What if you could take a train in São Bento station, right in the heart of Porto, and go all the way to Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam? “On the move” goes on the longest train journey in the world - 17 thousand kilometres across 11 countries - telling the story of a life on a train, but also the life of a micro-society on the move. By starting conversations with a smile, sometimes without the language of words in common, the truth of our oneness becomes undeniable. The love of a stranger feels like any other love, so there must be only one love, is that not so?
Plaza Catalunya is the symbol of commercialism in Barcelona. The cramped local spots that characterize other parts of the city were absent. Instead of Spanish and Catalan storefronts, it's home to some of the biggest brands in the world: Zara, Louis Vuitton, McDonald’s. Here, not only could you get by on English, but it was the language of choice.
Old Town looked deserted and decrepit; almost sinister in its emptiness. Despite the lack of cars and the dark doorsteps of businesses long since deserted for the evening, I knew Kaktus Kate’s would be open around the bend. Their crowd might not be boisterously active on the Friday after the Fourth of July in Cottonwood, Arizona, but there’s comfort to be had in a small gathering of self-righteous millennialectuals sipping IPAs and discussing unchangeable concepts of a democratic republic. I say “comforting” only in the sense one can drown them out with jukebox music more successfully than one finds themselves capable amongst slobbering drunks.
I wake to find Zando curled up next to me in bed, scruffy tail resting on his nose. Shivering, I pull my sleeping bag tighter around me and huddle into his fur, willing myself to forget the greater significance of the chill that sinks into my core.
What are you passionate about? What gets you excited for the future and gives you something to look forward to? My passion is travelling and dining at fancy restaurants.
Just like for the next multimedia-obsessed person, scrolling through my camera roll’s almost seven thousand pictures and videos is, simply put, no easy feat to tackle on any given day; but doing it today, in the midst of all the confusion, anger, uncertainty and bizarre abnormality of what has now become our socially-distant and ever-changing everyday life, was somehow even harder than I expected.
I'm pretty sure this song comes to mind when quarantine is over and you start hugging all the people you know; like what I’d do with the people in the photo above:
This is the last photo I had taken before landing in what looked to me like a scene taken directly from a futuristic dystopian 80’s flick. I took this photo because I couldn’t believe how sad it looked compared to where I had just come from. I had just gotten done living in Hawaii on the island of Oahu, for one year and four months. I just so happened to be moving in the space between the beginning murmurs of the COVID-19 pandemic and videos of Italians telling us they wish they would have taken this more seriously. The plan was to stop in Seattle to visit my friend and future roommates, fly home to Ohio for a visit, swing by NYC and drop in to see my Dad in Cape Coral, Florida. I packed everything, said my goodbyes and I was off. Those were my last moments of freedom before quarantine took place.
I’ve only hitchhiked a handful of times in my life. Growing up in the UK you never come across it, and when you do the stories usually involve a murder or sexual assault or something to that effect. Over-the-top fanaticism no-doubt, it does happen from time to time. The only time I’ve consistently hitchhiked was when I was in New Zealand, in fact, rather proudly I can say that I hitchhiked from Auckland to Queenstown, from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island. In this month long trip, I spent money on transport only once, on the ferry between the two islands.
The wife and I have had a real baptism of fire over the last two months. We started our vanlife journey right before lockdown. 22 days to be precise. So we’ve kind of had to hit the ground running. There was no easing into the whole “wild camping” thing. Nope, it was definitely sink or swim from the start. For the past 71 days we’ve been without an electric hook up and for 60 of those 71 days, we had no access to a shower. So you can safely say we’ve been schooled in the art of vanlife and wild camping. And although the 6 of us up here haven’t moved around at all, we seem to be in the minority. We’ve seen people coming and going from here on a daily basis and we’ve explained to them all that they shouldn’t be travelling. We’ve met a lot of people recently, some of them interesting and some of them just plain unpleasant. And I think we’ve got a good feel for the kinds of people you might meet on your travels.
In the relatively quiet corner of northeast Montana on Friday, May 29, the sirens from the fire department rang out to area volunteer first responders in the rural community of Culbertson, a call to leave their homes and places of employment just before lunch hour to respond to an Amtrak train derailment east of town. The train was carrying 64 passengers and 10 crew members along Burlington Northern Santa Fe owned and dispatched rails, all of which sustained minor injuries from the impact received when the locomotive collided with a 4049 John Deere spray tractor, killing the driver instantly.