by Charles DiBella
Quick news summary ...
for students, friends and onlookers.
Part One - Introduction
I'm considered a technomad, or a high-tech nomad. A technomad is someone without a long term residence, yet with the freedom to explore, travel and work anywhere. More specifically, I am an independent Linux systems administrator involved with several international business ventures, as well as a mentor and teacher.
I have very few possessions, only that which I can carry on a bicycle, yet the possessions I carry are well chosen to bring comfort, convenience, utility and productivity while on the road or when retreating off-grid and deep into nature.
As a prepper and minimalist, I began bicycle touring during the late 1990's, and moved away from the United States to Southeast Asia in 2007.
After 10+ years of mentoring university level students in Southeast Asia, my recumbent touring bicycle of 17 years was stolen in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
My life disrupted from the theft, I departed Phnom Penh in January of 2018 without a bicycle. My plan was to fly into Singapore and then onward to Athens, Greece where I would buy another bicycle and then tour Europe.
In Athens, I scouted round for a good used bike, but eventually opted to take a bus north to Albania. Prices for second-hand bicycles were somewhat lower in Tirana, the capital. I found a greater selection, and I was able to buy a very good second-hand Peugeot touring bike.
After touring beautiful Albania for several months, I took a ferry across the Adriadic Sea to continue my bicycle tour through Italy.
From Firenze, Italy, I took a bus over the Alps to arrive in Prague, Czech Republic. That was the only time I ever put my bicycle on overland transport.
I ventured into Poland some, crossed Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, United Kingdom, Portugal, Gibralter and Spain.
In all I enjoyed 12 months touring Europe on a budget of about 150 USD per month. Each night was wild (stealth) camping, never staying in hotels or hostels. I did not stop in cafes or restaurants either, brewing my own expresso each morning and always shopping for basic food supplies at grocery stores.
This sort of solitary, simplistic, nomadic living is understandably not for everyone. I enjoy the challenge and adventure of international off-grid living on a budget while stategically employing modern satellite and network communications technology.
I mentor several youths, and teach this way of life to others, most of whom now live in Southeast Asia. Whenever I am encouraged, I will attempt to persuade others around the world to drop out of the rat race and to construct for themselves a similar, low-impact lifestyle.
If you've ever dreamed of enjoying a life of independent travel, here are my five basic understandings you'll need for success. Nothing else is required but the desire and will to move forward.
1. Time - it may sound simple, but if you don't have the time or inclination to leave family, friends, possessions and previous life behind, the technomad way of life will not happen for you.
2. Determination - sounds simple again, but your spirit will be severely tested with the rain, cold, wind, heat and hills. Unless you're carrying a heavy load (too much stuff), you will inevitably suffer from an initial lack of preparedness. Time and determination together equal persistence. You'll need to persist until you learn what you're doing and what to carry to make your life on the road comfortable. Items 1 and 2 are critical for success, and that's why they're listed first.
3. Equipment - at first it may seem a simple matter to buy everything you'll think you need, but that's not the true test of whether or not something will be useful and worth carrying up and down mountains. Knowing exactly what to carry and why is a personal skill developed only through years of trial and error. To lighten your load, you'll want to be a minimalist, so much of what you carry will have multiple purposes.
4. Courage and Self-contentment - if you're the sort of person who tends to need others around to find security, fulfillment, or for diversion and entertainment, a technomad life such as this will not work for you. Good partners are difficult to find.
5. Money - it's not about having deep pockets, a bunch of money, or even a steady income. You will need some cash in your pocket and the means to transact online. Once you're fully outfitted, it's quite easy to live on very little cash when you know the tricks. That type of knowledge only comes through personal day-to-day experience. Airfare and ferry tickets are my biggest expense, but I buy discounted tickets and keep such expenditures to a minimum.
After one full year in Europe, I arrived in Los Angeles, California from Madrid, Spain on January 25th, 2019. I had been absent from USA for nearly 12 years.
At present I am near Socorro, New Mexico, enjoying the Rio Grande Valley before continuing my ride east. I am considering the route below to cross the remainder of the United States.
If the embedded map below is not available,
try this direct link.
