Personal journey as a french traveler in the US (1 Viewer)

otch0z

Wayfarer
Joined
Feb 11, 2017
Messages
81
Location
Montreal, Canada
Hey everyone
I don't know if anyone will read or answer that post. I don't know if I need to be read or answered, but I do want to write about what I feel at the moment.

See, I just got back for a 3 month road trip in the US. I'm french, and my father is canadian. That was my first time in that country, and I went there with one of my best friends. We bought a van, and go !
We went all the way from Québec to California. Of course there's stuff in-between, so we made a good stop in Colorado to smoke weed legally (we didn't want to do illegal stuff because we weren't in our country and who knows what could have happened), and in Utah to my friend's relative.
When we got to California, I realized that not only was I kinda poor like when we started the trip, but I was even broke. I needed to make money so I started doing what my father had told me to do for the last three years : busking with my saw (musical saw. According to most people I'm not so bad at it)

Not only it brought me money, but (obviously) I met so many people... "Civilians", "normal" people that would come and talk about France or my instrument but also what you american people call "dirty kids". Shoutout to Jay and his doggy Lux (cutest dog ever) who introduced me to that world. We tried to jam but it wasn't too great, but we were really getting along and I started thinking about my 14 years old me who would have been so proud of hanging out with these guys.

I have to give some explanations right now (even if I feel like this thread is going to be very self-centered, sorry guys). I've lived the easy life : I have a bachelor degree, my parents love me and are still together, I have never suffered from hunger or cold. But I had a certain crisis when I was 14 or so. I started freaking out about the entire world. I was listening to french punk music, crying a lot and scarifying (?) sometimes, writing depressed shit on paper etc... Well, I wasn't feeling good with myself at all. I was always good at school but I started hating the word "authority" even if I was too shy to actually do anything about it. Later, my mother told me that the doctor who helped her giving birth (the both of us almost died that time) told her I would always be eclectic.

That crisis passed. I realized my friends from that time were actually assholes and I went back to my old friends, that I have keep for a very long time now. I forgot my 14 years old crisis, I laughed about myself, and went on. I went to high school and then college. I had my bachelor degree and I couldn't understand why my ex had began hanging out with anarchists and doing stuff in squats, or why he was eating out of bins, or why he was stealing all that stuff, or why he would defend people who broke bank glasses.

Back to the first story. So I started busking more because I was really broke and hanging out with the homeless and the misfits. I met more dirty kids, talking with them about a lot of stuff. I started understanding my ex, I started thinking like he did. I became really good friend, and a bit more, with a certain guy in NOLA, so we stayed there for a week. It was awesome, I was just jamming with everybody and everybody would want to jam with me because turns out I'm actually good at playing the saw (I still have difficulties to say/write it though, but it seems like there's a consensus on the question). I just played bluegrass for a week and shared alcohol, food, cigarettes and a lot more with people I barely knew. I couldn't stop thinking about my 14 years old self, finally realizing that it had been there the entire time, just waiting to pop out again. I literally had the time of my life, because I was feeling so free : living in a van, not making a lot of money per day but... Who cares ? People give you leftovers and the van's my shelter, the weather is beautiful, I could live like that for a moment !

And then, I had to leave.
I almost stayed but the van belonged to my friend and I so we had to get back together and sell it, plus it was too expensive for him to get back from NOLA to France. His visa was ending so we went back to Sherbrooke, Québec, in two days and he left three days later.
No need to say I was pretty depressed when I got back. I had kinda fell in love, with some guy but mainly with a life experience, and I felt like, again, my 14 years old self was right. I was just spending days doing nothing, trying to have the guts to go play in the metro (which I never did), stressing out because I had no money and I took two tickets in the same day, and I wasn't being able to see the end of the tunnel. I felt like karma had abandoned me, and that I was doing something seriously wrong with my life. I had had to get back in the fucking snow and coldness because I had responsabilities. People often tell me I'm wise. I would have kick in the head everybody that told me I took the right decision. I was so sick of being wise. The trip began to feel like a dream, and so was the person I had been traveling (I'm very different when I travel and when I don't; it really brings the best of me). I was broke, heart-broken, I had no job, nowhere I could truly stay (I'm still sleeping at a friends' but I can't stay here forever), and, most of all, nobody to actually talk about all this because the only person I wanted to talk to was out of town.

But shit has began to get together. I found a really shitty job (but god i needed it) so I can pay my tickets and, most of all, I'm moving in with amazing people next month. I'm still sad and shit but it really got better (in two days, right after I smoked pot and started doing stuff to get my shit back together). My karma's working again !

I'm still asking questions to myself though. I hate my job (I'm a cashier, which makes it even more terrible because it just involves money and it stresses me out) but I'm gonna change it. I'm gonna try to find a job I like. I own money to some people so I have to make money in some way. I've started telling everyone I'm looking for musicians, and soon I'll be able to eat something else than rice. But all this is momentary, I don't know if I'm going back to studying or not, or if I take my van back to the US.

