Monday, May 20, 2013

Welcome To My New Travel Blog

I want to start this blog off by introducing you to my American Nomadic Odyssey. Yes! This is another travel blog, as if there aren't enough travel blogs already. But, I'm hoping to take a bit of a twist with my blog.

Let Me Introduce Myself

First, here is a brief introduction of myself, your humble blogger. My name is Ed Helvey and I'm the owner and blogger at the Living Free . . .  blog. I recently turned 68 years in chronological age, although my mind keeps thinking it's still in its 30's. I'll have a detailed bio about me posted on an About page shortly for anyone who is interested in more details about me or, perhaps, just needs some reading material to help you fall asleep.

I'm single (divorced, actually) for the past 20 years. I'm the father of an adult son who lives on the opposite coast from where I'm make my home base. I have a couple obsolete college degrees. I've spent 50 years (my adult life) in the recording industry and although I consider myself semi-retired, I'm still somewhat active in the business. It's one of those things that get in your blood. I also concurrently spent about 12 years in the book publishing business as the owner of a small, trade book publishing company. I have a lot of other career credits and involvements, but these are the main things that define my professional career.

In 2008 I came to a crossroad. I had a long-term lease on a small horse ranch in the Shenandoah Valley of northwestern Virginia near the small city of Winchester. The lease was coming up for renewal and I realized I had already stayed there several years longer than I originally intended to. So, I either had to renew the lease or take my leave. So, I began shutting down the publishing business (which I wanted to do, anyway) and closing out my small recording studio and business. I then decided that it was time! Time for me to go back to my youthful days of freedom and catch up on all the travel and places I'd put off until some future date. That date was the end of 2008, I determined. So, I went on a rampage, closing down business, selling off everything I could, personal and professional and planned to no longer have a sticks and bricks, fixed residence any longer. I wanted to become a location independent, nomadic blogger, writer and freelance audio producer. And I became just that on November 1, 2008. You can learn more about that if you click on the link in the first paragraph to my Living Free blog and go back in the archives to the end of 2008.

The Focus Of My Travel Blog

I've attempted to start travel blogging for the last several years. I actual chronicle some of my travels in the Living Free blog. But, I wasn't able to get my head wrapped around the travel blogging idea because I didn't want this to just be "another" travel blog. I wanted this to have some kind of interesting twist or maybe even better, multiple twists. How many times can you read about the Grand Canyon or the Mississippi River or New York City or San Francisco (my favorite city)? Between all the PBS travel shows, the Travel Channel and other cable network travel shows, how much more of the same thing do you want to hear? I know I'm kind of overloaded on that information.

I may mention in passing that I'm at the Grand Canyon, Mississippi River or wherever I am. I'm not going to spend very much time repeating the already over repeated stuff. I'm going to look for the unique, different little things that may not be a grand as that big hole or as legendary as that mighty river, but represent as much of the true Americana (or what's left of it) as possible. It could be a small museum. It might be an old radio station dating back to the early days of radio. It might be the story telling capital of the U.S. and I might meet some storytellers. It might be a musician or musical group I find along the way. Perhaps it will be a fun restaurant or cafe. There are a myriad of possibilities when you set aside the major attractions.

Will you be interested in what I find? I hope so. Obviously, it's always different strokes for different folks. But, the reality is that I'm sure that there are a lot of people who have read (or watched) enough about the major attractions, national parks, monuments, major museums and so on. It is for your eyes and mind that I'll be writing. Perhaps, some of you remember the old "On the Road" CBS TV series with the late Charles Kuralt. Part of my model will be borrowed from that old show. Charles is sort of a role model for me.

In addition, I have two "on the road" projects I plan to undertake throughout my wandering odyssey. One of them involves identifying and recognizing a certain group of individuals I'll be seeking out as I travel from place to place. The other project involves music, the catalyst that attracted me into my career in the recording industry in 1963. I trust as these projects evolve and develop that you'll enjoy them as much as I'll enjoy working on them.

This Is Only The Beginning

That's all for this introductory post. I'm currently not on the road traveling all that much, but I'll be introducing you to "My McVansion," a Ford, high-top, conversion van that I've taken the seats out of and converted into a camping van to travel the country in. I'll fill you in on more of what I'm doing, the technology I'm using, my trip planning and what I hope to discover and other, hopefully, interesting details of my American Nomadic Odyssey.

Perhaps, through my eyes and other senses and my writing, you'll find the stimulation and motivation to take off on your own odyssey. I also hope you'll comment and feedback your thoughts and feelings about my experience. I also hope you'll share this blog with your friends and family who might also enjoy it. And, it would also be great to meet as many people who follow the blog as I can throughout my travels, so I'll keep you posted as to what direction I'll be heading and when I'll be there, approximately. I'd especially appreciate any ideas of people, places, things, foods, events, etc. that I might want to experience and enjoy. That will make this much more interactive.

I have no travels on the board currently. I'm at my eastern base camp  in Keyser, West Virginia, right now, taking care of a bunch of detail stuff that I've been dragging my feet on since I left the ranch in 2008. My actual home base is near Rapid City, South Dakota, but I'm never there. I'm in a planning stage right now and plan several trips from sometime in the summer forward. Meanwhile, I'll be completing the formatting of this site, posting about the progress and letting you know more about the two projects I have in the planning stage as they develop.

Thanks for checking in and I should have a subscription link installed on the blog in the next few days. I hope you'll subscribe.