upstate New YorkJuly 10, 2007". . . even a rolling stone requires an occasional handful of moss."-Harry Franck, Working North from PatagoniaAlpacas in Bosque de Piedras, Peru, 2001.As I ended up back in the USA I figure that I am afforded the opportunity to think through some of my previous travels and dig into the [...]

  • On Leaving Another Country

    Halong Bay.It is said that travelling is hard. If that is so then traveling with other people is even harder. In travel, everything about a person seems to come out of their deep recesses and flows up to the surface. Therefore, you must really love your travel companion. I have always found it extremely difficult [...]

  • Nanning, Guangxi Autonomous Region

    Nanning, Guangxi Autonomous Region, P.R. ChinaJune 4, 2007 Man on river collecting bottles. Market scene."Too much contact with people brings conflict, hatred, and attachment. To rid myself of inner conflicts and hatred I must walk."-Santoka TanedaI am getting back into the tropics after being away for a long while. I am finding that my body [...]

  • The Bright Side of Travel

    SANTIAGO, Chile- I have returned to Santiago. In travel, you leave places, perhaps never to return, perhaps to find yourself looking face to face at what you thought you would not look upon again. The rain was a bit much in the south of Chile. Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, beautiful places but rain, rain, rain. [...]