A Vagabond Life

Our view can change when we want it to!

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Day 46: Happy Days Traveling

No house, no job, no worries! That’s the Vagabond lifestyle. Some people we’ve met have been doing this for more than five years. One couple we spoke with has been on the road for thirteen years and their RV isn’t much larger than our 19 foot trailer. We’ve been traveling for about six weeks and that makes us bona-fide rookies in Vagabond living.

Although we’re rookies, we’re getting a sense of what this lifestyle is all about beyond taking showers in confined spaces. There’s no social status in a Vagabond life. Success isn’t measured by the size of your camper and no one cares if you were the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a part time attendant at the county dump. As one long-term traveler told me, “That was then and this is now.” This lifestyle is all about just being you.

The concept is best summed up by an old fisherman I met this week, “When you got more money than time, stop worrying ‘bout money and start fishin’!” Wiser words have never been spoken. What’s important is learning to bring happiness to yourself and to others in your life, whatever happiness means to you.

Recent experience has also confirmed there’s no correlation between wealth and how happy a person is. While helping my friend Cris Dosev run for US Congress last month, I banged on the front door of over one thousand houses; many were big and beautiful and others tiny and decrepit. Some of the warmest smiles came from people living in the worst conditions.

I’m not suggesting people with less are happier than people with more, I’m saying you can’t tell how happy a person is by the way they live. Research has confirmed this. Spontaneous answers to questions about current happiness provide no insight into a person’s economic status. Only after the person with less money thinks about their status for a while do they feel they’d be happier with more money.

This doesn’t happen everywhere, though. Some of the happiest people I’ve meet in my life was when I trekked around Mount Everest in the late 1990s. The local Nepalese and Tibetan villagers were dirt poor by Western standards, but everyone had big smiles on their faces and suicide was an unknown concept.


Daria and I are just getting started with this lifestyle and it keeps getting better every day. We’ve already met some interesting people on our trip and we’ve probably reconnected with more friends and family than most people will do in a decade. Who knows how long we’ll be on the road or what our next adventure will bring – that’s the fun of being Vagabond!


Day 2: What 50-50 Means

August 1:  Lake Livingston State Park, Texas

Remember the 1991 movie City Slickers starring Billy Crystal and the late Jack Palance? It’s about an unhappy, middle age yuppie  who is roped into joining his two friends on a cattle drive in the southwest. The adventure leads to some life changing revelations for Billy Crystal, and eventually to a rather lousy sequel.

Maybe this clip will jog your memory:

Curly’s Law

The secret of life is one thing. You just have to figure out what that is. The same goes for 50-50. It means one thing. We just haven’t figure out what it is yet.

The idea got started as a quest to camp for at least one week in 50 states over 50 months, Alaska and Hawaii included (we do all the lower 48 states then go to Alaska, sell our truck and camper, and then fly to Hawaii). It was a grand plan.

Then I started thinking, I probably have to work for a few more years before we’re able to afford an extended adventure. So, 50-50 shifted to mean a couple of 50 something year old wanna-be hippies hitting the road to see what we can and meet who we can before running out of money and having to do something else.

This brings me to what is likely the real meaning of 50-50, a lottery ticket. It’s all a crap shoot. We don’t know how this will end. We could be big winners and the whole thing could turn into a bust. It’s all up in the air – but what in life isn’t?

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