I dislike being in the same space for months and years at a time. I have to get away sometimes from my neighborhood, and see new faces and places.
In Texas, I dropped out of college and set up shop in my good friend’s bathroom (my loft) to write a screenplay. I learned nothing in college besides how to Google for answers to my questions. One answer that got me going was the steps to write a screenplay, so I asked my friend if it would be okay to pack up my stuff and head out to East Texas and write. He obliged. I wrote like crazy, healing myself of old wounds and seeing myself as a legit writer. After I completed my screenplay, I realized that I needed to go where all of the writers go to network: Austin Film Festival. I told my buddy that I was going to the AFF to connect with someone who could buy my screenplay, and from there, I would be going to California. I was serious. I packed my bags, books and laptop, got a rental car and headed to Austin. While there, I stayed at a hostel and hung out on 6th Street. I was waiting on someone to ask me about my wonderful screenplay. It’s so good I didn’t think that I needed to say much about it. Hello? It’s me! The newbie with a great screenplay about birth mothers! No one took notice.
I stayed in Austin as the festival came and went. I was running out of money for the hostel, and needed to get my rental car back as soon as possible. I know how to stay centered in times when I should be worried, so calmly checked out of the hostel, took the rental car back and got a hotel in Austin. I was not going to go back to East Texas as I told my friend that I would be going to California…somehow. In the hotel room, I started to get worried. What to do now? I have hardly any money too proud to go back home, and have a need to fix the situation I put myself in.
During my third day at the hotel, I started to cry because my brain wasn’t coming up with solutions fast enough. Then suddenly, something told me to get on my laptop and typed in ‘how to travel with little to no money’. I found a few sites telling me how to hitch hike and live like a hippy. On one of the sites, there was a post about this organization that allowed you to do work trade on a farm, ranch, plantation, etc. It was called wwoof.org, an acronym that stands for World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming. I checked out the site, and paid for a year membership.
There were a few places not so far from Austin, so I called them and asked f they needed assistance on their plantation. They did. Elated with the prospect of being helpful, ,as well as getting assistance with housing, I bought a Greyhound ticket to Houston and was on my way to hang out with my dead ancestors. The plantation was wonderful, and the family who owned it, also had the only organic grocery store near Houston. I enjoyed the earth and the people there. I was left there alone on Thanksgiving, so I had this spiritual moment on the plantation that word can’t describe.
After leaving that place, I went to this dog sanctuary, where this Indian lady kept terminally ill dogs, like 20 of them on her property. Her home was their home, so it was a bit crowded. Her home was built around permaculture concepts, so when you flushed a toilet, you could wash your hands on the sink on the commode, and the rest of the water irrigated her garden. My last spot in Texas was this wonderful IP attorney ( how appropriate ). She had a hobby farm that had chickens, three horses, a mule and peacocks. I learned to ride a horse there. I can even candor!
When the wwoofing got old, I broke down and called my friend in East Texas. He got me my Greyhound ticket back home, and he didn’t even laugh that loud at me! Wonderful friend. I stayed in East Texas for another month or so before I started to mention California again. At this point, my friend was tired of hearing it, so he said all that he could do for me was buy the frickin’ plane ticket and give me $100. I was filled with joy! A plane ticket…and $100. I could get to California with no problem, and have money to blow. The plane was booked the same week. Since I knew about wwoofing, I emailed around for some ranching opportunities.
The ranch that I stayed at was near Sacramento. It wasn’t Los Angeles, but at least I made it to California. The family was beautiful. I loved the hosts and their children. The dog…well, he needed more home training. I learned that I could wake up and go outside to pick my breakfast from a tree. I also learned some vegetarian dishes, like chickpea soup.
After two weeks at the ranch, I found a couch surfing spot in Koreatown to crash at as I welcomed myself to my new home, Los Angeles County. Since I didn’t know anyone in Los Angeles County, I decided to couch surf my way around town until something happened. I believe in Divine Providence, so this decision was easy to make and follow through with.
I ‘traveled’ Los Angeles County from June-December. That’s when I met the man I affectionately call Santa. He was this big white guy with a Santa beard, and he came to me during Christmas. Appropriate. We set off on a journey up the I-5. First stop was Oregon, then Seattle. Along the way, we went to a few Center for Spiritual Living churches. They are awesome. When we got to Seattle, we rented a room in a trailer in Tacoma with this overly-Christian Black lady. She was looking to start her own TV show. Synchronicity.
During a snow storm and a few disagreements, Santa left me in Tacoma to go back to California. I didn’t worry though. The renter of the room let me stay an extra few days there. I left there to go to Lakewood with Sgt. He was great in bed. I will never forget him like I will never forget how hard the troops fight to keep me safe.
Santa found me a ride share to be with him in San Jose. I went there and went to reiki healings, more Center for Spiritual Living churches, and other spiritual pursuits. At this time, I was starting to feel like a transient, and asked God to pump the brakes on this spiritual journey. Hadn’t I made an A at San Jose State University’s Library? With lots of prayer, I asked to come back down to Earth, and find some cash.
Divine providence is great and all, but I wanted cold hard cash, so I could feel like a citizen again. This prayer was answered in the form of a fetish porn producer. I though that he was in Los Angeles, but he had relocated to Las Vegas, I thought I was out of luck until I somehow made it to Las Vegas on my birthday a week later. I called him, and he picked me up. I still didn’t earn money, but I was the house mother, and took care of house and his daughter, who is as smart as a tick, by the way. After a few months there, I moved back to Los Angeles and got into a relationship. That marked the end of my traveling and spiritual quests.
Along the way, I met wonderful people, only two assholes, and tons of empathy for the less fortunate. Traveling can be fun with the right mindset. It’s fun to live on a ranch or plantation and learn about the people who live their and their social norms. It’s also great to reciprocate help. Give to get. Get to give. Sharing is caring. All of the things that are not customary in society, can be found in the backwoods of society where the grass is green, and the trees full of fruit. Try getting up and going one day. It could change your life and make you more well-rounded.