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In the Birks O' Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland

The days are getting longer. Light seeps back into the world, slowly, inch by inch and day by day. We are cataloguing and packaging up the past year, wiping away tears for the lost ones and celebrating the continuation of our heart fires. But there is a chill in the air from something other than these late December nights.

A dark road unfurls ahead and we are walking on it together, whether we like it or not. The modern world can seem like a terrible place beset upon by our darkest demons if you take it all in. What we see on the news, hear on the radio, and read in papers is humanity at its worst… Read more...

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Weapons of Scottish Wars

Last month marked six years of Traveling Savage. Six years! I wrote my first post here on December 13, 2009, almost a year from the date I intended to leave my corporate job. It was a cringe-worthy, rambling manifesto that began a year of philosophical writings on travel intended more to keep me motivated than to satisfy my readers — I had no readers! I wrote in the evenings after work as a test to see if I could stick with a blog, and if I couldn’t then perhaps I didn’t believe enough in the idea. But I did stick with it, and as my departure date approached my pragmatic and soul-blasted selves tangled in an exhausting cage match of fear, anxiety, hope, and excitement. I was leaping into…into what? Read more...

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Salta's Plaza 9 de Julio

It’s hard to believe my month in Argentina has come and gone. Seems like just yesterday I wrote a post thinking through my options, and now I’m writing a post-mortem for the trip.

My month in Salta (with a few days in Buenos Aires) was an intense learning experience filled with many challenges. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy the trip: I met incredible people, ate delicious meals, and experienced unique cultural events on a near-daily basis. But this first trip of Traveling Savage will be remembered as the journey that tested my solo travel resolve, mental toughness, and ingenuity, and the one that set the bar and measuring stick by which future trips will be devised and judged.

I’ve distilled a few overarching observations from the month abroad below. Read more...

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Requiem for a Job: A Corporate Exodus

It was a cold day in March. The feeble late-winter sun had sent crusts of snow retreating to the edges of things. I remember staring out my office window at a fly on the ledge. Gusting drafts buffeted the poor bugger as it struggled to hang on, its ephemeral wings flickered by a force that couldn’t touch me behind the industrial glass. It moved periodically in what seemed like an affirmation that it still held the spark of life.

I paused, sipped some green tea, and turned back to my monitors as a warm, dull ache suffused my organs. I wanted to laugh, but the shockingly obvious allegory had me closer to tears. Read more...

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Above the Clouds

Friday is my last day at work. Beyond the obvious oncoming lifestyle changes there’s a feeling of renovation. There’s an internal change, too. One that reminds me of an old fixer-upper or a set of antique furniture painted and re-painted through the generations. You pull on your work jeans and boots, cast tarps about, and load in the tools. Then the anticipation – the apprehension – at what you’ll find beneath the old wallpaper and layers of paint.

What will I find? To what structure will life adhere without the typical work days and morning alarms and commutes. Rather than being anxious about this, I am elated at what feels like a move toward a more natural state for me. Read more...

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