This weekend I'm dodging cows, dogs, and goats on my moped through the streets of Tamil Nadu. The engine lets out a constant scream as I ride full-throttle at 40 kph. My usual preference for a cycle is impractical for this weekend's agenda--I'm attending a Bamboo workshop at the Bamboo Center in Auroville.
This weekend I'm dodging cows, dogs, and goats on my moped through the streets of Tamil Nadu. The engine lets out a constant scream as I ride full-throttle at 40 kph.
On my 4-day weekend break from work, I took a 7-hour bus ride from Bangalore in Karnataka to Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu. Auroville is an incredible community with more wisdom per-capita than I've ever experienced in any town or city. Any traveler should land here with the intention to stay a few weeks, and the will to stay a few months. There's volunteer opportunities at every corner, with immense potential for useful knowledge in permaculture, sustainable architecture, community, and spirituality.
I'm at a zoo in Mysore. A man holding a baby asks me in broken english to take his photo, but does not hand me a camera. Confused, I hold out my hands; he hands me his baby--who immediately starts to cry.
A man holding a baby asks me in broken english to take his photo, but does not hand me a camera. Confused, I hold out my hands; he hands me his baby–who immediately starts to cry.
I'm very confused, but I later realize they wanted a picture of their baby with the token white guy. But I don't do babies, and the sweaty, balling child wants to be back in his comforting Mother's arms, not my awkwardly extended, camera-expecting hands.
The baby's mother retrieves her young, and I notice my friends are far ahead. I apologize, and start sprinting towards them. Looking back, I see their confused faces. I don't like children, but I don't always run in the opposite direction when a stranger hands me their child. In this instance, our tour bus arrived 20 minutes ago, but I didn't have the time or the language to explain that couldn't afford to get stuck 125 km from my office; I have to work tomorrow..
Outside of the "look, a white guy! Let's take a photo with him!" experience that has now become commonplace, I've been having a good time in India. I took the Karnataka government-run tour bus through Mysore. While I generally hate this sort of guided tour, I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to a palace.
I also went to the Chamundeshwari Temple in Mysore, which is the first temple I've ever visited. My biggest take-away was that I know nearly nothing about Hinduism, and I was more thoroughly confused than enlightened. I couldn't even see the deity, as she was covered in flowers--but the excitement was palpable as the crowed pushed & shoved to advance to the viewing area, still 15m away from their idol.
I'm laying on my bed in a small room on the 4th floor of my new room in Miraflores. In 2 weeks I plan to be in Cusco, exploring ancient ruins like Machu Picchu for my week off. I've grown to like this place; I'm sharing it with ~6 other International travelers, it has a nice rooftop right outside my window, and it's no-frills cheap. $280/month rent. Beats the hell out of $850/mo in NYC.
Drop Machu Picchu. Drop Patagonia. Drop festival in Rio de Janeiro. I'm going to India!
I'm switching tabs back-and-forth between launching nodes in aws and researching bus routes for my next 6 months in South America: Valparaíso, Buenos Aires, Los Ríos, Christmas in Torres del Paine (Patagonia), Montevideo, Festival in Rio de Janeiro. I'm excited as I read through the internet travel guides and multi-day, international bus routes.
My boss sends me a message. I expect he's going to yell at me for signing-off for an hour during lunch. Instead, he asks, "Would you be interested in working in India for a couple months?"
Drop the phone. Drop everything. Drop Machu Picchu. Drop Patagonia. Drop festival in Rio de Janeiro. I'm going to India!
I have 2 days left in Santiago, Chile. This weekend, I'm taking a 54-hour bus to Lima, Peru.
On Friday I'll wake up at 05:30 to walk myself and all my possessions to the bus station. The bus goes north up the Chilean desert, through the Chile-Peru border just past Arica, across the Peruvian mountains that hug the Pacific Ocean, and down into Lima, Peru.
After I graduated college, I sold or gave away most of my possessions. As a young US American following the footsteps of many before me, I headed west to California.
ho·bo / ˈhō-(ˌ)bō / (n.) a migratory worker
With just a few duffel bags of cargo, my 21-st century move from Florida to California lasted only a few hours on an airplane. My destination: San Francisco -- where, in a few weeks, I'd begin a new job as a software engineer.
During my time living in California, I visited Yosemite National Park and went on my first-ever overnight trekking trip. This experience taught me much about self-sufficiency and packing light--something that I later refined to an art.
I was in San Francisco for just over a year, but I never spread my roots too deep. Before my second year, my feet were itching for something new, and I found myself on a plane again -- this time destined for New York. With Guthy's voice singing through my earphones, I flew from the Redwood forests to the New York islands.
After some time, I was off again, heading down the US east coast back to Florida, and I hopped a plane to the furthest city in America that had an international airport -- Santiago de Chile.