Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reducing the load

The first step on this particular journey is to reduce my possessions. I have alluded to this, but I am going to briefly explore some of the steps taken. Today for instance I went through my CD collection and reluctantly removed all of the jewel cases, choosing to put each insert and CD into a large CD folder. At the same time I chose several CD's which I could live without and set them aside to sell. What surprised me is that with the CD folder, I honestly saved only about 20-30% of the space that CDs with jewel cases takes up. Still, it is admittedly more organized and easier to move this way.

I am still going through my books trying to filter out any that I will not use in the future. This is a real challenge as there are some books which I suspect that I will read when I get to that point where I have more time on my hands and no idiot box with Tivo to distract me. Still, some the more esoteric philosohy books, all of the russian language books, and some of the sci-fi can go by the wayside now.

I have separated the clothes in my closet into those which I can discard and those which I should keep. This was far easier than either of the other two things. I should be able to cut the clothing mass in about half. Fortunately I just do not need much in the way of clothing since I am not one to follow the trends.

I am planning on leaving or selling all of my gardening equipment and buy new when I get to my final destination. These things are just too bulky to transport all across the nation. So too with most of my work equipment. I will keep some of the smaller and specialized tools and equipment, but most of the saws and other larger equipment will all go into the sell pile.

The kitchen supplies will be limited to many cast iron pans and dutch ovens, in fact more than I truly need, but I will confess a love of cast iron both for its use in cooking as well as the general aesthetic of the material. Besides, they last forever and do not lose their value! Other than this, a few special glasses, a few utensils, and a four place set of dishes I picked up 7 years ago which is still packed all nice and neatly in the box. Anything else I need I can pick up inexpensively either on the road or when I get to where I am going.

What more is there? I am sure a great deal and the next couple of months will reveal the form this other takes..

Great news!

I just got off the phone with the current owner of what will be my new caravan! It is a 1974 Golden Falcon of good size (not sure exactly how long) which currently rests in Wichita Kansas. This works out great as it saves me from hauling a trailer up to Kansas. This I suspect saves me close to $100 in gas alone!

So though I will not take possession for a couple of months, I have a portable shelter which will play the role of home for the next clost to a year at least..

Friday, April 18, 2008

Brand new travels-radical changes afoot

After quite a long hiatus, I am back to blogging about traveling. To make up for this, I have a few very interesting events which will change this blog permanently.

The first is that in just over two months I will be traveling indefinitely. Yes you read that right, I am going on the road, leaving behind any semblence of a home. No longer will I have a Texas base, nor will I have any other base for the foreseeable future. This came about from a lost lease and the desire to leave the US, the former playing a far larger role than the latter.

The first step in this process, after the initial shock wore off, was to start shedding my possessions. I have learned a little from my last two major moves, that it is very easy to accumulate too much stuff, and moving in more than one trip in the truck is a serious problem when the distance is great. When the ultimate distance is unknown as it is now, this is a fatal problem so I must shed enough of my possessions that I can fit the remainder in the truck.  This is an ongong process and one which has caused me to make the ultimate sacrifice: I am selling and giving away many of my books. Some people have photo albums and mementos to record the passage of their life, I have books. Still, there are only so many I can take.

The next step was to find a travel trailer (caravan! I really do prefer the British term!!), motor home, or some other sort of portable living arrangement. I hope that I have done this. I have not see the caravan yet, but I have talked to the owner who is a friend of a friend, and it seems like it will be more than sufficient. To make matters even better it is already at the first stop on my travels: Wichita Kansas. Okay, that is really the second stop..

The first stop will be in Colorado. I had already begun planning a trip to Colorado to see the Scottish poet and singer Fish, when I was told that I was going to lose my lease. I am fortunate to know some folks in the area, and so I will be staying there for about a week, doing some work to pay for the trip (and hopefully more, like a website for my portfolio) and enjoying the company of friends left too long unvisited.

Then I am off to Wichita where I will stay for some indefinite amount of time, doing work for friends and family. Once I decide to leave, I may well be heading to Arkansas, or Indiana, or perhaps somewhere else.. that decision will wait until it is necessary to make it.

What is my ultimate goal? Well this is a broad question, and the answer no less so. I expect to relocate out of the US to a wonderful farm in Canada, but I am not forcing the issue. I hope to gain a more free wheeling spirit while on the road. Letting myself go where the winds take me or where I see something of interest will be a welcome if uncomfortable learning experience. I keep going back to a phrase I first listened to from a philosophy professor at WSU, then heard from the source (Kris Kristoferson, via Janis Jopin (via David Soles)) Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. Over the years of studying liberty and justice, I have come to believe that there are two ways to be free, to be in control of all (this might not be freedom after all) or to be without that which others value. I have chosen this latter path for myself and this journey upon which I am about to embark is a major reflection of this.

If nothing else I shall learn and experience. I promise to try to be as free as possible and to welcome opportunites as they arise, whether in person, from this blog, or from any other source. So with that I welcome comments, suggestions, ideas, or whatever comes to mind.

In the coming weeks I will explore the changes I will have to make in order to be prepared for this unique and exciting journey.