Category Archives: Writing

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Choloepus hoffmanni (Hoffmann's Two-Toed Sloth)_2

Choloepus hoffmanni (Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth), 9/30/2014

After nearly two years of stagnancy I figured this blog could use a bit of upkeep. I also realized that the way I’d left things off didn’t exactly provide much closure for people who might be visiting this blog for the first time. Time flies and carelessness already boarded, so instead of making excuses I humbly offer you this 2016 update: https://existentialpace.wordpress.com/north-america-travels-2013-2014/

I’ve also made a few adjustments in an attempt to simplify the web navigation, but since I technically didn’t mention some of the (comparatively) newer pages in previous blog posts, I’ve decided to post a list of some of our specials. For starters, anyone who is interested in the feasibility of my travels or might even be considering doing something similar should note that I didn’t just take off on a whim, all willy-nilly…there was a method to the madness (https://existentialpace.wordpress.com/my-latest-venture-hitchhiking-across-the-u-s-oct-nov-2013/mission-statement/). No amount of planning could prepare me for life on the road, but it definitely helped to have some gear ready (https://existentialpace.wordpress.com/hitchhiking-pennsylvania-to-panama-may-november-2014/2014-revised-packing-list-with-photos/). Some of these considerations turned out to be inconsequential, while others wound up being pretty crucial; while this may be an arbitrarily subjective distinction, it is definitely better to make this distinction sooner rather than later.

If you’d like to check out the photo albums, here is our current selection (in chronological order):
Hitchhiking the USA 2013: https://existentialpace.wordpress.com/my-latest-venture-hitchhiking-across-the-u-s-oct-nov-2013/hitchhiking-photo-album-dont-try-this-at-home/
Hitchhiking the USA 2014: https://existentialpace.wordpress.com/hitchhiking-the-usa-may-august-2014/
Hitchhiking Mexico 2014: https://existentialpace.wordpress.com/hitchhiking-pennsylvania-to-panama-may-november-2014/mexico-travels-2014/
Hitchhiking Central America 2014: https://existentialpace.wordpress.com/hitchhiking-pennsylvania-to-panama-may-november-2014/central-america-travels-2014/

This sort of expectation-free and largely unpredictable method of traveling led to a lot of crazy situations, interesting photos, and borderline-unbelievable stories. At the same time, the most compelling thing I took back with me wasn’t tangible or easily described. The further I ventured out, the closer I was drawn inward–the whole “journey-is-the-destination” phenomenon was simply a catalyst to better understand and utilize a higher potential of my own existential framework. In my personal opinion, the “Insights” sections of this blog are the most important things I’ve taken out of the experience, and as the years go by they still hold true!

Insights (Introduction Page): https://existentialpace.wordpress.com/related-ventures/
Insights (Part 1): https://existentialpace.wordpress.com/related-ventures/insights-part-1/
Insights (Part 2): https://existentialpace.wordpress.com/related-ventures/insights-part-2/

Crossing Borders and Pushing Boundaries

If you’d like to get an idea of what I’m looking at for my next big trip, check out my page titled “My Upcoming Venture: USA to Mexico (And Beyond).” I’ve also posted my “Mission Statement” page, which can be found in the same section. If I have time I’ll try to include a modified packing list geared toward the climate/geography of this particular region, which I’d like to supplement with some photos of my equipment (and possibly an overall weight calculation if I get around to it) for a more visual representation of the gear itself–and a general breakdown of what I’m dealing with, preparation-wise.

I’ve only tried hitchhiking once before, but that several-week 7,000+ mile journey around my home country whet my appetite for exploring new frontiers in alternative travel. I’d like to revisit hitchhiking for practical reasons (after the costs of important equipment/immunizations, I’m back on a shoestring budget) for the pursuit of experiences leading me deeper into the adventure of the unknown, presumably on a whole new playing field. I don’t count on making it as far as Mexico–or even out of the northeast USA, for that matter–but it is still an absolutely worthwhile prospect for me. As far as I’m concerned, preparation has a vaguely similar quality to expectation–yet it is a more opportunistic approach that openly takes into account the free dynamics of unhindered potential. As the old adage goes: “The journey is the destination.”

