A Vagabond of the Lifeways

I’ve given a lot of thought to steps in life. Steps take us either forward, sideways, or backwards. People I know are going in different directions. Some are keyed to steps at work. They feel that success at work means stepping to something new, something challenging. Perhaps a new consulting gig to tide them over or a new full-time job that will mean more steps.

Others seem lost and their steps do not avail. They take a tentative forward step, sideways step, but end up staying the same or going backwards. If you stay the same and time passes, you might as well be going backwards.

There’s a smaller group that I used to have relationships with that seem trapped or at least like that ball in the games that bounces between different poles. Searching forever searching. But asked; they have no idea what they are looking for. One believes some kind of religion perhaps will lead them. Another disavows religion and believes science is the answer. I remember hearing questions when I did anthropology that weren’t all anthropologists atheists? How could we be the cowboys of science and believe in some “fabrication”. Let’s be clear here. What we believe or not is not open to another’s acceptance or denial. My mom would say that there are things you do not argue about and one is religion. The other is politics.

The truth is that people believe or not and its their business. If you post something discrediting someone for having a conviction or belief you are no better than the one, that dictator, that steals that belief and substitutes it with a body politic or military. People deserve to have things which comfort them. I read my acquaintance R on facebook post the downfalls of religion and others post the upsides of critical thinking, questioning the current political mindset, casting doubt on things because they are masters of the wall post. Let me say this; its really none of your business what another believes if that other person is not foisting an opinion or requirement on you. So anthropologists are not atheists. They have seen the multiple forces that propel culture through advances and one is religion.

Then there’s me. I’ve wondered about the tags to apply to myself come next year. I don’t like the terms digital nomad or ex-pat. They have these preconceived realities that a digital nomad travels the world with the laptop writing or researching or doing marketing and digital media. The ex-pat seems to be a term sometimes which marks a person living somewhere else. I am not either. I am a vagabond. That definition is a person that wanders from place to place with no home or work.

Consider the term vagabond and how it fits a person slowly meandering the remaining years with no work or real home. It’s a person that makes a mark but of his or her choosing and depending on the wandering. A second term is wanderlust. I love that term actually. It’s someone that wanders and finds lust in it. Lust. A passion of heart, mind, soul. Lust that engages us and makes us want. We all lust after things. Some we find and can have and we perhaps have satisfaction. Perhaps other lust we never get and it hangs around shadowing us. Sometimes mocking us. But then when you add the word wander in front; its the road. Almost like a Robert Frost road less traveled. Those with wanderlust want the movement and not the destination. The destination may not exist ever for those with wanderlust. For once we reach the destination, the lust may be over and either we are satisfied or we have found a temporary thing which casts us down and makes us want the wandering part again.

I believe its our indomitable spirit that drives all this. Our very atoms and molecules are made of vagabond star stuff that has traveled miles and hours and generations. So when we ourselves reach past those other terms and desire that vagabond and wanderlust life; we are committing to the things which made us.

I watch people hanging at McDonalds these days and wonder. Is this what they want out of life? This is it? The every day senior coffee and gossip? What about that world out there? I think people reach an age or so and they are scared. They feel that the life out there is not for them but built for millennial spirits. How wrong they are. Life is not reserved for only the young. Us oldsters just move slower but we really do not lose the wanderlust and vagabond feelings. We just hide them and soon they go away.

I say the hell with that. Free up and lose all the stuff you have duplicates of. Simplify and get your stuff into one bag I say. Hit that road to a place that challenges and forget the staid and sameness. Unless your star stuff spirit only requires that. If that is the case, simply stay and order another coffee. That’s your life and assuredly your have ordered up what you want and perhaps you find out its much less than anticipated. Or its exactly as you want. Good! Ignore me.

I am a deviant and itinerant wanderer with the word lust after. I’m a hobo of the lifeways and a vagabond of the times. But that’s me.

You? Your mileage may vary.

Author: Michael Perry

I've been blogging for over 20 years and now am living in Southeast Asia. The blog is about my slow vagabonding wherever I want to go. My home base is in Cambodia but I'm rarely there.