What has a year of living the “dream life” taught me?

Warning: the following text includes graphic language, insight into author’s self-absorbed, pretentious and preachy personality characteristics and possibly some slavic english.

Well, last year had an interesting twist. The stars aligned and this guy was paying attention. I finally saw a chance to take a “year off”, after 7 years of hard work. Ok, mainly just work, the hard part was occasional. I condone “hard” work. It’s like a feudal mindset leftover / conspiracy theory / plain nonsense. Right? Who’s with me?

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, stars aligned. Bought a Volkswagen van on Ebay with a crazy babe from New York, who just happened to randomly stumble into my life at the right moment. I quickly told my friends and family that I am going to move into a van with this americana i’ve just met and travel the States for a while with no tangible plans whatsoever. I saved some money and just left.

Welcome to the dream

I arrive to the states and immediately spend all my money. In two months. Money that was supposed to last at least half a year. That’s because I am vain and wanted a cool van. I wanted a Volkswagen, which ironically, for a hippie icon vehicle requires an executive salary to maintain. Also because we’re both spoiled hedonistic asses. No problem. Being the hard worker I am, I quickly resumed my 4–5 days/month work schedule and we survived, yay.

help is futile

Started in Oregon, toured California down south to San Diego, where we waited out the winter and got married, as if everything was not weird enough.

Happiest day / worst hair day of my life (our witness on the left)

Then we drove across Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and finished in Florida. From there we shipped the van to France where I will pick it up in 6 weeks and continue alone for a while. Turns out that living in a small space with another human is pretty intense and we are not the kind of people who take a liking in fusing into one person. Surprise, surprise. Now, she’ll go tits in New York, while i’ll wait for the van in Paris. From there on, the page is unwritten. Sweet, succulent uncertainty.

I’m writing this on my way to Paris, as a matter of fact. While a child is entertaining itself by clunking a plastic toy into a metal tray. Somehow the parents applaud this behaviour. And the tiny human sounds exactly the same if it talks or cries. Damn, i love to fly. The end.

There is only one way to fly … really, really high

I am intentionally not going into other details. They don’t matter because it’s a template story. A boy and a girl driving around in a VW van, drawing, painting, writing poetry, smoking, swimming, cooking, singing and being naked while most are doing the complete opposite. Who gives a shit? Aaah yes, but thats living the dream according to almost everybody we have met or had conversations about it. It certainly looks like it, but is it?

Living the life


Here comes the cold shower. As the refreshing reality drips over my hot body, a realisation crawls up my spine …

I’m still me. The same piece of shit I always was.

I can do anything, live any life, but that will not change my perception, my chemistry, my je ne sais quoi. I can shape and bend my surroundings as much as I please, and lawd knows I do, but my essence remains. You see how I used two different sentences to say precisely the same thing. It’s kind of like that. Travelling, I felt the exact same things I have felt living the city life for previous 27 years. Every. Day. Every. Where. I. Am. Me.

Because I am just the sum of all my thoughts and actions. The way I see things, is the way things are. It’s one of those things you already know, but as you peel through the layers of reality, they sediment deeper.

“Reality is like an ogre, it has layers.” — Shrek

There I was, living a completely different life and yet everything felt the same. Ok, I have changed, of course, but change is constant. Travelling and living in the van, as fun as it is, does not feel as a significantly different experience as one might expect it to be.

Thats because I am the experience and the world around me just happens to warp into it.

I really love how that sounds. And Shrek never said that previous quote. But Jiddu Krishnamurti did say this:

The mind is the experience, the known, and it can never be in the state of experiencing; for what it experiences is the continuation of experience. The mind only knows continuity, and it can never receive the new as long as its continuity exists. What is continuous can never be in a state of experiencing. Experience is not the means to experiencing, which is a state without experience. Experience must cease for experiencing to be.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Arizona was nice
New Mexico was nice

I am not, by far, belittling travel or anything similar. On the contrary! But here’s the thing:

If you suck … you can go traveling anywhere you want and you still won’t live the dream, you will just continue to suck while changing your latitude and longitude.

Thats it. Luckily, I am very awesome. My life was always a dream. For better or worse. Till death do us part.

Back to black

Well, that was anticlimactic. And vague. I’m sorry and i know. But to me, this is the thing. Me. Myselfesnessness. Myselfosity. Perception is the biggest thing there is…

… and seriously, what the fuck is life? I am perplexed by everything, everyday. So I just try to work on creating a bearable perception model for this acid trip we call life. A perception that is flexible, yet strong and invites creatures of all kinds into a kind, understanding discourse.

I can disagree with your opinion, but i can’t disagree with your experience. And once I have a sense of your experience, you and I are in relationship, acknowledging the complexity of each others position, listening less guardedly. The difference of our opinions will probably remain intact, but no longer defines what is possible between us. — Krista Tippet

What is life?

A year of traveling was not about traveling at all. It was about learning to love myself again, or more, i don’t know, both maybe. Also, taking everything less personally. Loosing the fear of being judged for being theatrical and bombastic. Loosing the fear of approaching new people. Getting cosy in all my personalities and worrying less about how i’m perceived. Accepting the fact, that nothing I have done matters, despite it’s niceness, awards and peer recognition. Accepting solitude as my primary modus operandi. Being hyper-honest. Accepting what a insignificant nothing I am. Learning to cope.

You know, the basics. The code, the 01 … baby.

Our brain constantly tricks us into believing we have the basics figured out.

Sadly, our personalities are not like houses, which is the metaphor peeps be throwing around. The ol’ “Great persons are great because of good foundations…” Fuck you Alfred Armand Montapert, a house does not have to adapt to different environments and situations like we do, a house is static and does not give a shit. If it’s foundations are good, it will stand forever. We will not. Even Euripides knew this. It’s a little more difficult for us. We are in the adolescence of our species. We are fluid and wiggly. We need to constantly re-fresh the browser. Wiggly wiggles wiggling wiggly.

So yeah, thats it.

If only … there was more?

PS: Other things

90% less internet usage. I don’t take electricity for granted anymore. I made a drawing almost every day. I learned that Robert Downy Jr. is the same in all movies, because he fell into a tub of cocaine as a child. Started writing. Also poetry. More reading. Monogamy is a manifestation of human weakness. Life without a skate sucks and fuck american modular sidewalks, for that matter. Made a bunch of new plant-based recipes. Mental space is amazing. Boredom is awesome. Laid down a concept for a new start-up. Masturbated in Starbucks. Twice. Took random walks going nowhere. Got married. Quit smoking. Whatever.

my creative schnjazz by the gram @etre_mir

show vlads some love, press the ❤ you rascal

Vladimir & vladimir

Written by

Co-Fo, Designer & Brand Whisperer @ people.ooo • @ surfin.si • Artist • Some of my personalities write // vladimirvladimir.com

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade