Changing my profession to vagabond

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by NoHorizons, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. O-Zone

    O-Zone Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Wow, What a great read and the pics are amazing. I think you are on the right track, when i was younger, hitting the road always set me right. happy trails and If you hit Canada, were here for ya
    NoHorizons likes this.
  2. docsherlock

    docsherlock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    638
    Location:
    BC, sometimes
    Dude - sorry to point this out to you, but YOU are a tourist. I wonder how many other travelers said "fuck this, I'll come back when there aren't so many bikies here..."?


  3. SoggyDonkey

    SoggyDonkey Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    Nyack, NY
    I disagree. I've thought about this a lot.

    Tourism isn't just touring -- tourism is an industry that promotes and establishes business by attracting visitors. By its nature, since it's a business, tourism maximizes profit by attracting as many visitors as possible and marketing experiences and merchandise as cheaply as possible. Those beads? Cheap profits. Those crowds? Groups, either arranged by the tourism industry or attracted by the marketing. What NoHorizons is doing is very different. He is not attracted by the marketed experience. He inventing his own. He isn't buying cheap-ass shit that keeps the tourism machine running, he's being offended by it. I've been in similar situations, where I feel complicit in the ugliness. But not contributing to the ugliness is a powerful statement, because you can "have an experience" and actually steal that experience -- that money that doesn't typically help the locals -- out of the pocket of people who want to profit from it and who (generally, not always) exploit the poor people who happen to live in cool-ass places.

    Check out chapter two of this. Or notice which column has more bullets in this study. You're welcome! :gerg
    Pongo, wee-twin and NoHorizons like this.
  4. brgsprint

    brgsprint Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,193
    Location:
    Endicott, NY
    He is a tourist.

    That is not always a bad thing.
    Spicciani2 and NoHorizons like this.
  5. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    Ok I guess I'll throw my opinion into this mess...
    First off I never claimed not to be a tourist. The term tourist applies to a pretty broad range of people, pretty much anyone that is traveling for a reason other than work is a tourist. I am perfectly capable of disliking the majority and loving a minority.

    The classic tourist is taking a brief break from their normal life and going someplace for their enjoyment, they are there to blow all the money they've been saving for the last 11.5 months and have as much fun as possible. While I understand the need for this kind of release in a work driven society and taking a vacation from work has all sorts of productivity and mental health benefits I personally dont like this kind of tourist, especially the American ones. They are loud, obnoxious and think the world revolves around them, even when they come to gawk at a different culture they have very little consideration for how their presence alters or dilutes what is there. When I was living for a short while in Germany you could always tell who the American tourists were because you could hear them from two blocks away. I dont like these tourists.

    There is a different type of person that when they go on vacation, especially to a culturally different place comes with respect, comes to listen first, to learn and expand their horizons these are the people that have found the humble magic in diversity the people who have become scholors of the world, not scholars of a facebook echo chamber. These are the 'tourists' that I love.

    Many of the people who have become world travelers whether by means of motorcyle, van, bus, or thumb have that wonderlust. That drive to throw away the security of home or a carreer to chase those incredible experiences and connections you can only find on the open road not only because the want to go party, like life is a massive vacation (though I am all for the occasional party!).
    Dennyf, griz2, Trip Hammer and 3 others like this.
  6. SoggyDonkey

    SoggyDonkey Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Oddometer:
    155
    Location:
    Nyack, NY
    Well said! (And sorry for contributing to that derail...)

    Keep goin'! I really like this RR and yer pics.
    NoHorizons likes this.
  7. RICK IN BALI

    RICK IN BALI Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2017
    Oddometer:
    39
    I agree about the yanky big mouths and unfortunately my country, Australia has a similar group of younger players that go to Kuta in Bali Indonesia and party hard and become a pain in the arse! Cheap grog, cheap women , cheap accommodation and they go off their heads. I have lived in Bali for near on 10 years now and it still continues. SAD but TRUE!!!
  8. madmonkey

    madmonkey Ninja Monkey

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Connecticut

    I too have seen this; when you get off the cruise ship in the Bahamas, you're immediately assaulted by folks trying to get you to buy cheap crap. I get its how they make their living off the tourists, but please stop waving the crappy necklace in front of my face and stop saying my pretty wife need a new necklace!
    wilfred likes this.
  9. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    Thanks, I am happy to delve into some of the issues that surround travel, especially when opinions are fleshed out instead of simply being annoying and contrary.
  10. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    The Next day I made good time and was within an hour of Panama City by mid afternoon. There was just one tiny issue, it had been nearly 24hrs since I heard from Catlin. Other than being slightly concerned that he was face down in a ditch someplace or sitting in a jail cell it was becoming clearer that those were on a very short list of acceptable excuses. My patience had run out. Time to find a plan B.

