10-year lurker of sorts, finally nearing my dream (1 Viewer)

zielum

Pilgrim
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Orlando, FL
Hello! I'm zielum (zigh-lum). This intro is more of a story, so I hope you'll bear with me.

In the middle of 11th in high school, about 10 years ago, I was experiencing an existential crisis. My whole life to that point had been about making my parents proud through academic achievement. It was the only thing they really praised me on, so I went after it with everything I had and was a straight-A student. But around this time, I realized that wasn't enough. What else was I? Was academic achievement the only thing at all that gave my life worth? What more was there to life? I sank into unhappiness which soon become full-on depression. My grades slipped. I stopped caring about them, and the consequences.

I clearly remember sitting at my homework desk at home, staring glumly out my window as I always did instead of focusing. I gazed at the single road that went past our house in a middle-of-nowhere podunk town. And I thought to myself, "I wish I could just just walk down that road, and never stop."

It was an earth-shattering thought for me. From that moment on, I never lost my desire for escape from mainstream society and expectations, for the epitome of freedom. I went online every chance I got (Internet was restricted at home, so I had to sneak in as much library time at school as I could), and researched the crap out of the dream I had stumbled upon. I found DigiHitch.com, and realized that there was a whole world of people out there who felt exactly the same as I did. I was not alone in these thoughts, I was not crazy. I ate up the travel stories on there, I printed out the state-by-state guides to hitchhiking. I began making plans.

But then life happened. I joined the Army, graduated High School, left the Army, got married, had kids, got an Associate's degree, got divorced, started hormone treatment (I'm female-to-male transgender, FTM), got diagnosed with a personality disorder. Tried making an income for myself and living on my own. It never really worked out. I'm now back living with my ex-husband and my kids, and ex-father-in-law. I never stopped wishing for freedom, but I always felt that there was just something else I had to focus on first, or something that precluded it altogether.

Due to some very rash and dumb personal decisions, I'm currently about $15k in debt. A recent former partner had convinced me to start a "normal" job and go back to school. The normal job paid horribly and the school, which I eventually disenrolled from, contributed about $9k of the debt. My heart just isn't in academics anymore and I cannot stand, cannot STAND working for someone else. I'm finally at a point where I'm accepting that about myself, and am currently getting back into gig work--this time with the intention of it being full-time and long-term instead of a stop-gap.

A year ago I had looked up DigiHitch again. To my terrible dismay, it was gone! All those resources, all those stories that had fed my wildest dreams, were simply gone....But then I found STP (which funnily enough, I know more familiarly as Stand-To-Pee, a device for FTM individuals uncomfortable with our woefully inadequate plumbing--also for cis females who just don't feel like squatting every time). STP was not exactly the same, but markedly similar. Still intensely interested but knowingly unable to travel until I could pay off this debt, I became a lurker.

And here I be! I read a sticky post about the importance of introducing ourselves and becoming part of the community, rather than just butting in randomly with already-answered questions. So here's my intro...I have a plan to pay off this debt as fast as I can, and then...finally...freedom, at long last! I hope to learn as much as I possibly can from this amazing group of travellers before hitting the road. I figure it'll take about a year before I'm out there with you guys.

My hobbies and interests include reading, hand sewing, jiu-jitsu, the English language, learning other languages, nature, animals, frugality, nutrition, politics, photography, and web design/programming.

Thank you for reading and I wish everyone a wonderful day and safe travels! ^_^
 
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blank

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
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Hola hombre. Always good to see someone deeper in debt than I am.
 

Koala

sleeps 22 hours a day, eats chutes and leaves
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Awesome intro, thanks for sharing! Welcome:)

What are your travel plans? Walking and hitching? Do you have anywhere in particular you'd like to go?
 

zielum

Pilgrim
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Orlando, FL
@Koala
I'd love to try train hopping at some point but the plan is to start off mostly walking/hitching. Someday I'd like to travel the world but initially I want to travel the U.S. and maybe Mexico. I've travelled by car along the whole eastern, southern, midwestern, and western parts of the U.S.; I'd like to see the northwest part, as well as the other parts over again with walking. I abhor the cold so I plan to travel with the weather; stick northward in the summer, stick southward in the summer.
 
D

Deleted member 24782

I closed my account
Holy fuck, best intro I have read on STP so far. I will PM you.

Oh and don't worry about the debt, assuming it's a school loan? Just pay as little as you can monthly until it's paid. I'm still paying off another $17,000 for diesel mechanic school, but its still one of the best decisions I ever made. I still do whatever I want and have plenty of freedom.
 

roughdraft

RápidoCorrenLosCarrosRespletoLosRielesDFerrocarril
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really nice introduction

i felt this moment you were sitting there gazing at the open road thinking to walk it forever

altho i am settled in one place now i still look beyond

welcome and much success in your travels
 
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Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
632
Location
Milwaukee Wisconsin
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www.youtube.com
Welcome Aboard to STP!!! Nice introduction! In debt? Everyone is in debt and the whole system will collapse!

Just keep doing what you're doing!

I wish you luck in your future travels and share them here!

I know how you feel I am making pre-plans myself to give it all up and enjoy real life than this slave labor and a slave to the system!
 

zielum

Pilgrim
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Orlando, FL
Holy fuck, best intro I have read on STP so far. I will PM you.

