Vagabond Type of the Day: Thoreau

by Ashe Vagabond of the Vagabond Express

Day 2

Thoreau: The Lover of Solitude

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. – Thoreau

HDTHenry David Thoreau was an American philosopher and naturalist. He broke away from society, went out in nature, built his own house, and grew a garden to feed himself from. He pulled away in order that he might better himself and he used his experiences and insight to write amazing books and poetry. As he puts it:

Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.

I think there is a specific style of Vagabond that very much resembles Thoreau with regards to their beliefs and the way they live their lives. Therefore, I call this kind of vagabond a Thoreau Vagabond.

About Themalone-in-peace

The Thoreau Vagabond likes solitude, silence, peace, and  simplicity. They seek retreat from both people and social norms. They are drawn to experiences which allow them to be alone with their thoughts, where they may ponder life and reflect on themselves. Many Vagabonds like solitude. But the Thoreau Vagabond takes this to an extreme. This type of Vagabond may believe that he or she could live their entire lives without seeing a single person and not miss them much at all—if at all. They may pull away into the shell of a remote destination for long periods of time or even forever.

They are often writers or philosophers. They are very industrious, as they must learn how to deal with a vast array of human experiences with no one but themselves to rely on. This means health, food, hygiene, shelter, and entertainment must all be supplied by the Vagabond as an individual without help from a community of experts (no doctors, supermarkets, laundry machines, pre-made houses, or television). You can then reason that this type of Vagabond is staunchly self-reliant, independent, and brave.

alone3 Often their ideas are unique, as they are able to create their opinions, views, and beliefs without being influenced by masses and popular culture. Don’t be surprised upon meeting this type of Vagabond if they have no clue who Kim Kardashian is and, more importantly, don’t really care. However, they may know a thing or two about history that you don’t, because they tend to like books. I’ve known a few of these types. They abhor being tracked, so any form of identification would be against their nature (meaning driver’s licenses are out). They are also some of the most unusual characters, because they develop their personalities mostly in isolation, so they have very little idea what it means to conform to a social norm, for they aren’t fully aware of what the social norms are—again, they don’t really care, either.

If you think a Thoreau Vagabond just needs a little coaxing and some social practice, then perhaps they could quote Thoreau again in response:

Most men lead lives of silent desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.

alone (1)


2 Comments to “Vagabond Type of the Day: Thoreau”

  1. Ah, now you got me! Now I have to study Thoreau. Pause ist vorbei, ich mach mich zurück ans Schreiben:). Bis später Liebes!

  2. Und wie geht das Schreiben? Ich versuche zu schlafen, aber mein Rucken tuet sooo veh. Ich brauche schmerz Tabletten.

    Yeah, I keep tellin’ ya. Thoreau is amazing.

    Now I got ya, huh? 🙂

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