My Introduction (1 Viewer)

Captain

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Joined
Aug 20, 2020
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7
Age
40
Location
Green Bay, Wisconsin
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captaincrusty17.wordpress.com
I guess I'm long overdue for writing this post.

My name is Greg Holbus. I prefer to go by "Captain" - a nickname my best friend gave me which I adopted as my tramp name.

I started traveling hardcore in 2016. At first, I was just fulfilling a New Year's resolution to gain more experiences as my life felt rather dull. But in the process, I got hit by the travel bug - hard. I love going on road trips. My style is very minimalistic. I pack very little. I almost always sleep in my truck in rest areas or camp in national forests. I pick up hitchhikers whenever I can. Whenever I can, I like to go on spontaneous road trips with no planning or even a destination in mind. I just love being on the road.

All of that coincided with me paying off my student loans in early 2017. I had been an attorney for 11 years and hated it, and I swore to myself that I would retire as soon as my student loans were paid off. So that's what I did. I closed down my law office, sold my house, and got rid of about 90% of my personal possessions. On July 4 of 2017, I embarked on what was supposed to be a 6 month and 13,000 mile road trip all over the western United States and Canada.

The trip ended up only lasting 5 weeks. I went everywhere I intended to, but at a much faster pace. It was especially hot that summer, and the only way to keep my dog and I cool was to always be driving and having the AC on. But with detours and adventures with various hitchhikers, the trip ended up being over 15,000 miles. I came back to Green Bay because my stuff was still in storage here and my friends were here. I had also been doing side work as a haunter, and so when I came back, I spent about 3 more weeks living out of my truck in the parking lot of a local haunted house. I debated leaving Wisconsin for good, but ultimately decided to remain here because my friends are here. As the temperatures dropped, I finally caved and got an apartment.

That time in 2017 I spent on the road - short as it was - changed my life entirely. It was unbridled freedom. Never knowing what I was going to do or where I was going to be each day. Not knowing or caring what day of the week it was. Not knowing where I would sleep each night. No responsibilities. No obligations. No home. No job. No bills (save for food and gas). Ever since then, I get a kick out of every time I hear Americans pontificating about freedoms, cuz I think - you really have no clue what real freedom is, not if you're measuring freedom by the ones enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

Conversely, the time since I returned from the road has been a frozen hell. I have felt like a caged animal. I still travel when I can, but now I have a home and a job and bills and responsibilities.

There is nothing I want more than to go back to living on the road. I just haven't figured out how to do it long-term. I've toyed with all sorts of ideas, but ultimately, it seems to come down to one of two things. Either I need to find a job that can be done remotely so I can earn income while I'm on the road. Or I need to learn additional skills so I can get by without money. So far, a specific solution that works with my skills and abilities has eluded me.

In the meantime, I want to make more friends among travel punks and oogles. Learn from others. Get support from others. Share the tips and tricks I've picked up with other fledgling nomads. I'm also trying to finish work on a book about my experiences.
 
We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

Captain

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Age
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Green Bay, Wisconsin
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captaincrusty17.wordpress.com
I *want* to find work that I can do on the road - absolutely. That'd be the holy grail for me. I just haven't been able to figure out what that could be.

I have no idea how I could make notary work be enough to sustain me on the road. I had a permanent notary commission when I was an attorney, and in all those years, I think I notarized a grand total of... one document.

Everyone keeps saying be a digital nomad, but there are a couple of issues with that. For one thing, I'm not that hyper-competitive, and it seems like you have to be to try to compete with the thousands upon thousands of other people trying to make money online. For another - I absolutely suck at marketing, especially digital marketing. It was never my strong suit, even when I was in business before. I had to farm that out to other people who knew what they were doing, and that was my largest expense after payroll. I don't have the patience to keep up to date on Google's algorithms and social media tricks and so forth. In fact, I just terminated all of my social media accounts because I realized I was becoming addicted to their use.

A lot of my friends in the haunt industry have suggested that I continue producing corpses and props and selling those. In theory, I could. There are other people out there who make similar products to what I make. They are of lesser quality and they charge a fortune for their crap. I don't get how they can do it. Because I cannot - in good conscience - charge enough for the products I make to be able to make a living off of them. And that is a consistent problem for me - I constantly under-value my own work.

The best idea I've had is to offer my experience and skills as an attorney and business owner to the owners of haunt attractions. Haunters are a dime a dozen, but there aren't too many of us who have the background that I have. I might revisit that idea soon.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
645
Location
Milwaukee Wisconsin
Website
www.youtube.com
Welcome Aboard Captain!!!

Nice write up and I see you're right up the road from me! Was suppose to ride my bike with a friend from Milwaukee to Green Bay last year (2019) but we only went half way and camped out.

I have a friend that was teaching law at UW, he's fed up and changing careers to become an accountant.

You're in the right place and I look forward to reading your book in the future!

Again, Welcome to StP!!!

p.s. I like your website!!!
 

Captain

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captaincrusty17.wordpress.com
Thank you very much. Working on a few updates on the website - new photos from this year and such. Should have it done in about a week or so. Then the focus shifts to the book.

I'll have to let you know next time I pass through Milwaukee. Would love to meet up with fellow nomads.
 

