Travel is personal

“What do you enjoy?”

For many people, the response to this question is “I love to travel.”

I fall into this group, but my travel preference may be a bit different than yours. And that’s the way it should be… your travel should fit you.

If you enjoy travel, you should make it your own. Do it the way you want to do it. Don’t do it to impress anyone else.

When I travel I often like to blend in with the locals, enjoy the day-to-day in a new location. My travel is usually not about beaches, theme parks and endless partying. My travel is slow-paced, spontaneous, and reflective.

I am currently one month in to a road trip… a road trip that has me living in a van… a road trip with no destination in mind.

People often ask me where I am heading, and I usually don’t know.

If I decide to end the #sandybanff journey tomorrow, then so be it. I will put the van in storage or sell it and move on to the next adventure.

My travel is not glamourous. My travel is not the variety you’ll find in the pages of Departures (a magazine that American Express sends me regularly that I immediate chuck into the recycle pile). My travel is personal, and it is not for everyone.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Before the paperwork had even been signed on the cabin, I had already started to consider a new adventure. Say hello to the Carado Banff.

Nothing is set in stone at this point, but I am itching to get out on the road again, and the Banff is a worthy contender.

With my Mom and aunt in tow, I checked out and drove a 2018 Banff, and I was thoroughly impressed. Check out the interior pics…

This would be the perfect size for Patrick and I. It even has a toilet and shower. You can see it peeking out in the second and third pics above. Still, what I am most excited about is the 200 watts of solar power on the roof and lithium batteries installed in this little guy. If you add in VoltStart, I am practically in boondocking heaven. (VoltStart allows the engine to automatically start up to power up the batteries.)

This little nugget has practically everything I need… stove, refrigerator, microwave, solar, shower, toilet, gas heat, hot water, and air conditioning. The only thing missing is a backup camera, which I can easily install… or just buy a 2019 model with backup camera and GPS installed. Plus… VoltStart is available on some 2019 models. *swoon*

So… what happens next? Well, I need to make sure my impulsive little self isn’t jumping the gun here. I am going to make a final decision after the sale of the cabin has occurred. I signed the listing agreement yesterday, so the ball is just now starting to roll. The only issue I am finding is a covered garage in Downtown or Midtown (Atlanta) that can accommodate a vehicle 9’5″ tall.

What do you think of the Carado Banff?

All cruised out

Today is the last port of my last cruise for 2016… Limon, Costa Rica. As I write this, I am sitting at a coffee shop… doing what I do best.

having a coffee in Limon, Costa Rica

Cruises have been a great way to see a lot of places, and I have had a great time on all of my adventures. Still, it is time to take a break and explore a new kind of travel.

Yes… I had already realized this months ago when I ordered the Scamp. Still, the Scamp wasn’t due until mid-January, so I opted for one last hurrah… a cruise through the Panama Canal.

Sure, the Scamp plan morphed into a Scotty trek. Bring… it… on.

So… why am I tired of cruising? Well… I love waking up in a new city and/or country each day, but… well, the average cruiser repulses me. There… I said it, it’s not me… it’s you. 😛

having a beer in Colon, Panama

Ungrateful, entitled, lazy… these are the words that pop in my head at the moment. Yes… this is a generalization, but it my frame-of-mind at the moment. Maybe I will take my next cruise on Fathom.

Pioneered by Fathom, impact travel is a whole new category of travel: it’s travel with purpose. Travel that transforms lives. Sometimes including your own. Impact travel with Fathom provides the opportunity to build community with like-minded travelers, become immersed in another culture, and work alongside its people to create enduring social impact.

Maybe… maybe not. For now though, I am focused on the Scotty adventure. Yes… I am 3,266 Scotty miles from Atlanta, but I craving some time in the tin can.

Planes, trains, automobiles, and a boat (part two)

As I continue to slack further from blogging, I figure it is best to get the pics from the rest of this journey up before it is gone from my memory. 😛

a beautiful sunset while cruising the west coast
a beautiful sunset (or was it a sunrise) while cruising the west coast

After leaving Astoria on September 29, I made my way down the west coast aboard the Norwegian Jewel, arriving in Los Angeles on October 2.

10/2/2016: time with friends in Los Angeles, followed by a bus and two trains

While in LA, I was able to spend a couple of nights with friends, have a few drinks, and take part in one my favorites… a day in the park with a book.


When Tuesday rolled around, it was time to dive in to the Los Angeles public transit system. I picked up a bus at Beverly and Genesee, then a hop on the Metro red line (train) to Union Station.

Yes… I love my public transit

Next stop… Amtrak (my first) and a ride down the Pacific Coast.

Amtrak hair... don't care :P
Amtrak hair… don’t care 😛

I would definitely do Amtrak again. So… don’t knock it until you try it.

  • The ticketing process was a breeze.
  • The train was comfortable with plenty of legroom.
  •  There was free wifi (albeit slow) throughout the train.

Oh… and then there was the view. SOLD!

10/4/2016: San Diego

As far as my mush brain can remember, I had never been to San Diego, but it is a city that I can see myself returning to.

Although, I was only in San Diego for two days, I managed to get in the San Diego Zoo…



… a hike…


… a tour around the various museums and greenery in Balboa Park…




… and a visit to the Fleet Science Center to see Nathan Sawaya’s Art of the Brick exhibit.


