Vagabondism Breeds Love

by Ashe Vagabond of the Vagabond Express

Man is born to live, not to prepare for life.
Boris Pasternak

This may sound like such a mushy, sentimental post. But I’m serious here. Something about being out on the open road liberates my spirit to such heights that altruism and kindness flow more readily from my being. I’m more inclined to smile, relaxed enough to let someone “go first,” and enjoy doing nice things for others that make their lives a part of my adventure and my adventure a part of their lives.


When wandering freely on a vagabond trail, all the random flickers of possibility sparkle along the road. Everywhere, there is a glitter of “maybe” and “if the wind blows in that direction, then…” In this state of being, we’re elevated, in some ways. The constraints of a job, a long-term plan, and a routine are clipped from our essence. What’s left?

For me, I find that joy is what’s left. A pure state of self is left. Are we meant to have a job, a long-term plan, and a routine? Some might say this is the “responsible” way to live your life, but I might argue that it’s not what we were born to be. It’s not even living, in my opinion. It’s a kind of death, in fact.

“Lara walked along the tracks following a path worn by pilgrims and then turned into the fields. Here she stopped and, closing her eyes, took a deep breath of the flower-scented air of the broad expanse around her. It was dearer to her than her kin, better than a lover, wiser than a book. For a moment she rediscovered the purpose of her life. She was here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name, or, if this were not within her power, to give birth out of love for life to successors who would do it in her place.”
Boris Pasternak

In this state of ultimate spiritual freedom, I’m the most altruistic. It makes me think that my fellow human is often chained to the belief that he or she must conform, and from this uncomfortable place, they express anger and selfishness. I want to ask: Have you not heard your own voice? Have you not been silent enough to hear the sound of your own breath? Did you feel it enter and exit your body? And then did you know what it really was? That was your life, that needle sharp awareness is everything that you are. Don’t belittle it and call it wrong for not being something more like the scenery all around you.


When you hit the road, when you let go, you’ll see how rapidly scenery can change. But that little breath within you is all you are. Offer this to yourself, to your neighbor, to the world, and learn to love with every breath.

At our center, we are love, aren’t we? And how can we ever reach our center if we are bogging it down with lies all the time? Lies telling us that we must hoard loads of crap in our closets. Lies telling us that we must live in a space with central heating and have 2.1 children and keep up with the latest of techno-gadget electro-toys. Shush. Silence. Listen to your breath. 297192_286842384683661_237871249580775_973043_1975508857_n

There is nothing but a road.

There is nothing but a road and which way you will go today.

Doesn’t that make you want to smile? And if a little old man cuts you off in line, aren’t you more inclined to think something more like, “I wonder what his journey was like?” rather than, “Old jerk has forgotten his manners! I was standing here first!”

I really do think that the open road brings us closer to our true selves, which in turn makes us more loving, altruistic, kind beings.

What say you? Agree with me or not?

(Ajax, please let me know what Kierkegaard said about this. You were saying some great things about that today and I’d love to hear more.)


2 Comments to “Vagabondism Breeds Love”

  1. I agree and you explain it so beautifully. I think that the happiness, and love for all, comes from us because we are happy and doing what we love. We have filled up our own cups and we have love to share.
    For some of us,(definitely me) we get to that state of overwhelming love for all, from being out on the road and a lack of structure. I suspect others feel it when they are immersed in activities that sustain their own souls. I have seen it in others when they paint, or run or meditate.
    I have felt similar feelings when I was nursing my baby, or watching a beautiful sunset or in the first flushes of love. I think we all need moments like you describe. The hard part is keeping that feeling with us when we are immersed in everyday activities such as jobs or family problems.
    Thanks for the beautiful and thought-provoking post.

  2. Nikki, I think you’re right. I like the idea of being “immersed in activities that sustain their own souls” because I realize that the vagabond lifestyle might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But it CERTAINLY is mine 🙂

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