|Alcatraz Island in San Francisco California|
|Mill Creek Canyon with Daniel Suelo and Brandon Kiss!|
|Pictographs of the Anasazi|
|Rafting on the Deschutes River in Maupin Oregon|
|Snow in June on Mt. Hood near Portland Oregon|
|This arrived In Indiana just mere days after I got back! THE VAGABOND- Created by Nathanael Hopkins from Adelaide Austrailia. Thank you friend for your generous gift! I will share it with as many people as I can!|
Traveling west this spring right after the fall has turned out to be the single most eye opening experience in my mere 24 years of existence. I'm not the same person I was when I left. I have been traveling for over 3 years, homeless, as a vagabond, as a seeker, and often without money. Always looking for greener grass on the other side of the road so to say. After visiting Moab Utah, Las Vegas Nevada, San Francisco California, Vancouver Washington, and Portland Oregon, what have I concluded? ~Happiness and contentedness is found within you~ The same ideology I have been told time and time again by fellow travelers, monks, and wise elderly folks I have known my entire life. I have even preached these same words, only to fail at following through with them. What was my problem??? How did I go astray??? Incompetence in my own abilities, negativity, and fear of the unknown??? Partly.
I lived and traveled with a dear friend of mine for almost a year. We done everything together. Side by side, making plans to go to places far and abroad, living life together to the fullest! Seeing new cultures, making new friends, and just becoming new entities all together. In the back of my mind, I had other thoughts though. As much as I wanted to continue on this journey of mystery and excitement, I had to stop completely. My ability to travel and live simply wasn't the conflicting factor, but more or less the will to adapt to a new way of life just isn't in me. In the long run, my inability to learn new languages and my desire to remain close to family and friends, in the land I am ever so familiar with and have come around to love dearly- would effect not only my quest for happiness, but my partner's quest as well. Hindering both of our dreams. As hard as it was, I knew it best to let my partner follow her dreams, and for me to return to a way of life that I would find ever so fulfilling. S.L.F, I wish you the best on your journies. With much appreciation for everything you taught me, and for the opportunities you gave to me share my knowledge, I leave you with this:
Remember who you are and never forget it. Never let go of your dreams for anything.
Who are you?
"There's no meaning to a flower unless it blooms."-Yamanaka Ino
Quietly on a gloomy Tuesday morning, I hitchhiked out of Portland on I-84 east straight through Idaho and into Salt Lake City in one ride by a Mormon missionary named Jane Smith who's generosity and kind words are seldom matched. From there, a trucker named Jeff picked me up and dropped me off in Newton Kansas where I decided to hang out of about half a day to find food and potable water, as well as a nice shallow stream to wade into! From there I thumbed a ride just outside of Wichita Kansas where I got stuck at a truck stop for about a day and a half. Here I had a lot of time to think about what I really wanted to do with my life. What is the best way to ease this great mystery of life and truly find fulfillment???
I'm stuck out here in the the middle of fucking nowhere, getting rained on, all alone, with no hope left to be found within me. Shivering, I just sat down. I could have died in this spot, and everything would have ok. Everything would have unfolded just as it was supposed to in this time and place. Such is the way of the universe, so let it be. No one mourns for the deer bloated and covered with flies in the ditch off to the side of the road. Why should I be held to a higher regard than this? We're all the same natural beings anyways. If I ever make it out of here, I am calling my family I thought. I just wanted to hear there voices so bad. As all hope is lost, being mentally and potentially reduced to common roadkill, a man pulled up in a truck and told me to get in. He was headed to Wichita.
-With no hesitation, I called my family, and they wanted to purchased a bus ride for me.
~straight into Fort Wayne Indiana. I gladly accepted their offer.
As I sit here writing this, quite some time has passed since I have been on the road. I have reconnected with family, friends (making some new ones in the process) as well as some positive hobbies I have long since abandoned throughout my nation wide travels. After pondering and thinking about ways to find fulfillment and happiness in its truest form, nothing has ever made more sense than it does now. I know what the key is. I know what the answers are, and they are more simpler than I have ever Imagined.
~Do what makes you happy!!! It really is as simple as that. This whole time I have been aimlessly wandering around the United States, seeking the answers I have already had written down this whole time. Stored right here within me. I never even had to leave!!!!!! I regret nothing of course. The friends I have made and experiences I have had and shared are priceless! When It comes down to my character and moral fiber, behold! This is what I strive accomplish. It always has been.
Maybe it's similar to your interests! If so, then please, feel free to take notes:
Small Home Living-
Equipped with solar electricity system, a well water system, and a composting area. A wood burning stove will not only give me access to heat in the blisteringly cold winter months, but will allow me to cook meals with ease, and allow me to boil unsanitary water year round. As for preservation of food, eating fruits and vegetables raw right out of my garden is paramount. For all other foods, salting and dehydrating edibles will be key, especially in the winter months. My quarter acre property will be of a decent enough size, allowing wild and native plants/games to flourish unhindered. Growing fruit trees and vegetables are a must for anyone wanting to homestead, making the majority of my food intake to be from food I have grown organically.
All cultivated around the place of my residence.
