What is a Vagabond?

vagabondHistorically, vagabonds were pretty tough, anti-establishment characters who lived as homeless drifters by choice. Modern vagabonds tend to be people who live off the grid or those who travel the world from out of a backpack.

Traditionally a vagabond is a person who wanders from one place to another, with no real home of their own. In modern culture this could be a homeless person or a street person. However, vagabonds aren’t the same as people who stay in a city (or any one place) and live there without having a typical home. Vagabonds are a subculture of their own making.

Some offbeat world travellers call themselves vagabonds. They travel the world, they travel as cheaply as they can (in order to keep travelling , they work here and there… but they do have a home to plan to return to once they finish travelling. The vagabond tourist is about seeing the world and stretching their resources for as long and as well as they can along the journey. Historically, vagabonds were more rebellious and travel was their way of avoiding putting down roots or really belonging or being found anywhere.

Vagabonds (tramps, hobos, or drifters) during the Great Depression lived a homeless lifestyle by choice. Often they were fugitives from the law or just avoided the law after having a few run ins with the police and/ or jail. My Grandfather was a drifter for awhile. He told me about some of his adventures. He said the tramps were dangerous and he learned to avoid them. Those men could be brutal and were living by taking what they could get.

After living that way awhile some of them adapted the lifestyle as their own subculture. They created rules and guidelines for who they were and created a culture out of their vagabond lifestyle.

There’s a romantic ideal of the vagabond (the little hobo with patches on their clothes and a pack slung on the end of a stick), but that’s not based on the facts so much as the idea of travelling and seeing the world, meeting new people and enjoying different cultures. The modern is about adventure.


Could You be a Vagabond?

  • You really need a change, like a jump start for your life or your spirits.
  • You haven’t figured out your career path or all your jobs seem to be dead ends.
  • You don’t have a lot of obligations, personal (family and kids) or financial (mortgage on a house).
  • You feel burnt out or you’ve lost (or never really had) your sense of who you are.
  • You’ve never really travelled, never left your own country, or even your own home town.

 Other Words for Vagabond

  • vagrant
  • tramp
  • drifter
  • hobo
  • wanderer
  • nomad
  • landloper
  • train hoppers

 The Downside of the Vagabond Lifestyle

  • Living out of a backpack, suitcase, luggage of whatever sort.
  • Always looking for travel arrangements and destinations.
  • Finding temporary work on the road, year round.
  • Not having a place of your own where you can put down roots and keep your stuff.
  • Living under someone’s (couch sitting, hostels, etc.) roof with their rules and ways.
  • Meeting and getting to know people but always moving on and not having any real relationships with anyone.
  • No routine, having to adapt and make plans every day.
  • Packing and repacking everything into one bag and then hauling it all around.
  • Eating on the fly – sometimes not eating when the money is low.
  • Living on a tight budget and having to be thrifty.

Vagabond Lifestyle

Vagabond as a Traveller

Articles About Being a Vagabond

Women Expatriates

Expat Women – Helping women living overseas.

Would you move to another country, another part of the world with a different culture, maybe a different language from your own even? Some women do. Some women in fiction travel even farther. How would it be to live in the fairy realm, another planet, or some civilization built around our own but hidden from the ordinary human eye? I think women in this situation would have the same kind situations and difficulties as women expatriates.

Now that I’m dead, I want to tell you a few things

Every letter on Dead Advice begins with the same first sentence: “Now that I’m dead, I want to tell you a few things.”

Imagine, for a moment, that you have just died. If you had to look back over the arc of your life as it stands today, what stories would you tell? What lessons would you share, what things might you regret or confess?

via Dead Advice.

Now that I’m dead, I want to tell you a few things.

First of all, your feet are just not that interesting. Neither is the sidewalk. Look up. Pick up your feet as you walk, walk with a light step rather than scraping your shoes along as if they carried the weight of the world. Carry yourself with confidence, even if you don’t feel it. Shoulders should be level, not sloping. Keep your back straight and your head up. When someone walks by you look at them. They may not look back at you, many people won’t and some cultures even find it threatening. But, there is a confidence in walking in the world looking like you have a place in it.

