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Dreams of Vagabonding and Thoughts on Materialism and Success

While researching my future dreams on the internet I came upon an amazing article: http://www.bravenewtraveler.com/2008/06/04/the-tao-of-vagabond-travel/

After reading the piece, I was inspired and the following are my thoughts on the material of the article.  The article is structured around the concept of vagabonding, and societal reactions toward those who choose this lifestyle.  There is a great video and very deep insights about the definition of success and what it means to choose a different viewpoint of success.


Photo of Bushkill Falls, PA


In the past several years I have been practicing the art of minimization, impacting the environment less, and discovering more about existence and life.  Such things bring up extreme emotions, from wanting everything in the world to nothing at all.  I have dreamt of winning lottery tickets, and living on the least amount possible.  As all humans, I am struggling to find myself and my purpose in this life: what will make me happy.  Looking back over my life thus far, it’s amazing to see my experiences with consumption and what materialism meant to me.  That’s something I will have to discuss in depth in a future post, but let’s just say “my stuff owned me, I didn’t own my stuff.”  That’s the same line that came out of a stranger’s mouth while I was hunting for an apartment two years ago.  When I said storage was an issue because I had a lot of stuff, the voice through the phone said those words and I was forever changed.  I reacted strongly and angrily, thinking this asshole has no idea!  I felt judged, materialistic, and foolish.  No one likes to feel that way so at first I stood to my belief that he was some clueless person.  But as I started to learn more in my day to day life, I realized that he was right.  And from then on I have been on a mission to reduce, reduce, reduce.  Now cutting things out is fun and exciting, because I am no longer attached to material possessions as I used to be.  I have much more to learn and do, but I am on the path which makes me grateful.  I have realized there are many routes to happiness in life, but only a few are sold as legitimate.  It’s not just the electronics or clothes in the stores, but the selling of lifestyles as well by advertisers that makes us believe there’s only “one way.”  I had believed that I could only be happy with a $50k annual salary, downtown apartment, and a budget for lots of entertainment.  I was geared on a path from day one (as we all are) to reach a specific notion of success.  But once I realized it was not for me, and started to explore the other ideas and concepts out there, I realized I have so much to learn.  I am now trying to live each day to the fullest, strive to work toward my goals of being good to the earth, and opening my mind to new schools of thought.  Instead of NYC as my marker for success, I now envision traveling the country, with a tent and sleeping bag in tow.  I dream of what it would be to live as a 21st century vagabond.  I was given a chance to live a life with many great choices, why not try a new and different one?  Please share any of your personal experiences with changing your goals, and how it effected your viewpoints in the comments section.  Maybe we’ll meet out on the open road!

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