Monday, December 10, 2012



Meet Mike---traveling about on his motorcycle with an amazingly compact lifestyle.  He's been on the road many years trying a variety of  nomad styles.  Previous to the motorcycle, he had a donkey and wandered the wilderness areas of NM.  Hard to believe , but he has a PHD in Anthropology---worked for 20 years for an eastern state.  Now he focuses on enjoying each day and perfecting his camping art.  He lives with extreme simplicity---draws a few pictures.

This is his latest stove idea---It uses a candle for heat.
 Inside his tent.
 See the tiny candle in the stove? He said you could cook with it.   I engaged him extensively trying
 to gauge whether his extended periods of solitude had ennobled him---enlightened him.  I concluded that it had not---his outlook on humanity had grown dark---his social skills diminished.  He was friendly enough with Laurie and I but he raged at the world in general.
 Here's a beautiful nomadic style---living in a van --my personal favorite.  This gentleman is a very savvy friend of mine who just upgraded to this van and was putting the finishing touches on it's interior.
 Meet Richard--an electronics whiz---and a fair carpenter.  He knows who he is and how he wants to live his life.  This comfortable, efficient, stealthy van should take him happily into old age.
 His workspace. Can you see the electronics?--solar powered--great miusic system.
 Me--standing inside.
 I show you the front view because I want to take you inside that bus on the left.
This is a truly remarkable lady---she fell in love with the mobile lifestyle and then went shopping for a home that would move about.  She bought this diesel bus for a song at an auction---then set to work building her home inside.  Pretty good carpentry and design!  She earns a living on her computer---working the database for a national organization.  She has the freedom most women dream about.
 This is a brash New York kid doing a cross country bike ride---traveling as much as 70 miles per day.  He told me the cart was  better than loading his gear on his bike directly  because the weight had broken lots of spokes.  It was cold when he settled in and cold the next morning when he hurried away.  This does not look like fun to me---looks stressful---distractive of the deeper experiences I enjoy.   
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  At the heart of Nomadism is the quest for meaning. ONLY MOVEMENT CAN GENERATE MEANING (reading a book or thinking a thought is a form of movement)  If we have no movement in our life we begin to feel THE ANXIETY OF MEANINGLESSNESS.
Meaning----  like the glow of an incadescent light----occurs only when electrons are moving through a filament .  And our lives only have meaning when we are moving toward something.
My nomadic friends and I are literally moving to make meaning---to keep our brains glowing-to ward off the terrible terrible feeling of nothingness. 


New Age Nomad said...

Good Post Randy Always good to see others vehicles, and how there living the nomadic lifestyle!

Michael said...

Wow, GREAT quote about movement!

Tesaje said...

Having camped on a bike extensively in my youth, it is a way of being and experiencing the world like none other except maybe on foot. Going slower means you see everything - lots of detail missed at car speeds. The camping was not onerous with a young body. But it would be hard at my age now. I am forever glad I had that experience.

It is always interesting to see how different people solve the puzzle of living small.

BlackSheep said...

Interesting to see how others do the travelling and simple living, but I think I'll stick with my converted cargo trailer! To each his own.

Jim said...

Hi Randy,
I'm currently reading a book about the life of Albert Einstein. From that that book, here is a saying of his at the beginning of the book...
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." What do you think about that?

Anonymous said...

"a terrible terrible feeling of nothingness." Guess you can run all you want but you won't outrun that. Best to look inside and see what that feeling is all about.

The Desert Scruff said...

Yes, Randy, a good post. Interesting to see the modes of travel, from bicycle to bus.

NEer said...

Two thumbs up, great post, and loved your closing words.

Jim said...

I recently turned 59 and I still commute 20 miles a day on my mountain bike. Yesterday it was 16F; the day before 19F. It's not a lifestyle everyone will enjoy BUT it does permit me to eat and drink whatever I want. When you're burning an extra 2,000 calories a day, everything is FUEL.
If I was single, I could see myself migrating from summer place to winter place (and back) on a bike. But with my lovely SO along for the ride, we'll probably bring the 30' fifth wheel. One of my inspirations is a guy who celebrated turning 65 by pedaling 6,500 miles = coast to coast TWICE. I'm not sure I'll duplicate his feat but there is something fulfilling about doing things very few people my age are willing to do.