Category Archives: What Am I Doing Here?

vago's journey

The End of Vago’s Journey – The Beginning of Another

“Welcome Home”

Those were the words that drove it home for me and they came from the friendliest customs and immigration agent I’ve yet met. The officer processed my wife’s permanent resident visa paperwork and stamped my and my 20 month old daughter’s passports.

It was the first time I’d been on American soil excluding consulates in more than four years. It was the first time my wife and daughter had come to my homeland. My own first memory of San Francisco was when I was five years old. It was 1976, the bicentennial of the founding of the United States of America. San Francisco was filled with hippies and patriotic fervor as America struggled to come to terms with losing the war in Vietnam, the changes of the 1960s and 1970s and the excitement of celebrating our nation. Those memories are perhaps the most vivid and happy of my early childhood and as a result, I’ve always loved this city.

My grandmother used to sing “I left my heart in San Francisco” and  I used to love watching Rice a Roni commercials – The San Francisco Treat. I also remember watching the 1970’s crime drama The Streets of San Francisco with my parents. In the 1980s my high school physics class took a field trip to the Exploratorium and later my brother and sister both went to San Francisco State even though I went to University of Hawaii. Both of them have lived in this city, this wonderful, perhaps most wonderful, of American cities. My sister still lives here, my brother is considering a move back here, and I am also looking into seeing if we can find a way to make San Francisco our home.

My sister echoed the words of the customs officer “Welcome Home”. My wife is going to have to get used to hearing me called Chris. So am I. I’ll always be Vago, but of course, I’ve always been Chris as well.

Still, this is the end of Vago’s Journey. I’m not saying there won’t be another one – but this particular 4 + year jaunt is now completed.  Here’s the basics:

I left Honolulu in December of 2008. Traveled across the USA by train. Left New York in January 2009.  Landed in Spain. Met my future wife in Morocco in February of 2009. Married in April of 2010. Moved to Turkey in 2010 with the wife. Left Turkey in 2011. Our daughter Sophia was born in August 2011. From 2009 to 2013 I visited most of the countries of the E.U, the Balkans, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Egypt, Canada, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Mediterranean. It has been a wonderful 4 years of international travel. Two days ago, after a year to complete the visa immigration paperwork in Morocco – my wife, our daughter, and I boarded an Emirates flight in Casablanca after bidding fond farewells to her family.  We flew to Dubai where we saw the tallest building in the world and then we flew over the top of the world, crossed the North Pole and after 17 hours on the plane from Dubai – we landed in San Francisco where US Customs did credit to themselves with their friendliness, helpfulness, and organization.

Thank you Officer Yao. It’s very nice to be home.

Smooth Living

What am I doing here? Still here…in Morocco

Vago Damitio. What am I doing here?

Sefrou, Morocco
19 March 2012

I just want to check in and give you some idea of what’s going on, just in case you were wondering. Vagobond has been on hiatus for the past few weeks while I’ve navigated what may be the busiest and most productive time of my life – albeit – at the moment with the smallest payoff.

When 2013 began, I decided to personally name it the ‘Year of the Completed Projects’. I had a huge laundry list of unfinished projects from incomplete books to immigration paperwork and immigration itself. 2013, I told myself, would be the year of finishing these so I can move on to the future.

So far – I’m kicking ass and taking names. To get a sense of that, you should go to www.vagodamitio.com where I’ve completely redesigned my official writer website and re-edited, re-covered, and re-published all of my books. For the past few months, I’ve literally been that madman writer sitting in a closed room furiously typing, editing, laying out, and working with graphics, text, and print. The result of all of that hardwork is that yesterday, I clicked the final ‘Publish” button on the books I’ve been working on. I’d like to introduce them to you now.

Vagabond TalesRough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagabond - 2013 Master Edition
Print: $12.99
Ebook: $9.99

This is the 10 year anniversary edition of Rough Living. Updated and expanded with photos, stories, more tips, and more tales.

This is the book that started it all and it is available now in print or a wide varitey of ebook formats for a world that is entirely different than the one it was born in.

 

 

 

Liminal TravelLiminal Travel: The Spaces In Between
Print: $4.25
Ebook: $2.99

I don’t think this little book has ever gotten the credit it deserves. If there is a book that sums up my travel philosophy and the lessons I’ve learned on the road, it’s this one. Plus, I reveal the nature of God and how to enjoy your life without being a slave to the man. Now, it’s freshly edited and covered and finally, for the first time available in print and all the ebook formats.  It’s nice that this is called Liminal travel which literally means in between because it was written between Rough Living and my latest book….

 

 

Smooth LivingSmooth Living: Beyond the Life of a Vagabond
Print: $12.99
Ebook: $9.99

Smooth Living picks up where Rough Living ended in Hawaii and follows me from living in a van from 2001-2004 to riding camels (and getting married) in the Sahara, visiting the pyramids, flying in hot air balloons over Turkey, and visiting more than 40 countries. Want to know how I went from no star to five star? The secrets are revealed along with plenty more tips and tales. I’ve been working on this for a long time and it is nice to have it published in both print and ebook form just before completing my four year journey around the world.

 

 

Vagabond in MuslimlandNot My Morocco: A Vagabond in Muslimland
Print: $7.99
Ebook: $2.99

This is certainly my most controversial book. These years in Morocco have been filled with trials and tribulations – mostly the result of my own bad decision making and lapses in judgment, but also because this is a country that drives me completely insane. This is the book where I reveal that Morocco (and most likely that insanity).

But…that’s not all. I’ve also completely rewritten and edited my first novel Slackville Road: Two Lazy Dudes, a Dummy, and an Armored Car and republished it as a much better novella. I’ve revised and released Douchebags, Fags, and Hags into  print and a wide range of ebook formats along with my short story collection Meliptimous Taggle and my offbeat fairy tale The Princess and the Vagabond.

All eight books are now available in print and as ebooks. In addition, they are all edited and written in a way that I feel I can leave them behind and move forward now – which is a good thing because life is just about to become bizarrely interesting.

Today, my wife, daughter, and I head to Casablanca for what I hope will be her final interview for immigration to the USA. If you’ve been following me for a while – you are aware that we’ve been struggling to make this happen for years! This is a big, big deal! If the visa gods approve, we will be heading en famille to the USA next month and that will be the first time I’ve been in the United States in four years! For my wife and daughter it will be the first time ever. I never expected that I would get to live the immigrant experience when I read about Staten Island and the immigration waves of the 19th and 20th centuries but we will be heading from a land where donkeys are normal transport to a land that has changed so much since I left it that I wonder if I will be able to recognize it.

Oh, there’s more…much much more…but I wanted to let you know that I’m still here, Vagabond is still here, and we are going everywhere!

For the latest updates, check http://www.vagodamitio.com and my social media. In the meantime, we’ll bring you some interesting guest posts and fantastic features.

Wish us luck!

 

the lights are on...

Taking a little break…Vagobond will be back

Everyone deserves a break now and then. Vagobond will be taking the rest of February and March off while we enjoy time with family, friends, and sort through our catalog, do some major edits on other editorial projects, and focus on a few other necessary things.

We’ll be back in April. If anything earth shattering happens in the meantime, we’ll be sure to let you know.  Be sure to take a little break yourself, we know how hard you work!

You’ll still be able to find me at VagoDamitio.com and I’ll be checking social media and email if you need to get in touch.

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