Starting Down My Own Road

The state I’ve called home for my entire life, Massachusetts. By the end of July I will be on my way to the 49th state of, The United States. This is baby steps for me. I’ve never

Random lake in Alaska

been on a plane, never been that high before, and I’ve never left the eastern seaboard! It’s full of firsts and it’s incredibly exciting!

Like I said, I’ve lived in Massachusetts all my life. And while I will always call it home, it’s time for me to go. As a new friend of mine put it, “it’s like hopping a ride on a train and realizing you have to get off while it’s still moving, standing at the edge of the car, watching the world zip past, knowing when you hit the ground, it’s probably going to hurt. But in your heart, you know i

f you get to the next stop, you’ll probably get busted for hopping the train”. He couldn’t have been anymore correct! I feel like there is this fire in me

and sitting around here isn’t going to help if it’s not where I want to be!

My home is full of family, friends and many, many acquaintances. They are apart of me as much as I’m a part of them. I will miss every moment we’ve had together

but it’s not about them. It’s about me, and my ambitions. I have to do this for me, I need to take the first step out there. Really get to experience life in a new climate, new atmosphere and some new culture!

Alaska, she’s like a high school girl. Wicked pretty, but cold, harsh, ridged, and demanding. I can’t friggan’ wait! Maybe that was a bad analogie, but i couldn’t be bothered otherwise I’m excited! To finally pack it all up, live the life I feel I’m destined too! Shoot, maybe even get over my fear of heights!

I say it’s baby steps because well, I have a place to stay already. You see, I have family up there, most of which I haven’t met. All of em’ are thrilled to have me, and excited to see their weird cousin from all the way east. I’ve met my uncles in person. they came down to visit a few times before, it’s very sporadic so it’s going to be really nice to be able to spend some real, quality time with em! Ha, ha! As I’m writing this I just got the news that my Uncle told the rest of the crew up north, that I was coming!

It’s real, it’s really gonna happen! No turning back now! Going for it, none can change my mind!

It’s All Because of You

I’ve taken the name Vagabond John but for the last 2 weeks that I’ve had that name/blog I haven’t honestly shed any light on future plans, or at least living up to the name. I wanted to take a second for you guys to get to know who John is before I explain some of my plans for you. My name is John Robert Bizzarro. I’ve lived about 5-10 miles from the city of Boston all of my life. I have a pretty average life. Filled with pretty extraordinary people.

My mother and father split when I was younger, around the age of 1. We didn’t have it easy but then again if we did I probably wouldn’t be writing this story that you’re about to read. My mother is my inspiration to live. she doesn’t believe in a lot of the things I do. But the values shes passed down to me are worth their weight in gold. I grew up in a shelter. It was my mother my sister Julia and I. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it could have been for my ma. (Yeah I call her ma) Being young and naive to anything but good or bad. Yummy or icky, how was I supposed to know about her going to school, working full time and raising two children by herself. All I remember was playing outside in the little plastic Playschool kitchen things with my sister eating gummy bears. I remember when we finally got our new apartment. Man it was great, there was even a park in the back yard! Life then wasn’t always cupcakes and unicorns then either.

As much as it sucked to watch my mothers boyfriends come and go like the seasons I can only now imagine how she must have felt. Alone, with two brats bills, going to school, and working. The one thing I remember she did have was amazing friends. They were always there for her and even us kids! They know who they are and I’m not at liberty to spill to many names over the internet 🙂 I can tell you with all honesty they were some of the best, most love, caring, crazy, bewitching, talented, and completely cool people I’ve ever met and still to this day have the incredible honor of keeping in touch with.

Asides from a few major life events like getting two broken legs to getting our house broken into a handful of times. To walking my mom down the isle at her wedding, life seems to be pretty normal. Well, as normal as any American family can hope for. Right? We have plenty of good times. Same goes for heartaches and bad tempers. But were all family, we’ve always stuck together.

I must admit I am feeling especially more sentimental partially because of mothers day tomorrow, and partially because of my plans I will be sharing with you in a little bit.

you know, family is something that’s always been important to me. Longing for this life style you realize you end up sacrificing a lot. Weather it’s friends, relationships, “Stuff”, or family.You will always have your family, but at the same time you won’t. It’s a conflicting thing to say but it’s never been more true. When you choose to be a vagabond, wanderer, nomad or what ever you call yourself, a huge amount of sacrifice goes into it. I think I’m ready though. Once I understood how much these people, my mother especially- sacrificed for me and my sister, I can could so do the same.

Comparing the two seems like comparing apples to oranges. But what I’m actually comparing is her strength, courage, and determination. Those core values have always been a part of me. I’ve witnessed them at an early age. It literally has grown on me and with me for the 20 something years I’ve been alive. Without that in my life, I don’t think I would have EVER come to this realization.

With my mothers grit determination and independence is where I give credit for my insatiable desire to travel. To challenge myself and live my life to the fullest. I want to be able to see things in this world that most of my family has never seen. I want to go to places you only read about or see in National Geographic. I want to taste the food, immerse myself in the culture. As I’ve said before, there is nothing wrong with being an American, but there is something wrong with following it’s values.

