Commencement by Rafael Farias

“Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes” –wise man

[In some form of strange coincidence, I find myself typing this message at a time in which there is almost as much change in my life as a few years ago when I decided to travel. Once again these words ring true. While I may not be on the verge of traveling for a year, I am at the precipice of forging ahead to new career opportunities while my personal life is in the greatest place it's ever been. Onward and upward!]

To those two certainties I would add “endings and beginnings”. As with all things in life – good, bad, or indifferent – one thing must come to an end in order for something new to begin. This transition from endings to beginnings is described by the perfect word, “commencement”: a word often times associated with an ending, such as the completion of secondary school or university, but which actually means the beginning of something new.

Yesterday was my last day of work for the immediate future. This is not to say that I will not have any projects to work on, but only to suggest that any goals will be dictated solely at my own discretion.

After weeks of minute after minute winding down slower than the one prior, my last day was over before I had a chance to settle in and say goodbye. To all those that I worked with I bid you adieu. My joy of leaving was not because of the ending of my position with the company, but rather the prospect of the journey that lies ahead.

The journey begins in eight days.

How did I decide to quit my job and travel for over a year? by Rafael Farias

As I previously mentioned, it's time to go back and tell a few tales over again. Hopefully this time I can actually continue to finish where I left off and complete the tale to the present day. It's a tripfor me to look back on these articles. Au revoir for now!

The OCVagabond's (me) decision to take to the road took root in September 2009. [Seriously? Over 5 years ago? WOW] Shortly after moving into a new apartment, while staring at the empty freshly painted white walls, he inexplicably decided to take the twenty minute stroll to his nearby big box bookstore retailer. After perusing through the aisles for about fifteen minutes, with no real purpose or direction, the OCVagabond found himself drawn to the tightly rolled up maps in the back of the store.  While critiquing the quality of each individual map as if he had an idea of what he was doing – he didn’t – he found the perfect, easy-to-read map that would adorn the previously empty wall.  The map was current at the time, so South Sudan only existed as an idea.

After taking the twenty minute stroll back to his apartment, he proceeded to  wrestle for ten minutes with the edges of the map – struggling to keep them flat. Half an hour later the previously unadorned walls now had a splash of bright colors, drawing all attention from the living room and connected kitchen onto a single focal point. Upon sitting on his purple-brown cheap and fluffy IKEA couch, another instinct took hold.  The map needed to be updated with each location the OCVagabond had traveled to in his life. One minute later – after marking many major US cities, Toronto, some cities in Mexico, and somehow Buenos Aires – the map was fully updated with every place in the world visited by the OCVagabond.  The map appeared impressive; the amount of markings on the map was underwhelming.  In this moment, the idea of a trip round the world was born.

Flash forward to April 2011.  The OCVagabond woke up early on a cloudy Sunday morning. The gray light shining through the Roman blinds filled his new apartment muting the colors of each item and making it appear like an old Hollywood movie. He had moved to the Washington DC metro the year before and made an extremely difficult decision to move back to Orange County a few months earlier.  Standing there, staring at the same couch he had in his old OC apartment – now adorned with two shirts thrown across the cushion tops – he began to survey the room.  The apartment was filled with the recently rarely ridden yellow road bike in the corner [Wow! Sadly it remains the recenly rarely ridden yellow road bike in the garage now], the now-empty unmade bed behind him, the dust-covered dining table in between; just a collection of material goods. Although not as unexpected as the genesis of the idea for a round the world trip nineteen months earlier, this was a second moment of clarity. An epiphany was upon him. The decision made a few months prior to leave his life in the DC metro behind would not be squandered as the OCVagabond had just decided to take the round the world trip.

The journey began October 12, 2011.

PS – This site is going to be slightly tongue-in-cheek.  The OC Vagabond absolutely understands 100% without a doubt that he is referring to himself in the third person and narrating his travels on this site.  So don’t worry, he isn’t losing his mind.


OCVagabond to the Present... by Rafael Farias

Welcome to the new site! I say new despite the fact that it's been up for awhile. Due to a recent switch in hosting companies and my newfound dedication to working on the site, I'll call it new. So really it's my freshly redesigned site. So let me start over.

Welcome to the freshly redesigned site! As some of you know this is my second website. My first site was That website was a slightly (all the way) tongue-in-cheek travelog dedicated to my one year trip to South America, southeast Asia, and southern Europe.

I shall start my new blog on by posting some of the old stories I previously wrote for As a note of caution, I entertained writing that website in the third person. While I personally found it a hilarious way to retell my travels via an out of body method, I also found it much more difficult to maintain the style of writing consistently throughout a blogpost.

As I wrote blog posts for that site I also came to the conclusion that it was taking too much time from my travels to write about them, thus I never fully fleshed out the site as thoroughly as I should have. So here it is, the republication of many old blog posts AND fresh new posts to complete the story. I'll also add new content focused on photography.