Tag Archives: DIY

Hello, Reader.

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/

On the Fence, or Over the Border?

A lot of new developments have been underway in the time since I’ve updated this blog. John, the Swede I’d initially set off with, flew back to Sweden when he’d heard that his younger sister was in a medically-induced coma after a DUI accident. We parted ways in Richmond, VA, after which I slowly meandered west as I made my way down to GA and up to MI. While I was staying with friends in Grand Rapids, MI, I learned that John’s sister had been doing better and that he had flown back to Richmond, but this time he wanted to remain stationary…so I decided to stay the course and continue going west. I met another hitchhiker named John just outside of Madison, WI, and traveled over to Denver, CO with him before parting ways and spending some time at my buddy’s place in Boulder. With enough days of work and travel, I’ve finally made it to my Aunt’s place in San Antonio, TX. Ever since my plans had changed for my travel partner, I’d been struggling with the prospect of following through with the original plan and facing whatever was on the other side of the border by myself. What I’m doing has been strongly discouraged by most of the people close to me and my family members, but ultimately I knew the decision would be a matter of how mentally/psychologically prepared I felt to go for it. However, my resolve has grown stronger with each passing day. I’d say I’m 98.8463% sure that I’ll be getting this show on the road in the near future; possibly heading into Mexico as soon as the first week of September. Only time will tell…

[Update: I’ve purchased a Greyhound bus ticket scheduled for arrival in Mexico City the night of September 3rd, 2014. I’ve also exchanged $200 USD for $2,450 MXN (around $185 USD), mostly in 100/200 peso denominations (with the exception of one 500 peso bill and one 50 peso bill). In addition to national currency, I have a couple hundred USD in cash, as well as a couple hundred transferred to a VISA traveler’s debit card. I’ve made a cheatsheet of Spanish phrases that I feel might come in handy along the way, as well as a currency conversion chart for USD, Mexican pesos, quetzales (Guatemala), Salvadoran Colónes (El Salvador), lempiras (Honduras), córdobas (Nicaragua), and colónes (Costa Rica). One Belize dollar = 2 USD, and one Panamanian balboa = 1 USD, so I think I can figure out the math if I wind up in those countries. Other than that, I think I’m just going to take things day-by-day and see how things go.]

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).