Man, I thought this whole keeping a "travel blog" thing would be a piece of cake, but it has proven to be far too difficult to remember that it still exists! Plus, I suppose I've always found the whole blog thing, you know, the act of sitting in front of a computer and talking about yourself the whole time, to be a little too.. self serving? Sort of like I'm singing with a cordless microphone in front of a mirror, all alone? I guess that's what my art is, too, but at least the art is a little ambiguous. A travel blog is not. Also, it's so hard to remember to try and take one measly picture here and there when thrown head first into these overwhelming new and alien environments. So, sorry mom for slacking. Anyway, before I begin to work on a long overdue string of more recent adventure posts, I think I should go ahead and quickly explain here that I have officially moved out of my car, Hot Daniel, and downsized into a backpack this May of 2018. This past year has been a wonderful experience exploring the states, and I'll try and touch back later down the line on some more specific (and oh so special) places I've landed over the past year. But for now, I need to catch up on some more recent adventures before my head falls off and it all escapes me into the abyss.
So, here's the situation:
This past year has also been a rather successful experiment with seeing just how possible it is to be a freelance illustrator and gallery artist living on the road. My entire income was solely dependent on the art I created and sold, but it was also mostly possible because of my hobo standards of living. I want to make this very clear, due to some recent inquiries from other artists who are wondering about the whole "artist living on the road" thing. My living standards are... low. So, I just want to make it known that this whole thing isn't really on par with any sort of romanticized notion I may have unintentionally eluded to. Every day is in some way very uncomfortable, cramped, lonesome, crowded, and always difficult. But it's also rewarding, beautiful and so wonderful in many different ways. Now, I was able to travel non-stop due to a vast range of opportunities that allowed me to afford this constant mode of exploring, all starting with a traveling artist residency (that helped to heavily inspire me), and from there, ranging from a variety of work exchanges, housesitting, camping, and live-in art commissions I was so fortunate to be able to do! I can also account for a few days here and there with some amazing couchsurfing experiences and even the times I slept in my car (all which were extremely awesome experiences, always in their own very unique and special ways, believe it or not!). Regardless of my method, it was always important to also make a point of staying with or meeting locals of that new area I traveled to, and though the places were always great and wonderful, I believe that it's always the individuals you meet along the way that truly resonate with you in the end, and make the place all the more special.
So, to fast forward to now, I have drastically downsized my belongings to a single bag (as well as the amount and the type of art materials I can now use), and have decided to go and give this traveling artist thing a new and challenging twist by leaving America. I will now be going to Iceland first for a couple of weeks or so, and then off to the rest of Europe. I only chose the first handful of my upcoming destinations solely based off the cost of the plane and bus ticket, as well as availability of affordable accommodations or work exchanges I can find. I think adventure awaits in all four corners of the world, and I'd like to take my time to try and see it all with no rush to any specific place in particular. But I'm going to do it with my hobo artists mindset, and hopefully find a way to make it all work. So, if there's anyone out there who's reading this, you're always welcome to contact me if I'm in your part of the world, and we can perhaps meet up for a drink. Or ice cream!