Growing up it seems we start to lose that childhood wonder. That feeling you get, that unexplainable rush when you accomplish something you never thought possible. To truly explore. Or even to push yourself out of the shell you wrapped your life in so tightly. It’s on these principles and ideas that harbor my motives. It’s with these thoughts that I seek to venture out of what’s known, to risk it all on well, what ever the world has to offer.

If you look hard enough you will get a clue as to where my destination is. Don’t look to hard though. It might bite you in the nose. If you guess it right i’ll tag you.

 

Promises

Putting my self in the right state of mind has been difficult, as illustrated in my previous posts. It’s something that is going to have to take time and care. I’m trying to keep it positive but It’s exciting, and new -so naturally I’m going to be worried about it. I want to just let go of all that and embrace it for what it is. I’m going to help people, change lives -including my own. See new faces, make new friends, experience new cultures. I can take so much from them while giving something back at the same time. It seems very symbiotic to me.

I have so many distractions at home to try and stay on task. Money, food, stuff -it’s all cluttering my brain. I need to limit some things. A few simple steps I’m working on and I’m not sure if this is going in the right direction, or it’s just silly. I’m trying to get in the right state of mind here are a few things I’m doing to prepare for that.

Food Preparation:

Recently I’ve been branching out from the “normal American diet”, which consists of foods with so much crap in them like, frozen meals to cereals, even the condiments. Instead I’ve been making a conscious effort to eat fruits and veggies when ever available. I only drink water and tea so that’s no problem. Lot’s of brown or field rice with beans. I’m planning on expanding to fish, it’s not my favorite, but if it can keep me alive and it’s all that’s available. I guess I better suck it up! Who knows I might enjoy it.

The Stuff:

So. I’ve got so much junk.I just take a quick sweep around my room, I got posters and other wall objects. I have a T.V. I hardly use and when I do it’s for video games THAT I HARDLY USE. I’ve got books that I’ve read trinkets from my favorite sports teams. Board games. Clothing I NEVER wear. Bag’s and shoes and the list goes on of all the stuff I have in my room alone, that I could get rid of and never miss it. I’ve read lot’s of blogs. Scrolled through so many hours of articles and realize I AM better off getting rid of this stuff. It’s cluttering my brain, and it’s such a distraction. To get rid of it so I’m left with clothes that I wear, a few small items that mean a lot to me and something to pack it all up in.

This Blog:

Believe it or not, I count on this blog like I count on walking around if I had no legs. It IS my crutch. If I didn’t have it, if I never wrote down all these ideas in a very social way, then I feel I would never do it and it would be just another project for me to never get to fruition. It gives me time to reflect, to stop and think and take note as it’s happening. I do so enjoy letting my feelings and what I’m thinking fly out onto the screen and let my friends and family see. Not every day do you get to talk with everyone. What better way for someone to really get to know you than to follow their blog posts, or rambling thoughts on a world gone awry.

I’ve made a conviction, a promise to myself that I will see this through. As a man who’s never left the eastern seaboard of the USA, I have such a naive sense of wonder. I want to explore, to be, to see and to help. We, in my mind are all bound by one thing. We’re all humans, each deserving the same respect to others regardless of status, creed, race, ethnicity, culture. I’m and American, but I’m a Human Being first and foremost.

Just serching for an answer

So many times a day I seem to question my self. Most of it on my life choices. Things I’ve done, and things I’d like to set into motion. The most troubling part of it all is not knowing what the future may hold. I get told a lot how it’s the opposite, and that not knowing is beautiful and can be “so surprising, but in a good way!” If that’s true, why do I allow my self to think in this way? Why don’t I just let go? I’m afraid. It’s plain to see now. I dwell on so many fears that I question my past and try to rectify everything for the future. Sadly it usually has the adverse effect. I end up changing my past and questioning my future.

I’m afraid of a host of different things. From heights, to being alone. To taking off my shirt, or being embarrassed. Maybe the thing I lack is confidence in myself. Or maybe I think to much about it. You see, I feel I’m fighting myself for a reason -unbeknown to me. Could it be anxiety? No, surely not that! I can be confident in myself. In fact, when in a group sometimes I keep to myself because I’m feeling confident, not afraid. It’s strange but I don’t know where to turn for help with this. I’d like to get over what ever problem I’m having but not sure how to even be diagnosed! Perhaps I’m completely normal. Maybe I need a change of scenery? Maybe I need to stop questioning my self? Yeah, like that!

I’m just searching for answers to problem’s -I’m sure I can fix on my own. Weather I’ll be accepting of them or not remains to be seen. God, I’m a walking contradiction. Can someone please slap me back to reality, this isn’t me at all.

