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Trains and Planes

No automobiles unlike my most favorite travel movie of all time. One of the goals with just wandering is like my friend Bill shared with me on Facebook today.

There's more to no destination thinking I feel. It's like a deeper philosophical thing. Consider it. We spend our lives plotting our destinations for work, love, life, relationships. We want the things and what they bring us, what we bring to them, what the trade is. We get old worrying about the where of things. We get worried about the things themselves. We have too much so we practice minimalism which to me is a joke and a label. Instead of proudly claiming on your way to your destination,

I'm a minimalist! See I got rid of the nightstand and the dresser and the mattress.

You should more ask what takes me to where I want to be along the path. Be a realist instead I think. You cannot fit a couch in a 45 liter duffel bag and you don't need a parka in Saigon Vietnam. Be real. We all know what labeling theory is right? Self fulfilling prophecy will take you to some destination. Minimalism is just a label to a self fulfilling prophecy behavior. We believe less is more and less is better so we go about getting rid of things.

Going with no destination in sight does not require believing in anything besides being real. I got rid of stuff when I left California years ago not because I wanted to minimize but because I wanted to be real. I travel now with a 45 liter bag not because of some overriding belief in jargon like minimizing. I do it because I believe in the reality of no destination vagabonding. My friend AFT used to hop freight trains not to reach some destination along the rails but to find the joy and reality in so doing. I hop a ride on Amtrak not to reach a certain thing and proudly claim,

see? I did it! I am there!

Stevenson said long ago the great thing was to move and not to arrive.

Also interesting is the difference in terms we use. Consider the following terms:

  1. Travel
  2. Tourism
  3. Hoboing
  4. Vagabonding

What do you think the differences are and which one do you do? If you do the first two, I bet the destination is the thing. The means to get there is not so important. If you do the last two perhaps the means getting there is everything and the destination is just a result. I rode the train one time from Hanoi to Saigon. It took 30 hours. A friend once asked me,

why do that? You could have just flown and arrived in two hours.

And therein lies the difference dear friends. On the train, I met a fantastic group of people young and old. The hours and the stops and the cold beer we shared and the meals. Stories told. What do you remember about some flight that took two hours compared to riding a train? Or walking? Why do you need to worry about whether you minimize or are a realist? Or even apply some label to your behavior. Sociologists say a label sticks whether true or false once applied.

So here is my challenge to you. Drop the labels and become real. Take a vagabond with a 45 liter backpack and nothing else. Don't worry about the stuff. Stuff is just stuff. You can do without stuff. Just hobo on your own train. Of thought. Go. Find what Edward Abbey called your path to the most amazing sights and may it be dangerous and wonderful and beautiful the getting there.

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