Updates: New Photo Album; Upcoming Content/Substance; PSAs

The album page is listed under the “Hitchhiking Across the U.S.” tab (http://wp.me/P4slfO-9v). It took me a while to finally get around to sorting through the thousands of pictures–selecting the decent ones to organize into an album–and putting them into chronological order, with factually accurate (or at least semi-relevant) captions took a few more whiles. But I think I’ve finally got it all in the right order–with the right names, places, and other details from the trip. Likewise, I’ve put my plans regarding book publication on hold. Although I’m about halfway though reading over my rough draft–weighing in at just over 78,000 words–I’d like to start drafting up a mission statement for whatever new adventure the future has in store for me rather than spending that time reliving past events. Getting the key elements that comprise the heart of my journey down on paper and organizing the structural principles behind each of those concepts is a necessary step for me to clear my mind. Collecting my thoughts and feelings through such media content is just one of the ways that I’m able to share the raw essence of the bigger picture until I can buckle down and smooth out the edges of the underlying substance so I can distill the roles I’ve played into the more universally-accessible state that exists in all of human potential. A casual look through my photo album reveals a glimpse of the circumstantial ebb and flow that helped facilitate my experience, but my point is that I simply decided on hitchhiking as a means to an end that any one of us could find a million other ways to reach on one’s own terms. In other words, the places and situations I share are just personal applications from my own screwy toolkit. The execution itself isn’t suitable for everyone, but the purpose is something I think we all owe ourselves to embody the full nature of who we are as individuals of spiritual truth incarnate. For the time being I can only demonstrate the qualitative subjectivity of why taking our surface reality for granted is a blindfold that may only be removed with a self-induced paradigm shift. But don’t take my word for it–how much sense does all this rambling make to you in the first place? When it comes to trying new things, you can’t always get talked into doing something different–sometimes you have to be the one who talks yourself into doing it!

The Vegetarian Amputee Chef–A Personal Thought Experiment:

I’ve posed this hypothetical situation to several people before, but I’d like share this with the vast realm of online peers on WordPress and consider a wider range of perspective from this global collection of worldviews…I’m also a bit curious to see if there is some general consensus independent of one’s dietary preferences. Feel free to comment with any opinions or additional input on this matter…

First off, I want to emphasize that I am completely against animal cruelty, and although I am not a practicing vegetarian, I respect the virtues and dedication of those who are. I also understanding that vegetarianism stems from a vast range of beliefs–from religious affiliations, to health concerns, to environmental principles. This particular scenario deals specifically with the aspect of vegetarianism that meat consumption is unethical–with an underlying moral premise that animals cannot explicitly consent to being killed for humans to eat/use their flesh. With that, here’s a little something I call The Story of the Vegetarian Amputee Chef: Herbert I. Vorr is a five-star chef who happens to be a vegetarian of the aforementioned demographic–while Herb has always been curious about trying meat, he would never betray his ideals and eat a non-willing creature. One day, he severs his arm in an accident. The doctor is unable to reattach Herb’s arm, so the limb is amputated and kept on ice to preserve the flesh. Herb’s open-minded doctor suggests that, being a master chef in top physical condition, Herb might want to consider taking his discarded arm into the kitchen as an opportunity for him to prepare a gourmet meal with flesh that came from an organism with the ability to decide its own culinary fate: As a part of Herb’s body (his own flesh and blood) is the source of this meat, his recent circumstances have provided an exception to his self-determined lifestyle.
Discounting the cannibalistic implications of the issue at hand, does going along with his doctor’s recommendation allow Herb the chance to partake in meat consumption–as a deliberately consenting individual–while justifiably staying true to the fundamental nature that represents his vegetarian beliefs?

Writing Tips 101.34:

Things are afoot–both with this blog and behind the scenes–but I’ve been told that blogs are the sort of things you’re supposed to update with semi-regular posts…So, in celebration of the art of writing, I present to you these practical insider secrets to writing that should address most challenges the average writer might face at some point or another:

The best way to tell a really touching story is with Braille (use sandpaper for the rough draft). If you just want to give sound advice, use an audiobook (particularly a book on tape if you want your message to stick). If you have trouble with spelling, use a wand. Literacy is a four letter word. Imitation is the highest form of flattery (unless you have moral hang-ups about plagiarism). Resolve writer’s block with a Ouija board. Witness protection is a free pass to write a fictional autobiography. If you want your writing to turn into cash, you can start by writing checks. Keep copies of the letters you write for personal reference (collect all 26 for a full alphabet).