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Monday, February 27, 2012

Frenzy of Friends

My new visiting friend, Adam, left yesterday, and I’m hanging out with Shug, the dog, on the last day of this house-sit—a good time to blog.


Unlike my usual quiet Moab winters, this one’s been chock full of projects and surprises like visits from intriguing people from near and distant lands.


Bad News and Good News



The bad news is our Moab City Council flip-flopped and voted against the Resolution declaring "corporations are not people" that I talked about in the last post.  It looks like we’re going work to put it on the ballot so the people rather than the council members can decide, which is better anyway.


The good news is that I have gotten visits from amazing people this whole past month.  My first visit was from Benjamin, from France, and his two friends Yasmin and Marisa, from Mexico, all traveling without money. 



Forward the (R)evolution Friends

Benjamin, Michael (an English chap I've never met), and Yazmin,
in Mexico before I met them in person.
Some of you might be familiar with the Forward the (R)evolution moneyless voyagers.  I've been in contact with them for the past three years.  They began as three Europeans (Benjamin from France, Raphael from Germany, and Nicola from Italy) who hitched, without money (except for border-crossing fees), by boat from Europe to the Canary Islands to Brazil (where Nicola returned to Europe), then overland to Columbia, by boat to Panama, overland to Mexico (where Raphael’s and Benjamin’s girlfriends, Nieves and Camille, joined them from Europe).   Raphael , Nieves, and Camille later returned to Europe from Mexico while, to my joy, Benjamin continued northward via California to Moab, joined by two friends from Mexico, Yazmin and Marisa. 

Benjamin, in his mid 20s, is the first human in the flesh I’ve ever met who is committed to living completely without money, having gone three years moneyless, so far.  I felt child-like joy meeting him, like I had reunited with a long-lost soul-mate.  And his friends, Yazmin from Puebla and Marisa from Chihuahua, impressed me to no end, having the courage to leave Mexico, using nearly no money, on an odyssey across the US.  All three were a pure pleasure to be with, like I had known them all my life.  I got to oil my rusty Spanish, too.     
Marisa (in Mexico?) before I met her

Marisa is making a documentary of this incredible journey.  I tried to embed the teaser video of her work thus far, but it's not working.  So you'll have to watch it at Forward the (R)evolution.



My friend Bruni (whom I house-sit for) gladly offered to host them at her house for a couple days, to freshen up, before they stayed with me in a big “guest” cave for several days.   We ate scavenged food, played music around the fire, played their home-made replica of the Settlers of Catan game, hiked, philosophized, and hung out with my Moab friends.  

Benjamin, Yazmin, Suelo
(Not sure where Marisa is)
Glenn took this pic at the 'Guest Cave'





The 'Guest Cave'
(Glenn took this pic)
They continued east, planning to go to Boulder, Colorado, then to Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Austin, Texas.  Marisa planned to then head to New York and Benjamin and Yazmin back to Mexico.  Benjamin wants to hitch a boat back to Europe from there.

Meanwhile, Raphael and Nieves are back in Germany, gaining notoriety living virtually moneyless with their new baby (see Spanish article Viven Sin Dinero in lanacion.com).



Glen
While my three friends and I were in the big cave, a dude named Glen showed up, saying he decided to swing through the Moab area to see if he could find me.  I had been house-sitting most the winter, so this was magical synchronicity.  Glen writes an excellent blog, The Practical Primitivist, and had just finished a wilderness course in Montana and was on his way to another one near Phoenix.  I found his wisdom profound and I learned invaluable things from him.

Adam in the cave in the morning


Adam

After all those friends left Moab, another mellow and loveable dread-locked visitor, Adam, showed up from Virginia.  He was also heading to the wilderness school in Montana and decided to first come to Moab.  He stayed with me mostly at this latest house-sit.  But we took Shug, the dog I’m caring for, up to the little cave and stayed up there a couple nights, relishing the luxury of the canyon.  Last Saturday night, Adam and I went to the Trashion Show at Frankie D’s and danced to Techno with lots of Moab friends and had the time of our lives.  I said my sad goodbyes to Adam yesterday morning as he hitched out of Moab.
Rocket-stove cooking outside the cave
(Adam took this pic)






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Juniper tea. 
I also drink teas from Pinion, wild grasses,
and Mormon Tea as a daily staple.
(Adam took this pic)


















 













Film-makers



While Adam had been here, a film team from MAHA Productions, based in Europe, showed up and filmed me and my friends Sallie and Helena for a documentary called Backroads USA, about off-the-beaten-path characters across the USA.  I usually don’t like that sort of thing, but they were so personable and wonderful, like old friends, that I loved working with them.  They took us to dinner afterward, along with another chap they had filmed, named Lou, and fun was had by all.



