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‘The one place that can never decline because it was never that great”

Tough to argue with the Simpsons.

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This is where I’m from:

Largely true. Especially the part of people taking selfies at the demolition of old Kodak buildings. They really do that. (My entire family used to work at Kodak.) The shot of the Bills fans … may look familiar to regular readers of this blog.

Pretty derelict, right?

However, there is no place that I would rather be than there. I can be anywhere at any time — well, this is what I tell my editors. I travel. I’ve always traveled. I’ve never done anything other than travel.

But all I really want to do is go home — although there’s not any check boxes for this on my itinerary. Each football season I sneak back there a few times and make good on my season tickets in the Rock Pile, but that’s all I can manage.

I keep saying this over and over again on this blog: places are about people. I don’t care about pyramids and towers and paintings of ugly ladies. What’s so great about looking at something? To say that you looked at it? Yup, I looked at that, now I can tell everybody that I looked at that. I care about the experience of being somewhere, and this is all about the people there.

But maybe I say this just because I’m from Upstate New York. Good people is all we got.

Filed under: New York

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3632 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: Astoria, New York

14 comments… add one

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  • julie May 1, 2019, 12:31 pm

    I haven’t been out long enough to miss home. I’m really working on finding the place that likes looking at things. I won’t be here that long and its embarrassing when people say “Did you see ….” And I say “No but I just watched an old lady break into the next yard by bending the metal fencing down to shin level so she could climb over to take berries off a tree.” Really, that just happened. During the call to prayer. Priceless moment. I was seeing if my phone would record good enough to use for something else. So I have something totally unusable but for a memory. later.

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    • Wade Shepard May 1, 2019, 2:53 pm

      That’s amazing. It’s funny what happens when you start looking at people rather than piles of old bricks.

      I actually went to the Great Wall for the first time just because I figured it would be easier to just say “Yes” when people asked if I’d been there rather than saying no and explaining.

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  • Rob May 1, 2019, 5:55 pm

    “Home” is a very individual place. I think it’s good to have an area that you identify as “home”.

    I moved all over the place as a kid and then as an adult. I woke up a few years back (I was in the Arizona desert & it was winter) with the thought of going “home” & realized i didn’t have one to go to.
    I’m 66 & still looking…

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    • Wade Shepard May 1, 2019, 7:10 pm

      That is an interesting realization to come to. Guess you just have to keep going!

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      • Trevor May 1, 2019, 8:48 pm

        This place is home but god i hate it. still bashing out the postal job..i keep myself to myself just biding my time…

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        • Wade Shepard May 2, 2019, 8:05 pm

          Enjoy it. You’ll be gone soon!

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          • Trevor May 2, 2019, 9:32 pm

            Cheers Wade!

            oh i gotta share some news and it’ll go half way to making ur day, or may be only a 16th.. but my new blog… i’ve dropped the dot weebly dot com bit….

            so im waiting now for pages to start appearing under the upgrade name…and an increase in traffic…. oh that long slow road and a sponsor… lol. so i could survive as a nomad indefinately

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            • Wade Shepard May 2, 2019, 10:13 pm

              Excellent! Let me know how it goes. Nice domain name.

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              • Trevor May 2, 2019, 10:26 pm

                Thanks… its indexed pretty quickly just need to be on the road to create content. Transnistria coming up in 4 weeks time..

                thx for the inspiration too…

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                • Wade Shepard May 3, 2019, 4:51 pm

                  Excellent! That’s not much time to prepare. I’d start selecting topics that you feel will perform well. On another note, it takes a really long time to build authority, so be patient.

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                  • Trevor May 3, 2019, 6:09 pm

                    yup. posts with logistics are good for keyword dropping.. and so easy to SEO, and as i dt have a following,
                    i need SEO..
                    i know i need time, luck and perseverence. and i like (doing) logistic posts:))

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                    • Wade Shepard May 5, 2019, 4:06 pm

                      Be wary of SEO info. There was a great divide in SEO tactics: pre-Panda/Penguin and post-Panda/Penguin. Strategies that worked before 2011/2012 no longer work today, but many sources of SEO information fail to realize this and keep sharing old tactics. I don’t know if you do this, but subscribe to a few top SEO sites to stay up to date. But at the point that your site is at don’t go too crazy with investing much time into this as the results are probably not going to be too impressive right off. No matter how good your on-site SEO is it is almost irrelevant if your site isn’t viewed as an “authority.” You only get authority status by having other sites / social media accounts / other media talking about you. This takes time.

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  • Trav May 5, 2019, 3:54 pm

    Dude, that’s your home and you’re sharing this? You seem proud of it.

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    • Wade Shepard May 5, 2019, 3:57 pm

      #BillsMafia

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