A Life Long Journey

In 2003 my father passed.  Married to my mother for nearly 60 years I had immense respect for him.  Just days before he died, each of his 7 children sat quietly in the living room of my parents home.   He laid in his bed with merely days to live.  One by one he called each of his 7 children up to the room to have one more moment with each of us alone.

When it was my turn, and as the youngest of seven children I went last, I walked upstairs, laid on his bed with him, held his hand, and we talked.  Among the things we talked about I asked the all important question, “dad” I said, “can you give me one life lesson to take with me for the rest of my life?” I went on to say, “take as long as you need and think about it.” – He immediately replied, “I don’t have to think about it – it’s simple, be honest, just be honest.”  I knew exactly what he meant at that moment.  Not just be honest to others, be honest to myself. Those simple words resonate with me each and every day and completely changed the direction of my life.

Shortly thereafter I retired my financial planning practice and set out on a journey to be honest with myself.  When I asked myself what is it I would like to do in life, the answer popped out with clarity – travel to tropical destinations and make a living at it.  And so I did…

Fast forward to June of 2013.  My mother laid on her deathbed (for lack of a better term).  I never really got the chance to ask the “life lesson” question to her, but I didn’t need to – I’ve learned from my mother the compassionate side of the human race and so many life lessons.

My mother had a stroke on a Tuesday, and died on Friday.  Once again, the voice of my father resonated within.  And once again, I set the wheels in motion to be true to myself.  I’ve been landlocked in Denver for too long – it’s time… Time once again to set out on a journey to follow my passion.  To live life now by following my dreams and passions before it’s too late…

I began a process of self discovery.  When my father died I created a business to travel to tropical destinations, but this time was different.  Merely traveling to tropical places for business was simply not being true to myself – I felt compelled to eat, breathe, and live the tropics.  Through a relatively lengthy process of elimination regarding what’s important to me, and various economic reasons, I chose Bali, Indonesia.  Indonesia offered the tropical aspects, the cultural climate, and the economic feasibility for me to leave on a self-discovery of sorts.  And so, I began my journey…


Vicarious Bob is Born… 

VicariousBob.com was created out of need.  Envious of the adventure I was about to embark upon, many of my friends were asking me to email them about what was going on. The most common thread was “we want to follow your journey and live vicarious through you…” I couldn’t image the work it would take to craft emails to my friends and family to keep them updated. Thus one evening as I sat in my Denver, Colorado home trying to figure out a solution, VicariousBob was born.

My goal is to not just live a selfish journey for me, but allow others to learn and experience a lifelong adventure through my eyes, first hand.  For a long time my motto has been, “I don’t want to change the world at once, I just want to change lives one life at a time.”  This journey promises to be true to that motto.  I will live for a cause, even multiple causes, and bring my outside influences, friends, family, and readers into that cause first hand.

Part of the nature of VicariousBob.com is to not only allow my readers to experience my adventures after the fact, but to influence my adventures first hand.  I plan to bring a series of choices to my readers whereby you can vote on where I go and what I do.  By voting, YOU will dictate my actions, and to some extent determine the direction of my vicariousness.  Look for voting to become a part of VicariousBob in the near future.

I want to thank all of you for your amazing support and encouragement as I embark upon this journey.  I’ve received many kudos and congratulations for making the decision to follow my dreams and move to Bali.  I leave behind many unbreakable friendships and more love and support than I can ever imagine.  It chokes me up to be leaving, however I’ve known for a long time that my journey through life includes this time for self discovery, reflection, and living for the moment.  As dad would be proud, I am being true and honest to myself…

Thanks for being part of my Journey!

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  1. chris priest says:

    It choked me up to read about your last moments with grandpa. He truly was an amazing person. I know that you are not a religious man and your quandries with God are your own. I will pray for your safety and well being as you embark upon this journey but my biggest prayer is that your experience will be 10 fold what your highest expectations could ever be. I hope grandma can make another check mark on her list. Be careful and safe but most all ENJOY! I will be following you!

  2. wolfie says:

    Hi Bob: I do have a lot of respect for your decisions. Whatever comes to our mind we should do. This we learned when we go to the burning man.
    My thoughts will always be with you. Thank you for your friendship. I wish you the very best. Wolfie

  3. Audrey says:

    Love the blog. So happy to see this up and running! You are following such a righteous path. I am so excited to follow you!

  4. Stacey says:

    Cheers, my friend! This is a wonderful journey you have begun..I will follow and keep in touch ❤

  5. Susan Carroll Starr says:

    So sorry to hear about your Mom’s passing. You are one of the lucky ones who has the guts to actually go for it!!! Enjoy your adventure and I will be checking in to see how your doing!!!
    Take lots of photos!!

  6. Julie Ragenovich says:

    Love your blog, love the reason that you are doing this journey! Good luck in your travels and look forward to hearing all your adventures.

  7. Bigphil says:

    God be with you my brother !
    Big love and respect alway’s
    Enjoy Bali

  8. Julie priest says:

    Hey Bob,

    I am really moved by your writing and the heart felt expressions of your experiences, philosophies and intentions. I am with you in spirit, as I believe both your mom and dad are. I am praying that this time in your life gives you the deeper fulfillment you seek, that you are guided by wisdom and honesty and that you are safe and know you are loved wherever you go.

    Thank you for sharing this blog. I am so excited for you. When I am on to the next step of my life I hope we can meet up and share some experiences. Still raising kids, but close to the finish line with Hala in her senior year now so maybe soon!