Bracing myself for what’s next 
The coming weeks call for an even stranger and new life for me, and I pray I can walk it with grace, with equanimity.  Mark Sundeen is taking me with him on part of the book signing for The Man Who Quit Money.  Funny, I didn't plan or decide for any of this book stuff to happen.  But that's the nature of this lifestyle, letting unfold what may, and things more magical happen than I could ever plan, much less conceive.



Here’s part of the itinerary, in case anybody out there wants to come:

The Man Who Quit Money Book Reading/Signing/Discussion Itinerary, so far:





Wednesday, March 14, 7:00 pm
1511 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84105




Saturday, March 17, 6:30 pm
960 Main Avenue, Durango, CO 81301



Monday, March 19, 7:00 pm
Grand County Public Library
257 East Center Street, Moab, UT 84532
View Map · Get Directions





Wednesday, March 21, 7:30 pm
Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Thursday, March 22, 7:00 pm
904 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
More events may be added to this itinerary




30 comments:

  1. Hi Daniel
    As always great to hear what's happening.
    Hope you can make it to Ireland for a few days as part of your book tour!!
    Good health
    Brian

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  2. Ordered a copy of the book.
    Look forward to reading it.

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  3. Anonymous, Unless someone's willing to flip the bill For Daniel's plane ticket and lodging I doubt he'll be able to make it to Ireland. Otherwise, traveling can be fun.

    Daniel, I wish I could be at one of those book signings of yours.

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  4. It's mind blowing how you've been living this way for over a decade. How do you do it? Do you hunt for some of your food? Dumpster dive? What? I'm genuinely curious. Is it hard? Do you ever get lonely? How do you get access the internet?

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  5. @Ben & Brian -
    well, Benjamin & Raphael already proved you can hitch a boat between Europe & the Americas with no money. My problem is I have no ID to my name, much less a passport. But I still have a hunch it's possible.

    @Rachelle - there should be FAQs to answer your questions in the website link 'LIVING WITHOUT MONEY' (upper right corner here)

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  6. @Ben - presumably the books promoters would want to arrange a few plane trips to promote the book and presumably Daniel could accept this on the basis that it is freely given and a great chance to "spread the word".

    Anyway, Daniel, if you plan to visit Ireland or the UK you would surely get many offers for free accomodation - from me for one!

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  7. It would be cool if you were serving Juniper Tea just like in the picture too!

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  8. I just added the 2 'Guest Cave' pics above, which Glenn just sent me.

    Though I did it once, I prefer not for people to buy me plane tickets anymore, unless the airline itself offers the flight for free.

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  9. I've been following this blog of yours and your website for over a year and it never ceases to impress. Thanks for the updates on your visitors. I loved the pics. I wish you could make it to St. George for your book tour. It woul be a delight to meet you. I am planning a trip to Moab this summer with the fam...maybe I will run into you. Thanks again.

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  10. By the way...I just purchased the book through Amazon,. It is set to arrive 3/6. I can't wait to get started.

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  11. Sorry...I know I am filling up the comment board and I meant to add this to my last comment, but Suelo I think it would be a neat addition to your blog if you could maybe explain how you make some of that mormon tea, juniper tea, or other little items you eat/drink while living moneyless. I have tried making Mormon tea several times, but I am not sure I do it right. Just a thought that's all.

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  12. Its great that the book is coming out. I'd love to read it but I don't know if there is anyway I could read it without having to pay for it! Hopefully someone uploads the text online so I can read it for free. :)

    It's great that you had these visitors and that there seems to be a growing movement of people who are dedicated to living without money or at least taking the ideals seriously. God bless.

