Road Warriors

Posted by on Sep 22, 2010 in 2010, Choken Word, Featured

I’m out of here. That’s it. I put in my notice today. Today I am no longer a web designer. I am a human. And my wife supports my decision. We are going on a trip. A long trip together as a family. Broke and poor. We are hitting the road.

I was just sitting there today thinking, is this it? Am I to live like this? As the time ticks away the seconds of my life. The days and weeks fly by as I prepare to die. And I have a timeline. It has been explained and stretched out before me on paper. Dotted. Signed. Re-signed. This paper has a pie chart and a bar graph showing where my median age for death will be. I have five years they say but when did the clock start? Nobody knows. Will I beat brain cancer? No one seems to beat it? There are few who outlive the median age and they are still wondering when their tumors will start growing again because nobody beats it. They just make it off the chart.

I live with this every day. This, what am I going to do with my life anxiety?  This, why was I put here anxiety? How will I make my mark? What is my calling? And could I pursue it, if I really knew what the answers were? So today I reclaim my life or what is left of it.

My wife, the kids and I are hitting the road. Where it will take us nobody knows. First things first, we are keeping our stuff in storage here in Melbourne, Florida. That stuff could burn to the ground for all I care. I’ve never been more free without it. I have slept on an air mattress for the past five months in the living room. I welcome it. If I could sleep standing up I would, just as long as I’m alive. As far as web design goes, I think I’ll try something different this time around. Something where I use my body. Work with my hands. Maybe even learn how to grow my own food.

Tonight we are packing because tomorrow morning the road awaits. I hope to gun it up to New York first, while the weather is nice. Maybe stay up long enough to see the leaves change, then possibly head over to Colorado. We are taking only what we need. Just a handful of clothes each. Just enough of everything to make it easy. We will teach our children to make do with little and to learn to find happiness in nature. No more television. No more Tivo. No more. More. More. More.

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15 Comments

  1. Akbar Lightning
    September 23, 2010

    the site of mel gibson makes me sick…could you pick a new icon?

    good luck on your journey…

    Reply
  2. universaltron
    September 23, 2010

    we so easily forget how cool he was. we are packed and ready to go.

    Reply
  3. Infiniversal John
    September 23, 2010

    Signed papers and pie charts are for the birds.

    Hitting the road sounds fun! And physical farm-work can be very rewarding.

    I once did cherry picking in Tasmania, and it was some of the most enjoyable work I’ve ever done.

    I got to meet other travelers from all corners of earth. I was paid by how many boxes of cherries I picked, and I went at my own pace. There was no clock ticking away, just the sun above my head. I wore a wide brimmed hat, and luckily the cherry bushes/trees often shielded me from the direct sunlight. I ate so many cherries while working, oh my gush! So many cherries!

    I also did a bit of WWOOFing… stands for willing workers on organic farms:
    http://www.wwoof.org/

    Hmm, checking that site just now I see they are now saying it stands for “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms”.

    I bought a book, containing contact info for many farms in oz. For a few weeks I stayed on a farm where I picked raspberries, watered some veggies, and pulled some weeds, and generally offered a hand wherever I could. In exchange I had a free spot to pitch my tent, and got to mix it up with a bunch of travelers, many of them were activists involved in preserving old growth forests:

    http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=LlrdvYr6wvQ

    It was an eye-opening journey and I’d love to get back to living closer to nature again. I was bathing in rivers, and hitchhiking, it was quite an experience.

    Only thing about wwoofing and agricultural work if I did it again is I’d want to find organic farms, so the produce is safe to be handling all day.

    It’s such a joy to spend every day outdoors, and be close with the birds and bugs and animals and the weather. Very healing, and invigorating.

    I hope you enjoy your adventures Byron!

    Reply
  4. josh
    September 23, 2010

    best of luck man! sounds awesome!

    Reply
  5. universaltron
    September 23, 2010

    Folks I hate to break it to you but I haven’t left. I’m still in Melbourne working as a web designer. This is a project I have created to do what I want to do but can’t. I’d love to be able to travel and see the world but I have obligations I need to take care of.

    My little one is in kindergarten. I am her soccer coach. I have doctors here and a good job. I appreciate the support. It’s great to learn about WWOOF. Something like that makes the possibility of others going on the road actually possible.

    I will keep this as a running series where I explore the life I would live if I didn’t have the obligations and the medical issues I have to take care of. I still plan on living up by Bear Mountain and watching the leaves change. My poetry will also come off of this series so they will be linked together.

    I will live the life I want to live even if it is imaginary. Sorry to disappoint you but my life is too complicated to take off like this right now. Maybe one day. Maybe not. But at least I will try and imagine the world as I’d like it to be.

    Thanks for your support.

    Reply
  6. Stephen
    September 23, 2010

    You got me. I must say I was relieved to hear this was fantasy though. You’re creativity always astounds me. You are serving your purpose.

    Reply
  7. Infiniversal John
    September 23, 2010

    “Globatron is a work of art.”

    That it is. ya, my inkling was you weren’t going, but I’m generous with benefits of any doubts…

    Reply
  8. universaltron
    September 24, 2010

    thanks all for your support. sorry to disappoint. John your story of living off the land and WOOFFing it is beautiful. thank you for sharing.

    Globatron is a work of art. We always wanted it to be so. You are the first to tell us that other than ourselves. For that I am truly honored.

    Stephen it is so good to know you read this stuff every now and again and to know you are out there.

    It was a long trip today but we settled outside North Carolina on the Virginia border. We are spending the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot as i used to do back in the day. It’s legal to camp/sleep over and they love it when you hit them up for toilet paper in the morning.

    by the way I’m meat free again. I’ve gone vegan again and I’m a total proud plant eater. I’m going to start keeping a food diary and calendar of my days without and encourage all folks on globatron to cut meat out of their diets. Become healthier and cut your carbon emissions in half at the same time. You can’t beat it. Definitely a win/win.