Matt Derrick

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Everyone keeps saying be a digital nomad, but there are a couple of issues with that. For one thing, I'm not that hyper-competitive, and it seems like you have to be to try to compete with the thousands upon thousands of other people trying to make money online. For another - I absolutely suck at marketing, especially digital marketing. It was never my strong suit, even when I was in business before. I had to farm that out to other people who knew what they were doing, and that was my largest expense after payroll. I don't have the patience to keep up to date on Google's algorithms and social media tricks and so forth. In fact, I just terminated all of my social media accounts because I realized I was becoming addicted to their use.
yeah dude, i tried for several years and just couldn't hack it in that industry, and to be honest it's not nearly what it's cracked up to be. i did help a friend start a company to help people do that but i couldn't / didn't want to have to market myself that much.

have you thought about doing half the year on and half off? especially with the haunt house thing, sounds like a gig you could do for part of the year and take the rest off. that's how i financed the majority of my travels throughout my life (3-6 months working crap job, quit, take that money and make it last another 3-6 months, rinse repeat).
 

Captain

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captaincrusty17.wordpress.com
have you thought about doing half the year on and half off? especially with the haunt house thing, sounds like a gig you could do for part of the year and take the rest off.

Yes, I have thought of that. It is incredibly difficult to find paid jobs in the haunt industry. So much of it is based on volunteer work. Irritates the hell out of me. But so long as there are people willing to work for free, there's not a whole lot I can do to change that.
 

Captain

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captaincrusty17.wordpress.com
Sorry - I don't mean to come across as defeatist. I really do appreciate people sharing ideas. Maybe one day someone will suggest something that works.

But I've also been struggling with this question for over 3 years and considered a lot of different options from jobs choices to lifestyle choices and abode choices. I'm trying not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but I've yet to find a solution I am comfortable with.

And I'm sorry to say that most of the ideas people have shared with me are ideas I've already thought of and [reluctantly] had to dismiss as not being viable.
 

Matt Derrick

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understandable, if you had a winning idea you wouldn't need help here, right? i'll see if i can still pitch a few more ideas. what about a circus crew of some kind? orrr... maybe working doing special effects in the movie industry?
 
Joined
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The woods
When covid actually ends there's gonna be a crazy surge of concert/event/convention work all over the place and while I don't know the haunt industry at all, I assume it's like most fly by night shit and involves lots of unloading shit, setting shit up, working crazy hrs and then packing it all back up. If you have a vehicle, work hard and can get along with people you could possibly use your experience with haunts to crack another niche industry.

For example,

About five years ago I was in my hometown and saw a load in gig on Craigslist for a horse expo. I called the vendor who posted it, told them I worked events and next thing I know I'm unloading saddles. Although I know nothing about horses, once load in was done I was offered a job helping with their booth during the convention. That led to a load out gig which ended with the owner of the company telling me they worked horse expos all over the country and if I felt so inclined I could jump on the winter circuit with them. Before I saw that craigslist ad I didn't even know horse expos were a thing.
 

Captain

Newbie
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Green Bay, Wisconsin
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captaincrusty17.wordpress.com
understandable, if you had a winning idea you wouldn't need help here, right? i'll see if i can still pitch a few more ideas. what about a circus crew of some kind? orrr... maybe working doing special effects in the movie industry?

LOL. It's funny you mention the circus, Yes, that is something I have thought of. I haven't entirely ruled it out. The two biggest obstacles to that are my lack of personal connections (I wouldn't know the first thing about how to get involved with one) and it would have to be a situation where my dog could come with me.

(In fact, being a single daddy to a dog is a common obstacle with several of the ideas I've had. I could live with a lot less money if I was a leather tramp, but I dunno how I'd get provisions from stores without having somewhere to secure my dog. I could also just stroll into towns, find odd jobs for a few weeks or months, and then move on. But again, it would be difficult to find situations where I have somewhere safe to keep her.)

Anyway, I laugh about the circus idea because it just so happens that my best friend is soon leaving (maybe, if they stop flaking out on him) to join a haunt circus. In fact, he said he would have invited me along if not for my responsibilities to my dog. I suppose once he's in and establishes his reputation, I would have a personal connection to at least one circus and maybe I could start a conversation. But then again, they've been dinking around with him for several months now, so I'm not too crazy about trusting this particular company.

The movie industry idea is another idea I've had and - again - haven't completely ruled it out. Again, I lack connections. I was supposed to meet up with a haunt owner from Atlanta a few years ago who did some production work for the MCU, but we never connected.

I really like the story @Beegod Santana wrote. That was kind of what I imagined and hoped would happen to me while I was on the road in 2017. For sure, some interesting things happened during that trip, and I did have some crazy adventures. But nothing like that happened that led to any job prospects.

Part of my problem - frankly - is that I am very withdrawn and independent. I do not network. I've met so many people and had so many different experiences in my life, I should have no shortage of connections to various industries. But I am not at all social, and I hate begging for help or favors of any kind.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
The woods
Ya there's no guarantees and it took me about 6 years to get to the point where I had more or less year round work if I wanted it. You gotta send emails, call people and just show up sometimes. I also suck at networking but the old saying "closed mouths don't get fed" is very true.
 

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