    Love you,


    • BP says:

      Thank you Julie! It’s interesting how fulfilling it is for me to be in a new country meeting people from all walks of life and all over the world. I meet new people and have amazing experiences each day. It’s beautiful to share experiences with like minded people who also are experiencing life to it’s fullest. Everyone here is so friendly and nice… Thank you for your comments – I love hearing from friends and family as I have my adventure.


  9. Steve says:

    Hey Bro, check out and report back on the durian, otherwise known as the “stinky” fruit. The edible flesh emits a distinctive odor that is strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as pleasantly fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and revolting. The smell has been described as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its odor has led to the fruit’s banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in southeast Asia.

  10. Steve says:

    Bro, another item for you to search out…the Proboscus monkey. It has a huge nose that looks like a penis.

    The monkey also goes by the Malay name monyet belanda (“Dutch monkey”), or even orang belanda (“Dutchman”), as Indonesians remarked that the Dutch colonisers often had similarly large bellies and noses.

    You’ll know one when you see it. Just hope you’re not on magic mushrooms when you do see one – it may be a bit disturbing.

  11. Rochelle says:

    I am so excited to go on your journey with you! What a wonderful website you’ve created. Love the map and the info on the country. Looking forward to voting and thanks for including all your friends and family. Love you! Stay honest and be safe!

  12. Jim Habig says:

    Awesome adventure Bob and your writing is engaging. I am looking forward to living vicariously through you and perhaps grab a backpack and meet you somewhere out on the road of your travels. As an old friend once said “stay thirsty my friend”

  13. Phil E. Blunt says:


    Thx so much for inviting me along. Truly as the others have said inspiring… and similar to what i’m going thru. I’m envious and proud of yer ballsy move. So glad you took a baby Taylor. Miss the late nite jams at Brad’s. Do they like Zeppelin in Bali?

    • VB says:

      Everybody loves Zepplin! And thanks for joining the ride! Should have seen Uluwatu today – Huge!! Stay tuned for the details!

  14. Paul Shubin says:

    Nice blog? Looks incredible!

  15. Renee Bergan says:


    so damn proud of you. You’re story about your father was so touching…I’m so happy that you are living out your dream….and I my, dear cousin, will live it out with you at some point…as I’m definitely coming to visit! Trying to change my financial card as I write about how to get more income so I can travel more. Look forward to surfing with you out there!

    xo R

    • VB says:

      Hey Cuz,
      Can’t wait to hang with you in this part of the world! Figure it out and “mi casa is su casa” always! Love you!

  16. Paul Shubin says:

    Soooo, I have joke for you, Two Priest are surfing in Bali…

    Bob, I hope you and Mike have an awesome time together! Send him back to Boise safe and sound, his Water Polo Team needs him!


    • VB says:

      Hey Paul – Mike says hi. Since you didn’t finish the Priest joke, I thought I would take the liberty and make one up:

      Two priest are surfing in Bali…

      The older one says, “I have a confession to make; the reason I let you take that last wave was selfish, I saw a bigger one coming on the horizon and wanted it all to myself.” The younger Priest replies, “that’s ok, I too have a confession, the reason I took it was because we were being followed by a great white and I wanted him to have YOU all to himself.” :-O

  17. Cindy Priest says:

    Hey Bob — I wish Mike had taken a picture of the shock on your face when you opened that door. I know he enjoyed your reaction of complete disbelief along with the joy of brothers united in surf heaven. Seems to be a dream come true for both of you. I would
    like to see more pics of you both with your boards and surfing. No hot chicks please haha Did you take any pics at the orphanage? Would love to hear about that experience in your blog
    Stay true to yourself and to others and may your heart find contentment. Take care of your big bro !! Send him home safe to me
    Love you both. Cindy

  18. Kristin Curry says:

    Have you met Madae? Kutut? Or let me think Wyon? Lol the spelling is no doubt incorrect but I know you have met them all, like at every corner or cab…lol I will return someday to the magical land, I wrote a journal and am motivated to find the yellow notebook. It’s been many many years but I still remember the smell, the thought brings happiness to my heart, I am so looking forward to hearing your experiences , what a great idea! Take good care of yourself, and thanks for sharing.

    • VB says:

      Made-2 is our host on the beach, and yes, I know several Ketut’s and Wayan’s now. There’s a method to their madness with names. They explain their social status and ranking in terms of oldest to youngest children. When I figure it out from a reliable source I will share the science in a post. Thanks for Joining the journey Kristin… and find that yellow notebook – would love to hear some of your more memorable experiences. Bali does change lives… :-)

  19. Aga says:

    Loving your blog! I just start reading and will continue to do it! Miss you buddy!

  20. Dear Bob,
    Meeting you has stirred the coals and added fuel to my own fire in the belly… we share so many like minded intentions and desires that i find words cannot express my feelings and sense of kinship… as i said “it seemed when the conditions of opportunity are present and clear the right person/persons show up…”
    so it seems between you and I… lets get it on and cause some great opportunities, inspirations and changes for others that will grow…
    You are truly and admirable and inspirational person.
    With Great Regards,
    Ron Seivertson
    ps I love your songs and I feel certainly we will share our music with the world at large…

  21. Alicia Kuiken says:

    HI! Oh my Gob Bob, it is so great to read your story. I can’t wait to read more! Thank you for sharing with such an open heart! You have told me about your blog for years but I had never gotten a chance to pull it up. I have been wondering were you are. I saw Dave today and he was sharing about your move. How exciting! I would love to connect with you. Your stories,your life just get’s to me. In the gut… I’m excited to read more. Nick and I have been talking about skipping town. I love Colorado, but I want to add to my story, live a little! Good for you, so bad ass! Lets talk, I’m at work, as you can visualize little Indie Six. Talk soon.

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