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Any Day Above The Ground . . . Senior Vagabond Rides Again

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.

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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.

Am I still traveling? You bet.

Where am I? Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

Why did I stopped writing? That, my friends, is not so easy to answer but I’ll try.

I have said it before: Life is a trip. We are all travelers on Spaceship Earth. We are all passengers together hurtling through space and time. You may be sitting in an apartment in Boise, Idaho where you’ve lived for ten years but you are still on this trip with the rest of us. In my (almost) 66 years on this spaceship I have found the greatest trips take place not in time or space but in my head. And that is mostly where I have been for the last year and a half.

Things have happened during that time. I have had personal relationships that did not end well. I have been struggling with an illness I have been denying all my life. I have had good friends die. All these things caused me to ask a question: Just what in hell am I doing? An old(er) man, carrying a backpack, homeless, and (yes!) alone most of the time. I went back and re-read my blog. I re-read my articles on Vagabond Journey. Neither gave me an answer. And then I read a quote I have in the sidebar on my blog. It is from a movie called The Razor’s Edge, starring Bill Murray as Larry Darrell. It is a movie I highly recommend to one and all. The quote is as follows:

“I’ve got a second chance at life. I’m not going to waste it on a big house, a new car every year, and a bunch of friends who want a big house and a new car every year.” – Larry

And that is the answer. That is what I am doing. I am out here being a traveler because I don’t want to be “there” being an old(er) man, puttering around a house and yard all day, talking to the old guy next door about the new lawn edger he just bought or which football team won last Sunday. I don’t want to be fastened up in a small apartment waiting for Meals on Wheels to bring me lunch because I can’t afford to eat out and, even more so, waiting because the person who delivers the meal will most likely be the only person I talk to all day. I don’t want that. I would rather die out here on the road.

So, coming back to the question of why I stopped writing. I stopped because I didn’t want to discourage anyone from living this life. I didn’t want to write about the problems and sorrows and illness and heartbreak I was finding out here. Because in the end, knowing that out here on the road I may still die in some forgotten town in some forgotten room alone, at least I will have lived.

And in the end, I know I am not really alone. There are seven billion (and counting) other passengers on this spaceship traveling with me. Most just choose to stick to the main roads their culture have paved for them. But, we will all get to the end of the trail somewhere. I choose to veer away from the crowd and take the scenic route.

Gar Williams, Ajijic, Mexico

Gar Williams, Ajijic, Mexico

Filed under: Perpetual Travel, Senior Travel, Senior Vagabond, Travel Philosophy

About the Author:

Gar Williams liquidated his former life, sold all his possessions that wouldn’t fit into a 46 liter backpack, and left it all behind at age 63. He is now traveling the world, and, in his words, is finally doing what he wants to do. Gar stops by at VagabondJourney.com from time to time to offer his wisdom and advice on the Senior Vagabond series. has written 65 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support Gar Williams’s writing on this blog:

Gar Williams is currently in: Ecuador

15 comments… add one

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  • David November 21, 2013, 12:58 am


    What an article!

    So – are we going to read some more here!?

    David from SA.

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  • David November 21, 2013, 12:59 am

    P.s. Has anyone seen Wade anywhere?

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    • gar November 22, 2013, 9:26 am

      Thanks David. There will be more articles. I can’t promise how frequent they will be because I am “retired” and only do things when the urge strikes me. 🙂

      I haven’t actually laid eyes on Wade since we were both in San Cristobal, Mexico, but I know he is alive and well. Who else would put out all the work that goes into “Vagabond Journey”?

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    • Wade Shepard November 26, 2013, 7:44 am

      Hello David,

      Mostly working on books these days. More on this soon. Thanks for reading all these years.

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  • Bob L November 22, 2013, 1:27 pm

    Lots of stuff from wade at http://thechinachronicle.com/

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  • Scott November 22, 2013, 7:33 pm

    I missed you. You were always my favorite guest writer. Your writings have soul. Take care!!

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    • gar November 22, 2013, 8:53 pm

      Thanks Scott. I’ll do better about writing in the future.

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  • Chaya November 23, 2013, 6:59 am

    Nice article, Gar. You really articulate how I have also felt traveling, it’s not always the easiest road, but when faced with the alternative: the race to see who has the biggest house, etc. we have always chosen to stay abroad. I hope we meet up again soon.

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    • gar November 23, 2013, 9:04 am

      Thanks Chaya. I do love that quote and that movie.

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  • Dan Williams November 24, 2013, 10:14 am

    Sure would like to hear more! Great to hear from you.

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  • Megan December 10, 2013, 2:26 pm

    Thank you for this, Gar. You are inspiring. Keep living life on your terms.
    Peace and light to you.

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  • bernie December 13, 2013, 10:47 am

    yeah a great article!! and so true!! you have really got the right idea for sure mate! keep on going!! good luck!!

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  • Daniel January 29, 2014, 12:26 pm

    Hi Gar
    will be in Lake Chapala this summer to start my new life. want to see Mexico in the 6 months (learn rudimentary spanish etc) before moving south and hope that we can have a beer so I can get a few pointers. Will be living on SSN so I will need to learn quickly ! Hope to see you then if you are still there.

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  • purplepartyguy May 26, 2015, 11:36 pm

    well said Sir…well said

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