Archive for November, 2011

November 29, 2011

Vagabond Type of the Day: Transient

by Ashe Vagabond of the Vagabond Express

Day 1

Transient: The Clan Type

Not all those who wander are lost.

Vagab I am putting Transients first because they may be the heart and soul of what a typical vagabond is fabled to look like. When a person says ‘vagabond’ these might be the first people who come to mind. No matter what kind of wanderer you are, likely you can “feel” this group, understand its core fabric, and appreciate the level of extremism they are willing to live in so that they can live the life on the road—and on their own terms.

Strong personalities abound in these groups. I have personally migrated with transients and camped out with them in various cities in different countries. I was never a full-blooded transient, but I do have a first-hand understanding of this kind of vagabond.

About Them

Definition of TRANSIENT (Merriam-Webster)

1

: passing especially quickly into and out of existence :transitory <transient beauty>

: passing through or by a place with only a brief stay or sojourn <transient visitors>

2

: affecting something or producing results beyond itself

vagabbbbs

Transients are what happen when the fringe of society becomes so distant from the main social groups that they just plain fall of the map entirely—but in groups. Transients usually travel in packs. They are not “homeless people.” Some call themselves “residentially challenged” in jest, but what they really mean is that they don’t  WANT to live in society the way most people do. Their lifestyle represents a rigid fortitude to manifest their own destiny within the confounds of what they deem valuable in life.

Notable values they hold dear: freedom, friendship, unencumberance.

Notable values they don’t really give a hoot about: money, materialism, societal roles.

vagabbs

They are often self-educated, well-read individuals who are very capable of participating in society like any average person—yet choose not to. To really give a description that might ring a bell: they are those “punk” looking people with the dreadlocks and pit bulls roaming around at all hours (at least the average person would unknowingly label them punks). These Vagabonds move a lot, but may stay for a certain period of time in certain locations. They follow a life pattern similar to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, actually, and one might argue that they’ve managed to remain pure in a constantly changing social landscape.

These people usually know the best and safest places to camp out, and they’ll gladly sleep there with or without a tent. They usually have a vast network of contacts in all walks of life across many cities, states, or even countries. They fluently enter and exit mainstream society, meaning that they may sleep in the woods but wander into town to buy beans for their open campfire back where the clan is waiting.

vagabss

They look out for one another, are often humanists with a strong sense of kin with their fellow man (and animal), and are not unknown to have hidden talents under all that unassuming exterior. I mean that person with the green mohawk walking with that muscular dog could be a concert trained pianist or have a university degree—seriously. At the very least, they have a Diploma in Life Experiences that most people know nothing about.

vagabbbs

If you’d like to live amongst them or spend time with them, leave your pretention at the door, but feel free to unload your quirks. They are usually very resilient to displays of originality and genuine character, unlike the folks back at the office.

 

* The awesome photos are from The Life of American Vagabonds. Click on the link to be taken to even MORE awesome photos of Transient Vagabonds.

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November 29, 2011

Vagabond Mantra by Mr. H

by Ashe Vagabond of the Vagabond Express

A submission by a fellow vagabond.

 

Plain like these clothes. You and I.
No more. No home. None the less. More so,
But when we fall!
Oh the glory — the vanity!
Cheers flow. Crowds crawl. Babies brawl!
Insanity — Pornography – Make war!
— watching us fall.
At the edge of one day,
we will go back, and vanish no more
but where?
Homesick,
— Robert!
Maybe not willingly.
Sad. Broken. Nevertheless.
In tears. In plain. And perhaps,
in Vain?
Vagabond, you and I
We will find
-a- home
one day.

 

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November 29, 2011

Vagabond Breeds

by Ashe Vagabond of the Vagabond Express

Over the next few days, I will dedicate posts to types of Vagabonds. I am not trying to put our kind into boxes and label us, but rather to show what a range of lifestyles can be imbued into the character of a person who loves to travel. This is mostly for fun. I am excited about the idea of looking at vagabonds through a range of potential meanings, rather than assuming that we are all the same. Definitely, we’re not. In my own travels, I have met so many other travelers. I noticed that often we shared a love of the road, but there are ways in which I came to understand differences in orientation from one vagabond to the next. There are trends…

Well, I’ll try here. Please give me your feedback and maybe I can adjust my views based on what others think regarding this.