You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be kind and patient with everyone all the time. But, listen when people talk to you. Remember what they tell you. People will be more impressed if you remember some small thing they told you than if you remember their name. The little details are more personal than a name handed out freely.

Keep some mystery in your life. Have something you feel passionate about, something you are learning about and something which can stir your curiousity. Mystery, curiousity and passion are the real things of life. Food, shelter and the rest may be practical but life requires more than the practical things in order to open your eyes to the world each morning you wake up again.

One last thing, value your culture and your history. Culture may have to adapt to world changes but history should not – it is past and can only be changed by the people looking back at it, giving it new perspective.

Measuring Time Without a Planet to Stand On

Imagine, if you will, a civilization of people who are born, live and die on a spaceship. Far, far, far back in their history there may have been a planet where their species originated but they have been on this spaceship so long, no one knows what day and night are. No one knows there are seasons or any kind of weather or climate at all. They don’t land on other planets, their culture has grown to fear any natural environment with their contagious diseases, dangerous and unpredictable plants and animals. The life they know is on the spaceship and the ship has everything they need.

How would these people measure time? Not so much the passing moments. They could measure time – the passing of seconds – in their heartbeats or the amount of breaths they take. How would they measure longer time periods without marking the time when one day turns into another? On a spaceship there would be an endless day. The best they could do would be marking days by taking shifts at work, and then the time they sleep. There would be no seasons. No way of accounting for years, as we measure them.

If time were all measured as just a quota, wouldn’t you miss measuring time by seasons, the sun and moon? Our measurements for time are almost poetry compared to the plain measurement of just counting how many shifts you had at work. Wouldn’t it be sad if they measured time by how many generations of their family had died, how many Grandmothers and Grandfathers they have? We think about ourselves by generations. Pagans think of it as the young woman, the Mother and the crone.


My nephew, Zack, told me about laserpunk. It’s a culture/ art like steampunk only it looks into the future rather than the past.

Rocky Rodrigues – Uses the term Laserpunk on Twitter and Tumblr. But he doesn’t seem to be posting anything relevant to future/ science fiction sort of stuff.

I can’t find anything else about it, so far. Let me know if you have heard about this.

Job as a Segment Producer

Some jobs make daydream. I don’t live in Toronto any more and I don’t have experience as a Segment Producer but this sounds like a dream job all the same. Most writers could take on a bit more and be a Segment Producer. It’s a job writers should look into and look for.

Position: Segment Producer – SPACE

Hours of Work: 40 hours per week. Overtime as required.
· Generating interesting, original and current story ideas and angles for a daily magazine show, and special features.
· Ability to react by referencing a strong contact base and research venues like the internet
· Initiate, write, and produce field pieces
· Ability to write a detailed paper edit
· Strong writing skills for voice-overs
· Possess strong persuasive skills to get interviews
· Validating and assessing the editorial value of stories and assignments
· Finding, and booking the best possible guest for each show
· Researching and writing comprehensive editorial background briefs that lead to original and cohesive lines of questioning
· Ability to cultivate contacts and solidify exclusive interviews for the show on a regular basis
· Monitor and stay abreast of the Arts, Genre entertainment, lifestyle & pop culture

· 2- 3 years of proven experience as a Segment Producer
· Experience in generating story ideas and writing scripts
· Experience working in an edit suite
· Strong Chasing Skills are essential for this position.
· Strong knowledge and passion of pop culture, entertainment and music.
· Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines of several simultaneous duties, while maintaining focus and composure.
· Excellent communication skills – oral and written
· Ability to work well in a team and be self-motivated
· Computer processing skills, including Microsoft, Word, Excel and other related computer programs.
· Excellent internet research skills
· Experience working with an editor to put together stories

Curating Content for Web Exhibits

How are exhibits different from anything else online?

Online exhibits incorporate many of the features of other web sites, but exhibits stand apart in how they frame information. Just as in a physical museum, the context provided by an exhibit’s curator is central to visitors’ online experiences. Without this context, the presentation is nothing more than a catalog of images and documents. In other words, it’s an archive, not an exhibit.

