Essays · Uncategorized

My Front Door Never Closes

To be a man of the road is to host the entire world in your house; For the world is your house.

To be a man of the road is to pay rent to the entire world; For you are in the world’s house.

And so on it goes, until we reach a universe level. With this level comes a saying. Many sayings, actually, but this quote from Winston Churchill sums them up pretty well:

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

I’ve been contemplating lately what it would mean to travel with as much frugality as I would like. Without the necessary funds or resources of my own, I would have to trade with someone along the way for these resources. This already happens literally every second in the modern world: It’s called working.

I have a job, and have had a job, so I have no problem with this. What I have a problem with is that no line of work pays well enough (except for travel journalism/blogging) to let you work and travel. You can volunteer, yes, and that’s wonderful. But it’s not sustainable for a single person, not without a job or intricate pay cycle-scheme-thing. Or so one thinks.

I know pretty much everyone in my life doesn’t believe that you can travel sustainably without money. Well, I have one answer for them: Be a volunteer for the world. You don’t have to go on websites or get official approval to work for another person. To help others in need, or those who just need a little help.

Pay rent to the world, and the world will provide a home: Itself.

 

Essays · Uncategorized

When You Were Young…

I felt it when I was four, I felt it when I was six, I felt it all throughout my life. Until I turned twelve or so, and I stopped feeling this feeling. Why? What did I feel? I felt wonder at traveling without known plans. Of course, there were plans, I just didn’t know about them, and assumed we (my family) were just going to wing it.

I no longer felt it when I knew where I was going.

Not in the sense that I had a definite destination, but that I knew exactly what I was going to do when I got there, who I was going to meet, when and where I was going to meet them, etc. There was no longer a sense of mystery about my trip.

I still had fun. I had a blast, and did all kinds of different things. But my days were still divvied up into itineraries.

I have yet to experience this feeling in my older years, but I intend to. By god I intend to.

I’ve been doing research on traveling without money. You can read some of the articles I have read herehere, and here (this one is a video).

Of course, there is no way to travel without money exchanging hands at some point. Someone has paid for something somewhere along the way, even if that someone isn’t you. This is better explained in the first article above.

But from that same article, I learned that little to no money can touch your hands, and you can still travel the world. That’s right. The world. All of it (disclaimer: most. You know, war and whatnot).

I love the concept of travelling without money. The thing that makes the world go ’round, and you need none of it.

Some/most people will scoff at the idea and be alarmed at the methods. Such as methods of transportation; Well, you hitchhike. You can also bike, or even walk if you prefer. If, by using these latter methods, you can manage to avoid human interaction at this phase, good on you.

However, what about a sleeping arrangement, or shelter? Unless you have a tent, you’re going to have to ask and/or work in order to stay in someone’s house, a hostel, a shelter, or similar place. But if you do have a tent, anti-sociality for the win again!

Now we come to food and water. You can dumpster dive in the back of grocery stores, of course. That is a very popular way to obtain sustenance while on the road without any money, as most of the food is still edible. You can work for your food, or you can even ask for it outright (this isn’t a preferred method in the traveler’s community, especially if the person you ask has to pay for it).

It’s a hard life, and what with the constant interaction with others, the hitchhiking, the dumpster diving (maybe), it can turn away many, many people. For me, I see it as a grand adventure. I want to struggle. I want to meet new friends in unexpected places.

Some people may say that you might as well be homeless. I say to them, that’s the point.

I hope I can travel like this soon. And I know that, eventually, I will. I know it. And you can too.

Would you travel without money? Comment below, and thanks for reading!

 

-Thomas

Essays

A Dream

I had a dream where a man approached a trucker in a gas station.

“Will you buy me a shower?” The man asked.

The trucker looked at him. It was clear that money was neither a priority or possession of the disheveled man.

“How will you pay me back?” He asked back.

“I have no money,” the man looked at his feet, “I have no skills useful to you.”

The man looked into the trucker’s eyes, “But I can take you places you’ve never been without leaving this truck-stop.”

The trucker thought, then shrugged, and bought the man a shower. After the shower, the man fulfilled his part of the bargain. Not through magic, but through words.

And the dream ended.

It was then I realized, that I can be the man, and you can be the trucker.

