Sacked by the "downturn", an unemployed architect touring the country in a bus...

I used to live in New York City. I designed homes for the tycoons of Wall Street; Park Avenue, Scarsdale, Greenwich. It was great fun. And, after years of saving up for a down payment, I was just about to buy my own little place in Fleetwood, half an hour north of the city, when the economy fell apart. Architects are like canaries in a coal mine when the economy slows, and true to form, there were massive layoffs in firms all over the country. Devastation of the profession. So, I decided to try to find something else to do for a while. I bought a 23' school bus and I'm on the road to see if I can figure out what that might be.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Inner musings

12/25 Durham, NC

I went for a walk with my new good friend, Margareta. She asks such good probing and constructive questions. She wanted to know about my expectations for my travels, which gave me pause, because I felt it deserved a better answer than I had at hand, and I realized I didn't fully know. Partly, that's the charm of what I am doing;...
there is drama and romance to an excursion into the unknown. But I replied also that perhaps in part, I am taking cover behind the drama. I have no mate and no offspring, no estate, and a career comprised of accomplishments that, while not insignificant, are projects undertaken in response to the expediences that presented themselves, but which I did not seek according to any design, and so in sum are not really me. (If I never see another Greek column again, that will be fine!) So, perhaps I want this adventure so that I have something to show, something I can have to tell. "I'm doing this thing." Is it another facade?

Or is it really, as I say it is, a personal quest who's significance will emerge in time? I'm obviously hoping for the latter. Expectations... In the end, I hope to find a community of people I like and an outdoors way of life. First and foremost, I hope to learn to meet people along the way in a more truthful way than I have up to now.

I have a couple of new mottoes. The more trivial one is, "It's not about the bus." Generally, I can easily focus on the task at hand, in this case all of the engineering and design of the built-ins, the electrical system, the kitchen, how I will maintain hygiene. But this trip is not about the bus, it's about the people I meet, so all of the engineering will be as efficient as I can make it so as not to distract from the more important focus. (I have a thread here called "The Build Out"; I wonder if I should start one called "The People"?)

The second motto is "Love the one you're with", which at first may seem an ironic motto for a solo road trip. But by this motto I mean, when opportunity presents itself, take it, don't hesitate, don't second guess and become paralyzed with thoughts of what alternatives there may be. So far on this adventure, each time I have taken the path directly ahead or gone forward to satisfy any small curiosity, I have invariably found something even more interesting than I could have possibly imagined.

So, I am doing this thing, and while it may in part, for the moment be an artifice, I don't think it's unrealistic to hope that in the end it will lead to something of substance.


  1. I think the term adventure minimizes what you are actually reporting in this blog. Your experience seems more of a quest. Adventures are for excitment and entertainment. Disneyland is an adventure but it's not a quest.

    What you're doing is more like work than a vacation. Your "going somewhere" has a metaphoric meaning. If becoming a quester turns out to be the objective of your quest then you arrive the moment you take your first step into the unknown. Ha! People have flown all the way to the moon to take that one giant step. Better to buy a bus.

  2. Thanks, signpainter. I just checked back here because I was curious what i was thinking a while ago, nice to find your encouraging comment.