A true online exhibit not only promotes discovery and exploration, but it also provides quality information built on a breadth and depth of knowledge, employs a variety of tools that support multiple learning styles, and supports structured educational efforts.

Promoting discovery: Online exhibits are multidisciplinary, designed to engage you from your point of view while introducing you to new fields of study and perspectives. Moreover, web exhibits are open-ended, encouraging you to wander, and rounding out knowledge while encouraging further exploration. Well-designed exhibits allow you to experience a broad sweep across a topic, or to pause and delve more deeply into a particular topic or object. Exhibits also incorporate an aura of discovery, inviting you to create your own personalized journey through topics and reflect upon the information presented.

Telling stories and interpreting: It’s the process of curating and interpreting—in choosing which objects to show, in what order they’re presented, and by which other objects they’re surrounded—that helps you learn something new, puts the information in context, and makes sense of it, based on what you already know. The curator’s role is crucial since objects rarely speak for themselves—something you might notice if you’ve visited a museum in a foreign country and couldn’t read the labels and signs. The curation process plays a critical role, achieving a delicate and intangible balance by presenting objects with authority and expertise, but in an accessible and inviting way.

Deep content: Online exhibits can provide experiences and information that other web sites often lack. They tackle complex topics and make every effort to cover the breadth of a topic and to appeal to many audiences. This sets online exhibits apart from online encyclopedias like Wikipedia, news sites (such as Time magazine’s vast online archive), and web sites that supplement television shows, like those by PBS, the Discovery Channel, and the History Channel. It also sets them apart from those news sites and blogs that increasingly use information graphics, videos, and interactive features, but which focus on incremental updates to society’s knowledge.

The various aspects of a web exhibit fit together seamlessly so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts—with descriptions, narratives, maps, photos, videos, and audio clips joining together to create a rich, immersive experience. Exhibits combine deep research, attention to nuance and detail, respect for visitors, and thoughtful and thorough presentation methods. In this way, exhibits provide visitors with practical knowledge, motivation to change their behaviors, and intangible benefits from understanding science and culture more deeply. Exhibits on health or climate change, for example, can help people understand complex topics and learn how to change their habits for the better. Similarly, art exhibits can provide a non-intimidating way to explore famous works, while revealing hidden stories lurking on the canvas.

via What’s an exhibit? – Webexhibits.

People with No Common Past

From “The Secret History of Moscow” by Ekaterina Sedia:

“It felt like a school trip, and Galina had to restrain herself from trying to hold hands with Timur-Bey; despite his diminutive stature, he appeared quite formidable. Besides, Galina thought, he had never been herded with a group of other children to a museum or an exhibition of the country’s agricultural prowess. It was frustrating, thinking of that man and realizing that they had never shared an experience; was it possible to be so remote in time and circumstance that there was simply no overlap?”

Galina was a modern woman who fell into an underground world (somewhere below Moscow) where people had fallen out of history and continued to live in this sub-world. I enjoyed the book and the look at another culture.

What about the idea of two people who share no common past? Is it possible for people to be so far apart in time that they have nothing in common? Sure there would be simple things like fire, ice, winter… basics that have been around for every generation and before. But, in the timeline of people, you don’t have to go too far back to find people who would not understand the current culture and traditions of people now.

Think of some things we take for granted in our modern culture that would seem bizarre to someone a hundred (or hundreds) of years ago.

Mobilize Your Creativity At ArtCrawl

In addition to a 2-Day artist retreat at NYU ITP (October 1 & 2), we’re inviting artists (of all backgrounds and genres) to join us for some plein-air drawing, painting, photography, film and whatever else strikes your fancy at three super-inspiring locations in NYC.

Not a mobile digital artist? Well, that’s okay too.  “Analog” artists are welcome to join us too!

via Mobilize Your Creativity At This Year’s ArtCrawl.

This is in New York, US. But you could organize your own Art Crawl. Pick a day and visit art galleries, local museums and any other places where you can find art, culture and crafts in your area. Create your own personal Art Crawl right where you are. End the Art Crawl at a great coffee shop over a latte.