For those interested in daily life, routes and geo-coordinates of campsites, a realtime photo journal and archive is located here.
The photo journal link above uses the messaging application called 'telegram', which is available for all devices at www.telegram.org
Since some won't install the 'telegram' messaging application, I've downloaded a partial history of my photo journal and made it available here:
January 2018 to June 2018
June 2018 to April 2019
If you have questions or are serious enough to prefer direct mentoring, write Charles at the gmail address below.
hopiland (@) gmail.com
Send a direct message through telegram.
End of Part One
Part Two - Beyond Curiosity
Part Two of this webpage is for those adventure seekers who dream of enjoying a similar lifestyle, specifically those who acknowledge the five basic understandings above, and who want to learn more about specifics so they may begin their own journey forward.
With your help, my intention is to mold the www.bikepaths.org domain into an open information exchange platform for like-minded technomads to meet and share information related to creating or living their own unique lifestyle.
First, if at present you live as a technomad, that is, you enjoy a solitary, independent, self-sufficient and fully self-contained lifestyle on a bicycle, I want to link your website or social networking page to www.bikepaths.org so we may begin gathering a new online community.
Send me an email or telegram and introduce yourself!
Secondly, I want to mentor and encourage any individual who has the time and inclination, young or old, male or female, disabled or not, to begin the shift toward the technomad way of life.
Here we will dig deeper into my philosophy of teaching independent living, and to begin, I will discuss dreams, desires, motivation, health and disabilities.
I mentioned time and determination above, which together equal persistence, but even before persistence, we must dream and desire.
Such general truths or rules for accomplishment work not only for becoming a long distance cyclist, but will work for most any dream we have in life. If you can pedal a bicycle around the world, you will soon realize you can do most anything else you desire.
To dream alone is not enough. We must believe in our dream, that is, we must believe it is possible to accomplish our dream. Our belief must be firm even when we're not sure of the path we must take to get there. In addition to dreaming and believing, we must possess the desire and motivation to proceed, to turn thoughts into action.
Desire and motivation are closely related. In the final analysis we must want to accomplish our dream, and such wanting is what we call desire. Desire, like motivation, is intrinsic to our being; it cannot be imparted to us from an outside source. For whatever reason, desire and motivation must spring forth from within our spirit.
Often we are motivated to take action because we want to improve our day-to-day situation. Basically, we become sick and tired of our present situation, then muster up the courage and motivation needed to escape or move beyond our present way of life into something new and different.
For many, lifestyle changes happen by default, but for some, they happen by design. Whatever your lifestyle situation, or wherever you're trying to get to or escape from, your focus should be on becoming a technomad by design. The key difference is intent.
I am 63 years old and disable in several ways. When I was much younger, I suffered a compound fracture of my right femur, which resulted in a short and crooked leg, along with a bad knee and ankle. I am prone to diabetes, and when living and working indoors, tend to grow fat and lazy quickly.
For 17 years I rode a recumbent bicycle, and only recently made the switch to a regular diamond frame bicycle. With my aches, pains and laziness, I did not imagine I could make the switch without great consternation, but the change was forced upon me, happening out of necessity.
If you have disabilities or health issues, I fully understand, yet if you sincerely desire change, there are solutions. Your body is continually regenerating itself. If you still have breath and a heart beat, it remains possible to improve your health and compensate for disabilities.
For some, a recumbent trike is a real possibility. Having lived and toured on a recumbent bike for many years, I've become quite knowledgeable with the various designs, features and costs. I will be happy to discuss with you the pros and cons, as well as your various options.
Many in western societies today are overweight and suffer with related health issues. Living a natural life in the great outdoors with ample sunlight, fresh air and gentle daily exercise is often the key factor in once and for all bringing such issues under control.
Over the years, I've found there to be a simple and natural solution for most all ailments, including depression, lack of motivation, and hyper-sensitivities.
No one wants to be miserable. Good physical health and bubbling vitality is our greatest and most valued asset.
We may have satisfying work and family life, hundreds of thousands in assets, possessions far beyond our childhood dreams, but without the mobility and quality of life that only good physical health affords, absolutely every other material thing pales in comparison.