“What I’d really like would be to have a couple of horses in one of the villages along the desert. And some girl who would be willing to ride…you know, she’d have her mustang, I’d have mine.”-from “The Drifters”I arrive in Thailand with a heavy head. In a spurred moment I sent off an application [...]
Published onJuly 8, 2007byVBJFollow me on Twitter here.
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“What I’d really like would be to have a couple of horses in one of the villages along the desert. And some girl who would be willing to ride…you know, she’d have her mustang, I’d have mine.” -from “The Drifters”
I arrive in Thailand with a heavy head. In a spurred moment I sent off an application to a forestry school in the Adirondacks, and was accepted with an offer of a big scholarship. Mira, my lady who at this point was back in the USA, was offered the same deal. Neither of us were really inclined to accept the offer, but a lingering thought keep nagging us. Perhaps we should check it out? What would be the harm? Mira was back in the USA with no prospect of really meeting me back in Asia as we planned, I was beginning to miss her, and my money was running low and I needed to find work somewhere anyway. I was planning on working on some archaeology sites if France for the summer to make up the bean money to set myself afloat again. But I suppose it does not really matter where in the world I am at this point. Roving around the USA from site to site again this summer did not appeal to me in the least, but I would have the opportunity to visit my family, which is something that I did not think would happen this year. I was also growing extremely weary of talking to Mira on sparse, expensive phone calls trying to arrange where and how she was going to meet me again. In a moment of annoyance I bought a ticket to New York.
I have now been visiting my family for the past couple of weeks and am fully ready to be back out on the road again. A couple months of hobo work and I should be off to Turkey. There is no way that I am going to Forestry school. My Wanderlust has been set in too deep to stay put for the next two or three years. It was a nice sounding idea when I was in the Khao San gutter of Bangkok though. But now that I am back in Upstate NY the romance of fresh air and mountains and rivers without end has given way to the callings of the Open Road. This unexpected return to my homeland may not be without benefit though. Mira, who has previously studied film, and I have began putting together the initial rudiments towards making a little documentary. In the States we have access to research and equipment outlets that we would not have had in Asia. So here I am, just sitting around reading old travel notebooks and looking through piles of photographs…just waiting for a Beacon to lay out a direction to tramp in.
In Thailand I kept a pretty low profile. I went to bed early (usually just to be woken up by drunks screwing in surrounding rooms), and worked out in a Muay Thai gym. Khao San seemed to have been gentrified a little bit since the last time I was there in 2005, but I could still find a cheap room and food. Other than this, I just enjoyed making jokes to taxi drivers and eating in the same restaurant three times a day.
Now I am just digging into my library of books that are strewn about my old bedroom and shooting my firearms in the surrounding fields….and loving on the fresh air and trees, lakes and rivers that I grew up with.
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. VBJ has written 3624 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
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Ghost Cities of China
Ghost Cities of China is a book which recounts the two and a half years I spent on the ground investigating China’s empty new cities. Pull back the dark veil on the New China and find out what the country is really all about.