I’ve never been particularly adept at following insipid rules, taking unreasonable orders, or sitting behind a desk for hours. Unless the desk was mine, the rules created by me, and the orders… well I only take orders from my cat (she’s technically my son’s cat, but that’s another tale to tell).
-Dammit the cat! You’d listen to her too, no? @ProvidenceRI
I worked in the music industry in Philadelphia, San Francisco and LA throughout the 80s, focused mostly in punk rock, promoting bands and venues, with short stints in the corporate music world. The former being a bit like herding drunken, ungrateful, drug crazed cats. The latter usually ending with me telling someone to f*ck off before I left. Although I have managed to find myself in many various careers in between, it was within the video game industry that I found my true calling. Within seven (7) fantastic but grueling years, I found myself working as a high level consultant in tech. WOOO! Sounds just my style no?
-Yeah that’s me! I’m Eli. (Ell Lee not Ee Lie) @thecoffeeshop BrooklynNY
For the most part, I have always sort of found ways to work for myself, creating my own job titles (and descriptions) if at other companies, but my ultimate success was finding my way into the world of consulting, as well as eBay and etsy. I greatly enjoyed my work, although I had hardly a moment to spare, but also, I rarely had to answer to anyone but myself.
In spite of all of this, I have known for many many many many many many (well you get it) years, that the times I was truly most happy, was when I was traveling, discovering new things, taking pictures of the things I saw, learning new stuff and even sometimes, meeting new people (I do not tend to easily like people very much).
In 2015 one of my dearest and oldest (as in longest of time, not that she’s ancient) friends, who had been wildly successful in a punk band in the 90s, had the chance to tour with her band once more (16 years later). She called me and invited me to come see her band play in Italy. Of course, I dropped all of my work, maxed out a credit card, and was on my way. Wouldn’t you?
-When Babes in Toyland were big, I was a single mom. I had often told Lori Barbero (in the middle) how sad I was that I’d never seen them play. -Babes in Toyland @RavennaItaly 2015
As I mentioned before, I have travelled quite a bit since I was 17 or so, but this trip was different. This time I rented a car and stayed in amazingly unique yet fantastically economical AirBnBs. With GPS, driving Italy from coast, to coast, to coast was a breeze…and in Italy, there are plenty of great things to photograph.
-The faery woods @Fiesole, Italy laundry in Venice & two of the Babes, Kat & Lori in @RavennaDiMarina 2015 @BabesinToyland
This trip was one of the best trips of my life (even if I almost died of heat stroke, had all my shit stolen, my iphone died, and I spent the very last day filing reports in an Italian police department with an officer who looked and sounded startlingly like Salma Hayek).
-That’s what an Italian Polizia department looks like BTW @Firenze Italy
In my heart of hearts I knew I had to find a way to make this a more regular part of my life. But for some reason, yet I floundered.
I am one of those people that does not tend to sit on a idea for very long without either shutting the Hell up about it, or doing something to make it happen. The exception has been this dream. THE dream of dreams too. I do not know why I never found a way to make it happen. Sometimes we are the biggest of assholes to ourselves.
-Yeah, me again! Lotsa wine behind me too “Yum!” @VinoVino Austin TX
I have been yabbering on about finding a career that would allow me to travel, for longer than the Internet has existed. Yeah, you read that right. Once in the music industry, I thought “this is it”. But it turns out, that when you travel for business, for the most part, you never see much of the places you visit. Partying with the locals tends to put a bit of a damper on your morning meetings. Shockingly, clients don’t tend to enjoy you showing up smelling like scotch and cigarettes at 9 am (even in the music industry). Nor do they appreciate you calling from 50 miles away, stuck on a broken down bus.
Then it happened… my 94 year old Dad was struggling with dementia and the loss of his beloved wife. I in turn was looking to get out of where I was living, and find a place to buy a house. My sister suggested that I come help out my Dad, get him situated with everything he might need to feel and be safe at home, while I house hunted. And as is so very like me, without a second thought, I put everything I owned into storage, put my thriving etsy shops on vacation, cut off all of my consulting clients, traveled from Rhode Island to Norfolk Virginia (a Hell of a drive) with the pets like 5 or 6 times, got everything organized, and set up, started settling in, and… then he died.
He missed his recently deceased wife terribly.
-Dad visiting his beloved’s grave. RIP Pop! He rests beside her now. @ForestLawnCemetary Norfolk VA
It was very sad and rather tragic circumstances, yet I was glad I had the time with him to show him my care when he needed it the most. We never got along much, and I am grateful to know he felt loved by me, before his time was up.
So I flew to Austin for a bit to clear my head, see my Mom, while I planned and organized his memorial. Back in Virginia, I cleared out (and am still clearing out) his estate and hosted a wonderful memorial in his beautiful backyard. When the memorial was over… here I was in limbo and basically homeless. (the house was not his).
I had already booked a trip to Europe on a whim (surprising, I know!), simply to go and see Nick Cave in Manchester. I figured after months of organizing stuff for my Dad, I’d be ready for a break, and he’d have everything in place to not need me so much. But now, here I was, technically homeless, with this crazy trip booked. Then…, I realized… if I did not buy or rent a place, a month in Europe would cost me less than a month of living in my own place. And that is how I got to here and the idea of this blog.
Rootless Routes aka Routes of the Rootless, is about home being anywhere and everywhere I land. I love traveling anywhere, from theme parks, to down the block, to more exotic and faraway places.
I lean towards rustic and a bit unusual locations, places steeped in ancient history, but I certainly do not shun luxury either. Anything involved with animal welfare or conservation, off grid living and/or living more sustainably interests me. I am obsessed with Scottish, Irish, Romani and Viking history and oddly, I am a war strategy history buff. The macabre, the unusual, as well spending time enveloped in natural settings and surrounded by wildlife.
I am just as thrilled to go camping, hiking and sleep under the stars as to visit a five (5) star resort (well maybe I lean towards the stars a bit more). I do not really plan to write about food much, but I do like my wine, fine spirits and food, quite a great deal, as you will come to find out.
I am seriously ADD and have a tendency to wildly veer from one thing to another, with little or no warning. I have the attention span of a drunken gnat (hence the tempestuous traveler theme).
My goal is to live all of 2018 without a permanent residence. But before I completely commit to that, this trip, driving through England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, will be my trial run. My main focus will be driving over 500 kilometers of the wilds of Scotland, @ScottishHighlands , visiting various artists and musicians who may (or may not), agree to hang with me along the way and invariably, periodically drink too much, or do something equally irresponsible and stupid, then attempt to honestly write about it, no matter how utterly ridiculous it makes me appear.
(Oh and how is she traveling with no job you ask? Well… I am spending the deposit money I diligently saved for the house I planned to purchase silly, how else?)
Watch for my blog posts, hopefully coming almost daily until I embark on this trip. This site is open for your perusal but will not be officially “live” until 1st of September 2017