All posts by Vago Damitio

Vago Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. He jumped ship from a sinking dotcom in 2000 and decided to reclaim his most valuable commodity, time. He bought a VW bus for $100, moved into it and set out on a journey to show the world that it was possible to live life on your own terms. That journey took him from waking up under icy blankets in  the Pacific Northwest to waking up under palm tress in Southeast Asia. Three years later, his first book, Rough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagabond was published. After diving into the Anthropology of Tourism and Electronic Anthropology at the University of Hawaii (with undeclared minors in film and surf) he hit the road again in 2008. Since that time,he's lived primarily in Morocco and Turkey, married a Moroccan girl he couchsurfed with, and become a proud father. He's been to more than 40 countries, founded a successful online travel magazine (this one!), and still doesn't have a boss. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook
castle in the UK

Finding the Perfect Accommodation in the UK

If you’re travelling to the UK for an upcoming holiday or weekend getaway, you’re probably min need of some accommodation. There are many options for accommodation in the UK. Whether you’re after a rural country escape or a bustling metropolis adventure, look no further than our handy hints and tips to help you find your way.

Airbnb

A hairy English CowNot heard of Airbnb yet? You’re missing out on a whole new world of adventurous accommodation! Founded in San Francisco in 2008, Airbnb is a “trusted community marketplace” in which people all over the world can list, book and discover the most amazing locations for a great price. Whether you’re looking to stay in a trendy London flat for one night, a candy coloured beach hut for a week or a castle for a month, this website connects people to finding the most unique travel experiences in the click of a button. The UK has so much to offer and you can really pick up some great bargain-stays on this fantastic website! Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

Holiday Cottages

If you’re looking for utter relaxation and a place to unwind, look no further than staying in a Cornwall Holiday Cottage. Helpful Holidays have done the hard work for you and hand-picked the best self-catering cottages in the area. From towering castles, serene gardens, and landmarks steeped in history and legend, Cornwall is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK. With the longest coastline in Britain stretching over 433 miles long, this beachy retreat has holidays cottages to suit everyone. Whether you’re after a cosy spot in a pretty fishing village or a grand and rather handsome manor house amongst wooded valleys, they are sure to offer you a holiday to remember.

castle in the UK

Glamping

If you want to be at one with nature but don’t quite want to skimp out on the luxuries of everyday life, you need to experience the new craze that is Glamping. Derived from the words Glamorous and Camping, this idea is all about submerging yourself in to your surroundings, feeling the earth under your feet and melting away the daily stresses of life. You can really be at one with nature without having to live out of a rucksack or sleep on the floor! Glamping has more recently been related to wooden huts and tipis in enchanted forests, eco pods or even Airstream caravans. If you’re travelling around the UK and want a truly unique experience, this is a real eye-opening one. Not sure where to start? Well, Glamping UK definitely has you

covered with finding the ideal spot, no matter what your budget or comfort expectations are.

 

European Luxury in the heart of California

Hearst Castle – My Dream Pool – Have You Been Here?

California. If I had a billion dollars, I’d probably either buy the Hearst Castle or build something like it somewhere else. It’s not just this beautiful pool of dreams but the zebras in the pastures at San Simeon, the excitement of hidden passages, and the perfection of the climate and rural landscape near the ocean. It would probably cost more than a billion dollars, right?

European Luxury in the heart of California

Rimbaud_harar_2

Arthur Rimbaud – Vagabond Poet

Each Wednesday, I write a column on Vagobond called “What am I doing here?” – while it’s a logical enough question for a guy like me who generally finds himself somewhere new each week, in fact – the inspiration for the title comes from a rather Extraordinary Vagabond poet named Arthur Rimbaud.

Further Reading on Rimbaud
The LIfe of Rimbaud

A Season in Hell and the Drunken Boat

Rimbaud by Jack Kerouac

Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud.  Not the least of reasons why Rimbaud is worthy of knowing about is because he was a libertine poet who only lived to the age of 37 but had a profound influence on world literature and you can say his name as John Rambo.  Cool right?

