my forced retirement from being a vagabond

Hobo Mud

Settling down a while.
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#21
so i just got some news today that pretty much completely wrecks my life plans for the next few years in the form of a dentist bill of just under $4,000. Root canal, bone grafts, multiple crowns, all kinds of shit. Unfortunately that's just the left side of my face, the right side won't cost as much but it's still going to suck. I have 700 dollars in my savings account, so I'm going to have to borrow the rest from my parents, which they're none too pleased about, but at least I have family that will help me out, which I'm definitely thankful for.

I bring this up for several reasons. One, I'm going to be selling all of my traveling gear soon to help make up some of the costs, so look for that soon in the black market section. Second, this means I need to get a 'real job' and settle down for the foreseeable future in order to make these bills up. In addition to that I'll probably have to start paying off other debts once I get over a certain level of income, so basically there's no going back to my old lifestyle of traveling anytime soon. I'm guessing it's going to take 3+ years to get back on my feet and in a place where I can hit the road again (living in an RV or something like that), and all my dreams of traveling outside of the usa have been pretty much royally fucked.

I know some people are probably thinking, "big deal, you got a big medical bill, at least you have someone to loan you the money" which is true, and I'm definitely not bitching about that, because I seriously don't know what the fuck i would have done otherwise. but this is basically the straw (or 4k girder beam) that broke the camel's back, since it's falling on top of all kinds of other personal shit i just don't have time to go into in detail. The short version is that I didn't take care of myself very well over the past 5-7 years and it's all kind of crashing down on me health-wise all at once right now, and while I was hoping I could keep going forever, I'm finally coming to the realization that at 38 years old this part of my life is going to be behind me at least for the next several years.

I don't know exactly what this means for StP right now. On one hand it's good that I'll be settled down somewhere so I can always keep up the site and pay the bills and whatnot. On the other hand, I'm feeling seriously down right now because I'm 38, stuck in a town I don't like, live with my parents (how sad), don't have any friends around, and will probably have to work a job I hate for an indeterminate amount of time (probably several years).

I'm going to try and at least finish the wiki pages for each section that I've been working on, but after that I'm going to have to take a break from StP and work on my own personal shit until I have my life back in order. I'll still be hanging out and posting (or responding) here, but I just can't promise much beyond that until things start looking up a little bit.

so yeah. i guess the lesson is seriously take care of yourself before you end up like me. have some kind of trade set up (before you turn 30 i'd say), take care of your teeth, and don't get lazy and keep in good shape. hopefully you'll do better than i did.
I am not in the same situation so to speak however there are similarities, alot of plans I had for future trains hops will likely come to a end this year due to one major factor. I broke my leg and fractured my ankle last year in a train accident.

Everysince then train hopping has become much more difficult for me due to permit injuries. I do however plan to keep pushing myself until fall arrives.

I walk with a limp now and have been told that I always will for the rest of my life and because of my injuries I will be forced to eventually give up train hopping as far as cross country hops are concerned however I suspect I will do a 400 mile run every so often or something of that nature.

But this will be my last year cross country or making trips that require me to stay out doors for weeks or months on end.

That's a tough pill to swallow and even harder for me to addmit because I am only 40 and still have alot of good years left in me pertaining to traveling.

The point is that I do understand the need to explore and to want to complete the journey to other final destinations that you have planed. I also understand the need and desire to accomplish and see the things that you still have on your bucket list.

Just like you I will have to put my plans on hold eventual however I have plans to buy a van and travel that way in the future when that time comes. This is just a delay in your plans for now however as you well know life is a adventure and you never know what the future holds for you.

Keep your head up Matt because your doing a fantastic job pertaining to STP and mad respect for having the balls to say what you did pertaing to sharing your situation. I am just trying to give some encouragement friend. Take care Matt and keep us posted.....
 
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#22
Uh, people who are considering Mexican dentists.... pleeeze do your homework and get references! Some people get great work down there and some end up getting very sick and needing the whole job redone... after their body has months to heal. No shit - first person accounts available! Be careful and ask around in the border cities for reputable names/ practices. If shit goes wrong, you may have no recourse.

