Here is some of the writing from Not Vagabonding:
Don’t Go Vagabonding (An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Short-Term, Luxury Travel)
What are words for? They serve many purposes, but the one I chose to write about today is this: some words are just fun to say! And they may make people smile when they listen to you. –
Missing Persons (a band from the 1980s)
Chapter One: Declare Your Dependence
I love the movies. I like to go in the middle of the afternoon. Then nobody can find me for hours and I can forgot about how lazy and unreliable I actually am. I like romantic comedies that are predictable and poorly written. I have no idea what this says about me but it can’t be good. Generally speaking if too much thought goes into writing the script for a film I get lost at about a quarter of the way through and then nudge my boyfriend to explain each scene until we both want to go home. I don't read the book. It may ruin a perfectly bad movie by comparison. I like the film, Working Girl. There is a line said by Melanie Griffith where she is sitting at the bar with a lot of high-powered businessmen and Harrison Ford asks her, “What is a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?” And her response was, “I have a head for business and a bod’ for sin.”
When I saw this movie again recently, I was blown away by the truth of it. The truth is any woman with a nice ass and a head for business can get enough attention in the world of business-men to make enough money to never work again and travel whenever she wants. Certainly she could travel in the lap of luxury, not, say, on a motorcycle through China, for goodness sakes. Who would want to do that? I am here to tell you that yes, you can get ahead with allowing yourself to be beguiling, all the while, stay super-smart and ahead of your male competitors.
Thing is, most Americans probably wouldn't find this movie one liner a good example of female equality or intelligence. It's really a silly quote to get me to my next point: ladies, create a passive stream of income then don't work a 9-5 job. Go traveling instead. That's what I am doing. I like to make money easily so I can take many one week to ten day trips all over the U.S. No foreign travel for me now. I love going to warm places in the winter for a week like California and Florida, nothing exotic but possibly life-changing. Just get me out of the cold. I like Glamping! I like to limit my travels to short, frenzied bursts of pleasure with a sense of an itinerary, what I'll actually do when I get there.. I travel to:
1) Look good to my friends who think I am traveling all the time.
2) Not have to cook.
3) Avoid important projects; clean house, go to dentist.
4) Be on the road for my birthday so nobody realizes I just got a year older.
5) There is no Number 5.
6) Experience that sense of freedom away from anything familiar, and I don't have to cook.
In fact, I like to think that my vacations are like jewels in a jewel case - sparkly, special, like I fell into a sugar bowl and I can't get out. What? I recently heard about people going to monasteries and convents as a form of a vacation. There are a quarter million different package vacations like this if you check it out on the internet. Go figure. I mean what would I do at a convent? Sleep? I would definitely not be having sex. The premise: busy people want to slow down. Then go to the DMV. Wait in line, then go home. Jeez.
I adore the idea of;
Figuring out where I want to go.
Listing all the local highlights of that town or glamp site I wish to visit
Blocking out each day what I am going to do.
I do adore the idea of a package vacation. Why be bothered with dreaming up your own journey quest and deal with your own unique itinerary? That would require you to know yourself and what you want and that requires work and therapy, and who wants that? Let a travel operator or glamping host plan your itinerary. You won’t have to think at all. Thinking on vacation sucks. You'll forget the fact that you don't know who you are while sleeping in a yurt. Experience life.
I only have time for short vacations right now. I can spend bursts of time and money to get away to places that mildly distract me but primarily keep me in the same stuck patterns of life I've always lived before. At least it's all familiar, repeatable habits that don't threaten me to grow in anyway. I mean come on, who really has the guts to go away for six weeks or six months and re-create themselves, to face inner demons, inner shortcomings? Besides, if I ran away from home for a long time, wouldn't my boyfriend be gone when I got back? It’s not time for me to roam the planet because I am finally in an exclusive relationship and any woman who has dated professionally like me knows that finding a good guy is not easy. What about my hairdresser appointments? Nothing like your roots showing on some obscure trip up the Ganges River. No thank you.
In order to take lots of successful, local vacations you need money and I will be giving you various tips on how to do that like these:
1) Sell supplements on the Internet and in retail stores like I do.
2) Read Tim Ferris, "Four Hour Work Week".
3) Mentor someone who is doing really well and never leave their side until you can do exactly what they are doing.
4) Develop a product that you can market, and then write the book, then build the website.
5) Marry somebody with money or inherit from a relative.
6) Whatever it is, sell it on the Internet.
