I Envy My Readers, I Want a Life Like Theirs

This is Andy Lee Graham, and I envy my readers. I want to have a wife, children and a big house in the suburbs.

I want my wife to nag me to put on clean clothing. Then I would go load up the car with a bunch of rugrats and go to church on Sunday. I want to fall asleep while listening to the preacher, who is trying to make us feel guilty. When he has an alter call and everyone starts crying, I will go the toilet.

I want to be just like my father.

Orland Indiana

When talking about my world travels, I meet three types of people: the jealous, the envious and the arrogant.

I was talking with my friend, Stephen; he has lived in Thailand, Switzerland, Singapore and China. Then after living abroad for a few years, he went to Boston and worked for a couple of years.

He said to me on our Skype connection, "When you tell them about your travels, people will be jealous, envious or arrogant."

Jealous: Why you and not me?

Envious: They want to join.

Arrogant: They are closed minded, stubborn and offensively tell you why you live a bad life.

But who is Andy Lee Graham? I, too, am jealous, envious and arrogant.

I am jealous of National Geographic writers who get interviewed on CNN or make documentaries. I want them to shut up and ask me to talk instead. (It annoys me to no end that they think they know something, without having their feet on the ground.)

I am envious of people who are married with children. I want to join them, live the same life and talk about children at parties.

I am arrogant when a person treats me with contempt, and I reciprocate. When treats me arrogantly, I erase them from my life.

When I talk with friends, I want to hear about their families and what they do for fun with the children. Yet they always drone away about working too hard, making money, and how they need to get off the phone. Or they complain about the children or wife.

Yet I know they love them, or they would be with me, playing and running around the planet.

We — The Good People Problem

I want expert members of the Hobo Travel Community to share their expertise in a safe harbor, with safe passage. My dream is to allow the good people a voice, to ask questions in an area of safety, to call me (with respect) and have me help them. And when they want too much, they pay; I am a big boy.

A person wrote me: “Do I need to pay you $50 to call you?”

I started to laugh to myself; this is the “good people problem.” He did not want to annoy me and did not want to accidentally feel like he owed me money. He was a good person.

I wrote back, “I try to get the people that think that I owe them travel advice or an email to stop. I do not make money writing emails, and they write in pure selfishness.”

I try to get people to call, so I can avoid typing. Yet, I answer a lot of emails. And if a person poses a great question, then I cannot refuse myself: I must answer for my own pleasure, to become clear in my head. And I am more than willing to call up experts, take up their time, and try my darndest to buy their products.

I am envious of my mother and father’s life, 62 years of marriage. I speak with them in awe. I am the lucky son of two great humans, thank the good gods, whether real or unreal, with all the faith my future wife can force on me.

I am here, and you are there, and we will one day meet.

Andy Lee Graham in Sosua, Dominican Republic, envious of people in the USA but refusing to give up the life of leisure. I want to be a mobile household, the best of all worlds.

Please, I hope you take all that above with a grain of salt. I will never return to the USA to live. I have the dream life. I want to call you and learn from you, and you can call me.

I hate to type. I do that all day. I want to talk. … hehehe …

Andy Lee Graham


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I guess everything in life is limited in quantity. I would call you but I think you would find my life boring. I have pretty much decided my life at the moment is to find balance. I love my wife and my son, they make me happy and that means responsibility, which is really just a code word for work. I believe that men are that they might have joy. What I have also discovered is if all you do is examine your life it doesn't really mean you are living your life.
I would like to say I do appreciate the posts. They provide a very unique perspective. I don't always agree with what you write, but it seems to be working for you. If that is the case then you definitely have something going for you. I like to think that is the case. It makes me happy to think there are happy people out in the world.

I always wonder about writers, they seems to want, desire, aspire to have everyone agree, as if writing is a popularity contest. Only a liar could, or would write and everyone agree. I have had people follow me for years, and the one time the reader 100 percent disagrees, they never read again. Which is fine, I do not desire to be called entertainment, hopefully provoke people to think clear on issues.

I envy your parents also! But I am beginning to give in to my wanderlust. Recently moved from small-town Michigan to Las Vegas, NV and the whole world comes here!! I live close to Chinatown and all kinds of native cuisines from all over the world. Once I manage to explore here a bit more, I hope to do some traveling. But being female makes the traveling thing more difficult in my eyes. What have you heard from other females in that regard?

This is one of the funniest essays you have ever written!

hey andy, great post. can I send you any items from the isa that you need?

