Dandelion's European Pilgrimage
Howzit spirit fam?
As many of you know, I have been living in Hawaii for the past 9 months, teaching special ed math at a charter school in a rural district on the Big Island.
My sister Kaitlyn was recently married to a lovely Portuguese fellow named Bruno and I have decided to embrace the unknown and join them for their celebration in Lisbon, Portugal.
I took the little money I had saved and put it all toward a multi-destination ticket: Chicago to Lisbon on Monday, June 1st and Amsterdam to Hilo, on Wednesday July 29th. It cost me $1,758.30.
In between these two points on the map, the unknown awaits. I have no definite itinerary and am offering my gifts, stories, and experience wherever the wind blows. In Hawaii, we call this cruising. Letting go of expectation or plans, and moving freely and in the moment, at your own speed.
Learning to love mystery instead of fearing it allows me to be strong in my vulnerability. It has taken a lot of practice to jump into uncertainty!
I am offering a chance to support a nobel adventure in the art of hospitality. So many times I've hosted travelers and been blessed by the gift of giving. I also have recieved more generosity that can ever be repaid from the hospitality of countless hosts. If you are so inclined, please join me in this grand experiment.
It's been a whirlwind of movement since I left Belfast nearly a week and a half ago. Glasgow, Manchester, and now Bristol have been delightful stepping stones on my southward crawl to Sommerset, England, where I will stay and garden in a rural location to prepare my journey into France and beyond.
More and more, my dreams are building into my music: sharing on the street, in open mics, impromptu sessions, and the occasional big gig. I now have a small mic to clip in my beard so I needn't push my voice so much when I am singing to pedestrians.
It's not cheap here in the UK, with an exchange rate of $1.45 to £1. I'm resourceful and living cheaply as always, but I could use your help and encouragement. My goal is to raise some funds to press some copies of my new CD to have a bit of merchandise to exchange with patrons. I hear I can get 100 units for about £100 with artwork included.
If you are inclined to support my exploration as a wayward traveling transnational elven bard, please consider making a small donation to my artistic and professional development!
Thanks for encouraging my dream!
Hello from Glasgow, Scotland!
New Year's has come and gone. I'm still on this endless quest that's shaping into quite the challenge for my entrepreneurial self-motivation.
Traveling slowly as an obscure musical artist and work-trade volunteer has been a rewarding and taxing experience. I've learned a lot about myself, boundaries, and the shadow that comes out when I am close with people.
This work has inspired me to share less, and work more quietly on my dreams, with focus and precision. A bit of daily office work has become part of my daily routine, along with chores to earn my keep, and playing songs in the streets and pubs to make new connections.
I am excited to be moving a bit more quickly for a spell. After that, France, Italy, and the Baltic region are gleaming, with the east and teaching English in Asia as a potential for future work.
If you are compelled to give a donation to support this program of discovery, please consider a donation to support a humble bard on his musical journey!
Belfast is cold and rainy most days, with sunset happening earlier and earlier. With dark falling around 4:30 pm, every precious moment of sunshine is appreciated.
The past two weeks I've been scrubbing showers and toilets, changing linens and sweeping floors to earn my keep at a local hostel. Between the chores and constant traffic of travelers from Australia, France, UK, USA, China, Spain, and Germany, there's little time to be alone. If I want to be alone I walk the slick wet streets to the Botanic Garden or City Center, but people are everywhere usually enough. There's a solid community of musicians here in Belfast and I've been warmly received with my songs by them.
With the year winding down and Solstice approaching, I'm feeling grateful for all I've experienced in the past year. The last six months, by the grace of faeries, ancestors, random kind angels, generous donors online, and the Supreme Being, I've made my way across Europe with a meager budget of around $2000.
Hawaii, Kansas City, Chicago, Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, England and Ireland (North and South) have shown me so many beautiful and sorrowful things about this world. And I'm not done yet, not by a long shot. Next Year is a cloud of hopeful mystery that promises more learning, growing, and sharing.
Currently I'm getting my plans set for music touring extensively in 2016. I've had lots of positive feedback from the folks I've met on the trail, and it's now time to turn my explorations into a full on artistic vocation.
It hasn't been an easy journey for me. Living day to day without the legal ability to work in foreign lands, forging relationships with tenuous ties due to their temporary visa-restricted time frames, being vulnerable to the low sunlight and seasonal depression that fills my mind with dread about all the bureaucratic loose ends that haunt me...all these things create an aura of stress that permeates many unsound sleeps. Needless to say, my feelings of solidarity with Syrian refugees and Mexican migrant workers had increased by loads!
If you are in the Christmas/Solstice/Chanukah cheer and would like to be a patron of my endeavor, if you are able to live vicariously through my ups and downs through the pictures, videos, songs, and writings I've shared, if you would like to see some more of what I'm up to in my increasingly quieter news feed... Please consider a charitable donation to my bardic quest.
There is a palpable difference to this place, under the dominion of Queen and the £ supreme. The people are kind and the music is good craic. I am once again set into the unknown to make some sense of this world and its mental categories and divisions.
Being on the road for so long has been wearing on me as of late. The inability to work in a foreign land is an obstacle that skirts my periphery regularly. I have much empathy for those migrant workers in the US and other lands who are relegated to invisible underclass lives, full of exploitation and paranoia, having done nothing wrong but the crime of not having a piece of paper with their name and a number assigned by a bureaucrat.
Having this experience allows me to take a wee step outside of my privilege and develop greater empathy and understanding for what refugees and migrants experience to a far more painful degree.
There's a stronger urge to quiet myself and the sharing of my travels. It feels brash and bold to display my life on the Internet, when there are shootings, bombings, missile volleys, drone attacks, and countless other misfortunes that require attention and financial support.
Even so, I know also that my adventure offers value to some of my friends out there. I've got some lovely photos of the Giant's Causeway that I'm waiting to share.
If you have been enjoying the glimpses into my travels, if you have some Christmas or Saturnalia cheer to bestow upon a wandering bard, if you find value in what I am doing in the midst of all the chaos and unsettling global catastrophe: please consider a small donation to my travel fund.