Category Archives: Atlanta

Selling Everything To Travel The World

I put the following ad on Craigslist a couple of weeks ago.

As the title says, selling everything I own to go out and travel. Not giving up on materialism, just pawning it. There’s much more of the world out there than in here anyway; I’m not getting rid of anything but attachment to these things. But forget the metaphysics, you’re here about the stuff for sale.

No reasonable offer refused. Unreasonable, impossible or quixotic offers encouraged. Everything for sale except soul (it’s a bit tattered but I still want to keep it). A partial list:

  • Vintage stereo gear
  • Beds
  • CF light bulbs
  • Knife set
  • My grandmother’s iron skillet
  • Pollen
  • Halloween and Christmas decorations
  • Table
  • Guitar
  • Mystery gifts
  • Furniture
  • Blank CDs
  • Egg timer
  • Books
  • XL t-shirts
  • Really big kids’ night shirts
  • Pre-cut-up-rags
  • Dressers
  • Empty boxes
  • Unused toilet paper
  • Halloween and Christmas decorations
  • A sombrero
  • My former work clothes
  • Maps
  • Car
  • A broken clock that came with the house (it may be fixable, I haven’t taken it off the wall to find out)
  • Glassware, barware, silverware, underwear (update: already sold the underwear)
  • Lots and lots of computer stuff, including servers, laptops, cables, routers, hubs, switches, monitors, etc.
  • …and many other things

All items sold as-is, but will be accurately described. Cause I’ve got karma to worry about!

So what’s in my future? Thanks for asking! Heading to Armenia for about 6-months. Then, who knows. Love to go to Argentina for a while so maybe I’ll work on that. India would be cool. And I haven’t been to Africa or Antarctica yet so those are on my list at some point. Oh, speaking of which I’ve got travel books for sale too. You never know when you’ll want to know where the blues bar is in Riga (sorry, they don’t do BBQ there). Or break a tooth in Tibet and need to find a dentist (your choices there are pretty grim, but the military hospital can patch you up).

I’m going to try making a living blogging (http://meanderingwoods.com – tell your friends) and photography. Maybe dabble in a little geopolitical discourse. Maybe set up a food stand and sell fish tacos wherever I am. That’d be a novelty in Russia! You know, whatever.

I got rid of a lot of stuff, made a few dollars and met a lot of cool people. And some weirdos too, like the guy who yelled at me for not being at home at 10pm the night before the yard sale when he came banging on my door. But mostly good folks, many interested in hearing my story as much as shopping.

Some of what I sold I was happy to be rid of. I sold off some furniture that I had no real attachment to, and some old stuff that was cluttering up my place but that I couldn’t bear to just throw out. Selling it off was a bonus – getting money to have people come and clean up.

But some of my stuff was hard to get rid of. I’d spent a lifetime acquiring and admiring it, and now I was giving it up. Like backpacks I took through Europe, books I enjoyed reading and kind of wanted to keep, my bed and sheets that I spent so many mornings of refuge in, while we both cursed the alarm clock for ringing so loudly so early.  It wasn’t just that I ws letting go of these things, it was that the value I placed on them personally was so much more than the yard sale value. And that was hard. If I’d parted with a precious object for $1M I’d feel adequately compensated. But for $1 it hurt.

But that was a cathartic process. Getting rid of the old things that kept me tied down. That freed me up to truly feel like I could travel without leaving so much behind. And that was good.

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…And Back Again

Many readers of this blog will be familiar with my first trip around the world. It was the impetus for starting meanderingwoods to begin with. Well now I’m headed back around the world. I’m leaving in less than a week.

As great as the first trip was, it had one fatal flaw. The direction we took – east to west – sent us traveling with the time zones. When we passed the International Date Line we effectively jumped ahead one day. We continued around and never got that day back. Our bodies ticked off one day less than the calendar. That means we lost a day of our lives in transit. Well I intend to get that day back.

Phileas Fogg had the opposite problem in Around the World in 80 Days – he didn’t realize he’d gained a day. He left from London, heading east. He kept very detailed logs of his journey and it totaled 81 days. But when he arrived home he discovered, to his surprise, that the folks back there thought he’d only been gone 80 days! It’s a bit like time travel, if only on paper.

So that’s what I intend to do. Go from west to east around the world to get back my lost day. Starting in Atlanta I’m flying to Bangalore, India (by way of Amsterdam and Mumbai). Then to Seoul, South Korea with a layover in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Then back around to Atlanta through Detroit, and arrive shortly after I left Seoul. Here are a couple of graphical representations of that trip.

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Download the original Power Point presentation.

Stay tuned for details….

I Miss Traveling

It snowed about 4″ over the weekend here. It was really cool! It made me  realize that people were right when they said that snow is cool unless  you have to live in it. It’s been too long since I’ve really traveled  anywhere. I went to DC for a few days last week but that wasn’t really much of a trip.

I was a booth babe for Blackhat DC and spent most of my time in the  hotel. I did get to hang out with some cool people from work though.

All week long I was tryin to find a cheap flight somewhere warm.  FLL MIA LAS PHX ABQ SAn Diego, wherever. No luck. So now I’m here in the snow wishing I were somewhere else. I’d even take going farther north where it’s colder and snowier. Just some place different would be good.

Guinness In Foam

Guinness

Burglar Bar

Burglar Bars

Moving Back To Atlanta

It was an odd feeling putting my socks in their drawer. I unpacked my bag and washed my clothes as usual. But instead of packing them back up, I folded them and put them in drawers. It was a solemn end to a long trip.

I haven’t put socks into a drawer in almost two years. I’ve traveled just about every week for the last 23 months. When I wasn’t traveling I was taking short trips or was parked in some foreign place. Although my house has remained in Atlanta over that time period, I have considered the “Away” my real home.

I initially passed on this new job because of the pains of staying in one place. Traffic. Living expenses. Ironing. Neighbors. Permanence. Stagnation. Complacency. It was many of the things I wanted to do next in my career. But…the same views of the same things and the same people in the same places…these things bothered me.

I wrestled with the idea of the job. I struggled with the idea of not traveling. I dreamed about the idea of taking my knowledge and creating bigger things. I came to the conclusion that it was time to either move on or move out.

It’s not that I couldn’t move up in the same path, but I decided to move on to this new position because consulting was beginning to show its own pains. Travel. Expense Reports. Ironing. Businessmen. Change became permanence, my personal life was stagnating and I was becoming complacent anyway. The consulting lifestyle still had a great attraction. But…the same views of the same things and the same people in the same places…these things bothered me.

So now I have an office. I have an office. A singular place in which to work. I’m moving back to Atlanta from Away. For good and for bad.

Missing Windows And Sun Glint

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Blue Phone

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Angry Face

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Sunrise From An Office Window

Sunrise From An Office Window