On the Wind…Wind River Reservation

Was picked up in Cheyenne, Wyoming for our 5-6 hour journey onto the Wind River Reservation. I will be staying for 3 weeks(or longer). As usual I will have work to get done for freelance clients, but I will also be building a website for the Tribal College and helping my friend build a non profit website to do suicide prevention, among other things, on the Rez.

My friend moved back to the rez after years in California where her family lives. This place is beautiful and rough. Peaceful and dangerous all at once. The people Arapaho and Shoshone people are kind, strong and all at once live a fragile existence in a harsh environment surrounded by politics and racism.

 

Much more very soon…Stay tuned.

Cheyenne Wyoming: More Than you Think

I had not been to Wyoming since I was 5 years old. My aunt has lived ot here since I was little. She has lived in Cheyenne for 35 years. It was really nice to get to visit here and we had a lot of fun getting to know each other better.

We wandered around the Cheyenne Botanical Garden which is currently building a beautiful new conservatory. There are all sorts of creative nooks and crannies at this garden.

Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

I also go to see her in August: Osage County. That’s my Aunt Pat with the red hair. If you know the plot, she plays Maddie Faye.

DOWNTOWN CHEYENNE

Cheyenne is a small city? large town of about 70,000 people. My aunt lives downtown and there are some cool shops and places to eat in town.

There is a very cool coffee shop inside an old theater and this place has a co-working space people! Perfect for the #digitalnomad. Paramount Cafe. I had the most delicious mocha raspberry iced coffee! Inquire at the shop about the upstairs space which is a full service co-working mecca.

Wyoming State Museum

I like museums. This museum is not huge but I found out soem curious and interesting things about Wyoming. I have mixed feelings about this part of teh country as a person with Indigenous heritage. It is where the Frontier met the original peoples and there was lots of bloodshed. I was pleased to find a large exhibit about the local tribes. There Wind River Reservation in 4 hours away from Cheyenne and this new exhibit highlights their cultures beautifully.

COOL SPRING DAY

The weather was gorgeous on my last morning in Cheyenne so I walked to teh park down 19th Street and read a book, which is actually a fiction story about the Arapaho and the Wind River Reservation. The Eagle Catcher. But some magic, my mother has read the whole series about this particular reservation and my dear friend just happens to live here. More on that in another post.

IMG_1680
Perfect place to read a book.

If you are on your way across the U.S.A. I recommend a stopover in this lovely overlooked Western town.

On to Wind River next…

 

Map of the United States

Homeless or Nomad?

Is a person who decides to travel to the middle of the country by bus and stay with a friend on an Indian Reservation for 3 weeks a homeless person? I pondered that as I was once again asked that question by a curious relative.

ARE YOU HOMELESS?

“So, you are homeless, right?” I have only been asked twice, but the implications of that question make me laugh a bit but also make me ponder¬†the differences and similarities between being ‘homeless’ and nomadian by definition.

HUD has a distinct definition of homelessness:

A person is considered homeless only when he/she resides in one of the places described below:

‚ÄĘ In places not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings (on the street).

‚ÄĘ In an emergency shelter.

more here…

What it is not:

‚ÄĘ Persons living with relatives or friends.

More in that same document from HUD…

COUCH SURFING

4 years ago, “technically” I was without my own home, yes. A live in relationship ended. I rented rooms and lived with various friends for one year. I was also not getting very far in saving for my own place. In Los Angeles, you essentially need a minimum of 3 months rent to secure a place.¬†How easy is it for any of us to save between $3000 and $5000 dollars? I am a freelancer and although I make a living, I do not have all sorts of extra cash laying around.

I was blessed to have an “angel” friend come into a large sum of cash and he helped me with my costly entry into my first apartment without my mother, son, roommate or partner, at 44 years old.

I lived there for two years. Then, I got wanderlust and decided to place teh contents of my studio apartment into storage and travel. That is when I started this blog. I bought myself a laptop and a high end amateur camera, a bus ticket to Arizona and left for the start of a 3 month trip to visit friends and family.

I spent 10 days with a dear friend in Phoenix, 2 weeks with my father and his family in Webster, NY right on Lake Ontario #bliss, and 2 months with my mother in Massachusetts. I took the train back to Los Angeles in late October.

I stayed with a friend and saved money while working virtually as a Project Manager for a firm in Dallas and building websites.

The rental market in my area had lost it’s mind and as I looked for a place to call my own it was clear that my rent would be more than I wanted to pay, so I found a room to rent in a great house nearby. My new “host” aka roommate was a great woman in her 50s and it was a very comfortable, peaceful, fun place to call *home*.

Is a person who rents a room in a house homeless? Not by the HUD definition.

NOMAD LIFESTYLE vs. HOMELESSNESS

no·mad: a person who does not stay long in the same place; a wanderer.
What is the line of demarcation between Nomad and a homeless person? The line could be fine for some. I guess it depends on perspective and also a bit on perception.

I cannot consider myself homeless while traveling with my $1500 of electronic equipment and knowing that I have a room waiting to be rented by me upon my return to Los Angeles. It feels quite disrespectful of the plight of homelessness and the suffering that many experience.

Homelessness is not a choice.

I made a choice to live this way. My priority is seeing loved ones and seeing the country/world. I make enough money that I could get my own lace, but I don’t have to in order to be safe, dry, fed, comfortable and even live in a way maybe yearn for.

How many folks you know who own houses or pay rent and work 9 to 5 can take off for 3 months and travel? Not many I would imagine!

If I had $10 for every time a person said, “Must be nice to have the freedom/money to just travel.” Those are some of the same folks who call me homeless to my face or behind my back. Ponder that for a minute.

SO WHAT AM I?

N.

1.one without a home who moves around or travels freely without ties holding them back.