He was born 20 October 1854 and was described by Victor  Hugo as “an infant Shakespeare”.  This was during his teen years when the young Rimbaud was rebelling in a pure James Dean way through getting drunk, being rude, composing poems about shit (literally), stealing books and allowing his hair to grow long.

He was attempting (according to letters at the time) to develop a method for attaining poetical transcendence or visionary power through a “long, intimidating, immense and rational derangement of all the senses. The sufferings are enormous, but one must be strong, be born a poet, and I have recognized myself as a poet.”

I’m now making myself as scummy as I can. Why? I want to be a poet, and I’m working at turning myself into a seer. You won’t understand any of this, and I’m almost incapable of explaining it to you. The idea is to reach the unknown by the derangement of all the senses. It involves enormous suffering, but one must be strong and be a born poet. It’s really not my fault.

Rimbaud, like a lot of great travelers, was a bit queer. He had a short and powerful affair with the poet Verlaine which became notorious as the two raged through Paris and London in a haze of hashish and absinthe. Keep in mind that Rimbaud was still a young teen at this point but gained a reputation as a true terror. Verlaine during the relationship, abandoned his wife and child and the two lived in a hectic squalor before parting ways.  A reunion of the two in Brussels went terribly wrong when  the drunk and angryVerlaine shot the 18 year old Rimbaud in the wrist with a pistol. Verlaine went to prison and Rimbaud began to wander about Europe, Asia and Africa – mostly on foot.

Wanting to go further afield he joined the Dutch Colonial Army and went to the island of Java where he deserted and continued his explorations. From there he traveled to Cyprus, Ethiopia, Yemen, Somalia and more travel amongst Europe.

If you doubt the influence of poets on culture, check out this blurb from wikipedia:

Rimbaud’s poetry, as well as his life, made an indelible impression on 20th century writers, musicians and artists. Pablo Picasso,Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, Vladimir Nabokov, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Giannina Braschi, Léo Ferré, Henry Miller, Van Morrison and Jim Morrison have been influenced by his poetry and life. Here is Kerouac’s poem – Rimbaud

Arthur! On t’ appela pas Jean!
Born in 1854 cursing in Charle-
ville thus paving the way for
the abominable murderousnesses
of Ardennes—No wonder your father left!
So you entered school at 8
—Proficient little Latinist you!
In October of 1869
Rimbaud is writing poetry
in Greek French—
Takes a runaway train

to Paris without a ticket,
the miraculous Mexican Brakeman
throws him off the fast
train, to Heaven, which
he no longer travels because
Heaven is everywhere—
Nevertheless the old fags
intervene—
Rimbaud nonplussed Rimbaud
trains in the green National
Guard, proud marching
in the dust with his heroes—
hoping to be buggered,
dreaming of the ultimate Girl.
—Cities are bombarded as
he stares & stares & chews
his degenerate lip & stares
with gray eyes at
Walled France—

Andre Gill was forerunner
to Andre Gide—
Long walks reading poems
in the Genet Haystacks—
The Voyant is born,
the deranged seer makes his
first Manifesto,
gives vowels colors
& consonants carking care,
comes under the influence
of old French Fairies
who accuse him of constipation
of the brain & diarrhea
of the mouth—
Verlaine summons him to Paris
with less aplomb than he
did banish girls to
Abyssinis—

Merde! screams Rimbaud
at Verlaine salons—
Gossip in Paris—Verlaine Wife
is jealous of a boy
with no seats to his trousers
—Love sends money from Brussels
—Mother Rimbaud hates
the importunity of Madame
Verlaine—Degenerate Arthur is suspected
of being a poet by now—
Screaming in the barn
Rimbaud writes Season in Hell,
his mother trembles
Verlaine sends money & bullets
into Rimbaud—
Rimbaud goes to the police
& presents his innocence
like the pale innocence of
his divine feminine Jesus
—Poor Verlaine, 2 years
in the can, but could have
got a knife in the heart

