The End . . . ?
I know what you’re thinking; Hey, where’s the next vote? We need to tell Carole where to go. (Yeh, yeh, get in line.) Well, I’m currently in an undisclosed location (ok, I’ll disclose it as I’m neither Dick Cheney nor a Hollywood starlet who pretends to hide from the press yet leaks the info. through undisclosed sources). I’m currently lying on a beach in Mexico. Do you remember when you voted for us to go see what ruins the Mayan’s had left behind in our Ancient Civilizations vote? That’s when I found Akumal.
After nine-and-a-half months of traveling, I need a vacation. I know, some of you are thinking, What? I thought this was a vacation? To those I say, “Have you been following along?” Let’s just say that, besides the writing – 1,000 to 1,500 words per day is a lot of work – there’s even more work you don’t see.
While I’ve been lying on a beach for some of the time, I’ve also volunteered at the Hekab Be Biblioteca, the library I volunteered at previously, as well as simply lying in bed, in a hammock, and anywhere else I can lay without being arrested for vagrancy, and recovering from a fierce cold and jet lag.
So now what? Well, as you may know, I rented out my house and sold my car, furniture and clothing in order to finance this project. While it was a writing and volunteer project, it was also an around-the-world job hunt. What I learned is that, as I’m over thirty (I know, hard to believe) and American, it’s nearly impossible to find a job overseas due to visa issues. And, since money is a necessary evil to continue this project, and I’ve also had no success in finding a sugar daddy, well, I need to either find a job or a way to make some cash.
So, for the time being, I’ll head back to the States and attempt to find a job. Is this the end? Hell, no. First, I always planned to write a book from this and that’s the next step. While I’ve been pretty open about my life on the road as I realize that you, my Virtual Travel Buddies, are invested in this too, I have to admit that I held some things back. Did you think that Friday was the only man I met on the road? Soon after beginning this project a family member suggested I have a certain goal in mind and write a book called, Around the World in 80 Lays. While the research for that could have been fun, and I even might read that book, I’m not sure I want to write that book.
And what about the stories from locations such as Kuala Lumpur and Gili Air in Indonesia which were some of the “in-between” locations? Oh, and there was the protest march I participated in while in Budapest, and the fallen trees on the railroad tracks which caused myself and thousands of others to wait in the rain for hours outside a German train station for non-existent buses (and you thought the Germans had this mass transit thing down). Yes, there are many stories still untold, and some indecision about the format of the book.
I still haven’t given up on a job or consulting work overseas. And I dream of working with a relief organization as the volunteer part of this project has been one of the most rewarding aspects, and I’d love to continue my volunteer work with some of the organizations I worked with during this project, (Read about them on www.Rebel-With-A-Cause.org.) While I’ve volunteered in the U.S. for much of my adult life (heck, I was even a “Teen Volunteer” while growing up), I’ve never felt as much like I was making a difference as I have while volunteering with many of the organizations I’ve had the privilege to work with on this project.
While renting out my house and selling everything to go travel without a plan, and allow others to decide where I went was incredibly scary, I have many fears about the future; will I find a way to support myself? Will I find rewarding opportunities to help others? Will I become stagnant? Will I be able to relate to people after experiencing so much? Finally, will I be able to call myself a writer?
Aah yes, that last one is a big one. As I was traveling to Mexico and completing the customs and immigration forms required for entry, I came across the question of occupation. I confidently wrote in Writer. It took me a long time to get to the point of being able to say that without feeling like a fraud. I mean, what makes a writer? Must you get paid to do it before you can call yourself one? (Yes, I write for money but, thanks to everyone who will write for free, there’s not much money to be had in writing.) Do you just have to write to call yourself a writer? (See above and note that everyone calls themselves a writer these days.) Still, at some point, when I said it enough and, when I felt I was good enough to justify the title, I became comfortable with it. Eventually, it became who I am. I am a writer. So, as long as I won’t break any laws identifying myself as such, I will continue to say I am a writer, which means I will continue to write.
Many of you became my Virtual Travel Buddies during this last year of the project so you may not know that I held a Kickstarter Campaign to help finance it. Some of you may have known about it but thought I was simply trying to crowd-fund my vacation. I hope that you now understand the value in this. It’s a bit Lonely Planet, a teaspoon of AFAR, some Eat, Pray, Love, a pinch of most any Bill Bryson book, and a dash of Peace Corps all combined with my unique view of the world. It’s informational, travel, humor (or humour for those who are bilingual in English). While the Kickstarter was unsuccessful, it was early on in the project and, perhaps today, it would be more successful. Feel free to take a peek at it here and let me know if I lived up to the promises I made.
I’m having trouble ending this article as I don’t want it to be goodbye. So please stay tuned to see what’s next. As Drop Me Anywhere is about you voting on where I travel to, I don’t feel right turning it into anything else for now, so please stop by www.MyOwnAdventure.wordpress.com to get a periodic dose of snarkiness on my not-necessarily-travel-related blog until I figure out what to do next because, well, I am a writer and, therefore, I must write.