04
Jan 2015
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Blog, North America

DISCUSSION 48 Comments

The End of the Road

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After 927 days, 45,822 miles, 34 countries, five continents, and countless hours spent watching our very own real life documentary unfold through the big screen of Nacho’s windshield, we arrived right back where we started. When it comes to good decisions that we make in life, this will certainly go down as one of the better ones. But all good things must come to an end. We set out to drive around the world, and when we pulled up in the same driveway that we left almost three years ago, we had thereby accomplished our goal.
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23
Dec 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Blog, North America

DISCUSSION 12 Comments

The Immigrant

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The fact that Barna lives in Baltimore is a pretty big deal.

The first door we tried was the wrong door, and a Pakistani woman wearing a bright green sari answered. She didn’t speak English, but invited us in for tea so that we could wait for her husband to come home, as he would certainly be able to help us. This is the kind of hospitality that we came to know in South Asia, and being in Baltimore made it stand out even more. In America we’re skeptical of door knockers, a deep seeded reflex that is a result of generations of door knocking Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Girl Scouts, and Avon ladies.
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08
Dec 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Blog, North America

DISCUSSION 15 Comments

Dixon’s Isle

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Way back in the far off distant beginning, I wrote about the day that I quit my job. After I had broken the news that I would be leaving to the CEO of my company, he invited me to lunch and did his best to convince me not to go, and in the end suggested I see a shrink. For the sake of simplicity, in that story I opted not to mention that the company’s former CEO was also at lunch with us that day. Thus, it was both the former and current CEOs teaming up to try to convince me not to quit my perfectly good job to move into my van and drive around the world. But something funny happened at lunch that day.
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21
Nov 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Blog, North America

DISCUSSION 37 Comments

Farther

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On a snowy day nearly three years ago I shat my last shit in my own house. Soon thereafter we crossed the border into Mexico and I saw a cinderblock shanty on the side of an embankment. It had a broken down truck next to it and there were various rusty signs in Spanish around it littering the roadside. I thought to myself, I have shat my last shit in my own house, and I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone for the next three years, and there will be nothing I can do about that. Our driftwood raft had lost sight of land, and one day, inshallah, we would find land again.
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26
Oct 2014
POSTED BY Brad
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Blog, Europe

DISCUSSION 8 Comments

Shmirgin Quest

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It was just good luck that we had come to know Sven. We had first heard from him over two years ago when we were still in Mexico. By the time we hit Belize, only three months after leaving home, he had invited us to stay at his house when we got to Sweden. Great, we thought, this would be the perfect opportunity to stage a pilgrimage. An adventure twenty years in the making.
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07
Oct 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Blog, Europe

DISCUSSION 19 Comments

48 Westies in the Westy

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With our foam mattress cover folded out of the way, I laid out the last of our contraband on the bed. I leaned back, wiped the sweat from my forehead, and inspected my work. I carefully rolled the mattress cover out over the bed, concealing the bounty in a foam sandwich. I smoothed the yak hair blanket over the whole mess and crawled down into Nacho’s living quarters where Sheena had just finished stuffing the rest of our contraband under the couch. Using the power drill I ran two screws through the bottom of the seat and tested it to be sure it couldn’t be opened. I got out, picked up the ugly chicken wire cage that I had built on the bank of the canal and slid it into place behind the front seats.

“Let’s just hope they don’t find any of this,” I said. Sheena nodded, nervously wringing her hands. A rower sliced through the dark water of the canal, barely taking notice of us inspecting our work. Scraps of chicken wire and wood littered the ground around the van.
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26
Aug 2014
POSTED BY Brad
POSTED IN

Blog, Europe

DISCUSSION 10 Comments

The One Man Parisian Anti-Stroller Task Force

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When we left the United States in the early hours of 2012, we began to witness the world changing around us, hardly recognizable from the one we left behind at the Mexican border. At first the changes came hard and fast, but after a while we started to forget how things were back home. By the time we reached Europe it had been nearly a year and a half since we’d visited America, or any Western civilization for that matter, and some of those old memories came flooding back. One deeply disturbing difference between “The West” and the rest of the world showed up like a lurking character in a nightmare.
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