—Illuminations! Stuttgart!
Study of Languages!
On foot Rimbaud walks
& looks thru the Alpine
passes into Italy, looking
for clover bells, rabbits,
Genie Kingdoms & ahead
of his nothing but the old
Canaletto death of sun
on old Venetian buildings
—Rimbaud studies language
—hears of the Alleghanies,
of Brooklyn, of last
American Plages—
His angel sister dies—
Vienne! He looks at pastries
& pets old dogs! I hope!
This mad cat joins
the Dutch Army
& sails for Java
commanding the fleet
at midnight
on the bow, alone,
no one hears his Command
but every fishy shining in
the sea—August is
no time to stay in Java—
Aiming at Egypt, he’s again
hungup in Italy so he goes back
home to deep armchair
but immediately he goes
again, to Cyprus, to
run a gang of quarry workers,—
what did he look like now.this later
Rimbaud?—Rock dust
& black backs & hacks
of coughers, the dream rises
in the Frenchman’s Africa mind,—
Invalids from the tropics are always
loved—The Red Sea
in June, the coast clanks
in Arabia—Havar,
Havar, the magic trading
post—Aden, Aden,
South of Bedouin—
Ogaden, Ogaden, never
known—(Meanwhile
Verlaine sits in Paris
over cognacs wondering
what Arthur looks like now,
& how bleak their eyebrows
because they believed
in earlier eyebrow beauty)—
Who cares? What kinda
Frenchmen are these? Rimbaud, hit me
over the head with that rock!
Serious Rimbaud composes
elegant & learned articles
for National Geographic
Societies, & after wars
commands Harari Girl
(Ha Ha!) back
to Abyssinia, & she
was young, had black
eyes, thick lips, hair
curled, & breasts like
polished brown with
copper teats & ringlets
on her arms &
joined her hands upon her central loin &
had shoulders as broad as
Arthur’s & little ears
—A girl of some
caste, in Bronzeville—

Rimbaud also knew
thinbonehipped Polynesians
with long tumbling hair &
tiny tits & big feet

Finally he starts
trading illegal guns
in Tajoura
riding in caravans, Mad,
with a belt of gold
around his waist—
Screwed by King Menelek!
The Shah of Shoa!
The noises of these names
in that noisy
French mind!

Cairo for the summer,
bitter lemon wind
& kisses in the dusty park
where girls sit
folded at
dusk
thinking nothing—

Havar! Havar!
By litter to Zeyla
he’s carried moaning
his birthday—the boat
returns to chalk castle
Marseilles sadder than
time, than dream,
sadder than water
—Carcinoma, Rimbaud
is eaten by the disease
of overlife—They cut off
his beautiful leg—
He dies in the arms
of Ste Isabelle
his sister
& before rising to Heaven
sends his francs to Djami, Djami the Havari boy
his dody servant
8 years in the African
Frenchman’s Hell,
& it all adds up
to nothing, like
Dostoevsky, Beethoven
or Da Vinci—

So, poets, rest awhile
& shut up:
Nothing ever came
of nothing.

Written in 1958 and published as a City Lights broadside in 1960.

Rimbaud’s life has been portrayed in several films. Italian filmmaker Nelo Risi’s 1970 film Una stagione all’inferno (“A Season in Hell”) starred Terence Stamp as Rimbaud and Jean Claude Brialy as Paul Verlaine. In 1995 Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland directed Total Eclipse, which was based on a play by Christopher Hampton who also wrote the screenplay. The film starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Rimbaud and David Thewlis as Paul Verlaine.

Further Reading on Rimbaud
The LIfe of Rimbaud

A Season in Hell and the Drunken Boat

Rimbaud by Jack Kerouac