Dear Uncle Calvin

Well, okay, maybe his name isn’t specifically Calvin, and maybe he’s not your uncle.  And maybe he is actually a she.

Maybe this person didn’t give a speech at your wedding, lamenting the fact that at the age of twelve you scratched his newly painted truck with your bike.  This person may not have also claimed to put you through University on $3/hour babysitting jobs.  Maybe this person didn’t also go fishing with you and bake fresh buns the last time you went home.

But you know which person I am referring to.  The one that, while he or she loves you enough to bake you fresh buns to celebrate your visit, still believes you to be ABSOLUTELY CRAZY for some of the decisions you’ve made in your life.

I love my Uncle Cal, I really do.  Beneath his gruff exterior he has a very soft and caring heart.  I know that he will always support and love me in whatever journey I take, but I just can’t get him to agree with it.

After being homeless, traveling, and story-telling for 21 months, I think I’ve convinced most people of the merits of this lifestyle. They understand that the desire to explore the world around me is too overwhelming to ignore.  But Uncle Cal is holding out, as evidenced by his message to me a month ago: Happy Birthday. Get a Job.

Traveling friends, I need your help. I am apparently lacking the ability to be persuasive and convince one of the most important people in my life that what I am doing is valuable, important, and inevitable.  And at the same time, perhaps this series, called “Dear Uncle Calvin”, will help other traveler’s trying to convince their own doubting family or friends that travel is a very good thing.

I am anxious to hear about your Uncle Calvin, and to get some ideas on how to convince mine.  Please send me a message and let me know if you would like to contribute to this series!

The first installment begins next week!


15 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • March 21 2011

    But…but…if you eventually convince Uncle Calvin, then you won’t need anymore “Dear Uncle Calvin” segments and the world would be missing out on something really awesome.

    • Dalene
      March 21 2011

      🙂 I am sure more Uncle Calvin’s would come out of the woodwork if I asked around…

  • March 22 2011

    I wish I could help you out but I’m currently wondering how to handle mom/dad Calvin along with whole family Calvin. When ya figure it out, hit me up lol! <3
    Erica recently posted..Travel Photography – The Grand Canyon

    • Dalene
      March 22 2011

      All those Calvin’s, hey?? Good news is that over time, most will come to understand, it’s tough seeing as you guys haven’t left yet. Hopefully some of the responses we are getting will help!! 🙂

  • March 22 2011

    My Uncle Calvin is not just one person, but bunch of them. Does it count?
    Btw, it’s really funny to talk to you through blog right now, while you are just a few feet away 🙂

    • Dalene
      March 22 2011

      A bunch of them, hey? Yeah, I’m sure that I’ve got more than one person in my family that thinks I’m nuts, but I expect Cal to be the toughest to convince, hence why I need help! 🙂

  • Alouise
    March 22 2011

    Funny enough I do have an Uncle Calvin, although he isn’t a family member I’m close to. I actually have no idea if my Uncle Calvin would approve of a travelling lifestyle or not…most likely not.

    In a way my family is sort of funny about travel. They’ll talk about other people who’ve travelled extensively, you know “so and so’s second neice spent three months in Asia” or “my friend’s son is going to live in Rome for a year.” But I know if I said “I’m going to study abroad in *insert country name here*” they’d ask “Why? And then proceed to point out all the flaws in my plan”

    Oh family thy name is dysfunction.

  • Alouise
    March 22 2011

    Oops I hit enter to fast. I was going to say if you make money from your blog you could always point out to your uncle Calvin that you do have a job…even though it isn’t traditional type of job.

    • Dalene
      March 22 2011

      Okay, hilarious that you also have an Uncle Calvin! Funny how sometimes it’s *okay* for other people’s kids to do these things, but not your own, hey?

      And no, we’re not pulling in money from our blog (only *yet*, I hope!) but I do consider our house sitting as a job – it pays the rent! Just in a different form! 🙂

  • MDoggy
    March 22 2011

    Haha! This made me giggle.

    Know what, he can be important to you, you can love him, care about him AND reserve the right to not concern yourself with what he thinks about your life decisions. Yeesh, a day doesn’t go by that somebody doesn’t tell me I’m crazy for having three kids. Almost every one of my friends thinks I’m freakin’ nuts…. but who cares? Sounds like you’ve got the support (not that I think you need it) of most people in your life. Heck, what would happen if I have another baby! My friends will want to lock me up in an insane asylum! But I feel in my heart I’m doing the right thing, and as long as my Trav agrees I’m happy.

    Chances are somebody is always going to think your nuts because what you do is different than what everyone else does. This is what we get for being…. different!

    Havin’ fun catchin’ up on the web stuff.

    When’s the show hittin’ the web? Should I be sending some pictures down for autographs? Can I start saying I’m famous by association yet? 🙂


    • Dalene
      March 22 2011

      I dunno…I was just talking to a local lady here whose friend has 23 kids. I think you should keep going!! 🙂

      I get it, we can’t please everyone, no matter how hard we try. But, Uncle Cal to me is like that one person I HAVE to convince…it’s like my obsession to break 1,000 on Fruit Ninja. Chances might be slim, but I *have* to keep trying. Ya know? That’s why I need help!

      Tomorrow we’ll release some details on when the show is going live!! I think you can hold onto your pics for awhile though… 🙂

  • March 22 2011

    Hahahahaha. This post is hilarious. I can’t wait to read more.

    I only have one story on this note. When I got the grant that allowed me to travel to Ecuador and volunteer at la Bib for the summer, I called my mom, super excited, and told her the news.

    “I’m going to live in Ecuador this summer!!!” I screamed.
    “…You’re gonna be homesick, crying to come back in three days,” she said.

    THANKS, MOM. She was wrong, by the way! 🙂

    • Dalene
      March 22 2011

      Haha – nice one Mom! She knows you well, I see?? 🙂

      I’m pretty excited to get some of the posts up – getting some great response!

  • March 22 2011

    Catching up here Dalene, after my birthday fling in NYC (it took 3 days to catch up on all the blog posts in my Google Reader ALONE!) but… trust that I’m on top of it – will be sending in my “Uncle Calvin” blather soon – promise!

    • Dalene
      March 23 2011

      Hope that your fling was fun!! No rush on getting it in! 🙂

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