Selfie at the Border (Three Years)

What Life is Like After Three Years on the Road

Three years ago on January 28th, 2015 I boarded a plane in Portland, Oregon via Los Angeles to London with a one-way ticket to travel the world. I touched down at 6 a.m. at London Gatwick airport, setting foot on a new continent for the first time in my life. Since then, I’ve had a world of adventures while inspiring others to do the same.

The Statistics

Since leaving Los Angeles, I have traveled 83,929 miles between cities (not including the travel within cities or short excursions). That included 50,213 miles by plane, 12,040 miles by bus, 10,474 miles by train and 8,331 miles by car. So far I’ve only traveled 613 miles by boat, which I’d like to bump up soon with a cruise or two.

I’ve traveled to 45 new countries since traveling. Before I started, I had been to Mexico, so my total count is 46. The total number of cities and towns I’ve been to is a little harder to calculate, but it’s several hundred.

Selfie on Landsort
Photo Credit: Maria Hart of TravelwithHart.com

Since launching my blog a couple weeks before leaving the US, I’ve written 244 articles (this is #245) for SkyeTravels. I’ve written an additional 37 articles for the award-winning online magazine Perceptive Travel, plus contributed to dozens of other articles across as many sites.  I am also working on a couple ebooks, including a fantasy novel about an immortal stuck on a prison planet, but that’s a different story…

The Passion

I love traveling! The chance to see the world, have adventures, try new food, meet friends, learn new things and just be me are all part of the travel package. However, there are some things I’m particularly fond of.

Food

I love eating and trying new meals. I’ve tried more delicious dishes around the world than I could ever list. Some highlights are lamb meatballs in Bulgaria, Pad Thai in Chiang Mai, Italian food in Sweden and hamburgers in Ghent. But there are some foods I’m particularly fond of. Sushi, pasta, pizza and anything with lamb top the list, but sushi is definitely at the top. In most of the countries I travel to, I look for good, affordable sushi restaurants to visit.

As to drinks, it’s probably no secret that I don’t drink a lot of alcohol. Instead, I prefer hot chocolate, lattes and Chai tea. The other side of this is that I spend a lot of time in cafes around the world writing my stories. I’ve found some pretty amazing little cafes in the most unlikely places, and I’ve also learned all about single-origin, artisan roast coffees – also known as third-wave coffee.

Black Medicine Coffee Mocha

What it comes down to is simply the desire to try new things. Here I’m talking about food, but it really applies to just about anything. There are a couple lines I draw – I have never and will never do drugs – but I live by the motto of being willing to experience anything. I also balance that with trying to only do those things to others that they can experience easily.

Activities

My body might not be as hearty as it used to be, but I still enjoy physically demanding activities. I might have damaged my ears diving off the cliff in Chiang Mai over and over, yet for the most part I haven’t been letting the knee I broke in 2012 hinder my adventures. You might have read my story about a 70-mile bike ride in Lithuania, although I never wrote the story about starting the West Highland Way as my hiking partner gave up after the third day.

Horseback riding, ziplines, rafting, kayaking, skiing, hiking, etc.  – they’re all activities I actively seek out when I travel. However, there are some things that I have yet to do. Skydiving is very definitely at the top of my bucket list, as is an alpine slide. Last year I also learned how to surf in Portugal (my self-taught attempts on a long-board when I was a kid didn’t count), and now I’m looking for more good waves to practice at.

The Purpose

It’s a bit hard to discuss my passions without getting into why I travel. My purpose for traveling, and in general for that matter, is to help others. I want to make people happy, inspire them to follow their dreams (whether that’s traveling or otherwise) and find solutions to any problems I can.

Selfie with TEFL Class in Chiang Mai

Before I left the US, I spent years helping and training others to have better businesses, relationships and lives. While I’m in a very different position now, I still have the same desire. Sometimes it’s hard to integrate those messages into my blog posts. Some of them are simply written to give a great story about my travels, while an occasional article is written as a warning of conditions, although I never really like to spread bad news or give people the idea that traveling is dangerous.

The Future

After three years of traveling and sharing my stories, I want to focus more on posts that directly relate to helping others follow their dreams. I’ll continue writing the fun stories about my own travels, but I will try to also include more articles on how to make traveling easier and help you in cities you want to visit. I also plan to add some more messages about bettering conditions, both in your own lives and in places I travel to.

If this isn’t something you want to read about, or you prefer that I talk about a certain subject, please leave your suggestions in the comments below, and I will try to accommodate them in my blog.

One thing I’m looking at doing in the near future is splitting my blog into three or four websites. One will focus on my own travel stories, while another will be more geared toward vacations and travel tips. I also want to start a blog just about Edinburgh, my home base and favorite city in the world. The number of unusual and off-the-beaten-path attractions, restaurants, cafes and accommodations in the city is almost infinite, and I’d like to promote some of the smaller, non-chain businesses. Finally, I’m looking at a blog about more of my own views of life, just to separate that out of my travel blogs. Which blog would you like to read the most?