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  13. @Suelo,

    Your story is very compelling... my only question is, how did you pay off debts (if any)...

    For me, I'm interested in alternative living but have student loans to pay off and I feel it's an obligation that can't be neglected.

    Would love to get your thoughts.

    Sincerely,
    Charlie

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  14. Dear Mr. Suelo,

    My name is Jon Netzler, and I am a high school English teacher in Wisconsin. Our class is studying Transcendentalism. Last week I listened to a program on Wisconsin Public Radio which discussed your life and beliefs. I shared an article about your life with my students, and they brainstormed a list of questions for you.

    We are curious about your philosophy and your way of life. Thanks for your consideration,

    Jon Netzler

    P.S. The password to my personal high school website is netzler.

    Questions for Daniel Suelo:

    1. How are you able to shrug off indignities like mice and bugs?
    2. If you could have anything, what would it be?
    3. Are you ever lonely?
    4. What is your favorite food?
    5. What do you do for fun?
    6. Do you eat bugs?
    7. Why don’t you like money?
    8. Do you miss showers?
    9. Who is your best friend?
    10. What do you do for clean water?
    11. How are you?
    12. How do you feel about getting cold during the winter?
    13. What do you miss most about your normal life?
    14. What do you do if you get lonely or sad?
    15. Do you ever talk to your family?

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  15. @Raj: email me personally - *maybe* we can work something out.

    @Charlie: see http://sites.google.com/site/livingwithoutmoney/Home/how-to-become-free-from-debt in the website

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  16. 1. How are you able to shrug off indignities like mice and bugs?
    Believe me, they're way way way lesser indignities than slaving 9-5 or worrying about finances & "security."
    2. If you could have anything, what would it be?
    Nothing. The point of living this way is to want nothing.
    3. Are you ever lonely?
    Yes, when I forget loneliness is simply a state of mind.
    4. What is your favorite food?
    Only what I'm eating at present. Thinking about favorites puts us into a state of discontent.
    5. What do you do for fun?
    Sleep, hike, see friends, cook, eat, art, meditate, play music, read, write, hitch-hiking, train-hopping, dancing, experiencing the joy of not knowing what will happen in the next minute, etc.
    6. Do you eat bugs?
    Yes. Grasshoppers & grubs are scrumptious.
    7. Why don’t you like money?
    See FAQ 1 in website (why I live without money)
    8. Do you miss showers?
    No. I love plunging in the creek. I enjoy showers when they come, though.
    9. Who is your best friend?
    Whoever I'm with.
    10. What do you do for clean water?
    I drink from a spring or boil creek water. I drink tapwater in civilization.
    11. How are you?
    Depends when. Good and bad and mediocre, sick and healthy: I like experiencing all life dishes out.
    12. How do you feel about getting cold during the winter?
    Comfort is relative - a state of mind. Discomfort isn't in circumstances, but in *thinking* of what could be more comfortable. 13. What do you miss most about your normal life?
    I miss nothing, seriously. This is my normal life.
    14. What do you do if you get lonely or sad?
    I sit with it until I realize it's only a state of mind, and it vanishes. We get lonely or sad whether or not we're around people, no?
    15. Do you ever talk to your family?
    All the time. I'm visiting my parents right now. But, really, everybody, human and non, is my family.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dear Daniel,

    Thank you very much for answering our questions so promptly. Your answers and your example have given us much to consider as we continue to discuss the ideals of Transcendentalist thinkers and writers like Emerson and Thoreau. My students are very curious about your way of life. As we continue to read excerpts of "Nature," "Self-Reliance," and "Walden," we are in the process of brainstorming a few more questions for you. We will send the questions to you when we have decided on our list. Thank you very much again. We wish you the very best.

    Sincerely,
    Jon Netzler

    ReplyDelete
  18. I got the book today. I plunged right into the first chapter (sorry, wasting company time) which is stealing, but I couldn't resist. When I am done with the book I will for sure pass it on to the next soul. Thanks, Suelo, for allowing us into your life a bit.

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  19. I have requested the Ignacio library order "your" book. Thank you for your words on your site. I am so gla you are. I love that you were my wise man all those years ago. love,p

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  20. Daniel:
    From time to time, I've posted on this site over the years; just not lately. I've been away making money. [Pain-in-the-ass; necessary evil, for me.]

