An introduction to Vagabond Journey’s newest blogger.
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.