Archive | January, 2009

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Vagabonding – Starting Long Term Travel

Posted on 05 January 2009 by Carl

I have hit the road.  Visit my Travelogue over at Vagabond Cafe.

After a month of deliberation and semi-planning I took off from Maine.  I landed in Atlanta December 8th after a few tribulations – losing my wallet, missing my flight, losing my book (on vagabonding) – and immediately headed out dancing.  A great relief.

My plan to travel has been spurred by many factors, but the principal one which gave me the idea to travel without a home was reading the Four Hour Workweek and coming to the conclusion that my life wasn’t really on any particular road and I was just doing what had been presented to me – not what I had chosen for myself.  I had lost my job, had multiple reasons to leave New York City behind not least the exceptional expense of living there, my ties of being in a relationship were over all of which created an opportunity.

Perhaps I should have done a bit more prep and research before I left, but I’ve spent almost a month in Atlanta (with a week trip to Asheville) which has served as a gestation period for my ideas and route through the U.S.

Things I would have prepared a little differently for:

  • wait an extra week or two to pad my accounts
  • get my motorcycle license
  • line up a bit more work in Atlanta (I tried this but it didn’t work out)
  • research vagabonding a bit more

If you are planning a vagabonding trip I recommend a few resources to start:

There are many more which would come in handy that you’ll discover on your own.  Starting with Vagabonding and Four Hour Workweek will definitely give a jumpstart to your dreams of leaving the assumed real world behind.

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Jazz Minded – Creativity from Wynton Marsalis

Posted on 03 January 2009 by Carl

Garr Reynolds has a great series of posts (1, 2) on Wynton Marsalis’s new book “Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life” which has me itching to pick up the book.

The points Reynold’s brings out of Jazz’s mode of creativity as a method for creativity for design and for living I can personally testify to.  As a jazz dancer and amateur washboard player, the affect living in a jazz-immersed culture has drastically changed my perceptions of the world and of myself.

From the perspective of a new designer I had never explicitly brought together my understanding of jazz and the creativity of jazz with my far more limited understanding of design and presentation.  The notions of simplicity and accessibility coupled with the deep and intelligent naturalness of jazz make for a solid principle of design.

One of my favorite quotes that he pulls out:

“Our desire to testify through some type of art is unstoppable. A palpable energy is released when inspiration and dedication come together in a creative art. The energy is transformative in an individual who is innovative, but it is transcendent when manifested by a group. There are no words for the dynamic thrill of participating in a mutual mosaic of creativity.”

Wynton Marsalis

The notion of communal artistry is even more provoking for me as I meet and get to know more creative artists, teachers and people from a variety of fields.  The energy that I gather from being around like-minded artists who have had the influence of jazz in their life amounts to something unassailable by words alone.  It is an immersive experience where I feel enriched and have at my disposable a previously unknown font of creative energy.

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