2.a constant or full-time traveler

I am a DIGITAL NOMAD.

More on this in my next blog post.

My Greyhound Bus Blythe CA on way to Phoenix

A Bus Through the Desert

This post is late, like 3 weeks late. I’m sorry. Trying to get you all caught up on my journey!

The trip has been intense in wonderful ways since I hopped on the bus from Los Angeles to Phoenix.

Video of leaving Los Angeles Greyhound Station https://instagram.com/p/6Ju5B_QsMo/

My Greyhound Bus Blythe CA on way to Phoenix
My Greyhound Bus Blythe CA on way to Phoenix

When I had the first thoughts of taking this trip, I did some research on taking the train. Honestly, the train tickets for the trip I originally planned would have been over $700 and that did not include a way to get back to NoHo. That was beyond the budget I wanted to spend on the actual mode of transport. So, when I saw that the whole trip would only cost $600, including a flight home, if I took buses the whole way, I planned a cross-country bus journey.

Blythe CA on way to Phoenix
Blythe CA on way to Phoenix

What was interesting was to find that hardly anyone was documenting a bus journey anywhere in the United States. Bus travel has a stigma. The legend: it’s cramped, dirty, smelly, full of rude people, bathrooms are disgusting(yah..more on that below).

In the real world, those things *can* be true. There are certain part of the U.S. where buses are a bit sketchy and admittedly, fellow passengers are not always shiny happy people. However, my past and present experiences on buses have been lovely and I have met really fun and interesting folks.

Video of California Desert: https://instagram.com/p/6JuxCAwsMb/

Sunset on Back of Truck on route to Phoenix in AZ Desert

On the trip, which is nearly 8 hours, from LA to Phoenix the guy in the seat behind me was an Irish man(I will call him James) in his mid 50s(ish). He was, by admission, a bit of a vagabond at this point in his life. Going from place to place, just getting by. On this journey he was going all the way to Pensacola, Florida to investigate a friend’s disappearance.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† My Seat Neighbor ‘James’

Friend with Story on his way to Florida
My Seat Neighbor James

James was fun to talk to and had tons of interesting stories. He told me that he has this friend who he had a phone and email connection with. They were dear close buddies. He had been planning to ride bike/walk the Appalachian trail while he was still young enough to do so. So, he reached out to his buddy in FL to see if they could meet in person. He could not reach him, then one day received a text message from an unfamiliar phone number. “Hi, I am Tom’s caregiver while he is sick. This is not his phone number.” That…was all.

James and another friend texted and called that phone to no avail. So, James decided to get on the Greyhound and trek down to Pensacola and start with the Police, then go from there, to try to track down his friend. He knew his bud lived in a trailer park, but no other details.

I sit here 4 weeks later wondering if James found his friend. I have James’ email. Maybe I will drop him a note.

Meeting James made the 8 hour trip go by very quickly and we had lots to talk about. I had my seat to myself and aside from the one woman who stayed on her cell phone talking to people the entire time, there was no other real annoyance the whole ride.

                                        In Which Van Hunt Tweets Me

In Which Van Hunt Tweets me

                                                               Bus Bathrooms

I did NOT use the bathroom on this bus. Bus bathrooms really do gross me out. In fact, this may be TMI but on a later bus journey from Phoenix to Rochester, NY I did not poop for 3 days. I think my system slowed down processing the food I ate because psychologically I willed it. I wonder if others who travel a lot by bus or train have similar things happen.

Arizona Desert Clouds
Arizona Desert Clouds

On this journey, I have decided that bus and train travel are so easy to do and that I have enjoy them so much(especially the train) that I plan to travel by bus at least every 3 months to someplace. San Francisco and Vegas are on my list for a Winter trip. Maybe for a few days each. I was hermitting for years in my little apartment and pining for travel. What was I thinking? I commit to hoping on more multi-wheeled vehicles and spreading my wings more when I return to North Hollywood.

Have you traveled much by bus? Where, when and what was your experience?

More photos and videos here on Instagram: https://instagram.com/iheartnoho/

Phoenix is Burnin Up: Hot Hot Redux

Today is my last day in Phoneix. It is 117* here today. I will actually be out and about with my friends. I like the heat. It’s real intense but there is something cleansing about it. Can’t put my finger on it.

IMG_0088

I hop on a bus to Rochester, NY late tonight. I have a 2 hour layover in St Louis on Monday at lunchtime. anyone local want to have BBQ with me? grin emoticon

Look for a blog post later today about this stop on my journey. I will also tell ya’ll why I will NOT be going to New Orleans. *sigh*

When others do not wish you well on your journey

Tatyanna ponderingI wonder if other travelers have times when they are planning their journey and some folks just do not wish them well or support their choices. It often surprises me when one adult cannot fathom that another adult may decide to do things they would never do, are afraid to do or don’t have the freedom to embark on. What could be the motivation for a person to actively attempt to put a wrench in the works of another’s efforts?

So many of my friends and clients have been supportive, flexible and understanding. I truly appreciate every one of them. The one devil’s advocate in my life, after learning of my decision to take this journey, quickly realized his reservations about my trip were¬†disregarding my ability to make my own choices and he became a huge support. I love and appreciate him for all of it.

Direction of your dreamsThis is not a game and I am not typing from my own safe space anymore.¬† Continue reading “When others do not wish you well on your journey”

Dunwich or Bust

Tatyanna in HollywoodBucket List: Travel to a new location every year for the rest of my life. I am now 47 and it has been a few years since I have done this. The time has come to get on the bus, literally, and start a new adventure.

On saturday August 7th I depart for Phoenix, New Orleans, Atlanta, D.C., Rochester New York, Springfield, MA and Tampa Florida then fly back to Los Angeles from New York City at the end of September.

Continue reading “Dunwich or Bust”