Yes… the truth is that the guiding force behind my trek to San Diego was to see this exhibit. In fact, I took pics of every single one of Nathan’s LEGO works of art. I’m sure at some point I will create a post with everything. Loved It!

After my two days were up in San Diego, it was time to catch an Uber, followed by my return flight to Atlanta.


Planes, trains, automobiles, and a boat (part one)

Yes… I’ve been slacking on the blog, but I do not what my writing to become a responsibility. Instead, I want it to be outlet.

I just spent a couple of weeks in continuous travel. Here was my itinerary, along with some pics.

9/23/2016: flight to Vancouver

on day one I came across this sign
on day one I came across this sign… I’m on the right track, baby

Capilano Suspension Bridge

relaxing at Kitsilano Beach Park
relaxing at Kitsilano Beach Park


Granville Public Market, an awesome farmers' market
Granville Public Market, an awesome farmers’ market

9/27/2016: bus to board my ship for a pacific coast cruise

my room on the Norwegian Jewel for the next five days... not too shabby
my room on the Norwegian Jewel for the next five days… not too shabby


9/28/2016: spending the day in Victoria

I spent most of my day in Beacon Hill Park.
I spent most of my day in Beacon Hill Park.


Beacon Hill Park was one of the best public parks I have ever visited. It had a variety of green areas, wooded spaces, ponds, and wildlife.

yes... that's a peacock roaming around... no cage
yes… that’s a peacock roaming around… no cage

To further drive home the fact I have made the decision to live a more nomadic life, I came across this little gem on a park bench…

love life now

Love Life Now… seize the moment… live it up… carefree as a frisky pup
Cherish your mate… be kind… love nature… for peace of mind


I ended my day in Victoria with a stroll along Fisherman’s Wharf.

9/29/2016: trolley to the Goonies in Astoria, Washington

My trek around Astoria included a ride on the riverfront trolley, a search for Goonies, a visit with the sea lions, and a bite and brew at a local pub.

the trolley is only a buck (or $2 to ride all day)
the trolley is only a buck (or $2 to ride all day)

"Goonies house"
“Goonies house”

If you’re ever in Astoria and want to see the “Goonies house”, it is located at 368 38th Street. Unfortunately, this is about as close as you will get. It seems that the 30th anniversary created a bit too much havoc.

For 14 years, homeowner Sandi Preston has let fans — within reason — approach, photograph, gawk at and geek out on her property in Uppertown. On occasion, she has even opened up her house to them.

“Sandi … has been very, very accommodating,” City Councilor Russ Warr said.

But, with an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 visitors swarming around the house almost every day this summer, Preston and her neighbors near 38th and Duane streets are experiencing fan fatigue.

sea lions of Astoria
sea lions of Astoria


I ended my day with a bowl of clam chowder, a sweet potato biscuit, and a local beer from Port of Call Bistro and Bar. Life is good.


New tow in tow… say hello to…

I picked up my new tow vehicle yesterday, and I love her. Say hello to Mindy.


Mindy is a 2016 Jeep Renegade, 4×4 Trailhawk edition. ❤ ❤ ❤

I will explain my buying technique in a later post, as I am a hard ass when it comes to buying a car. I will also talk more later about my decision to buy a new vehicle (I have been carless for a year). For now, let me gloat on my new purchase. Mindy…

  • has a beautiful orange color (Omaha Orange)
  • has spent the last several month in Boone, North Carolina; I had her delivered to Atlanta
  • is fully equipped with all of the bells and whistles
  • includes a dual-panel roof (My Sky) that can be removed for topless days 😉
  • can tow up to 2,000 pounds

I know that many avid RV-ers may question my decision to purchase a vehicle that can only tow 2,000 pounds, but I will explain my thought process in a later post. Again… this is Mindy’s time to shine. 😛

Why the name Mindy? I’m glad you asked. You see, she will be in charge of pulling along her partner, Mork.

I deem him Mork… Na-Nu Na-Nu

What do you think of Mork & Mindy?



Touring Paris in three hours

In April, as part of a transatlantic cruise, I had a stop in Le Havre, a port city located about 200 km (about 125 miles) from Paris. Although I had been to Europe several times, I had never visited Paris. Why? Well, it just seems like it is where everyone wants to go. And, well, I pride myself on being an individual that makes his own path.

Anyway… I decided to get over myself and seize the opportunity. The ship was docked for 11 hours in Le Havre, and the train ride was three and a half hours each way. Unfortunately, I did not walk the most direct route to the station and missed my intended train, so I lost an hour. I would have three hours to tour the “City of lights” (before the lights were actually on).

Here are a few photos from my three hour tour.


Palais Garnier

My rushed trip through the streets of Paris did not allow me time to document everything. Still, I snapped pics of some of the sights I found interesting. After all, it is my journey, right?




My only requirement while in Paris was to see the Eiffel Tower… and to enjoy myself. Mission Accomplished!

My whirlwind tour of Paris did not allow me to get to the top of the Eiffel Tour. However, I enjoyed my time, and I am happy to report that I did not leave the city with Paris Syndrome.