I recently published my article on my 2018 itinerary. It’s going to be a fun year. The last goal I have is to find a travel partner…and a partner for more than just travels…

Three years ago on January 28th, 2015 I boarded a plane in Portland, Oregon via Los Angeles to London with a one-way ticket to travel the world. I touched down at 6 a.m. at London Gatwick airport, setting foot on a new continent for the first time in my life. Since then, I've had a world of adventures while inspiring others to do the same. The Statistics Since leaving Los Angeles, I have traveled 83,929 miles between cities (not including the travel within cities or short excursions). That included 50,213 miles by plane, 12,040 miles by bus, 10,474 miles by…

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20 comments

  1. Your passion definitely shines through in all your articles. I hope if you end up being in London you’ll do me the honour of sharing a coffee sometime – and I wish you great luck finding your fellow traveller!

    • Thank you so much! I probably will be in London in the next few weeks, as it’s also cheap to fly out of to many countries, and I might have a couple marketing jobs down there. Would love to meet up for a coffee! And thanks for your wishes.

  2. I think that’s so funny that you’d only been to one country before setting off on your epic journey- clearly travel agrees with you! Kudos to you for living your dream 🙂

    • I’d also been to Canada, which I’ve revisited so is included in the 45, but I don’t really consider either Mexico or Canada count since I’d lived an hour away from them at different times. Kinda like a day-trip to another country in Europe. The number of Americans who have actually crossed the pond is abysmally small.

  3. Fantastic stats there and glad to see you are more passionate than ever to keep on traveling. Love following your travels…keep it going and keep posting excellent videos and photos. Sending you the positive vibes from London 🙂

    • Thank you so much. I do get a lot from other travelers that they lose the bug. Although I now have my own home base, I feel like I have the bug more than ever. I wish I could be traveling to a new destination every single week. Someday…

  4. Happy three year anniversary. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. If your 250 posts took 40 hours to write, you should just about be coming close.

    I think you could really rock a local Edinburgh site. There was a track at TBEX Huntsville on local travel with two gentlemen from Pennsylvania. One wrote for the entire state and the other just for Pittsburgh. Which goes to show that blogging about towns that end in Burgh can be successful – JK. They said that writing for a region really helped Google place their articles and build an engaged, organic readership. It also helped them with advertising so they knew they were putting their product in front of people who were interested.

    • Thank you so much for that encouragement. I think I’ve actually found the name of my domain for my Edinburgh blog too! Working with a lot of businesses here and it certainly looks promising. I’ve heard similar seminars to that at other TBEXes and conferences, and I definitely think it’s the way to go. As to the 10,000 hours, I don’t think I’ve spent that much time writing the articles, but I certainly have spent it traveling, so I’m glad to think of myself as an expert in that!

  5. Wow, 3 years on the travel road, congrats! I loved that you calculated total miles traveled. I hope 2018 is fantastic for you and your blogs. I will be visiting Edinburgh for the first time in a few months, I hope your new blog is up by then if not I will have to reach out for tips and places to visit.

  6. What an adventure! So how many times have you travelled around the world if you convert your miles travelled? Good luck on splitting your blog. I am sure that it will be a fabulous success.

    • So far I’ve circled the world the equivalent of 3.4 times. I suppose that’s kinda like a round-the-world trip every year, even though I’ve only been back to the Western Hemisphere once. I just can’t seem to get enough of Europe and SE Asia.

  7. Envy the life you are living or I rather say traveling. 😉 Your stats show how successful you life has been so far.
    Have you been to India yet? The chai destination awaits you. and ofcourse a diverse set of cuisines will always keep you busy.

    happy travelling.

    • Thank you so much! I haven’t been to India yet, and Chai definitely temps me to get there. I’m hoping to add that to my 2019 itinerary, although sometimes I feel like I could spend a whole year exploring a country so large.

  8. Sounds like you have a wonderfully exciting year ahead! Congrats to you for traveling to so many places and sharing your stories along the way! It looks like you’ve had some pretty epic adventures and lattes along the way. Keep up the phenomenal work 🙂

  9. Wow! What an amazing three years you’ve had! 46 countries total is insanely impressive! I’m surprised your number of miles was as low as it was, but good for you keeping that carbon footprint down. I love that the food is the passion. I totally get that!

    • It’s interesting you say that my miles were low for that many countries, but it’s true. At least the first year, I just made my way around Europe with hardly any flights – only six have been more than a couple hours.

  10. Very interesting post. Wow, traveled 83,929 kms. That is incredible. When it comes to travel, it really does get any better than seeing the world, trying new food, learning a thing or two and meeting people. (Some of whom I’ve stayed in touch with). I think the purpose of your travel (helping others) is very honourable and gets my respect!

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