Make the money with ease, and then travel with ease at your own pace in a predictable Americanized way. Overseas travel is either for really rich people or people that will stay in hostels. I'm way too much of a princess for that. I like the United States thank you very much. It's safer, you can drive most places, the airlines are cheaper, and everybody speaks my language. I am a spoiled, disengaged American and quite frankly I'd like to stay that way. (I should admit that by the time I write my second book, I may be done with the U.S. for awhile. I'll be on the road for over 165 days next year exploring it all.)
Short-term travel has everything to do with your personal outlook. It isn't about being some overworked slave to a job and so you can find the time to get away. No, it's about choosing to take a short vacation and being proud of it. I don't want exposure to foreign countries that makes me question myself, my values, my wardrobe and choice in spices. I could meet people in different cultures that have figured out better lifestyles, recipes and customs. They could be better than me, and wouldn’t I feel silly then? Short-term travel isn't an act of rebellion against society (I’m not ex pat) and that's why I like it. It's common sense to stay home and water your plants, pick up the mail, and make sure your pipes don't freeze in the winter. We read "Eat, Pray, Love" and enjoy it, but who would really live it? My book, yes, you can follow me on my journey, even come along if you wish.
This deliberate way of moving around is what I have coined, “Not Vagabonding”. The art of travel while staying bound to your current circumstance or belief system with a limited ability to take on new ideas and experiences.
Not Vagabonding is all about a little time away from your miserable or wonderful life to experience some new stuff, in the form of distractions for one week to ten days – on your own terms but primarily with no clue about your own needs or what you really want out of the damn trip. All you know is you want to get away and have some fun!
Not Vagabonding is an outlook on life that is all about your needs only, but who cares? It’s that me, me, me factor, about using the internet to make travel plans AND about making money on the Internet while you sleep. (Whoever said a funny book can’t give real advice?) Not Vagabonding is about good times in fabulous places, avoiding the everyday and mundane. Do not look for amazing insights under a rock or a blade of grass unless. Not Vagabonding is, indeed, an attitude – a genuine interest in glamorous places, kitschy souvenirs (Grand Canyon sugar bowl) and the enjoyment of meeting new people who have a sense of humor. Avoid the other ones like the plague on vacation. It’ll kill your buzz to get into a heady conversation on the ecological changes in Antarctica after a trip to the local Grand Canyon Happy Hour. This is a common view of life which sets one off on the path that is most predictable for most Americans; comfort and affordability. We have way to much guilt as working people (unless we figure out that Shark Tank business) to go away for more than a week or two. We have inherited that crummy puritanical work ethic and should be proud of it, until you can’t stand it anymore, than read my notes at the end of each section to learn how to get out of the rat race and still take short term vacations because you are a short term thinker like me.
The Sierra Club guy, John Muir used to judge people that would come and stare at the vistas in Yosemite, then rush away. He called them “time-poor” and that we were obsessed with money and social standing. Well, hey, isn't that kind of like kicking somebody when they are down or accusing someone in a wheelchair of being handicapped? Do you think that if we could have figured out how to quit our jobs and move to the woods and the pine cones that we would've done it too? I mean give me a break, I mean not all of us can be naturalists and preservationists, thank you very much. Some of us eat lunches at crummy Chinese buffets every day, like I just did today. Thanks for your activism for saving Yosemite Valley and the sequoias but I wasn't sure which courses to take in Liberal arts at the University of Kansas to become a preservationists. Ralph Waldo Emerson, he came and left the park in the summer of 1871 in a hurry. He got it. It didn't seem to affect his writing poorly in any way.
Of course we don't have this kind of personal freedom to live the life of John Muir. Even the richest rich don't have this kind of personal freedom. They wouldn't have the insight to live that kind of life and neither do I. I find myself living in a society urging me to stay dependent upon my current lifestyle, earnings and most recent long-term relationship. (And after all these years he’s finally taking out the garbage.) Why would I want to leave him and go off and do, say, what Cheryl Strayed did, living in the WILD? (Movie with Reese Witherspoon.) It seems women who write books about long-term travel to foreign countries are often if not always getting over a bad relationship and since I'm currently in a good relationship I have no desire to run to the mountains in a poor fitting pair of running shoes. Nor do I wish to eat pray love my way across India because I am prone to irritable bowel syndrome and allergic to spicy food. So I guess you could say I am living the choice that many would feel comfortable with, the predictable path, the comfortable vacation within the limits of my lifestyle at this time. Predictable? Mundane? Yeah.