The heavy metal cowboy get-ups sported by Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider and Mel Gibson in Mad Max are probably considered more than a little passé in the world of men’s style, better left in the 1970s. But in Sub-Saharan Africa, the art of dressing like you’ve just stepped out of a Metallica concert is still very much alive. […]
“Don’t be surprised if this unusual subculture sparks a fashion comeback for heavy metal cowboys … I’m personally rooting for it.”
Photograph © 2013 Hannah Kuo
I should let go of my unused items — ironing board, closet organizers, formal dining-ware — but I think that one day I might want to buy new ones, so why not just hold on to these for now?
So many of my possessions represent perceived future need, and so much of my life is about where I might want to be and what I might want someday. But when I simply ask myself, “What do I want right now?” the answer is plain and clear: “I want to be rootless.”
I started traveling this past year and, upon returning home, I’d feel the weight of all of the things I had to take care of; I missed the simplicity of living out of my backpack. If most of my possessions weren’t immediately needed, why was I holding on to them? Fundamentally, my objects represent value i.e. money — and that is something I have very little of. On the other hand, if my objects represent value to someone else too, then they could represent real cold hard cash to me. Cash that I could use to pay off my credit card debt and then travel worry-free.
Herein lies my plan: I’m giving up my lease on my beautiful apartment and boarding a one way flight to San Francisco on November 21. From there I head south on as little money as possible — favoring volunteering and work-study to cash in hand — as I head in the general direction of Chile.
From now to then, all I have to do is dissolve the majority my belongings and pay off my debt (combined credit card debt: $6282.81 — I’m ignoring student loans).
Here’s where you come in:
Follow my story. Adventure with me. I’ll be sharing photos and stories online as I go — right here.
Share my story. Much more than financial support, I would love a suggestion of your favorite place to visit, a couch to crash on, a volunteer opportunity, or a local city guide. I’ve got a fundraising campaign going at www.youcaring.com/aliakahan — a post on Facebook goes a very long way!
Take my stuff. Check out my Etsy store and see if there’s anything you fancy. Or join me in person on Saturday, October 26, when I’ll be having a Garden Giveaway And Farewell Fundraiser. You could email me for the address and come by to take some stuff, give some love, and lend some financial aid.
Send me a gift of some money. You could lend some aid online, simply through PayPal via aliakahan (At) gmail.com or via the widget at the bottom of this post.
Help me get prepared. If you’ve got an item that will fill my little bit of traveler’s needs, you can donate or trade with me.
Here’s what I’m looking for:
Collapsible fishing rod
Lightweight/compact sleeping bag
Day pack/small backpack (for valuables, books, etc)
Highly condensable rain jacket
Spanish lessons (or any useful colloquialisms you care to share)
Biolite stove received!
Any lightweight camping equipment
Waterproof iPhone 5 case
13” Laptop case
Jeggings (seriously, you may regret the trend but they are the BEST traveling pants)
All the best, many thanks, and here’s to adventure!
Alia a.k.a. Lili