Who’s the Digital Vagabond?
I’m not sure if vagabonds are born or made. But I know they can be inspired.
My inspiration came after reading Ed Buyrn’s 1973 hippy dippy classic “Vagabonding in the USA – a guide book about energy”. As a 21 year old enrolled in a conservative Catholic college in the Midwest during the mid eighties era of Ronald Reagan, AIDs and Nukes – Ed’s message of live and let travel became my gospel. His book became my bible and vagabonding became my new religion.
A reading from the Book of Buryn –
“Travel is about your inner self and how you exchange energy between that inner self and the world . . . It may sound strange but becoming a vagabond is a religious action.
Ordinary tourists try to control their fate to protect their tender delusions from the shocks of reality. By pre-planning every aspect of their trip – whether vacation trip or life trip, they think they can circumvent the will of God and Fate. Vagabonds know better, and let things take their natural course.
A vagabond is a liberated traveler. Contrariwise, a tourist is a pseudo-traveler, a sucker in economic servitude to travel agents, governments, businessmen, and industry. They are like human locust – a pest in small numbers, but potentially a swarming scourge that sweeps everything before it.”
A Young Pat and his VW Camper
After fixing up a 1974 VW camper bus and scratching together a few hundred bucks, I said goodbye to stiff curriculum, career obsession and fear and hit the open road going west with the vague idea of finding the Pacific Ocean.
I found the ocean, myself and a whole lot more before I came back almost one year later. It was a year of sweet solitude, serendipitous encounters and inspiration.
Roughly twenty years after my first great road trip I’m still a devout believer in the religion and magic of vagabonding. But for me vagabonding has gone digital with wireless phones and Internet, digital cameras and laptops. The old travel scrapbook has become the multimedia weblog.
My old VW camper bus passed away after suffering a fatal but glorious death when it plunged off a cliff and into the Yellowstone river in Yellowstone Park in Wyoming years ago.
|The old “Chuck Wagon” after many hard miles.||It’s my “Destiny”|
Today the bare bones VW camper bus has been replaced with a fully equipped 24 foot motor home called “Destiny“. These day’s I’m traveling heavier and literally dragging the kitchen sink with – as well as the shower, microwave, freezer, heater, Air Conditioner, TV, laptops, cameras etc. To see the highlights from my three year on the open road visit the “Great American Road Trip“.
On my road trip I had the serendipitous good fortune to meet my travel mentor, Ed Buryn at his home in Northern California in the Sierra Nevadas. We’ve become good friends and have collaborated in creating the annual “Roads Scholarship” to inspire and encourage the birth of other vagabonds. Today, in the era of digital communications, the dream of living, working and traveling freely is more achievable than ever.
Another verse from the book of Buryn -
“Travel is not just moving over the earth from one place to another in some kind of conveyance. It’s not about where you’re going or how you’re getting there. It’s not about getting away from it at all. In fact, more opposite . . . a way of getting to it all.
Travel is a metaphor for life. By that I mean travel is a dramatization of life, a way of experiencing it more intensely and self-consciously. Traveling is not so much an action as an enlightened state of consciousness, opening you to fresh experience, to fresh looks at the world and yourself in it.”
Advise to Young Aspiring Vagabonds and Vagabondstresses
“What lies behind us and ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” – Annonymous
Be your own hero in your personal epic journey. Don’t live by “default” in the place you came to by accident of birth. Set sail and explore the world and all its possibilities and find your place in it. Where you came from will always be where you left it if you do choose to return. Discover who you truly are and what your greatest loves, talents and passions are and offer them generously to the world! Let love be the guiding impulse that draws you through and past the fear of the unknown and into the place of your heart’s true home.
This website contains hundreds of articles written by me while exploring the inner and outer landscapes of me and North America. This journaling deepened my process of bringing meaning to the changing landscape around and within me. Feel free to read and comment on the articles if doing so inspires your own greatest journey. But for God’s sake, get busy creating your own adventures and stories, rather than living second hand through someone else.
If you want a life that is fully and creatively lived, rather than a life by default, then prepare to travel into the unknown and past your fears. Turn off the TV/Web and write and star in your own epic movie, populated with amazing characters, heroic deeds and epic challenges met. Maybe your life journey takes you around the world or you never leave the room and yet travel through the inner universe of your mind. But live your life fully and completely.
Blessings to you on the road of life – Patrick, the Digital Vagabond