Once again, like every time I've traveled, I can't help but think it's what I want to do with my life. I've always traveled (we would go to Québec every year, and then two years when I was little) and it really brings the best of me. But a part of me still want not to worry about when I'll eat or where I'll sleep. I don't know what to do, I have to think about it but I wasn't able to see the big picture before yesterday because I was so worried about money. I'm tired of always telling myself "finish high school and then we'll see", "finish your bachelor degree and then we'll see", always putting stuff off until tomorrow, only not to have to think about what I truly want to do with my life, because I know some ideas will not please my parents and don't want them to worry.

This post got really personal (and long), sorry 'bout that, and also I hope my english is understandable. Everyone have a good one !
 
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freegander

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Joined
Jan 7, 2017
Messages
106
Location
last chance colorado
Website
shelivesinavan.com
No need to say I was pretty depressed when I got back. I had kinda fell in love, with some guy but mainly with a life experience, and I felt like, again, my 14 years old self was right. I was just spending days doing nothing, trying to have the guts to go play in the metro (which I never did), stressing out because I had no money and I took two tickets in the same day, and I wasn't being able to see the end of the tunnel. I felt like karma had abandoned me, and that I was doing something seriously wrong with my life. I had had to get back in the fucking snow and coldness because I had responsibilities. People often tell me I'm wise. I would have kick in the head everybody that told me I took the right decision. I was so sick of being wise. The trip began to feel like a dream, and so was the person I had been traveling (I'm very different when I travel and when I don't; it really brings the best of me). I was broke, heart-broken, I had no job, nowhere I could truly stay (I'm still sleeping at a friends' but I can't stay here forever), and, most of all, nobody to actually talk about all this because the only person I wanted to talk to was out of town.
I can so relate to this! I spent a few months this summer traveling and squatting in Europe and when I came back everything felt like a dream. Then I had to finish university, but it was so hard to keep pushing myself through a lifestyle I knew I didn't want.

I think you, like many people here, are motivated by freedom and so you need to choose a lifestyle that maximizes on that desire.

I have found in my own life that in order to have freedom, I have to have money. So I have been finding ways to make money efficiently, not so I can live the stable, American dream, but so that I can be independent and a little more free.

perhaps you might look into a lifestyle of working 50% of the year and then traveling for the next 50%. or something like that. there are also cool opportunities to volunteer while traveling, like WWOOFing and such.

Or maybe you can travel in a more economical fashion? like biking or hitching.

just throwing ideas out there, in case you want them. the world is full of opportunities for those of us who have a mind to look. :)
 

Tude

Sometimes traveler is traveling.
Joined
Jul 28, 2011
Messages
4,207
Age
62
Location
Rochester, NY
Wow - thank you for your travel story - I do hope you had an epic time!! I currently work in a Global Education department at a community college and have contact with people from at least 50 countries.
 
OP
otch0z

otch0z

Wayfarer
Joined
Feb 11, 2017
Messages
81
Location
Montreal, Canada
Thank you very much @freegander for throwing ideas, I definitely have to do something about it, I mean it's about my happiness it's not nothing haha
Also I'm really happy you enjoyed reading me, I was kinda concerned my writing would be too "heavy" and nobody would get to the end

On a hand I have to get back to the US, I feel I haven't explored enough and I just started meeting people when I left. Three months is not enough (obviously), and on the other I'm still afraid to like, squat and shit because I've never done that, and I don't want to get back to France to do that because my interest is in the US for the moment (but english is not my first language and even if I got better at it there are still situations in which I don't understand what is happening/people talking. Also, I'm worried about not having a shelter, that's why I like traveling with a van so much

But yeah I mean I could hitch, it's quite common where I come from and I like that, but I have to get over the whole shelter thing first I guess
 
OP
otch0z

otch0z

Wayfarer
Joined
Feb 11, 2017
Messages
81
Location
Montreal, Canada
Wow - thank you for your travel story - I do hope you had an epic time!! I currently work in a Global Education department at a community college and have contact with people from at least 50 countries.
(i tried to quote for the first time, i hope it works)

Hey that sounds like a pretty cool job ! What is it exactly ? Teaching ?
And I had a more than epic time yep ! being far from home really helped I guess
 

Jone

Rambler
Joined
Sep 12, 2016
Messages
40
Location
Montreal, Quebec
You're English is fine. Dont let fear of not having enough stop you. Do what makes your heart feel good/joy. Maybe i have good luck, but whenever i really need something, its litteally in arms reach, or, you just have to walk---for a bit, and what you seek, you will find. Busking is THE Way, hope i run into you sometime, would love to play!!! A practiced saw player is a rare thing. When you're creative n pay attention, you can deal with most situations. I think its also good to do some time working n earning, n some time being mobile. Listen to ur <3 n Good luck!!!
 

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