For the past 5 years, I’ve been living my life on the open road. No home, no fixed address. No office, no commute. No closets, no storage spaces, just a backpack with all my material possessions stuffed inside.
Thanks to the modern marvel of the Internet, I feed myself by programming and freelancing online. I don’t make much, just enough to keep eating, breathing, and moving.
I walk, pedal, and paddle, sleeping outside in the great open. Since 2013 I’ve been cycling and paddling across Europe. I kind of have this thing for human powered transportation. I love to ramble slowly across this big, wonderful, and exciting world propelled by my own strength and will.
Studying languages is my other pastime. Learning a local language opens insightful windows into the different cultures I encounter. It also opens doors — literally — into peoples homes and hearts.
This, then, is my tramping notebook, wherein I write tales and share photos of my adventures.
Curiosity drives me. It fuels my insatiable desire to know what’s beyond the next bend of the road, to discover what’s there beyond the edges of the map. If it is my muscles that propel me forward physically, it is curiosity that propels me mentally.
But the curiosity runs deeper, and this life becomes a physical inquiry into the more philosophical: Why do we stay rooted in a place? How does where we are and the things we own limit our freedom? Through vagrancy can one lead a mindful life? What can a life be like if there are no “have to”s and “got to be”s?
When things of the world have no great value to you, you are free to move through the world undisturbed, free to create your own value, your own happiness. But with all the marvels modernity has wrought, it has also weighed us down with an excess of supposedly valuable things. My response to s has been to give up — and get out!
This, then, is my tramping notebook, wherein I trace my paradoxical rebellion against modern life.
There are limits to every domain, and laws to govern every organized power. But the vagrant owns the whole vast earth that ends only at the nonexistent horizon, and his empire is an intangible one, for his domination and enjoyment of it are things of the spirit. — Isabelle Eberhardt