I will be able to recycle food from waste bins as well since I'm living just outside of the city. Donating my produce to people in the vicinity is also in my itinerary of things to do once my property is established. Being off grid, there won't be any bills to pay. Except taxes. So living this way will allow me so much free time to volunteer labor for free, as I will only have to actually work a few months of day labor out of the year to make ends meet with my most basic needs. Using refuse items, borrowing and lending items are also in the plan! When all else fails, thrift shops will always be here to help me along.
Crafting items found in wilderness areas are never out of the question either. Simple.
As much as I want to get a vehicle, they just aren't cost effective. Gasoline, insurance costs, not to mention the hustle and bustle of daytime traffic, and the potential for legally binding liability issues to ensue every time an individual operates a car or truck. I just don't see it as a viable option in the sense of transportation in the way I am living. The amenities of down town, the waterways, and the local nature preserves/woods are just a stones throw away from my place of residence, so I see an opportunity to be the example of sustainability I wish to see in the area. Not to mention the world. I opt to walk, to cycle, or to take the local bus into areas I wish to reach. With just a backpack, either filled or empty, I can accomplish everything, and even more so, on my list for that particular day in general. Just try to keep up! Maybe even a 49cc scooter will come my way, but it isn't a personal goal of mine. I will always gladly accept any gift that is freely given.
Granting I can use it or re-gift it!
I have always wanted to grow mass amounts of produce not only for my self, but for others as well. Teaching people the ways of growing organically, and to teach the ways of giving. Using natural compost/natural insecticides, and watering my produce with nutrient rich river water and collected rain water as well. ~I often find myself trying to change the way people look at their food and diet~ What's not used will be gifted to the needy, gifted to people who have more than they could ever use, and even sold under pay-at-will terms! These funds will go to the taxes on my property and any other needs within the community, becoming a sort of retirement plan for me in my old age.
In Switzerland for example, it is common for people to exchange produce with others, all from their back yards, locally, and within their immediate communities. Cutting out the middle man all together! As we have become so dependent on grocery stores and processed foods, remember this line by a survivalist named Eugene Runkis: Food doesn't come FROM the grocery store, it goes TO the grocery store! Upon locally controlling our food supply, we not only help preserve the wild land lands that are all too often destroyed for agricultural profit, we increase our health by eating the way nature intended. Simply. We also connect with the people in our communities, making happier communities, decreasing depression from living in isolation void of human contact, and simply having fun! Our problems aren't system problems, be it politics or laws, but lack or culture and this sick idea of commodity. Our time is now! Break the chains of wanting endlessly for a living and start living for a living. Right here, right now, within the same communities we rest our heads every evening. Get involved!!!
|Be your own supermarket!!!!|
I am going to provide a list of edible and medicinal plants I currently and will continue to use throughout my life. I have found these plants in every single state, making them worthy of knowing due to their mass availability. These plants have been used for thousands and thousands of years by mankind Oddly enough, a lot of people in our age haven't even taken a notice to them, though they grow within view right at the tips of our feet! These can be found on road sides, parks, wooded and vacant areas, as well as in yards of about any residence! I fully plan to grow and harvest these on my property for daily use. Check them out:
Exploring Woods, Preserves, and Waterways-
Acquiring a kayak has been on my mind every since I got back into Indiana. Having one at my disposal, I will be able to navigate through the various rivers and streams in the area. This will also give me the ability to access the abundance of resources available not only in the waters, but the resources available in the multiple wooded lots/parks along the rivers and reservoirs. When accessing areas where water transportation isn't an option, I tend to cycle or walk, take fields, roadways, and train tracks to these areas where learning, exploring, foraging, hunting, fishing, and inner reflection- my absolute favorite past times- can be performed with ease. Not to mention a means to live off grid and within the boundaries of a true and natural existence. Simply. Within nature, as it intended.
|The Maumee River- One of the three rivers that divides my city of residence from the east side|
|The Lindenwood Nature Preserve- Located on the west side|
|Fox Island/Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve- Located in the south side|
|Metea Park and Cedar Creek- Located on the north side|
|Make every day a party to remember!|
Hosting Travelers and Creating an Intentional Community- ~Within the Community~
With all of the produce that will need tending to, and with all of the empty space I will have available, It only makes sense to start a micro intentional community. I want to see to it that any travelers in the area have a place to lay their heads at night while exploring the area. (Before they decide to head off into their next great destination.) As a soon to be member of a local farmers and growers collaborative called Plowshares, therefore, members of the community will have the option to be very very active in spreading the awareness of gift economy and the ability to be active in various local organizations, such as
Food Not Bombs Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Indiana Rainbow Family, Young Urban Homesteaders,
and the Save Maumee Grassroots Organization.
Did I mention to reside on this property, all you will have to do is show up and get involved?
~IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN JOINING, CONTACT ME VIA GOOGLE+, FACEBOOK, OR LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW~
Reflection: An Afterthought-
As I leave my hoboin and nomadic life behind, the wild in me will always remain:
Even the wildest of animals are capable of being tamed.
Even the blind in our society are capable of seeing the darkness around them.
Through commodity, the darkness ensues.
Through community, light of men shines through.
Locality is key if we are flourish as a healthy and balanced species.
The earth's ecosystem depends upon our compliance.
When in tribes, the knife will always bind.
When we divide, the blade becomes tainted in bane.
In nature, balance is everywhere.
Man and nature are one in the same.
“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 practice 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.”― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
Remember who you are.