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Wanderlust World Tour

Home is where the rump rests
“Interesting Life” xkcd comic

“Interesting Life”
Courtesy of xkcd

A house, (crappy) car, good paying job with benefits, no family responsibilities, and an otherwise seemingly normal life proved too much of a burden, so in the spring of 2012 I quit my job (technically volunteered for a layoff, which bought 8 weeks severance), sold my house, and most of my possessions to start traveling.

When he reached the new world, Cortez burned his ships. As a result, his men were well motivated.1

I am calling this phase of life a sabbatical since that sounds better than homeless and unemployed. Whatever its name, it will be my first time long term traveling. Although I have gone on quite a few semi-epic vacations, they lasted at most for about two weeks, and I always had a home base to return to afterwards. Not so now. Although my mom let me stash some belongings and always had an open bed, only what I could carry on my back, my wits, and dashing good looks would sustain me.

How this 180° turn in my life will go is uncertain. I do not adapt particularly well to change, generally like things planed out in advance, and can thrive on routine (all of which are counter to the vital skill set of a vagabonder). I have loosened up on those points over the years though, so I might have a good change of surviving.

Places Visited

Joey’s Journey
CDTThru hikeJune – November 2012
New ZealandExtended HolidayDecember 2012 – May 2013
ChinaSightseeingJune 2013
MongoliaSightseeingJune 2013
Backpacking EuropeSightseeingJuly – September 2013
KenyaWildlife viewingOctober 2013
Holy LandPilgrimageOctober 2013
PatagoniaBackpackingJanuary – April 2014
Grand CanyonBackpackingApril 2014
PCTThru hikeMay – September 2014
HawaiiSightseeing & hikingNovember 2014
AustraliaExtended HolidayDecember 2014 – February 2015
NepalTeahouse TrekkingMarch – April 2015
JapanSightseeing & hikingMay 2015
RussiaSightseeing & hikingJune 2015
IcelandSightseeing & hikingJune – July 2015
Pyrenees High RouteThru hikeJuly – August 2015
GR20BackpackingAugust 2015
Alta Via 2BackpackingSeptember 2015
South AfricaWildlife viewingSeptember 2015
Israel National TrailThru hikeOctober 2015
EgyptSightseeingNovember 2015
New York CitySightseeingNovember 2015
Florida TrailThru HikeJanuary – February 2016
Hayduke TrailThru HikeMarch – May 2016
AlaskaHike & kayakJune – August 2016
Great Superior AdventureHike, kayak, & canoeSeptember – October 2016
Costa RicaSightseeingJanuary 2017
Kayaking the KeysSea KayakingFebruary 2017
Grand Enchantment TrailThru HikeApril 2017
Great Divide TrailThru HikeJuly – August 2017
Wind River High RouteBackpackingSeptember 2017
Isle Royale Kayak CircumnavigationSea KayakingSeptember 2017
Long TrailThru HikeOctober 2017


Besides the obvious concerns such as diseases, languages, and zombies that swirled through my head before this undertaking, I also had religious ones. I do not believe one can venture into the world, recluse into nature, or examine the inner self to find God, but the triune God reveals Himself through Scripture. I will carry a bible, but the body of Christ is more than being by yourself. God provides many blessings through weekly Divine Service and the comfort of a caring congregation, but these I will lack on the road. There are countless Christian churches around the world to visit, but that will not provide the same support as a home church.

I also questioned whether vagabonding is a proper use of the talents God gave me. Will this be a purely selfish trip, or can I grow spiritually and do good works throughout? I am not a missionary and this is not a mission trip, but can I still serve God out there as opposed to a more traditional living situation? Although I do not have chapter and verse for a proof text, I believe (and must admit want) it to be possible. The details will look different than when having roots in a single spot, but it can still bare fruit. Besides, even when living with traditional roots, it is unfortunately easy to slip into a self-centered routine and not do His work then.

Random Quotes

Some quotes from books or songs that I find appropriate for my travels.

If you are of any account, stay at home and make your way by faithful diligence; but if you are “no account,” go away from home…thus you become a blessing to your friends by ceasing to be a nuisance to them — if the people you go among suffer by the operation.

The moral to Mark Twain’s Roughing It

When he had looked ahead at the start of the voyage, he had envisaged a strange new world with himself, his thoughts and emotions subtracted from the equation. He had imagined a wondrous, totally alien world, but the reality of being here was that he was slightly disappointed — because he was himself and had not been changed by the experience. He still carried his old worries and disappointments.

He should, he knew, be feeling wonder now, a sense of the awe of discovery, and while he did feel something of the intellectual frission at the consequence of this find, another part of him recalled what he had thought earlier: that no matter what they discovered, it would be an anti-climax. He, the observer, would still be aware of the fact that, at base, he was still himself, flawed and weak and full of self-doubt and worse.

Eric Brown’s Penumbra

And freedom, oh freedom well, that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

Desperado by the Eagles

No one wants to leave once he’s found a home
Yet it’s just a house when you’re all alone
May as well head down the road and walk the floor
Makes me wonder what I’m hangin’ around here for

I’m an only child, one without a tie
I think I’ll make a mile, I think it’s time I tried
This familiar way of living seems a chore
Makes me wonder what I’m hangin’ round here for

Dusty Old World by the Gibson Brothers

Vincent:You’re serious? You’re really thinking about quitting?
Jules:The life?
Jules:Most definitely…Then basically I’m just gonna walk the earth…You know like Caine in Kung Fu. Walk from place to place, meet people, get in adventures.
Vincent:So you decided to be a bum?…They got a name for that Jules. It’s called a bum. And without a job, a residence or legal tender that’s what you’re gonna be man.

Abridged conversation from Pulp Fiction

Peanuts comic from November 16, 2002

Applicable Peanuts Comic
(Click to Read)


If I never get to see the Northern lights
Or if I never get to see the Eiffel Tower at night
Oh, if all I got is your hand in my hand
Baby, I could die a happy man, yeah

I don’t need no vacation,
No fancy destination
Baby, you’re my great escape
We could stay at home,
Listen to the radio
Or dance around the fireplace

Die a Happy Man by Thomas Rhett


Assuming I survive, I do not know what lies ahead when my wanderlust (or money) runs out. I do not even know how long it will last, although I am guessing in the 1-2 3+ 4+ year range. In any case, I am intentionally not thinking much about that now. I may never program a computer again; I could get back into it; a stint volunteering; something involving the outdoors. Who knows. I have a tendency not to change much through seemingly life changing experiences, but hopefully I’ll come out of this for the better, or at least none worse for the wear.

1 Captain Ramius, The Hunt For Red October