 

I have always wanted to travel. When I was younger, it was Montana and Alaska. It then changed to include Chicago, Buffalo NY, and London. A few more additions, and now, it’s the world on my travel list.

For now, I don’t have the means, funds, or mental/physical stability to travel to even Nevada, the next state over. Certainly not by myself, and going with someone else is a maybe. A maybe equal to “Maybe I’ll win the lottery.” Something along those lines, you get the gist.

But when I do travel, even if I am physically alone, I’ll have you guys with me. Anyone who reads this blog post, or this blog in general really, has taken a part of me, and I a part of them.

Not only that, they take a part of the world. That is what I hope to impart with this blog; A knowledge and understanding of worlds outside one’s own; A taste of Spain, the scent of a pine in Norway, bagpipes in Scotland, the hot sun of Africa. Through the words I use, I hope to bring all of you along with me on these trips.

So let’s see the world together. Even if it’s from our couches.

Lists

My Travel Bucket List

Everyone has a travel bucket list, and everyone knows everyone has a bucket list. Mine would probably look like a medieval tapestry of words if I really sat down and thought about it, but for now, we’ll stick with this:

Top 7 World Destinations to Visit Before I Die

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I was once told you could swim in a pool and ski down a mountain, all in the same day, in Argentina. I’m a decent swimmer, and after a sweltering afternoon spent in the water, I could definitely go for some cold weather hiking. As for the culture, I haven’t read much about it, and I won’t pretend like I have. However, I am more than willing to learn.

 

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Alaska is a land of unrivaled snowy glory. Or so I’m told. I would have to travel to Alaska during the summer in the constant sunlight, thanks to the blackness of winter. Not that I don’t like the cold. I enjoy it very much, in fact. It’s just that you can’t see much in the darkness, except for the Aurora Borealis.

Which is part of the reason I would love to go to Alaska. I know you can see the Aurora in other places, but me being an american, it would be easier to stay in the states. I wouldn’t have to deal with passports and whatnot.

But other than the Aurora, the natural beauty of Alaska, what with the forests, mountains, frozen wastelands…All of it provides a fantastic view.

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Now, for the people that know me personally, they’ll find it odd that this isn’t number one. I’ve talked about moving to Scotland, visiting Scotland, working in Scotland, etc. However, I just desire to see other places more. I don’t have anything against Scotland. I’m very much for Scotland (and Scottish accents), I just am for other places more.

What I would like to do in Scotland is visit old castles, see the highlands, roam the countryside. I generally prefer an urban setting, but Scotland is the definite exception. The natural beauty is said to be magnificent, and I hope to see it soon.

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Iceland is known for glaciers, volcanoes, vast swaths of wilderness, and my inspiration to start this blog. I watched the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and I liked all of it. However, I really liked the part where he is biking and long boarding to Eyjafjallajokull, the volcano. It inspired me to start planning a trip across Iceland with Nicolai, using only tents, what money we had saved, and bicycles. This was two years ago, and the planning is still going strong. We’ll make it there, I’m sure of it. And the wonders we shall see.

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If you were to go back three or four generations in my family, you would be standing with my family members all the way back when they lived in Switzerland. I always dreamed of finding some long lost cousin or something like that if I went and did some genealogy work in Switzerland. When I go there to admire the Alps and enjoy the countryside one day, maybe that dream will come true.

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I’ve only seen pictures of Burma, and I watched the British Top Gear special on it, and it’s already one of my favorite places in the world. Old roads, new roads, old temples, new temples, all of it has such a rich history of war and peace and building…I would love to see it all.

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If I had to see one place before I died, it would undoubtedly be Vietnam. The history of war lies there. Traditional fishing villages, misty mountains, new urban developments, and, of course, the food; I’ve witnessed it second hand by, again, Top Gear, and to repeat the trip the trio undertook would be a marvel.

 

And that’s my list! What are your top world destinations to visit? Comment below, maybe we share some dreams! I hope you enjoyed reading. See you next post.

Essays

Change is Good

One of the most well-known quotes on traveling goes like this:

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

-Saint Augustine

I agree wholeheartedly with this quote. The phrase ‘in your own world’ is applied far too easily these days, particularly in reference to culture, politics, etc. This is because people are only willing to read the page or pages they are most comfortable with, the ones they know to be safe.