The Peace Corps

Everyone has their own rhyme and reason for wanting to travel. Mine just comes at an interesting crossroad of self realization. You see I’ve always had a fascination with the world around me. It’s people, diverse cultures, communal structures and their history. The other day at work I sat down for my 15 minute break, got out my carrots and snap peas and had bought a small bar of chocolate (my vice). And for one reason or another it all just completely hit me. “We have it so damn easy”! Most problems in The U.S. just stared to seem so superficial to those of other countries. I actually had the luxury to go over to a little store and buy my food. That simply does not happen for millions of people around the world. People are going hungry every day. Sure, you could argue that people do as well in the U.S. but it’s not a majority.

I’ve never felt so helpless in my life. At that moment the old saying everyone’s parents used to tell them, popped into my head, “Finish your food, there are starving kids in Africa who don’t have any!” That has always stuck with me. It’s resonated for sure. I see and understand how wasteful of a country this is, yet we let people die of starvation here: on our own door step.

So as I was about to throw away the rest of my veggies, I stopped turned back around and finished them. I vowed from then on to always finish my meals and eat much smaller portions. Maybe it’s me mentally being a part of some pseudo protest. But I figure if people get by with little to nothing. So can I. It’s all part of my positive out look towards the whole situation. It’s me trying to get out of my comfort zone and mentally prepare myself for potentially, whats next to come.

I have come to realize that every day, something hits me from no-where. Everything I’ve done in my life seems to be so meaningless, for example. Compare anything I’ve truly “accomplished” to what has the potential to be done and it’s just silly! Can you really compare helping out a farm in Thailand to better the people and community of that country to going to work every day? Maybe only in America. Well not this American! The wool over my eyes has been tugged at long enough. Finally I’ve reached for it and pulled it away. The trials and tribulations of American life is so overplayed here. But before anyone says I don’t have the pride of my country, that’s simply just false. The premise on which it was founded. “Just and Liberty for all” should resonate in everyone, everywhere around the world. But my country has become to far gone. The culture, the way society is driven by corporations and business. With the people at the top of the money-chain, pulling all the strings. It infuriates me! Calming down now…

I favor humanity over the country of origin. I favor the human spirit over greed and corporate consumerism. We are all a people of this world, brothers and sisters. I a fellow being, support life. Not just human, but All Life. We have only one planet and we share it. I feel the only way -currently, I feel I can truly make a difference, is to Volunteer Abroad. To help those that need it and only ask for a brother’s or sister’s hand. Nations that need love, and someone to lift some burden off of them.Which is why I decided to join the Peace Corps. They have a 10 Core Expectations list, that directly correlates to who I am. currently I’m in the process of fleshing out 2 essays and then sending in my application. Wish me luck!

Everyday I build confidence in the fact that this can change the lives of so many people. Including my own.

New mentality.

As i’ve read in other blog the negativity from friends and family have arisen. Explaining it to most they see little benefit in it. When I explain i’m going to change my life, I get nothing but backlash. They don’t understand. And already i’m not sure I want to MAKE them. It’s hard to do things. A lot of the other articles i’ve read, the countless stories i’ve heard- they all speak of how difficult it is to convince everyone else of your plans. The best advice they could give is, “Just go”.

I recently was talking to a friend about my ideas -as that is all they are at this point: ideas. He told me “You always have ideas, but you never put your money where your mouth is. What makes this different?” And it got me thinking, “How is it different? Am I just doing what I always do? Say I want to do something and just never accomplish it?”. I have convinced my self of so many things in the past. And I was dead set on them, 110% sure! But they never came to fruition. What makes this different?

The more I think about it the more i seem to realize, I never had a strong support for any of those half-assed, plans of mine. No one has ever truly been so positive in my life that it’s convinced me what I wanted to do was right! So I sat down with my self, pencil and paper- and began to write. Not for this blog but to write out my thoughts, my ideas. I started to actually diss-believe myself. Is a bucket list just a dream? More wishful thinking?

Just when I already, so soon in my fascination with this, wanted to give up I told my self no. I found the motivation I needed all along. My Self. I don’t need other people to tell me I can’t do things. Who are they to determine my life, and the way I so choose to spend my days? And who is anyone to judge anyone else. We are all human, we all have one life. Why is there so much negativity? Animosity? Hostility at times. I don’t know, but for the first time in my life. I feel I can make a difference. I truly and honestly believe that I my self, can change this world. I can honestly do something good for others. I’ll never know why it took me so long to figure it out. I guess I have to thank those that always discouraged me. the non-believers and those who think that just keeping to yourself is the way to live. Not me. I won’t. I refuse to let myself down again. I’m proud of my self!

I take a deep breath. A shiver runs down my spine. I look out the window in front of my room. All I can see is a cloudy sky and cable wires. Some trees in the distance. But one thing stands out. this one bush in front of my window. It’s growing really well. It has come back from all sorts of diseases. That’s not what shocks me the most. The plant has been moved to different locations around the house. and yet it lives. It lives under a tall tree and it’s thriving! I feel like I have some kind of weird connection with this bush. Yes I know, I’m starting to sound completely insane. But If this little shrub can be beaten up, moved all over, be stuck under a huge barrier and still thrive for years. So can I.