So far, I have made a list. It looks like this:

Transient: The Clan Type

Thoreau: The Lover of Solitude

Nomad: Born for the Open Road

Pseudo-Citizen

Entrepreneur: The Money Makers

Frequent Flyer: Top Secret Vagabonds

The Backpacker

Gypsy: The Traveling Artisan

Messengers: Vagabonds with Missions

 

Tomorrow I will start with the Transient and go from there.

November 25, 2011

Book Alert! “Finding the Gypsy in Me” by Theresa Roberts

by Ashe Vagabond of the Vagabond Express

 

finding-gypsy-eBook-no-hyphen6-230x300

 

I must confess, I haven’t read it yet. I just stumbled upon this book online, and it’s one of those books that go on the “must read” list immediately. I wanted to buzz it up and ask for reviews from people who perhaps have read it.

After I read it, I’ll be coming back here to write up a formal tell-all analysis in vagabond style.

Here is a description of the book, quoted from the author’s own website:

Have you ever dreamed of chucking it all, packing your bags, and heading out into the wild, wild blue yonder? Well, I did just that! I walked away from my career as an educator, sold 99% of my personal belongings and began traveling the world. Six years later, I am still at it! This book tells the story of how I have lived in Malta, Prague, Spain, England, Ireland, the tiny isle of Saba, and more for up to ninety day stretches, moving from country to country as an international house sitter. I have even lived on a 57-foot boat in a marina in Baja California. This book is a testament to living life on my own terms. It explains a different way of looking at time, money, and travel.  I am living proof that you do not have to be rich to discover your own creative path to freedom!

Now there is a woman after my own heart!

Check her website for more information at:

http://findingthegypsyinme.com/

November 24, 2011

Vagabond of the Month: Matt

by Ashe Vagabond of the Vagabond Express

Where the Hell is Matt?

matt

If you don’t know about this guy, then it’s time you did.

Before we talk about where Matt is, let’s review why he’s so damn special. I’ll quote Matt for that one:

Matt is a 35-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play videogames.

That’s from his website. He sounds awesome, right? Oh, you didn’t catch the awesomeness in that quote? Okay, let’s try again with another quote:

Matt has a little piece of extra cartilage sticking out on the rim of one ear and a little hole in the same place on the other ear.

Did you catch his Super Vagabond traits yet?

Well, Matt gets paid to travel the ENTIRE world with his girlfriend…doing nothing but dancing with village children and monks for about 30 seconds. I am so serious. He is even a new father, so now this dude has true love, a family, and the ultimate vagabond lifestyle.

Told you. Matt is way cool.

Here is his original, self-instigated journey:

Background music is AWESOME, right?

Here is his next trip, this time funded by his sponsor STRIDE Gum.

He is working on a 2011 video!

If anyone wants to check out his site personally, you can visit him at: http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/.

Also, check out when he is coming to YOUR CITY for his 2011 tour and go dance with him!

You know you want to.

November 23, 2011

Call for Contributors!

by Ashe Vagabond of the Vagabond Express

Are there writing vagabonds out there with a story to tell or advice to share?

Vagabond Express is just a baby now.

But from this little seed, a community can be born. Let this be a platform for expression and sharing!

Please contact me if you’d be interested in contributing your own story or something else related to travel.

Beautiful things are built together.

November 23, 2011

Vagabond Mantras by Ashe Vagabond

by Ashe Vagabond of the Vagabond Express

 

Lost, and I don’t care;

count the lies I believed

when I knew my way.

 

*  *  *

 

I was watching clouds open,

wide-mouthed and yawning.

 

*  *  *

 

At the end of the journey

of my life,

I found myself

where I had begun.

field-of-love-nature-31000

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November 22, 2011

Vagabond Mantras by Yunus Emre & Rumi

by Ashe Vagabond of the Vagabond Express

1.

There is a desert.

I long to be walking,

a wide emptiness,

peace beyond any understanding of it.

 

2.

I have no religion;

My religion is love.

I have no nation;

My nation is humanity.

 

3.

