Journey into the Heart of The Hidden South
I'm at my best when I'm on the road. I wake up with a sense of urgency fueled by a childlike curiosity about the other humans sharing this experience with me. I live by faith that I'm being guided by a force greater than me alone. I feel connected.
My daughter, Taylor, came to me several months ago and told me that she was ready to move to college. I was going through a breakup with my partner of seven years, and I knew it was time to move out of the loft that I'd been in for almost 10 years. There was a lot of change coming, and I wasn't really sure what was next for me.
A few days later, Taylor and I were chatting and she said, "You know, you've been talking about living on the road for years. Maybe now is the time." It was a light bulb moment. While I had thought about it plenty over the years, it had always been a far off, somewhat unattainable, dream. I was a single dad and I had responsibilities. But she was right, this was the perfect time.
Not only would this journey help satisfy a lifelong wanderlust, it would give me the opportunity to spread the word about the project. Most importantly, I would get to work on gathering stories for the next book.
You see, I'm at my best when I'm on the road. I wake up with a sense of urgency fueled by a childlike curiosity about the other humans sharing this experience with me. I live by faith that I'm being guided by a force greater than me alone. I feel connected.
So I decided that I would set out for at least a year and focus on nothing but the project. Beginning October 1st, 2016, I'll travel to cities and towns throughout the Southeastern U.S. During that time I won't have a traditional home. At some point I hope to acquire a travel trailer or tiny home to tow. Until then I'll stay with friends of the project and at motels.
Now, you may be asking yourself, "How does a person who isn't wealthy fund an adventure like this?" Well... it's a complex equation and I don't completely know the answer. But I believe that magic happens with this project and that I'll be taken care of. And the magic has already started.
Part of the equation is most definitely selling books along the way to help fund the journey. I know I can sell books at festivals, events, bars, random street corners; really anywhere I can find empathetic humans. But, I had sold out the first run of 1000 books that were funded by the Kickstarter, and I didn't have the cash to buy more. That was until a completely unexpected gig came along that paid exactly what I needed to purchase the next round. And it came just in time. I ordered more books last week and they will arrive around the 1st of October when I'm scheduled to shove off.
Another part of the equation includes people like you, who believe in the power of this project. I know I can't, nor would I want, to take this journey alone. I believe that the real magic happens when many humans get behind a movement and push it forward. So, if you can lend a hand, here are some ways you can help:
- To me, money equals freedom to focus on what really matters; telling the stories of people who deserve to have their voices heard. Please consider making a contribution to help fund this project.
- Buy books. Buy a lot of books. Donate them to schools, libraries and organizations that you think would benefit from reading the stories. If you don't know where to donate them, I do. Just send an email before you order and I'll make sure the books find a good home.
- Follow the Project on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter and Snapchat (thehiddensouth) and subscribe for updates below. Tell your friends and share the journey!
I created a page that will track my travels. Click Follow The Journey below, and check back often to see where I'm at and when I'll be in your city.