HoboTraveler.com Travel Tips Newsletter
And Updates on Around The World Trip

ISSUE:  101
DATE:  December 12, 2002
Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Chang Rai, Thailand - TRAVEL FASHION
TIP:  Travel Fashion
LOCATION:  Chang Rai, Thailand



Going Hobo barefoot

“In matters of style swim with the current;
in matters of principle stand like a rock.”
Thomas Jefferson

I think common sense would say.
Just ask questions of everything.

There are various types of people in the
world and my observation is that the
one universal characteristic of people is
the desire for fashion.

We want to say we are unique but
I find myself, and others in the end spend
all our time copying the prevailing
style, way, custom, or manner of the
group. I call this fashion for simplicity.
When I see 10 backpacker or the majority
with the travel pants with zip-off legs
than I call this fashion.

When I hear other travelers tell me
that there is a better chance of getting
robbed by the other travelers in Asia
this is fashion also. It is fashionable
comment, and the people have copied
what they heard from other.

Whether a pair of travel pants is
right or wrong for you, or whether the
locals or the travelers rob more is
not important. What is of importance
to try to recognize when you are with the
group or outside the group. When
you are being of fashion or out of
fashion. When you are going with the
stream or swimming up stream. When you stop
to ask yourself these questions you make
a smart choice

Try to separate the fashion from reality.

I remember a simple quote
“If everyone was smart, everyone would be rich.”
Making the smart choices is swimming
upstream and not being fashionable.
But is strangely. the elusive ability to have
common sense.

It is normal or fashionable for travelers to learn
Spanish in Central and South America.
In Asia by comparison almost
none of the travelers learn the local language
and here are some of the largest spoken languages
in the world. For example Chinese.
So I would say that learning
Spanish is more fashionable than learning
Chinese, plus a whole lot easier. Which in
lot of cases was determines fashion.

To go with the group is easier than fighting
the group or mob mentality. It is easier to swim
downstream than upstream.
So to follow or copy and follow in the group
is comfortable, easy, and enjoyable for the
most part life is simple.

Sometime you need to take your shoes off,
when everyone else is wearing
their shoes, and be unfashionable.

I took a class in college for fun, and it was
free offered by the ROTC or the US Military on
survival training. ROTC is a acronym for
Reserve Officer's Training Corps. I had to go
look it up in my dictionary. I was not sure what it
meant, but the class was free and fun.

Well, we went on this 20 mile walk and camping
trip. While on the hike through the woods we
encountered different obstacles and the group
needed to decide how to either remove or go
around the obstacles. To look for solutions
and survive.

One very simple obstacle we encountered
was a river to cross. A shallow river no less.
We all probably would have made the correct
decisions the teacher was wanting if the water
was deep, but is was not, so we all sort of failed.

We was carrying a long nylon rope and mountain
climbing type gear. We was prepared to cross
this river by making a small one strand rope bridge.
I volunteered.
“I will walk across sacrifice myself and get wet,
and tie the rope to a tree”
Seemed like a great idea to me,
One person gets wet, the group survives.
Plus I thought this was the objective of the class.

There was about 5 others of these groups
and some of the other groups had just started walking
across the river. It was shallow and easy, and
the weather was nice and a beautiful day.
So the fashion of the day became to wade
across the river in OUR CLOTHES and SHOES.

I start to go a little crazy. Thinking this just too
stupid. We have ropes, we have these fancy carabine
devices for the real mountain climbers. We are prepared
and this river is just a small challenge and
part of the class.

I was alone in this idea.
The fashion of the day prevailed.
Over 100 hundred people that day got
wet and would not remove their shoes
or have the fun of making a rope bridge.

I sat down.
Said to hell with this stupidity.
I took off my shoes.
I took off my pants.
I was barefoot and no pants.
The water was shallow.
I walked across the river, while holding
my shoes and clothes above my head.
Everyone was laughing and making
fun of me, and being from Indiana
I am sort of the shy type, and do not
walk around in my underwear.
But I am a farm boy smart type, and
the choice was simple.
I went barefoot across the river.

What I have not said, but will say now
is we still had another 8 miles to walk
till we made it back to camp.

I had worked on a farm, and had many
time experienced by accident stepping
in the mud, or water, and having to walk
around for hours in wet shoes, and clothes.
To me this is misery, so I was not going
to walk 8 miles though brush, and insects
with wet shoes and clothes for anyone.
Especially when I have a CHOICE and not
be accident. I had trouble understanding the
sense of getting wet when we had a solution
that was easy, and fun.

Well... We got to camp.
I went from heel to hero in moments.
The teacher and commander. This was
a free ROTC class, was telling me I made
the right choice, and commending me
on my actions. Hero for a day.... wee
Or maybe common senses.
I like it when I am considered smart for
simple things like common sense.

I did very well in this class, and funny how
hard and pleasantly this man tried to recruit
a long hair hippie to join up, and become
one of them. Another type of fashion hmmm?

I used this example because I knew that
some people would jump to all sorts of
conclusions and revelations because it
was a ROTC class. I got in this class by random
chance and it was free. No real thought involved.
I looked at the situation.
Free class. Walk in the wood.
Mountain climbing skills.
It was a good choice, and I did not allow
fashion from stopping me from this class
or from writing this, even though I am sure
that writing about military ROTC is not
fashionable for travelers.

I did not join ROTC as I did not join
the group of people that walked 8 miles
in wet shoes and wet clothes.

I maybe then was the
“Barefoot Hobo”
Just a little Hobo Common sense.
That is life. Just common sense
and a desire to take your shoes off.

If you wish to follow the group that is OK.
Nothing wrong with being part of the group
when easy and fun. Plus make sense.

But try to ask a few questions, and
see when the whole flock of geese is
flying the wrong direction, and
you need to take the “Road less traveled.”

Fashion is for style and looks.
Not a principal to guide your life.
You can be a traveler and not a tourist.

A Barefoot Hobo Travel

Just another day in Paradise!
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.

X     Hobotraveler.com was HERE!

Life is good.
The Hobotraveler.com

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

Article written by Andy the Hobotraveler.com
On year 5 of Hobo trip around the world.
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