Out beyond ideas of

wrongdoing and rightdoing,

there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

 

monet

 

1. The second poem is a fairly unknown piece by Yunus Emre, a Turkish poet. 

2. Photo is Claude Monet “The Poppy Field”

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November 21, 2011

Where we came from…

by Ashe Vagabond of the Vagabond Express

I haven’t posted anything on here in so long. I was recently involved in a torrent love affair with an “exotic” man who I now am sure was a sociopath (seriously). I neglected most of my passions over the past few months as a result and am only now getting back into the swing of things. This post is still about being a vagabond, but with a twist.

It’s about where we came from, not where we are going.

A vagabond is always moving, full of experiences but empty of assumptions upon entering a foreign land (our experiences taught us better). Vagabonds move constantly. We embrace change. We understand that nothing (nearly) is permanent. We can surf the tide of an uncertain journey with tenacious grace. We can get by with or without public toilets, ATM machines, knowledge of the local language, itinerary, razors, and tourist guides. We are free spirits, ever new and ever evolving with a fluent horizon of various colors.

But make no mistake. We came from somewhere. A vagabond carries inside herself or himself a vast array of cultures and experiences accumulated over the years. And do not underestimate the way this effects a person’s character. Their quality of spirit. Their fortitude of heart. To those potholes in the road, like the one I stumbled in in Istanbul, Turkey, I want to remind the wretched holes and my fellow vagabonds that these are the times when our journey is teaching us what we set out to learn: the hard truths of life. These are the experiences that mold us into magnificently unique and able creatures.

When you face the most tormenting of challenges during your adventure, do what vagabonds do best: move on. Throw it behind you like a stepping stone. Extract its meaning and power, master its lesson, and then become not-all-who-wander300a greater animal because of it. WE SET OUT seeking these  lessons. WE ARE DRIVEN by our need to know more about existence, the world, and ourselves. WE REACH FOR dark corners and light expanses in one breath, so when that moment comes that you find yourself in a conundrum of challenge, thank your lucky stars, for you’ve encountered one of the great teachers on your quest for personal revolution.

My great teacher was a lying, manipulative, abusive sociopath. This teacher attempted to erase all I am and ever was and turn me into nothing but a stone in his  collection of dead and motionless furniture. But, one of my heroines from Game of Thrones had a great response to her late husband’s second in command, as he tells her that when her husband, the king, dies, she will be nothing and everyone will turn on her. She replied, “I can never be nothing. I am the blood of the dragon.” (By the way, if you haven’t seen Game of Thrones, you seriously need to get on it. Now!)daenerys

When I look back to where I came from, I remember days and days of lessons, experiences, stepping stones, accomplishments, challenges, glimpses of paradise, intellectual standing ovations, and mistakes too. From all this, I come. Full to the brim with an evolutionary being, I come. Brazen with a deep sea of perspective that has seen various people across various lands with various beliefs and systems and hopes and dreams and nightmares and anguish. I see through the spectacles of wisdom that can only be gained when one is bold enough to let go of their pride and become a humble student of life.

Something a sociopath can never be. (This is a fact. Sociopaths, due to their lack of conscience, are unable to learn from mistakes, and therefore never get the chance to grow. There’s a lot of literature and research on this topic. Those born blind will never see.)

So, this I say to the sociopath. You didn’t kill me, though you tried, even if through your vicious teeth you often threatened. You didn’t conquer me. You didn’t end me. Every facet of agony you drug my soul through was but a long novel, its pages overflowing with rich, vivacious wisdom. Not because you were wise. Don’t get me wrong. But your torture reminded me with valiant assertion that you cannot DESTROY something IMMORTAL, for THAT is what the PAST is. That is where I CAME from, and it stands like the beautiful old dome across the cobble stone path from me at this moment.

dom_erfurt

I sit huddled over my laptop, as usual, in a quaint cafe in an historical German city. Across from me is what I currently believe to be the most beautiful piece of architecture that I have ever seen in my life. And behind me is my story.

So, vagabonds, as important as it is to keep looking ahead to the new landscapes of where we are going, perhaps today, upon reading this clip of words I’ve launched into cyber-space, you will be inspired to look behind yourself and remember where you came from.

1. The pendant “Not all who wander are lost” can be found here: http://www.artfulvision.com/Leather-Quote-Pendant-not-all-who-wander-are-lost.html)

2. The photo of the Erfurt Dome was beautifully taken by http://photokej.wordpress.com/