The French call one who wanders from place to place with out any apparent home a vagabond. I like the sound of that better than the English version: hobo, dawdler, loiterer or bum. Although we had closed up our home in Alabama, and put our jobs on hold for six months, I don’t believe we could call ourselves card-carrying Vagabonds. Though we didn’t always know where we were going, we always knew where we would eventually end up.
If we have to be ‘labeled,’ I almost prefer ‘hobo’ over ‘tourist.’ It was never our intention to merely be sightseers. We lollygagged ourselves into places the normal tourist probably wouldn’t have chosen, not necessarily just to see or photograph highlights, but to actually meet the people who carved out their homes in those communities and hear their stories.
We talked to strangers – which is a lot easier to do when you carry your bag of funny kids who don’t mind chiming in. The kindness of the Southeast Asian people had spoiled our family, but made us each more resilient to any curt Parisian responses. And it’s a great lesson to teach your kids that: everyday is not a great day to everyone. Dr. Seuss said: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
And when we ran out of people to talk to, we could always rely on our ‘fellow moseyers,’ built-in buddies.