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Published on January 29th, 2013 | by Robert Franklin

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Mandatory Introduction / Inhibitions (part one) by Andrew Morales

A few weeks ago I ran into my cousin at a wedding, I hadn’t seen him in a few months but once things settled we started talking…
And what he told me left me floored.
I’d known that over the summer he was out traveling around the nation.
I’d see photos posted on Facebook and stuff…
Little did I know that he was actually traveling around the nation… on his own and largely on foot.

I asked him if he would like to share some of his stories and he agreed.

This is the beginning of a series of stories from Andrew Morales that we’ll be posting in a biweekly (more or less) fashion.
Told by Andrew himself and for us to share with you on 1121south.net.
-RF

The Mandatory Introduction

At the beginning of the new year we often make resolutions for missed opportunities or failures of the past. This may be taming the bulge, plans to quit smoking, or getting your life organized, to which are all admirable fixes. Yet, I find myself at this time not planning for the future but reflecting on the many misadventures of 2012. So Instead of harping on about how I plan to resolve my life, 1121south.net has offered me some space on their website to recount some of my tales as an enlightened traveler.

The question many of you may be asking is what makes this writer so special that his stories need to be shared with you.

Well..

The answer is quite easy, I know the folks that run this website and they have given me permission to do so but that’s not to say I am not an interesting person. Here are a few facts that might make you curious in what I have to say.

  • In 2012, I traveled to Mexico to complete a vision quest.
  • In 2012, I visited 22 states across the good old US.
  • In visiting the 22 states, I did half of those backpacking on foot.
  • In 2012, I hiked over a 100 miles of trails, canyons, and mountains.
  • In 2012, I saw over 50 musical acts.

Before I begin reminiscing about the past, I would like to introduce myself so you have an idea of me as a person.

I graduated from college in Digital Media over a year and a half ago with desire to be a film writer/director. I have yet to make the jump to Hollywood but I have done some commercial filming here and there. Currently I am not married and don’t have any children, so I am free to wander the earth whenever. Apart from the film stuff, I love music, hiking, and of course, food. My turn ons are girls in dresses, intelligence, and strong opinions.

In the coming entries I will explore the various places my eyeballs have seen and the humanity I meet out on the road. In conjunction with that, I will also share the inner workings of my brain and my personal ideology I live by. I feel it’s important to learn the reasons behind the things I do and the motivation that made me travel so much in 2012. Also, my stories are not going to be presented in chronological order, we are doing this Quentin Tarantino style.

With that, I will end by saying “Hello, my name is Andrew Cody Morales and I hope you like my tales.”

Inhibitions (Part 1)

My arrival in the largest city in the United States began without a game plan. I had no idea what I was going to do and more importantly where I was going to lay my head to sleep that night. When I left the warmth of the Arizona sun in the summer of 2012, I made my way across the US to New York City all on a whim. My decision to suddenly travel out East was fueled by an ideology I learned in a book called “Into the Wild.” It had very profound affect over me and my beliefs. The ideas that were present in this manuscript were so beautiful that I simply could not resist putting them into practical application. I had to live the principles of letting the wind blow me where I needed to go.

If I wanted to be a real adventurer, I had to be spontaneous.

When I set off to explore the Eastern states, all I had with me was a hiking backpack that was lent to me by a friend. The pack I carried was a 45 liter, grey and bright orange bag that was filled with minimal provisions; my 120gb iPod, a sleeping bag, a two-man tent, my journal, toiletries, 7 days worth of clothes, a tarp, and a book. The pockets on my person faired no better, they only held a cellphone and a wallet. The only plan I made before I left to the east coast was to travel light, sans electronics because if I was robbed out in the wild, I wouldn’t feel so bad at the loss.

When I arrived at the LaGuardia Airport I took a bus to the nearest subway stop located in Queens (one of five boroughs). Peering from the bus window, I noticed many overpasses that allowed the Amtrak trains to leave the NY metropolis to the neighboring cities and states. In the back of my mind, I thought it would be funny if I slept under one of those overpasses like a bum or a street kid from Portland, Oregon. To my surprise, later that night, I made one of those overpasses in Queens my home.

When I arrived at my stop, the thought I was pondering came and went with a flash. My mind was already preoccupied with learning the ins and outs of the subway system to which I had little knowledge of prior. After a few minutes of being a fish out of water, I found myself on the “M” line (subway) heading to downtown Manhattan. New York City is a destination that I have only seen in movies and television but there I was making my journey to the heart of the Big Apple.

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When I emerged from the depths of the earth to the hustle bustle of Bryant Park, I felt like I was Francisco Coronado reincarnated, a true explorer. There I was in an unknown environment with thousands of people from every walk of life roaming up and down the streets. Endless skyscrapers that reached towards the heavens brimmed every city block. I took everything in because I could not ask for a more proper introduction for my east coast adventure than that.

As I spent the remainder of the day and the better part of the night becoming friendly with my new surroundings. I found myself at 3 in the morning wondering aimlessly through the streets for a place to sleep. On my phone I was googling a few hotel rooms but something inside my soul told me not to do it. Throwing all caution out and fighting my need for a logical shelter, I came to a decision that I was going to sleep on the street.

But where I was going to sleep was the big question.

(to be continued)


About the Author

Robert Franklin serves as a photographer, writer, website editor, and content creator for 1121South. He enjoys video games, comics, movies, concerts, outdoor stuff, and sitting hunched over at a computer... and World of Warcraft.



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