    I really liked your take on Slab City last year. Good-on-ya mate.

    If you ever get to Ireland, my man, you will be an instant sensation, particularly if your publisher can promote the trip in advance. Alas, I know that's not your style. You'd be a hit in the UK as well, although you'd have more critics there.

    @Chris, I'll take Suelo's book when you've finished. You can find me easily on the Internet.

    Is there an e-book version? I really want to read this book; but do not want to "buy" it, out of respect to the author.

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  21. Timothy, I checked out Amazon.com and it has both the e-book and the physical book version for sale.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Daniel. I'm new to you. ;)
    I read your book: Awesome. Thank you.
    It and your other work are great accomplishmnets and gifts to the world.
    Love and posiive energy to you and yours, my friend.
    Sincerely.
    Mark

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  23. The book event tonight in Moab was a wonderful one! Congratulations to you and Mark Sundeen for giving birth to your story and sharing your philosophies.

    After tonight and reading the book, all I can say is I wish I lived next door (or rather next cave :-) to you so I could soak up some more of your thoughts and discuss the meaning of life... or even the weather. Unfortunately I don't, but it's good to discover your hang outs here in cyberspace.

    I know it probably sounds odd, but when I shook your hand I felt a connection or an energy or maybe just simply something real that is missing in most handshakes between humans. Whatever it was, it would be nice to experience more of it!

    Best to you on all fronts!

    Doug

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  24. Greetings Daniel, I would like to live similar to you & others like indigenous people. I'm from Colombia as I was adoped from there & I have lived in the Northeast for ~25 years. I have always wanted to live closer to nature & have pretty much rejected the rat race culture I was raised in for as long I can remember. Now I would like to return to a simpler way of life & most importantly grow my own food. I actually have family there & they want me live with them but they try to emulate the western culture...exactly what I'm running from. Help!!! Do you know of others like ourselves living or traveling through Colombia? However, a great interest of mine & one of the reasons I would like to go there is because I would like to learn the traditional indigenous knowledge of the people of Colombia...from the Amazon to the High Andes. That is my goal. Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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  25. There is NO SUCH THING as traveling without money or even living without money. Don't you see that the 'free' rides you are getting are a result of someone (that works and has money) GIVING it to you, or you are STEALING it??? I am not a slave to money. I live within my means, as my religion has taught me. On Sundays (my sabbath), I am indeed moneyless, and on the first Sunday I fast for the first two meals. But to try and say that you can LIVE without money is just incorrect. Someone is paying for you to stay where you to stay - to ride where you ride, etc. To say you 'live' in a cave is not without expense. Land is owned, therefore the cave you are living in is being paid for by someone - just not you. If you get your kicks off of living off of others, that's great - I am not going to knock you, but by all means, PLEASE STOP SAYING YOU LIVE WITHOUT MONEY - because you DON'T!!!!!

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  26. I hope you make out to New York at some point--the temple of the faith in the imaginary money that you speak of. I would certainly attend. In fact, I think a great many would. Keep up the good work!

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  27. I agree with Anonymous, you are living on other's generosity, hard work, and charity. And then relating this "alternative lifestyle" to Christianity makes me sick.

    Paul in his letter to the church in Thessalonica, (II Thes 3:7-13) tells the Christians there to follow his example and WORK in order to PAY for the food that they eat. Paul calls you a busybody without discipline, and commands those like you to "work in quiet fashion and eat your OWN bread."

    It's your choice whether or not you want to live in a cave and not make any contributions to society, but don't excuse your laziness with Christian principles.

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  28. Hi Daniel. Thanks for living by example. I feel sorry for those Anonymous commenters who contend that you are not contributing to society. Your message is the most honest and revolutionary I've come across. American Indians also lived off the land until the white man came and pushed them off. I live a very simple life and have been around others who had immense wealth and found them to be very ugly people. They measure a person's value by acquisitions. And of course I can help coveting sometimes when I see the luxury of acquisitive. Interestingly, I have not witnessed anyone make money by doing right or being kind. I do not mean to be sycophantic but you are a man for our time. Thank you for sharing.

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