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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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…