Zen & the Art of the Travel Beard

Travel Beard

Okay so I am trying to grow a travel beard.  Well, actually, to say I am “trying” is perhaps giving me a bit too much credit.  I am simply not shaving and apparently the hair just grows in.  Now as you can see from the photo above I haven’t gotten very far yet – probably around the George Michael phase (post Wham, but pre indecent-exposure-to-a-minor conviction).

George Michael

I don’t really like a beard on me AND it itches like crazy AND Francesca hates it (which basically means even less to report in the “Love” category).  So why am I doing it?   Well for one thing because I can.  Nearly all of the jobs I have held to date have favored a clean cut look. Who knows what the future holds for me, but this may very well be the last time I can spend 4 months seeing how much facial hair I can actually grow.  Secondly, it kind of goes with the whole round the world travel thing.  Take a look through history at some famous people who have traveled around the world, or at least have walked for a very long time……..they ALL have beards!

johnny_appleseed

John Chapman (aka “Johnny Appleseed”)

paul theroux with beard

Paul Theroux (famous travel writer)

steve-fossett-photo with beard

Steve Fossett (circumnavigated the globe in a hot air balloon)

So as you can see the full beard is part of every serious traveler’s wardrobe and I am determined to be no exception.  I will definitely keep you all updated on its progress.

Also, all you men out there (and, hey, all you ladies too, cuz it’s the new Millennium after all with equality for women and all that) if you feel like growing a beard along with me in solidarity, by all means do so!  We’ll have some follicle fun together!

coming next……..”Under A Tuscan Sun”….the blog posting, not the movie.

In Retrospect (August 28, 2010):

I really enjoyed growing the travel beard even though it itched like crazy.   I am a bit bummed out that I didn’t at least keep it growing until my 40th birthday in Istanbul, but Francesca had had enough by the time we got to Hungary so I shaved it off in increments so I could try the goatee and moustache looks (not good on me).

Many months after we had concluded our trip when I would check the viewer/hits stats for my blog I would notice 30 to 70 hits per day on my blog.  I was so excited thinking that long after our trip was done people were still tuning in to read my blog.  As it turned out, when I looked deeper into the stats, it revealed that the vast majority of hits were to my “Zen & the Art of the Travel Beard” posting where people had used Google images to find pictures of Johnny Appleseed or George Michael and were not likely interested in my blog.  A sad day of reckoning to be sure.  🙂

I mention in the posting that I don’t know what job the future holds for me and that it might be the last time for me to grow a beard.  Well I have taken a job with a film production and management company in Los Angeles and their dress and facial hair code is fairly lax so i’m sure I could grow one if I wanted to.  I guess it’s just not as fun to do when you’re not traveling.

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6 Responses to “Zen & the Art of the Travel Beard”

  1. Maybe you can qualify as Santa in time for Xmas

    • aroljahns Says:

      Yeah probably, and at the rate that I’m gaining weight I can probably play the role without a pillow in my stomach. 🙂

  2. I wish I could grow a beard, but everytime I try out facial hair, I just look creepy. Nice touch with the George Michael pic by the way.

  3. I am with Fran – SHAVE IT!!!! 🙂

    • aroljahns Says:

      SHAVE IT! SHAVE IT! SHAVE IT! I feel like there is a Cesar somewhere holding his thumb out ready to give the thumbs up or thumbs down. Sydel, its not that I think the beard looks good (although I must say it is kind of neat just to see a face in the mirror that doesn’t look like mine) and it certainly doesn’t feel good, but sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. What can I say? 🙂

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