Greetings family members, friends & friendly strangers who’ve stumbled onto this site. My name is Kevin “Mac” McMahan, and this is my travel blog documenting my attempt to circumnavigate the planet by land and sea- without getting on an airplane. As I start writing this blog, its May 14, and I am in Bermuda sitting in the kitchen of a cheap Airbnb rental. I’ve been laying over in Bermuda for several days now, having sailed from New Jersey on a big-ass cruise ship.
The blog is named Hard Travelin’ after the Woody Guthrie song:
I’ve been doin’ some hard travelin’, I thought you knowed
I’ve been doin’ some hard travelin’, way down this road
I’ve been doin’ some hard travelin’, hard gamblin’, hard ramblin’
Been doing some hard travelin, Lord
Tomorrow I join the 48’ sailboat Isbjorn to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. You can follow the progress of Isbjorn at https://www.59-north.com/logbook#logs. We set sail on Wednesday.
So far, this trip has lived up to its title (cruise ship not withstanding), as I’m already sore as hell from carrying a 50-pound backpack for miles of hiking. I’ve fallen twice, badly bruised my elbow, knocked a hole in my head at the train station in Chicago, and had a bottle of really good scotch confiscated from me by the New Jersey Port Authority, and I’m just getting started. In the song, Woody gets locked up for vagrancy.
If all goes according to my plan, this adventure should last about 8 or 9 months. I left the ranch back in Texas on May 1, 2017, and I hope to arrive back home sometime in January of 2018.
This adventure is a product of my fevered imagination which became an obsession. It’s been in the works for a couple of years, but the decision to make the trip in 2017 was reached much more recently.
I have self-imposed some rules of the road:
-No airplanes (this circumnavigation is void if I get on an airplane)
-Must cross at least one ocean on a sailboat (update: completed)
-Must include crossing Australia
-Must leave the Gap Creek Ranch on foot (walking)
-Must return to the Gap Creek Ranch on foot (walking)
-The Woody Guthrie Rule: this is a blue-collar adventure, no luxury accommodations, no 1st class train travel, and no cruise ships except where no other means of travel is available.