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New Vagabond Journey Blogger, Lawrence Hamilton

An introduction to Vagabond Journey’s newest blogger.

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A byproduct of running a blog is getting massive amounts of email from people you’ve never met or heard of before. Sometimes it’s the usual crap, sometimes it’s onerous marketers acting like your friend to get you to promote something, sometimes it’s touching emails from long term readers that are saying hello for the first time, sometimes it’s people wanting to put you on the radio or TV, sometimes it’s yet another angry reptilian bastard you pissed off, other times it’s a much needed donation, or a reader with some encouragement, or an invitation to work on some interesting project . . . and sometimes — every once in a while — it’s some surprise that you never could have expected or imagined. Even after nine years of doing this work I have yet to lose that tinge of excitement that comes from waking up and opening my email in the morning. I never know what may be in there.

I got one of those surprises around a year ago when Michael Britton casually submitted his first article. I received a similar surprise a couple of days ago when someone named Lawrence Hamilton from Kentucky inquired as to whether I’d be interested in having him contribute articles to Vagabond Journey. My attention piqued up at this, and then then it brimmed over into excitement as he mentioned how he had made a few vagabonding trips before — little things like spending three months walking from Vietnam to Bangkok, traveling overland from Beijing to Baku (stopping for a while in Afghanistan to teach at a girls school), 18 months in India, Pakistan, and Nepal, riding in an empty box car on an iron ore train across Mauritania, bushwalking through Australia, on and on.

“Of course,” I responded.

Over the following days I’ve continued corresponding with Lawrence, who’s currently based in Australia, and he casually keeps mentioning bits of his travel history — again, little things like walking across Xinjiang — and many possible story ideas about things like Aboroginal Tent Embassies, immigrant boats washing ashore, and a guide to bushwalking. There was no need to ask this guy for writing samples.

I used to have a Richard Halliburton quote on the back of my Vagabond Journey business cards (yeah, I have those) that succinctly sums up what this site is about:

“The Vagabond life is the logical life to lead if one seeks the intimate knowledge of the world we were seeking.”

I’ve never found a reason to rewrite our mission statement beyond this line. It just says it. Some people just live this quote, whether they know of it or not. Pierre Laurent, the French tramp from our Iceland stories, was one. Lawrence is another.

With pleasure I present the newest blogger on Vagabond Journey, Lawrence Hamilton. His first story went up earlier today, it’s called Tea Time in the Sahara. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


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Filed under: Vagabond Journey Updates

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3719 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

2 comments… add one

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  • John February 2, 2014, 11:00 am

    What are Aboriginal Tent embassies? my curiosity is peaked.

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  • Lawrence February 3, 2014, 1:45 am

    The original Tent Embassy came about in the early 70’s. There were some activists who believed that the concerns and welfare of the indigenous population were not being met, so they decided to put a semi-permanent embassy to voice their concerns to the federal government. Some of the main issues were reparations for lost land and indigenous control of the Northern Territory. The one in Canberra has become quite famous and will occasionally be seen on the news. A big topic of debate at the moment is the possibility of a formal change to the constitution being signed between Aboriginal communities and the federal government.

    Canberra is the capital of Australia and where Parliament sits and where the foreign embassies are located.

    There is(was) also a tent embassy in Portland Victoria (a town near the border of South Australia.) I passed it one day on the bus after finishing a bushwalk. There was obvious some resistance to it as several banners around town said “Public Park, not political park.” I read recently that it was torn down in October so I am trying to follow up with some of the people who were taking part.

    Here is a link that show some images and a story from Portland….


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