Well, it has been a long road for me and my facial hair. I´ve had opportunities to try a beard, sideburns, a goatee, a fumanchu, and a chinstrap. Unfortunately all of them have been missing the fullness I´ve been looking for. To put it in perspective, Lindsey and I have decided that at our current hostel I have the 4th best beard. There are only 3 other men staying at this hostel. Very depressing.
On the upside Lindsey has grown quite fond of the beard.
Well I should make a few caveats on that. She is quite fond of it when its trimmed to a reasonable length and not growing out of my neck ... a tall order for when im traveling and hot water is not readily available. There was actually a point in the trip where Lindsey laid down the law and told me it was her or the beard. We compromised with a good trimming. I was disappointed but I dont blame her. I looked like a homeless person. Especially since my clothes are constantly dirty and my coat has about 15 rips in it. A friend of a friend in Bolivia described me to another traveler as a hippy. If you have ever had one conversation with me I am immediately ousted as not a hippy. The beard, dirt, and ripped clothes combo pulled it off though. I was strangely proud.
Really though, Lindsey actually prefers the beard. She says that it gives me a chin. Other than the fact that Lindsey is the worst complimenter in history, I understand her point. It gives my face a little more definition ... not that I needed it before (i have a very nice chin thank you). But with all the good the beard brings it is a hell of a pain in the ass to maintain without a beard trimmer. I have to use my pocket knife to trim it. Have you ever trimmed a beard with a pocket knife? It aint easy. So what I do now is shave everything except the chin (dont want to lose my chin!) and then just let it grow in, it might not be the best looking plan but it works.
My biggest problem with the beard is the eating, drinking and general cleanliness problems that I've had with it. I wouldnt say that I'm the most hygienic person in the world, after a year of traveling together Lindsey would probably say that I am the least hygienic person in the world, but I didnt realize the problems I had until the beard was in my life. On multiple occasions I left our hostel/apartment with soap or toothpaste stuck somewhere in the underside of my beard. Every time I ate there are remnants in the mustache, and I mean every time. I could eat a bag of M&Ms and somehow get one of those suckers stuck up there. I call it a talent, Lindsey just says I'm cursed.
All in all though, I'm proud of my beard accomplishments. No longer will someone ask me if I have dirt on my face.
From here on out I am a man that can grow a beard. Let's face it thats the last step towards manhood. That and getting rid of pimples. When the crap will that happen?!
So for my final 2 months of traveling I am going all out. The beard will reign supreme and I will do everything in my power to grow it to its fullest extent. It will be glorious. Just in time for my brothers wedding! Sorry Bill but its fate.