In Case I Don’t See You…

I left America 4 months ago — here are the stories

Time To Read: 4 mins | March 5, 2017

I’ve shoved 95% of my possessions into a storage unit. Although ‘shove’ is the wrong word; more like expertly Tetris stacked every single piece of my American life — including two couches, a motorcycle, and several quarter-full bottles of liquor – into a Los Angeles storage unit.

Through a combination of chance and planning, I have zero obligations to proper society. I have no lease or mortgage, I don’t have a girlfriend or wife or otherwise and, after years of working towards this goal, all my work can be done remotely.

So I’m leaving. Literally right now. I’m sitting in the airport writing this, sipping an overpriced beer & waiting to board a one-way flight to Mexico City.

Unrelated — the woman sitting next to me smells awful. Like a stew of boiled cabbage and jalapeño farts poured over rotting kraken carcass. Nothing’s ever been worse.

But that’s neither here nor there. Point is, I’m out.

I don’t know anyone in Mexico. I don’t have a return flight. All I’ve got is a backpack full of shoddy clothing, some essential electronic equipment, and a month’s worth of Imodium AD. I’m going to aimlessly run around the planet until I get bored or deathly ill, whichever comes first. For the foreseeable future, home is where my laptop is.

At this point, it’s customary to explain one’s motivation for traveling. So, yes, I want to see the world. Yes, I’m over the 9-to-5 consumerism. Yes, I want to have adventures and live life and all those other clichés pop stars sing about.

But everyone says that crap, so I’m not wasting any more space on it.


I want to, so I am — just as soon as I finish this beer.

I’m off to a spanking start. My backpack weighs the same as most moons. I did do some research and read other traveler’s suggested packing lists, but none of them included Batman masks, so I didn’t trust them.

I also brought an odd number of socks. This was intentional because, per life experience, I will lose exactly one sock in the first 72 hours. I expect a MacArthur Genius Grant in recognition of this brilliance.

— a lady just came over the terminal loudspeaker and announced, in broken English, that my flight is getting ready to board. It was kind of her to attempt my native tongue because my Spanish is – and this is being generous – absolute shit. Which makes Latin America an obvious travel destination.

But in the words of Andy Dwyer, “I cannot emphasize enough how little I thought about this.” So here goes nothing. I’m not entirely sure what’ll happen next, but I suppose that’s the point.

Hold my beer and watch this.


— I wrote that four months ago. Now, as I write this follow-up, I’m sitting on the floor of a Panamanian airport waiting for a 3:00am flight home. This experience is less fun than that first flight because, for selfish business reasons, the bars don’t stay open when only 6 people are napping in a terminal during the wee hours of the morning.

I’m neither ill nor bored, but I allow my mother to throw exactly one party every time I play Survivor, and she’s picked the premiere. So I’m taking a weeklong U.S. timeout, during which I plan on strapping 10 pounds of belly fat onto my midsection. No McNugget in Texas is safe.

My international running about has, thus far, been a special kind of bonkers. I’ve written about 40 pieces; there are happy tales and scary shit, stories of both good and horrible people, and scenes that’d make a mute Catholic priest mumble, “What in the actual fuck?” I’ve run into drug dealers and racism, beaches and sunsets, kink actresses and evil bidets. Oh, and I nearly died once.


All those stories, and all those to come, live here.

Some of the writing’s probably shit, but over the years, I think it’s become slightly less shit. And if you disagree, keep your tasteless opinions to yourself.

Yes, I take all the photos. No, I didn’t build the site – all credit for that goes to Amy and Vava at Wicked Web Designers, and they deserve a half dozen shiny medals for their patience with me. Yes, ‘Dustland Fairy Tales’ is a nod to The Killers. No, I don’t like having faux-casual professional photos of myself all over the place, but people who know about these things said I had to.

Click the logo on the top left corner to go into the site proper. Do this now, bookmark the page, then say nice things about it — its ego is still fragile.

Also, because I know you’re wondering, I have exactly one sock left.


photo: night uniform hanging off the pack. an apartment in coyocoan, mexico city

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Malcolm Freberg
Malcolm Freberg
American writer living permanently on the road. Believes rye whiskey is superior to bourbon, Belle is the best Disney princess, and that selfie sticks should be snapped in half on sight. Hosted a travel documentary for AOL & played Survivor a few times.

Leave a Comment


  1. Christina Andreoni

    I love you Malcolm!! ?❤?? I envy your adventuring. Sounds peaceful and liberating. Good for you!

  2. Rhonda

    Amazing adventures, thanks for taking us along with you. Great read. Keep it up?

  3. Martina

    You are my long-lost little brother! I love reading about your adventures! I did the Mexico thing years ago and I am thinking about doing it again. At least now I can live vicariously thru you!

  4. C.

    Officially adorable….but don’t let it go to your head. Either. Remember….looks are just a born-with gift. So Momma Freberg….good eggs.

  5. Lavinia

    because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars… Good choice on taking a leap of faith into the Mexican unknown. Stories to tell at old age (if get there) that’s the way to measure a person’s true worth. Just an opinion. PS. Question:Would you be playing Survivor again if given the chance?


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