Just returned to Chiang Mai, Thailand, from trip to Malaysia. That was Kuala Lumpur, briefly, then to George Town, on Penang, then to the island of Langkawi. Some memories are that it was so much easier there to talk to people - because most can converse in English in Thailand, my command of the language is still so poor, and many local Asian's are not really Thai, but Burmese, Kmer, or from the hilltribes - so our accents are mutually difficult to adjust to. People drive sanely in Malaysia. Like they would rather get to where they are going alive. In this country, the driving habits of car- and motorcycle-drivers are deadly and many people die every year needlessly from avoidable accidents.
The reason for the trip was a "visa Run" - to get a 2-month visa - for Thailand, since the woman at Immigration chose not to renew my one-year visa. I turned 66 while out there.
Never been married. I have been told by a fortune-teller that I have a child somewhere in the world. Not something I can be proud of, but I guess this is true of most men who have travelled to other countries.
I liked reading that someone else enjoys the family life of other people. I seldom say it but I have had happy times visiting with married friends, my brothers and sister with their families in Ontario, Cananda, friends I had in Senegal and California, other places - laughing at the antics of their little children, feeling the love some parents radiate onto then, watching them grow. Sometimes I realize that I missed out on something, but it wasn't the life cut out for me.
I have been in 10 countries, counting an afternoon in Mauretania, a couple weeks in Gambia and Malaysia.

Hi Andy,

did you know that 90 percent of all the things we experience in life are made out of our interpretation - beginning from the very instant of our birth - and not from what we see, hear, smell etc. here and now....

This is why so many people do not understand the other person, because each has a completely different interpretation of "reality". Misunderstanding, frustration, difference in opinion are the result.

I have traveled almost the whole world in my long life so far....And I am still curious to discover new countries. But people do not understand my point of view most of the time. I have to live with this consciousness.

So do not wonder why there is resistance against what you publish in your blog.

We might find a new place in the French speaking African world which I have known many years ago and rediscover right now. We want to live in a comunity of seniors helping each other and having help from local people who we can afford to pay - and provide some work for them, too.

Having known you personally 10 years ago in Brazil makes it easier for me to understand you....

Good luck on your return to Togo which I know quite well, too.


To the girls, Calicotigress and Asirik, truly I believe woman can often travel easier than men. Men have this hard-wired need to prove they can protect, or be the alpha-male, our first impulse is for macho solutions. At 6 foot tall, and 190 pounds, I am bigger that most people on the planet, I can use a macho solution, I can dominate if I want.

Women are smaller, they use their brains, and can brains always beat brawn as a traveler.

I think of a friend bragging about being robbed by gun, not one time, but two times. As if he was smart, and in my 15 years, going to Iraq, Haiti, and Africa that are not really dangerous, or the truly dangerous places of Belize City, Dominican Republic or downtown Lima Peru I have never had been robbed by a gun, knife, but one broken bottle in the Dom Republic.

I am too smart to to have truly wild stories of guns and knives. This is why the woman can win as traveler, they do not have small P's, and will normally try to use brains prior to just toughing it out. Toughing it out is for silly boys, and the weak in the head. Being macho is for when you did something stupid and you have not choice.

Bottom line, woman can probably travel the world better than men, and for sure it would be nice to avoid the macho standoff, where one big black African man walks up, looks me in the eye, and says nothing. That nothing is a problem.

I do not worry about people who talk, I worry about the quiet ones.

Astik from Guatemala?

Hi Gadget,

the first years after my divorce when I was finally free, I traveled alone but most of the time not in hotels but in exchange with an apartment I have in the Canaries. It was easy 30 years ago! Now we have globalisation which makes things more difficult.

For the last 4 years I have been traveling with my new partner, he is tall and can defend us, but we did not have problems in South America, until by the end of our stay in April 2013 when robbery happened all around us and the Uruguayan neighbours started to sell their little houses. We sold ours, too.

Now we are looking for a new place in Africa. I lived all over that continent and really liked the people. But poverty makes them aggressive now, when they see the rich and beautiful coming to their luxurious hotels on the long sandy beaches. This is not what I want at all. So we have to find another solution - and we will!!!!

Good luck to you,

Hi Asirik,

Traveling with a partner would be more in line as to what I see for myself. Alone, I would wonder about robbers and pickpockets and another observer to pick up on and understand all the strange new sights would seem to be helpful. Moving to this city of grifters and con artists here in Las Vegas, I admit I got scammed a time or two. I assume that they frequent all big cities in some form or another.

Couchsurfers come to me here. We draw them from all over and I try to learn from them and get to know them and where they come from. Most have been fantastic experiences.

Girls and travelling. I don't think it is that hard to travel as a girl. I am now in Iraq and it is a wonderful experience. Even if you are worried and you don't have a travelling mate, be open-minded and you will meet him or her while on the road. That worked for me many times. And you are never alone, well, if you are not in the middle of the desert or jungle. :-)

I am still young but finding a partner will be once priority. You don't have to be tied while in a relationship. Depends, out there, there are people who feel it the same. :-)
Andy, thank you for the posts. I dont agree with you every time, but that is normal, right? :-) Everyone has a unique perspective which might differ less or more from others.

Have a nice day, everyone.


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