In Which the Author Endeavors to Hit the Road

In three weeks, my year and a half stint at Motive Collective will be over, and I will be officially Hitting the Road.

I made this decision about two weeks ago, and it is just starting to settle in. My last post chronicled a bit of my experience with Sean, the yogi-hobo (who finally contacted me today, and is still looking for long term housing), but what I didn’t mention was the hours that followed our last encounter.

Upon returning home, I found it impossible to sleep — although, to be honest, I did not really try. As I sat on the porch, listening to the birds wake up, my mind kept returning to the past few days. I felt all the thoughts of the past months welling up inside me; all the plans, worries, stresses, hopes, and dreams coming at me, seemingly at once.

All of a sudden, I felt a pressure in my head, as if all these things were hitting a wall. Then I was through it, and it all became clear.

I’ve been worrying about money for a little while now. I had told myself that once my bank account hit $3000, I would take some major steps to find work, or really figure out a way to make money. Now, with my bank account hovering at around $1000, the time for action has come.  And it doesn’t include Getting a Job.

Things here at Motive have been heating up, what with our new roommates, and new-found energy. Ross has started to lead projects directly, something that I had hoped for him (and the house) for pretty much the entire time I’ve lived here. With that has come a renewed focus on the main philosophy of the Collective: projects.

I’ve watched the people of the house begin coming together to plan the future: getting more chickens, systematically planning the next planting season, and starting to lead projects of their own.  All this without the pushing and nudging that I’ve been doing over the past year and a half.  Although this is all stuff that I wanted to be a part of in the past, and felt a fair bit of frustration that more of it wasn’t happening, now that it is happening, it seems that I have already moved on in my mind.

The weeks between my last post and now have been filled with many adventures, and I’ve taken to spending entire nights on the streets of Berkeley (and elsewhere). Every time I come home to sleep in my bed, I wake up feeling as if a reset button has been pressed on my personal growth, and I need to start again.  My best times, it seems, have been spent “out and about,” as I call it, and it occurs to me that I don’t have to reset. I can continue my journey without having to return home, if I take home with me.

I’ve been frustrated with how difficult it can be just to help people in a structured way. It’s ridiculous the amount of hoops one has to leap through just to volunteer one’s time. I’ve grown weary of waiting for the world to come to my door, asking for my help. It’s time that I went and knocked on the doors of the world and offered my skills, talents, and visions for the future to whomever answers.

My goal now, is to find ways to support myself without the need for having a static location to call home.  True, with the land my father gave me for Christmas this year, I have a home to return to, and I will be spending some of the next months cultivating the land and my plans for the future.  Eventually, I hope to live half of my time out in Capay Valley at Tailfeather Ranch, and half of my time here in Oakland, but I have itchy feet, and a need to continue learning at break-neck speed.

My plan, if it can be called that, is to spend several days, or possibly weeks, at various locations around the Bay Area, focusing on helping to solve some of the problems, projects, and challenges that face many of my friends.  Whether it’s an hours long conversation about what’s important, or building a raised bed, or teaching what I know about worm-composting or other topics, the important thing is to be there.

From there, in April or thereabouts, I’ll be spiraling out from the Bay, working my way east. I hope to be in New Orleans sometime before summer, and then on to DC, New York, and back through the mid-west to hit up Chicago, Milwaukee, and other points-of-interest along the way.  The idea is to make connections and do research about intentional living models and bring them home to Oakland.

I haven’t figured out everything that I need to take, or how to go, although I am leaning towards walking and hitching mostly with a backpack and a guitar.  Bicycle is not outside the realm of possibility.  Along the way, I will be chronicling my journey here, and sharing what I learn about living comfortably without a house to call home. I’ve started a group on Facebook called, HoboTech Excorporated, that I will be filling up with learning about how to:
– find places to sleep comfortably
– forage and cook food on the go (dumpster diving, guerilla gardening, work-trade, etc)
– make the tools necessary to live a life on the road (sleeping bag, portable shelter, rocket-stove, kitchen-ware, etc)

If this sounds overly ambitious, it may very well be. If you know me by now, my plans can change in a moment, and they are likely to do so as I’m called to help different people in different places.  Who knows, I may fall in love with someone in Ohio and choose to settle down, far from what I’ve considered my home thus far.

If you’d like to be a part of my journey, I’m looking for ways to fund the trip, whether it be through donations or freelance writing, or charging for services I can provide (engineering, planning, collaboration, ideation, etc). Please weigh in with suggestions, comments, questions.

I haven’t got it all worked out just yet, and would love your help.

That being said, I am hanging my “shingle,” and opening my office hours. If you want help with something that you feel is aligned with my mission (as you understand it), hit me up. Maybe I can add you to the list of places I will go and people I will be endeavoring to help.

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One thought on “In Which the Author Endeavors to Hit the Road

  1. Safe travels, Shawn. Learn lots, love more. Envious of your ability/drive to follow your feet and heart. Look forward to future posts.

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