    [​IMG]
    It’s a bit of a shame, I had a little under $30k in leads and an almost complete website.

    I found a nice little primitive campsite way back in a state forest. I made myself a campfire propped myself against a logg and started skimming craigslist for job listings. This area actually seemed pretty promising, there are a lot of serving jobs posted. But, now it’s time for sleep, it takes a lot for me to get stressed but all this uncertainty was starting to get exhausting.

    [​IMG]
    The first week was kind of wet.

    In the morning I found my way out of the maze of dirt roads and back to civilization and into a cafe. Now I just need to remember where I saved my damn resume. I spent the morning making a new resume, and the afternoon applying to jobs, drinking coffee the whole time. By the end of the day I had two interviews and some very shaky hands. A little more research into the area showed that 30A is a strip of tourist beach towns that were just getting ready for the spring break crowd, hence all the service jobs.

    I swung by the grocery store before heading back to camp, and making myself some pasta.

    [​IMG]
    After cooking the pasta I roasted my boots on the fire for a while.

    [​IMG]

    A day later I had two jobs and a day after that I started work. Which is good my bank account is about to hit the double digit mark.

    Unfortunately finding someplace to stay proved a little more difficult, rent is absurdly expensive here, I’ve seen cheaper places in Washington DC. Guess I’ll be camping for now.

    [​IMG]
    At least the view is nice.

    That was over three months ago now…

    The last three months in summary: Eventually rented a room, quit one of my jobs, worked my ass off at the other one, upgraded to a full frame camera, worked some more, traded my klr650 for a slightly newer klr650 that doesn’t burn oil, worked more…

    [​IMG]
    I have managed to squeeze in a trip or two to the beach.

    [​IMG]
    I’ve never lived near a beach before, its kinda nice.

    [​IMG]
    Unfortunately, it usually looks a lot more like this.

    [​IMG]
    A quick peek at the new ride as I bought it. (Its getting a paint job)

    Now, my thoughts are turning once again to the open road, that infamous itch to jump on my motorcycle is coming back, and it looks like I will have to wait until October to scratch it.

    [​IMG]
    Out for a midnight ride.

    I do have a “little” jaunt in a car planed for June that will hopefully alleviate some of my suffering.

    [​IMG]
  11. Trip Hammer

    Trip Hammer It's not the years, it's the mileage Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,216
    Location:
    Seattle
    You've got a talent for making vagabonding look pretty damn appealing.

    Reports like this make me contemplate selling everything I own and doing the same. :thumb

    Following right along and enjoying the ride, NoHorizons!!! Congrats on the new to you KLR.
  12. docsherlock

    docsherlock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    638
    Location:
    BC, sometimes
    Mate, you are a tourist. No better, no worse than any other tourist. There will be many locals who do not like you because you don't spend enough money in their establishments or on their bling. There will be many "obnoxious" tourists who don't like you because they consider you dirty and cheap.

    Ride your own ride and let others ride theirs. No-one really gives a fuck anyway.




  13. Pongo

    Pongo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    438
    Location:
    Victoria, BC Canada
    My thought on the tourist thing is,
    say what you think, it is interesting.
    But going to New Orleans and then complaining about the tourists is kind of a laugh.
    I have spent 11 weeks riding in Europe over 5 trips and have likely not made it to one place that makes the "have you seen?" list of the typical tourist. And when friends who do normal trips to Europe ask why they just do not understand my answer. But I am certainly a tourist. I am just a tourist that gets asked allot by locals in the pub how in the world a Canadian ended up there.
    td63, NoHorizons and brgsprint like this.
  14. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    A chicken is a chicken too, until you want eggs in which case an egg layer and a meat chicken are two very different things. Neither is objectively good or bad.

    As for letting people ride as they may note that the comment I think started all this was: "I need to come back to this beautiful city when its not full of tourists" not "there needs to be less tourists".
  15. jobysw

    jobysw Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Texas
    Very much enjoyed this RR. Tremendous writing and photography skills. Thank you for taking the time to bring us along. Looking forward to more!
    NoHorizons likes this.
  16. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    This may be pushing the boundaries on being about motorcycle travel, but since I spent most of it wishing I was on my motorcycle that should count? right?
    For me it also served as a strong contrast to motorcycle travel and will probably influence my future riding and deciding what is important to see.

    View attachment 1852892

    [​IMG]
    A rough route of my motorcycle trip so far.