Oh and don't worry about the debt, assuming it's a school loan? Just pay as little as you can monthly until it's paid. I'm still paying off another $17,000 for diesel mechanic school, but its still one of the best decisions I ever made. I still do whatever I want and have plenty of freedom.
Thank you, that's quite a high honor!! :) Unfortunately the interest on each of my loans means minimum payments aren't actually paying anything off ::sour:: The gigs I'm doing now should help me pay them off pretty quickly, now that I've finally realized my "normal" job just isn't gonna work.
 

zielum

Pilgrim
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Orlando, FL
Welcome Aboard to STP!!! Nice introduction! In debt? Everyone is in debt and the whole system will collapse!

Just keep doing what you're doing!

I wish you luck in your future travels and share them here!

I know how you feel I am making pre-plans myself to give it all up and enjoy real life than this slave labor and a slave to the system!
Thank you! Yes, it seems just really pointless to continue adding myself as a cog in the machine. Society will survive without me, I'm sure of it. Lol.
 

zielum

Pilgrim
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Orlando, FL
damn for real, at only 15k?
Well, sorta; student loan is $9k at 9%, got a $3k credit card debt at 19%, and then a $3k medical loan which is actually at 0% introductory but will be 27%. So I'm inching down currently but once the medical loan interest hits, I'm screwed.
 

filmpunk

Newbie
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Milwaukee
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vimeo.com
hey, welcome!
i feel very similar to you - i already racked up $5k in debt in my first semester at an engineering school... so i've definitely gotta pay that off this summer & i'm gonna transfer to a cheaper, public school (idk why i did it...the prestige sucked me in)

financial freedom is one of many aspects of self-sufficiency, and it's often most important, especially in opting-out of a highly capitalist society.

i wish you luck in paying off your debt and i hope you have the best travels! (i will be there too...soon!)
 

zielum

Pilgrim
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Orlando, FL
hey, welcome!
i feel very similar to you - i already racked up $5k in debt in my first semester at an engineering school... so i've definitely gotta pay that off this summer & i'm gonna transfer to a cheaper, public school (idk why i did it...the prestige sucked me in)

financial freedom is one of many aspects of self-sufficiency, and it's often most important, especially in opting-out of a highly capitalist society.

i wish you luck in paying off your debt and i hope you have the best travels! (i will be there too...soon!)
Indeed; I will never feel truly free until I no longer owe someone money that I don't have.

Good luck paying off your debt as well, and thank you!
 

Matt Derrick

Semi-retired traveler
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Well, sorta; student loan is $9k at 9%, got a $3k credit card debt at 19%, and then a $3k medical loan which is actually at 0% introductory but will be 27%. So I'm inching down currently but once the medical loan interest hits, I'm screwed.

fuck man, that is so fucked on the 27% thing. i mean honestly, if i was facing down that kind of debt i'd just say fuck it and default on all of it. i did that on my student loan and credit cards and really the only long term problem i've had is that i can't buy things that require a credit card like land or finance a car. i'd never buy a new car anyways (always buy used and what you can afford) so it hasn't really been all that bad at all, and the calls stopped years ago.

of course, no one co-signed on any of that, it's all on me. if you had anyone co-sign on your loans you'd definitely be screwing them over.
 

zielum

Pilgrim
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Jun 15, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Orlando, FL
Naw no cosigners, my mom refuses because she watched what happened to my grandma after my uncle defaulted on his loans with my grandma as the cosigner. I don't fault my mom for that; it's a wise policy.

Idk. I've def. considered defaulting on them. It's just hard cause like, I've worked so hard to get good credit, I have "excellent" standing currently. And other personal hesitations, like, I made a promise basically to pay that money--the charges were from my own life decisions, fair and square--I don't know if I'd feel like an ethical person if I knew I could pay it off with time and hard work but refused to. At the same time, lenders aren't people, and it's part of the business of lending money that not everyone will pay it back. Also, life and the world aren't fair and just; does it make sense to always try to be so righteous in everything when there's not really a bigger-picture reason to...it's not like I'd be going against my moral code of doing no harm--it wouldn't really hurt anyone, in fact it'd help me get ahead for myself and my family...but I do have a moral thing with promises though.

...Idk. I'm definitely conflicted about it.
 

Matt Derrick

Semi-retired traveler
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i didn't feel an ounce of remorse personally. all banks can go fuck themselves and die in a fire for all i care. they're all evil as fuck, so the morality thing isn't anything for me personally.

there are definitely consequences though, so that's what you gotta decide on, and i think a lot of that is based on your personal plans for the future.
 

zielum

Pilgrim
Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Messages
26
Location
Orlando, FL
Been thinking about your replies, and spent an hour fiddling with my personal financial spreadsheet.

I think I'll save defaulting as a last resort for my personal situation.

So minimum monthly payments are: Medical loan, $132. Credit card debt: $70. Student loan: $80. Both the credit card and the medical loan have comparatively low debt, and I think I could pay them both off by very early next year by throwing all my extra income at them. Then I could possibly hit the road then, and just pay the minimum $80, cause that one loan alone would take an extra year to pay off going max-payoff-speed, and Idk that I can keep that up while also keeping my sanity and happiness up. I think making $80/month, plus any other road expenses, would be doable...
 

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