@Matt Derrick Sorry man. I feel for you deeply. In (greatful) debt to my parents for the same. And at 40yo, I understand the feelings of not being "where you should be by now" too. (I know you know that attaching life benchmarks to age is silly, even though our culture clings to the fantasy.) Hard to keep the chin up some days. At least you have a skill set that may come in handy. Check out permies.com for monetizing ideas w/out "commercials"... could be a good idea as @Wile E Coyote mentioned. And of course, try not to worry or dwell in the muck. ;)
 
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#23
Came here to say, That fucking sucks brother and I feel for you. Thank you for creating this vehicle for communicating and for community building. For real.

Also: Mexico.
 
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#24
Thanks to being poor and Obamacare, I am getting my teeth fixed Medicaid style. The dentist is going to start drilling on Monday and I know two need to be pulled. I had a tooth pulled when I was in college and I cried. Not because it hurt, but because I knew it was that or a $1k root canal and what college student has that kind of money laying around? The cost didn't fit the work. I knew it was a way for society to separate me from the privileged. Things like that is what made me cry.

I can really, really relate on the whole letting your health go to shit bit. I'm 43 and spent the first 35 years of my life in good shape, then just kinda said fuck it after a couple rough years post-deployment to see war firsthand. Been slowly repairing the damage that set in both physically and in other aspects of my life for about three yrs now. Getting my teeth fixed and an epidural in my spine are the last two medical things to check off on my list to get on the road. That spine thing will eventually need to be remedied, but I need to travel.

Not gonna lie, this sucks. I've been living with my parents for this chapter of my life and my dad is one mental abuse laying down mofo. I hate this town and the closest place with any kind of life is 50 miles away in Omaha, which isn't much, so I've been an island surrounded by assholes and asshats for three years while trying to get my shit together. It's taken a toll on me mentally for sure, but soon I will travel.

If I can do it, you can do it.
 
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Matt Derrick

Matt Derrick

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#25
thanks everyone for the encouragement, it's been nice that people have been chiming in with their own experience and it's given me some great perspective.

i took a break from StP for a few days and now that I've got my mind more wrapped around the situation, and my parents have calmed down a little, i feel a lot better about the situation. it still sucks ass and feel super guilty about being a drain on my parents but we'll work through it and i think the overall outcome is going to be good in the long run.

the first thing is that my parents have the money to loan me (it was supposed to be for fixing the house) so i'm going in on the 3rd to get this dentist work done and out of the way as fast as possible. I'm facing one root canal, some bone grafts, and a bunch of crowns, so i'm really not looking forward to the experience.

seeing how i need to repay my parents as fast as possible, i've been going through a list of things i can do to start working on that (until i get a job) and i've decided to bring back the StP bandanas along with a new patch, two different types of buttons/pins and a discount on my books in the StP etsy store. I've ordered most of it and I'll make an announcement when it's available for sale, some of is really good stuff that I'm pretty proud of, so hopefully you'll like it!

If all goes well, I'll get the first 1/4th (1k) repaid before I get a real job (more on that next). At least this way you folks can get something cool in exchange for helping me out and promoting the site. oh, and about putting ads on StP... the trade off really isn't good enough for a site like this, since the ads are usually just too intrusive, look ugly, and ultimately don't really net enough money to make the annoyance worth it. along with the etsy store, i'll share some other ideas i have below.

as for settling down and finding a 'real' job, what im looking at doing now is basically getting a job working for a school district as an IT technician. unfortunately it'll probably have to be in bumfuck egypt (those are the ones hurting the most for someone) for at least the first year, then maybe i can move somewhere like seattle or somewhere i can be around more of my own kind.