    Roughly 4.4 thousand miles when plotted on a map, my odometer will tell you its more like 6, that’s 1600 miles of random dirt roads, detours and exploring just about anything that caught my eye.

    It took me about 5 months of travelling, although a good month and a half was spent stuck fixing my motorcycle. Still, not a bad run.

    I was quite enjoying my job in Florida, if not the state itself, but I was once again getting itchy boots so, when an old friend from high school called me up because she was doing a road trip across the country and wanted a second driver it didn’t take that much convincing to get me on a plane to Reno.

    [​IMG]
    Road trip route from where I joined in Reno

    Another 6 thousand miles, this time in 30 days the majority of which I wished I was on my bike.

    [​IMG]
    Lake Tahoe, the beginning of the trip.

    For most people I imagine a 30 day road trip is quite long and in some ways it was we fit an absurd amount of photography in, I took nearly 4k photos (as opposed to the 2.2k I did on the motorcycle trip). In other ways I felt as if I didn’t experience all that much.

    [​IMG]
    Monitor Pass California

    Its strange how memory shifts, even now only a little over a month afterwords the memories of being stuffed into a car for hours on end, and getting annoyed with at same company for weeks has started to fade. Hopefully years from now I will be left only with memories of the vast expansive landscapes that seem to shift from one foreign planet to another by the mile.

    [​IMG]
    Mono Lake

    As for editing photos I still haven’t made it through California at least I should have Instagram fodder for years when I finally get through them…

    [​IMG]
    Imagining all the strange things this scale measured in the now abandoned gold mining town of Bodie.

    I jumped off the road trip in DC to visit my old boss / family 2 and do a bit of work before heading back to Upstate NY to see the real family for a bit.

    [​IMG]
    Piano and human, both probably need a bit of tuning
    Dirt Road Cowboy, MYUMPH and 9Realms like this.
  17. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,884
    Location:
    Central Mn
    I may have already said this, but....

    GREAT PICTORIALS.
    NoHorizons likes this.
  18. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    If I didn’t spend at least some of the long hours by myself that this trip / lifestyle has afforded me musing on lives deeper questions I’d be doing it wrong.

    [​IMG]
    A good road for musing.

    I considered politics and media, propaganda society and education, I listened to the audio book of A Modern Utopia by HG Wells and spent a week in the mountains of NC thinking about the distribution of the benefits of technology and the effects of a more or less traveled populous.

    [​IMG]
    I was in a car, moving to fast for proper musing. I will have to return.

    One thing I only thought about tangentially through leaving my friends in DC or waving to a passing motorcycle was this idea of community. The feeling of home more than the place.

    After spending a week at home in NY my mother, brother, and I loaded up the pickup and drove 7hrs to Harmony Lake Children’s Camp in Central Maine. My mother is the camp doctor, my brother is a counselor and this year I ran the counselor in training program. With two exceptions I have been to camp every year since I was 11.
  19. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    [​IMG]
    This is what it looks like when 70 people play rock paper scissors.

    Despite only being 3 weeks long when I think of summer I think of Camp. When I think about the things that formed me into who I am today there are few things that can top Camp. As a child it was a magic time of; making friends, exploring the wilderness, building gnome houses. As a teenager and adult even more so, it is without a doubt the hardest I have ever worked in my life from waking the children up in the morning until well into the night when you are finished planing for the next day.

    [​IMG]
    A place for climbing mountains, and sleeping there on a bed of pine boughs.

    [​IMG]
    A place for watching the sunset over the lake with friends that feel like home.

    It was here, late at night long after the children were in bed that a few of us sleep deprived counselors sat in the corner of a dimly lit dining hall having some of the deepest conversations I’ve ever experienced. During one such conversation someone brought up the question of community, what makes one gathering of people have that extra something, how is it that Camp in different places with different people for only 3 weeks a year always feels like home.
  20. NoHorizons

    NoHorizons Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2016
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Hudson NY, Washington DC
    Or perhaps even more baffling, what makes my job at the brewpub in FL a community? a serving job where I find myself hanging out on my day off, or staying way into the night singing songs and playing dice. Its certainly not an atmosphere created from the owner down.

    [​IMG]
    It’s in no way related to anything but, there was to much text without a photo.
    I learned how to breath fire this summer.

    The people and places we make home are not so much people and places in which we put ourselves, but those that we put within ourselves. Maybe when enough people do this you get a community.

    Maybe this is where traveling fits into the picture.

    Or maybe I should put down the coffee cup and stop subjugating whatever readers are left to my metaphysical rambling.