    I’m adding a food calendar on the site tomorrow in case anyone is interested in the journey and what I eat, they can follow along and share their diets as well.

    Reply
  9. Infiniverbal John
    December 13, 2010

    How are you handling the weather on the road at this time?

    windshield wipers?

    Reply
  10. Byron King
    December 14, 2010

    The weather is fine as I never physically left. Mentally I’ve been on the road for some time. The view is nice. The hours are easy. The wine is cheap. I am loved and cherished.

    How is has your view been treating you?

    Reply
  11. Kevin
    February 6, 2011

    Happy trails!

    Reply
  12. Christine
    September 24, 2011

    what happened? just when i was getting really excited it stopped! most of the road movies were about guys who either didn’t have responsibilities or were running away from them. you’re writing about taking your entire family with you, babes and all. that’s hardcore and i wanna know what happens. write this book! i find it easier to write from first person narrative but you can always change it to third person in the final draft. i don’t know why i’m so uncomfortable with third person in the first draft: something about not being happy with omnipotence! 🙂 WRITE THIS BOOK.

    Reply
  13. Byron King
    September 25, 2011

    Well, the road brought me back to reality. On the week days I am still trying to escape and now like most Americans who can afford it, I’m in therapy. I am hoping to learn meditation and today I started running again. All good steps back to the righteous path. Whatever that may mean. It could mean so many things. On the weekends I am filled with peace and love, surrounded by my wonderful kids and loving wife.

    This trip didn’t last long. I got a job. Moved to Melbourne, Florida then I slept on a blow up mattress and then couch for fifteen months until we were able to move into our own house. We stayed with my wife’s grandmother. She was really sick the last year and we were really poor so it worked out for all parties involved. We are still poor but we were able to pay down our debt then get back into debt with the purchase of our home.

    As far as living a fake life, I might try it again. I think I do to some extent. It might be good therapy but there are deadlines to be met. There are bills to be paid. There is the reality of the world collapsing around us as I type.

    There are many chapters to be read and to be written. You do have a point though. Maybe writing the life I’d like to live minus all of the crap might be interesting. And yes I will take my entire family with me anywhere. We might live in a trailer or couch surf for a year or more but they are my rock.

    We had nothing the past year and a half and it was fine with me. Now we have this beautiful home to take care of and it’s also fine. We are lucky, fat Americans and I know how great life is in this little suburb with a great school system, super low crime rate and high ratio of educated adults with advanced degrees. After all this is the Space Coast. There are probably more engineers and scientists here than any other place in the world.

    Where the Space Shuttle left off, commercial space will fill in. And quickly. Where there is money to be made and land to be polluted we will prevail.

    I am lucky to work, study and hopefully one day teach at an international university that has a top tier rating by the U.S. News & World Report (however they come by those magic numbers will forever be a mystery). A year later I am grounded in reality and I am trying to make the best of it I can. One year can be a lifetime.

    Reply
  14. Christine
    September 26, 2011

    Hi Byron. Thanks for this wonderful, honest response. I want you to stop trying to escape. There is nothing to escape from. Being in therapy is good; most people who really need it are not in it! I’m glad you’re running again. running is a form of meditation. the righteous path is when you feel good; it’s the weekends when you feel the love of your wife and children; it’s the times when you get so engrossed in your writing you feel you’re not there and someone else is doing it for you.
    i would really like you to stop describing your life as “fake”. right now. i think you are so hard on yourself. please understand you are living in the same society as everyone else and when you have children you have to compromise big-time. i want you to stop worrying about the bills and have faith that you will be able to pay them, in your time, and don’t worry about anything. you are doing really great in life, Byron, in not only caring for your family but progressing in your studies and writing honestly. that is a really beautiful life that you should be proud of and i know that your children are already proud of you.
    you do have a beautiful home so care for it, look after it, for you and your children. you have to work within the system you have but that doesn’t mean you need to prostitute yourself. there is still a lot you can do and write and teach your children about alternative ways of living.
    if there is one thing i disagree with in all of this, it’s that you are UNlucky to work. you should really be left alone to pursue your studies and raise your family. but that work is your big pain in the ass that makes you a stronger man, Byron. that work is the work from which you develop the patience, strength, endurance and courage from which to raise a family.
    what i am saying to you is that you take your challenges and turn them into character-building opportunities, even if those challenges take you away from time with your family.
    i think you are a wonderful teacher because you teach me (and there’s guy few there and maist o them are aw deid – scottish phrase) and i hope you find work somewhere that suits you and your family. if higher education doesn’t work out, you could do a lot worse than educating kids in schools. i did it myself in south carolina. it’s hardcore, it’s unfair and it’s fucking not right. but if you can still TEACH in the midst of that … i salute you.

    whatever happens, hug your wife and children. all the time! because that’s really all the matters.

    Reply
  15. Byron King
    September 26, 2011

    The last line is the best Christine and so true.

    The UNlucky to work part is interesting as it goes against the status quo of Western Culture. We are supposed to be thankful we are able to squeak by. Never mind following ones dreams. At a point people who talk of dreams are considered unstable.

    I’m excited to begin running again and it has always served as a form of meditation for me. It reminds me of the first humans. We are a running species. How easily we forget how to move and breathe.

    On the teaching bit we’ll see. Much praise to you for baring the teaching cross as you did. My mom was a career teacher/professor so I’ve seen the ups and downs of it. Mostly downs.

    Your view of work is excellent and refreshingly positive. Your positivity is catching. Thank you.

    Reply

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