I'm overqualified for sure, but since I've never made more than 7k or so a year, 31k/yr makes me feel like i'll be rich; of course, the majority of that will have to go towards paying off my debts. I'm looking at somewhere around 30k in student loan debt that i defaulted on over 10 years ago. Honestly I never thought I would be in a position to pay it back (not that i wanted to) but rejoining the 'real world' is probably going to result in a garnishment of my wages if i don't.

i'm hoping that i'll be able to squirrel away enough on the side to save up to buy another school bus and renovate it into an awesome mobile living space for traveling around when i finally rejoin the rest of ya'll on the road. of course the above debts plus paying back my parents, having to get a car (for the job) and other things (probably 30k in credit card debt that i hope to declare bankruptcy on) i think i'm looking at a minimum of three years of being settled own before i can hit the road again.

but like i said above (and others have suggested) i plan on using this time as productively as possible. alongside the school bus conversion i mentioned above, i'm thinking about starting/resuming an StP podcast, although i'll probably need some people to co-host with since i've found it's hard to carry something like that alone. maybe a weekly web stream turned podcast? i dunno exactly what format it will take but i do have a LOT of really good ideas i've been sitting on for a long time that would be interesting to the members of StP. If i get that going i might switch to doing a patreon (instead of our current donations system) but i want to make sure first that people that choose to support StP get their moneys worth out of it (in terms of entertainment or information).

i've also had a long term dream of getting StP incorporated as a non-profit and starting either a hostel (where StP members can stay for free, tourists pay a moderate fee) or a punk-rock RV park (which would be a bit easier to get started). basically some kind of StP HQ / learning center for travel.

we'll still do the jamboree this year as well, i'll just plan far ahead (in term of budget) so i can be sure to be there. setting up the 2018 jambo forum section is very high on my to do list.

anyways, gone on a bit of a tangent there, but you get the idea. so it sucks that i'll be out of the travel game for a while, but at least i'll be here keeping the fire warm for anyone that wants to come by and visit :)
 

Mongo

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#26
Is the credit card debt in collections? If it's over seven years old it might be cheaper to have a site like creditrepair dispute them being on record to erase the debt, and then you wouldn't have the bankruptcy on record for the next 10 years.
 
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#27
That really sucks man. I've been shelling out crazy money to pay for lyme disease treatment and it does keep me pretty local at times... But I'm wondering where you're getting the 3+ years of work idea and moving to Seattle (one of the most expensive places to live) and all that stuff. You can move to any bustling tourist town in the US right now and make all that money bussing tables in one summer - potentially only working part time. If you make like 15 an hour working part time for 4 months you'll have made over 6000. Some of those towns don't cost much to rent in either. I don't mean to be telling u things you've probably already thought of but I was confused by your post. Not because of how shitty the situation is because its obviously really shitty, just your approach to dealing with it. much love, cf
 

Skit

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#28
Just because other people are in a worse predicament that doesn't make yours any less shitty. I'm sorry to hear all of this, I'm currently 30 months into a 36 month probation sentence that forced me to settle down and get a full time job (as a stipulation of probation). At first I was very distraught and depressed but over time I learned that there was nothing I could do to change my situation and so I had to make the most out of it. Sure it's been a rather stale existence these last three years but I didn't have to go to prison, I've been able to save up more than I ever have before, and I'm going to start community college this fall to learn about car repair so I won't be completely SOL when my car inevitably has problems. I hope you keep your head up and keep a positive mental attitude, that really does make all the difference! Best of luck to you!!
 
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#29
so i just got some news today that pretty much completely wrecks my life plans for the next few years in the form of a dentist bill of just under $4,000. Root canal, bone grafts, multiple crowns, all kinds of shit. Unfortunately that's just the left side of my face, the right side won't cost as much but it's still going to suck. I have 700 dollars in my savings account, so I'm going to have to borrow the rest from my parents, which they're none too pleased about, but at least I have family that will help me out, which I'm definitely thankful for.

I bring this up for several reasons. One, I'm going to be selling all of my traveling gear soon to help make up some of the costs, so look for that soon in the black market section. Second, this means I need to get a 'real job' and settle down for the foreseeable future in order to make these bills up. In addition to that I'll probably have to start paying off other debts once I get over a certain level of income, so basically there's no going back to my old lifestyle of traveling anytime soon. I'm guessing it's going to take 3+ years to get back on my feet and in a place where I can hit the road again (living in an RV or something like that), and all my dreams of traveling outside of the usa have been pretty much royally fucked.

