Without a doubt, almost nobody reading this post is going to have any idea who I am or know anything about my blog, WanderingEarl.com. Luckily, however, there is one exception and without the connection I’ve made with this one person, I would have forever remained distant from the Yakezie community.
So thank you Sam! I appreciate your support over the past few months as I struggled to find some free time to get involved over here. It says a lot about you and this community that despite my lack of participation thus far, the door was always kept open for me.
And with this post, I plan to step through that door!
A PERMANENT NOMAD WAS BORN
On December 25th, 1999, a few months after graduating from university, I left the USA for a three-month backpacking trip to Southeast Asia. Somehow, that adventure has yet to finish and I’ve now been living, traveling, working and volunteering overseas for over 11 years.
It was exactly five days into that first trip, as I celebrated the millennium in Cambodia, when I became inflicted with my untreatable addiction to world exploration. I decided right then and there that I would be a permanent traveler, despite having no idea how that was going to work.
The result has been one endless (and rewarding) adventure that has taken me all over the planet, an adventure that has involved not only backpacking, but work as a Tour Manager on board cruise ships, teaching English in Thailand, acting in Bollywood movies, studying in Australia and most recently, experiments with earning income online while learning Spanish here in Mexico.
I’m often asked if I think I’ll ever want to settle down. Perhaps I will one day but for now, the plan is to keep on traveling and exploring as much as possible. As I’m fond of saying, “Knowing that I could pack all of my possessions into my one backpack and hop on a flight to anywhere in the world on any given day is a freedom that I don’t want to give up.”
THE ROLE OF MONEY
Truthfully, I’ve never really had a financial plan. In terms of income, only recently did I begin to understand the importance not only of earning money, but of saving some as well. Luckily, my work on board cruise ships and my current online projects allow me to do just that, although I’m always working on finding new ways to help increase my income flow.
However, when people hear how much traveling I’ve done they are typically surprised to learn that I began with only $1500 in my bank account and am in no way a millionaire or even earning what most of my friends would consider a great salary. All I’m really doing is earning enough to live a simple lifestyle that allows me to achieve my travel goals while being able to put away a decent amount of money as well. The key is that my lifestyle is quite minimalistic and all of my possessions fit into one 40 liter backpack! And while I often rent well-located, comfortable apartments while living overseas, I do so in countries where such a lifestyle doesn’t cost much money at all.
As soon as I realized that a little creativity and unconventional thinking were more valuable than money in helping me live a lifestyle that involves permanent travel, everything started to fall into place!
ADVENTURES IN BLOGGING
I began my blog at the end of 2009, without, as one would expect from me, any plan whatsoever. Due to my belief in the educational value of world travel, I tend to write about the small moments that occur, those rewarding human interactions that are so often overlooked, instead of writing about the main tourist sights I come across. Slowly, I began receiving emails from readers who were interested in extensive travel themselves and so I also share travel stories (“Thank You to the Militant Who Stole My Car“) and well-tested advice (“Living Abroad for Less Than $1000 per Month“) in the hopes of offering motivation while demonstrating that a life of travel is much easier to achieve than it may at first appear.
In the end, it’s not a typical travel blog and I don’t think it’s a typical lifestyle-design blog either. It’s just a blog, and if it wasn’t for the meaningful connections I’ve made with people from around the world as a result, it simply wouldn’t exist.
Finally, I must say that I love the concept of the Yakezie. It truly is amazing to read such a never-ending stream of thoughtful posts and comments and to ‘discover’ such an intriguing collection of websites and blogs. I thank everyone for helping create this unique place and I certainly look forward to getting to know more of you in the near future!