People say they don’t want to travel, purely because they aren’t interested in seeing the world. In the end, this is a lie, a cover up for the truth; They don’t want the world to see them. They don’t want to even touch the shoes of another outside their circle, let alone walk in them. And the truth is this: They are afraid.

They may not fear experiencing another culture on a base level. No, what they fear is what the experience will do to them. They would rather watch the show than be a part of it, because once they become integrated into a different system, change is bound to happen. This change can be potentially beneficial, or potentially disadvantageous. Most of the time it’s a mix of the two.

However, the change in this context could be purely beneficial and still be undesirable. Why? Because it’s still change. You will still go home and be a different person. Really, it’s not the change itself that is not wanted, because if the change is good, then you will be happy it took place. But before it takes place, you have to think, “What will change?”

Humans desire security above all else. Think of the phrases “A steady job” or “happily ever after.” These phrases may inspire thoughts of income, happiness, love, and home, among others. These are all well and good, but at the end of the day, they imply security. They imply stability. And stability doesn’t change, so we can build off what we know and block everything else that may challenge that stability.

And traveling will challenge that stability. It will challenge your moral values, the way you interact with others, the way you see yourself…It will challenge your life, and change you for better or for worse. Because traveling is knowledge. You can read a book on math, and know the principles, but how much faster will you learn by applying them with a physical teacher? You can watch a documentary on hummingbirds, but what will you notice when you pick one up, or watch one flit to the bird feeder outside your window?

What will you get from reading one page of the book, when there are so many more waiting to be understood?

Uncategorized

To Begin

To begin. An action heralding failure, success, or any mix of the two. My name is Thomas Hunt, and welcome to NickaDee Traveling, a blog named for its two creators, those being myself and Nicolai Davis.

If you couldn’t guess by the name, we are travel bloggers, determined to travel the whole world round and share it with you. We both live in Utah, USA.

The idea to start a travel blog came to us while we were perusing through cameras and other appliances at the mall one day. We were admiring drones when Nicolai pointed out, “I would love to make videos with these.” We started joking back and forth about how we would use my skill with writing and his skill with filmography/photography to see new places, work as journalists maybe. But for that day, it was a pipe dream, a castle in the sky that we had no means of reaching.

The following morning, I dragged myself out of bed, ready to face the day with whatever I could. Out of idle curiosity, I sat at the computer and googled “How to travel and write.”

And there they were. Hundreds of articles detailing how to create a successful travel blog, one that you could make a living and a life from. I did some more research before calling Nicolai and detailing my plan; He would drive and take pictures, while I would write the articles. I liked the idea, he liked the idea, and thus, NickaDee Traveling was born.

I hope you decide to stick with us through this process of growing. Even if this blog evolves into nothing more than a part-time hobby, we appreciate the support.

Sincerely,

Nicolai & Thomas

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Uncategorized

Big tires, Little roads

The Uinta National Forest lies in a westerly nook of Utah’s West Desert. This forest is comprised mostly of small, overgrown, and mountainous roads that lead to small, overgrown, mountainous places; Places of hidden beauty.

One such place goes by the name of Harker Canyon, roughly three miles north of Dutch Peak and six miles south of the town of Vernon. From Vernon, head through the town, staying on Highway 36 until you come to Forest Road 005 (Benmore Road). Upon reaching the Benmore Guard Station, turn west (right) and follow the road to Harker Canyon.

Harker Canyon is platinum among gold. The surrounding area is undoubtedly beautiful, but in Harker Canyon, the secret streams, trails untraversible by cars, and majesty of a lone rock formation lend to a  heightened appreciation for the nature surrounding you. You can only get so high by hiking, for eventually you run into large rock walls. Below is a picture of the view you get at the end of the trail. Also included is the lone rock standing tall, and Thomas searching for a way to the nearby streams.

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There is also a human element to the canyon. This is found in remnants of multiple mining expeditions, such as the old winch seen below.

These winches are remnants of Hilltop Mine, the actual mine being one canyon west, right beside Lion Hill. Hilltop mine was known for producing both silver and lead. Though finding the latter may not be fully desirable, who knows what material treasures hide among the rocks and leaves?

To conclude, Harker Canyon is a part of the Uinta National Forest that is both aesthetically as well as historically rich. To find these intermingling treasures of Mother Nature and old miners, however, you are going to need big tires for those little roads.