I know some people are probably thinking, "big deal, you got a big medical bill, at least you have someone to loan you the money" which is true, and I'm definitely not bitching about that, because I seriously don't know what the fuck i would have done otherwise. but this is basically the straw (or 4k girder beam) that broke the camel's back, since it's falling on top of all kinds of other personal shit i just don't have time to go into in detail. The short version is that I didn't take care of myself very well over the past 5-7 years and it's all kind of crashing down on me health-wise all at once right now, and while I was hoping I could keep going forever, I'm finally coming to the realization that at 38 years old this part of my life is going to be behind me at least for the next several years.

I don't know exactly what this means for StP right now. On one hand it's good that I'll be settled down somewhere so I can always keep up the site and pay the bills and whatnot. On the other hand, I'm feeling seriously down right now because I'm 38, stuck in a town I don't like, live with my parents (how sad), don't have any friends around, and will probably have to work a job I hate for an indeterminate amount of time (probably several years).

I'm going to try and at least finish the wiki pages for each section that I've been working on, but after that I'm going to have to take a break from StP and work on my own personal shit until I have my life back in order. I'll still be hanging out and posting (or responding) here, but I just can't promise much beyond that until things start looking up a little bit.

so yeah. i guess the lesson is seriously take care of yourself before you end up like me. have some kind of trade set up (before you turn 30 i'd say), take care of your teeth, and don't get lazy and keep in good shape. hopefully you'll do better than i did.
same thing happened to me when I was 40...I let a bad filling go and ended up paying about $4000 for dental....Now I'm 64 and still having problems...even if you can get medicaid it only covers cleaning, pulling, and fillings....it sucks when you get yer wings clipped
 
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#31
Same shits happening to me, but I'm only 25 and have taken good care of my health and teeth. I have two root canals that have been without crowns for years, and now I have another root canal I need done, meanwhile my crownless teeth are finally beginning to chip away and rot. That's four teeth (back molar broke in half when I was 16) I'm down so far and I'm still young. Neither of the two dentists I went to were able to stop the infections I have in my cheek bones from the root canals. No idea what the future holds, but it looks like I retired from traveling when I was a mere 23 years old. Be thankful for the time you had on the road is the message of my post, I suppose, I dunno. Work hard and good things will come to you. Good luck.
 

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#32
I know exactly how you feel. Just had "emergency" dental planing done cuz the Doc refused to fix my cavities unless I did it. And of course the bill came to about $2500 not that I had the means to even afford that so the kindest thing they offered (or the equivalent to getting ass raped with no lube) was to bill me monthly for a set fee.

Now I can't even afford food without paying this goddamned bill first.

Entering my 40's in complete poverty is EXACTLY where i imagined I'd be....
 
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#33
Just saw this, probably too late, but ...
For most of my twenties I didn't get dental work in English-speaking countries (like, it could wait til TJ). Guatemala is much cheaper than Mexico, and I can ask the people I used to work with there who'd they recommend. It gets a fair bit of dental tourism. My boss' ex-girlfriend's mom was an excellent dentist.
 
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Matt Derrick

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#34
Just saw this, probably too late, but ...
For most of my twenties I didn't get dental work in English-speaking countries (like, it could wait til TJ). Guatemala is much cheaper than Mexico, and I can ask the people I used to work with there who'd they recommend. It gets a fair bit of dental tourism. My boss' ex-girlfriend's mom was an excellent dentist.
i definitely appreciate the thought... i have most of the work done now except one last filling next month. everything else is pretty minor and can wait till i have dental insurance. owe my parents about 3,800 but i'm hoping this job im interviewing for will pay off and i can get that repaid in a few months.
 

Tadaa

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#35
sucks to hear man.

here is my two cents of advice.
dont sell the camping gear. it looks like a good way to make money but at some point you want to get out there and then you re without gear. and buying things again later will cost you more then what you get for it now

working on yourself. well, look at it as an investment in future happiness (thats what i tell myself every day..
having a job isnt always that bad. ( haha, looking into a new one after two months at this one.

about dental. check out mexico as hillbilly castro said.
paid a bunch myself in iceland. (ok, 600 euros is nothing compared to what you guys pay in the usa.) but 50 % of my friends there go to Poland or Czech Republic to get dental done as its 5 times cheaper. and they get a holiday with it too

all the best!
 

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