Something about the freedom of the open road resonates deeply within the American consciousness. For centuries, nothing has seemed quite as free as a life spent roaming the country and answering only to the road, the weather, and yourself. With this freedom comes an unparalleled ability to find oneself, and to ponder the deep questions whose answers often prove elusive among the hustle and bustle of modern life. In his blog, Mobile Kodgers, Randy Vining explores all of these thoughts in his own poetic style while also documenting his travels across the country.
In essence, Randy’s blog is his attempt to finalize what he calls a “heroes’ journey”: responding to one’s fascinations, waking up one’s creativity, and finally sharing this adventure with others. Heavily inspired by the works of Henry David Thoreau, Randy journeys to pursue his dreams and his independence, and, by sharing his stories, he hopes he can prove to others just how easy it can be to attain deep and lasting freedom.
Unlike many travel blogs, even those that focus on this “free” aspect of travel, Mobile Kodgers stands unrivaled when it comes to describing the philosophical side of adventure. Only poetry, which Randy is adept at crafting, can adequately describe so many of the experiences we have when traveling; poetry also encourages us to form our own interpretations. Travel, especially the kind of roaming that Randy pursues, is a deeply personal experience, one that different people respond to in different ways. This blog allows the reader to bring that personal aspect into reading about another person’s journey, so that it becomes the reader’s own. In addition, this blog inspires—I know I found myself wanting to travel more, just so I could maybe experience some of the same fulfillment Randy’s writing conveys.
For an example of Randy’s distinctive writing style and description of his amazing experiences, check out his post about the Tucson Book Festival. He writes about the open exchange of ideas provided by hundreds of identical tents, each with their own tenets with their own messages and the multitudes of captivating speakers including astrophysicist Alan Lightman and renowned anarcho-syndicalist Noam Chomsky. But what I found most important was how Randy conveyed the feeling of hope he found when strolling through the festival. He philosophizes with great emphasis, “OH SWEET PEOPLE—CAN YOU FEEL IT? CAN YOU SEE IT HERE DEMONSTRATED? A BETTER WORLD IS ON ITS WAY.” To me, that feeling is the most attractive part of his blog. In this world, our minds can become clouded with a lot of negativity. Through his simple quest for freedom by traveling across the country and coming across events like this book festival, Randy seems to find concrete evidence that the world is actually pretty great, and despite what some might have us believe, things are getting better. Most of all, he’s succeeding—he’s proving to me just how accessible happiness and freedom are.
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