Today marks one year since I hit the road to start The Happy Nomad Tour. I think the picture below is worth 1000 words, kind of telling the whole story. The image on the left is from 10-Aug-2011, exactly a year ago today. The picture on the right is from this past week here in Laos. Coincidentally, I have the same shirt on in both pictures, though that’s not so hard to believe given the limited clothing in my backpack
To me, I think I look pale and lifeless on the left.. like a zombie or vampire that’s just emerged from the coffin. But then again, I had been stuck in an office in a Nordic country for the previous year I feel like I look much more alive and enthusiastic in the picture on the right. Oh…. AND HAPPIER!
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. Time really does fly when you’re having fun.
I truly feel like I’ve just gotten started though. There’s still so much to learn, experience, and enjoy out there… and so much to work on changing for the better.
My financial sustainability goals look distant and unreachable right now, but hopefully I’ll figure out a way to solve that pesky problem so I can focus on what’s important.
This trip has been the experience of a lifetime and there’s not a day that goes by, not even the bad days, where I don’t pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. To all of you I have met along the way, who have helped and hosted me, and to my friends and family, I thank all of you for your support.
And to you the reader, I thank you for joining me on this journey. I do my best to share what’s interesting and relevant from my adventure, but you’re always free to contact me with any advice or suggestions.
Although my first attempt at getting an Indian visa was denied, India is in my sights and I can’t wait to explore such a magical place starting in November. I’m also looking forward to exploring Northern Pakistan and getting acquainted with my grandparents’ villages. They have both long since passed away, but it’ll be like exploring a bit of my roots and where I come from. Hopefully my dad will be with me when I am there.
But a year into the trip, I wanted to share the map below. It starts in Cleveland, where the trip started after leaving my comfortable life in Denmark and continues up through the present moment – Veuntaen, Laos (whose location I estimated since the village is too small to be in Google Maps). All this traveling at a cost of about $6000 – presumably less than what most people reading this page right now pay for housing in a year.
If you hit play, the map advances a bit slowly. You can hit the arrow right next to the place names to make it go faster. You can also click “Full Screen” in the bottom right corner to view a bigger size map and then make that bigger map full screen.