Yes, today marks the 500th post for this site and my 500th day as a happy and homeless nomad.
How to spend your 500th day on the road? I had planned to board a train and spend 24 hours heading toward Allahabad to spend Christmas and New Year with a good friend. But those plans got changed at the last minute, so I’m working on making the most of this holiday season at the moment.
I used to do these quarterly reports to show the numbers behind my trip and highlight the best of from the previous three months. But no one read them. After 500 posts on my site I still have no idea what people like to read/see here. I sometimes pour hours of energy in to a post and no one reads it, while others I write on a whim and are very popular. Thankfully, I have no corporate overlords to please and I write what I want.
As for the numbers, not including travel from the past couple days, I’ve traveled a total of 70,800km/43,993mi over the past 500 days by land, sea, and air. More specifically:
Land: 30,566km / 18,993mi
Air: 39,602km / 24,608mi
Sea: 635km / 395mi
Beds slept in: 114
Total accommodation costs: $570 ($195 in 9 months in Latin America, $375 in 7 months in Asia.. the language barrier has cost me more in Asia, but not too much – put another way, that $570 in accommodation so far is equivalent to 17 days of rent for my apartment in Denmark)
As you may have noticed, I’ve reduced my publishing frequency over the past month or so. I expect that to continue. I’ve stopped writing posts summarizing places I visit. They were always very boring for me to write and I don’t think they are enjoyable to read. Instead, I prefer to do things like tell the story by pictures if at all, and share more stories like this or that.
But yes, keeping up such an active publishing schedule, although enjoyable, limits the time I have to do other things. Each post here takes a long time. Apart from the writing, the pictures take a long time to edit and insert into posts. Going forward I’ll need more time for other things…
The Happy Nomad Tour is far from over. I hope this is the halfway point, to be honest. I think I’ve hit the halfway point in my ever declining savings, so it fits. Going forward I’ll need to start dedicating more time and energy to trying to make money if this is to continue and my post-Happy Nomad Tour dreams are to be realized. In 2012 I made $900, though none of it has been paid to me yet.. Writing for money is hard to find, and apparently it’s even harder to actually get paid!
I have some speeches coming up in the next few months. I hope to continue giving speeches, inspiring students and adults to look within to follow their dreams before being sucked into The Matrix too deeply, and hopefully getting paid for such appearances. If any of you can help me find speeches or get my foot in the door somewhere, I’d be greatly appreciative! Just contact me.
But one of the reasons I’ve slowed down is because I’m tired. This many days on the road is tiring even if I’m not living the life of the typical city-hopping backpacker. Like anything in life, stopping to smell the roses every once in a while reinvigorates you and makes you remember why you were walking in the first place.
So, I plan to take a bit of a break after India. I have a speech in Madrid in April and thereafter I plan to stay in Europe for a little bit. In 2006 I visited the island of Cyprus, home of a roommate from college who has since become a lifelong friend. I really liked it there and always saw myself living there someday. So I think I’ll try living there for a month or two in the spring.
Cyprus fits my life quite well. It’s divided into the north, The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized by no other countries in the world besides Turkey, and the south, The Republic of Cyprus, which is recognized world-wide and belongs to the European Union. I’d live in the north, a sort of no-man’s land (that I fell in love with) perfect for a nomad. I might give living in Istanbul, Turkey a try as well. Living in the place that has forever been the fulcrum between East and West is also appealing and symbolic of so much in my own life.
While in these places I plan to rest, do some introspection, and try to put together something useful for the world in the form of a book. It wouldn’t be a how-to for how to travel or backpack or anything like that. But something deeper. To be honest, I’m still at the phase of writing down random thoughts. That’s how I started the Happiness Plunge process that led me to The Happy Nomad Tour so I think I’m on the right track.
But a book is something deeper, something from the heart and something permanent. I hope I can just turn of my brain and let my heart say what it needs to say, and contribute to the world what it needs to contribute.
After the break, it’ll be back to the long bus rides and crazy stories. I think I’ll start in Turkey and head east to the Middle East and then down into Africa. Let’s see though. Life is very unpredictable
I can’t thank you all enough for being with me on this journey. From getting scared in El Salvadoran bathrooms to getting robbed in The Philippines, walking around Medellin with a toilet paper tail to incredible volunteering experiences, holding babies to holding an airplane’s throttle, discovering external physical strength and internal spiritual strength, I appreciate you all for sharing in this life experiment with me. I just noticed how similar the words experiment and experience are.. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
I raise a toast to 500 more days, and hope to still be alive, spreading joy/happiness, and living life to the fullest come May 6, 2014! And I hope most of all that following my life experiment has brought you closer to finding and living out your own Happiness Plunge.
Thanks again and sincerest warm wishes from my heart-shaped guanabana heart,