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Part 4: Adventures in Sumatra, Indonesia

We woke up early in the morning after a long night of singing and drinking. We had a bit of a hangover and a lot of excitement. It was an amazing experience so far, but we we’re less than a full day into our 4 night stay on the Island of Tuk Tuk.

Up the Mountain with Himbit

Himbit kinda just showed up at our villa (didn’t even need to call him) and gave us a ride back to his house to pickup some scooters we we’re renting from him. We grabbed the phone number of his friends from last night, and a barbecue was on the books for the next day.

Grab the scooters and hit the road. Around the island, up the mountain, down a hill, and through the farmlands we went. Away from the tourist villas and over to the other side of the island.

Kids were walking home from school. Oxen were plowing fields. It was so different, but familiar at the same time. Parallels were everywhere.

School Children in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Kids walking home from school in North Sumatra.

Life here is more simple. There is no rushing of cars, people aren’t walking around half cocked, and everyone is easygoing. In the fast paced and connected world we live in these days life can be hypercritical. We feel so busy. We feel overwhelmed. It’s all analyzed under a microscope over social media, through data, everyone is hypersensitive.

Kids in North Sumatra

Biking around Indonesia we stumbled upon some construction; It’s a family affair.

At 23 years old I finally learned that abundance had nothing to do with wealth, or the minutia that occupied my daily worries. Passion, family, music, and relationships filled the people of Tuk Tuk to the brim.

The Rain

About halfway up the mountain in the middle of the lake, we figure out why no one is here. It’s rainy season, and a torrential downpour is on the way. We snapped this photo just before we headed inside a shanty on the edge of the road.

The shanty was a coffee shop on the top of the mountain. It looked like a rigged up store that someone might have in their garage. It sat on the side of a cliff, and every few minutes I glanced around to make sure the building wasn’t starting to turn into a disintegrating toboggan.We grabbed coffee, and like one does at Lake Toba, played the guitar. Literally every business on the island of Tuk Tuk must have a guitar. The building inspector must check that their is a guitar; it’s a requirement to open your business.

We waited for over an hour and the storm didn’t wain for a moment. It was time to face the rain. Two hours up the mountain was still two hours down. There was no rain gear. We drove right through it and nearly froze to death.

After getting back to then villa I raced to a hot shower. We looked forward to the barbecue, and the warm day that would hopefully await us tomorrow. Find out what happens next in Part 5.

Do you have any questions, or comments? please comment below or tweet me @marekjmichalski.

Best Inflatable Paddle Boards 2017

Top Inflatable Paddle boards 2017

Paddle boarding is more than just something you rent on vacation. It is one of the most thrilling water sports of all time! Which is why we reviewed the top inflatable paddle boards of 2017.

When you merge surfing with kayaking, it gives birth to paddle boarding! Let’s first learn a bit about its history. In the 1940s, Hawaiian surfers used paddles to tweak their wave catching. However, it took the form of a leisure activity, about 10 years ago, in California.

Paddle Boarding in Hawaii. Image: Aditya Siva

Paddle boarding has been exploding because it offers several health benefits, including a full body workout, which aids in improving your cardio fitness and flexibility; all these benefits and more, whilst playing with water and enjoying nature. Worth it, isn’t it?

Thanks to the ever-growing technology and advancements, we now have the option of inflatable paddleboards, making it extremely convenient for paddle-boarders to carry them around.

Here we have compiled the best inflatable paddleboards for your convenience.

Comparison Chart of Best Inflatable Paddle Boards 2017

ProductKey FeaturesPriceBuy Now
Tower Paddle Boards
Adventurer SUP
Tower_paddle_adventure_SUP
• Made of Military-grade PVC material, which makes it highly durable
• Includes a 3-piece adjustable fiberglass paddle.
• Easy to carry, as it is 9’10"

$$$Buy Now!
Sportstuff 1030 Adventure
Stand-Up Paddle Board
Sportstuff_Stand-Up_Paddle_Board
• Comes with large anti-skid Eva pads for secure footing
• Package includes all the important accessories
• Certified frustration-free
$Buy Now!
Vilano Journey Inflatable
Stand-Up Paddle Board
Vilano_Journey_Inflatable _Stand-up_paddle_board
• Made using PVC material with Korean drop-stitch construction
• Comes with a removable carry strap and backpack
• Has Comfortable diamond groove traction for grip and Stainless D-rings
$$Buy Now!
Bestway Hydro-Force
Stand-Up Paddleboard
Bestway_Hydro-Force_Stand-up_Paddleboard
• Has one removable middle fin to improve directional stability
• Suitable for beginners and intermediate paddlers
• Has a built-in carry handle, making it easier to transport
$Buy Now!
Aqua Marina Vapor Inflatable
Stand-up Paddle Board
Aqua_Marina_Vapor_Inflatable_Stand_up_Paddle_board
• Includes a honey groove EVA anti-slip footpad
• Has a stainless steel D-rings on the tail for safety leash, and extra ones to attach a Kayak seat
• Designed specifically for beginners
$$Buy Now!

Product Summary of the Top Inflatable Paddle Boards 2017

Now that you have a good comparison of the key features, lets dig into the details of the top inflatable paddle boards. Below we take a closer look at the pros and cons of the inflatable paddle boards up for review.


Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer

Tower Paddle Boards AdventurerThis Paddleboard is one of the most expensive but highly reviewed paddleboards available in the market. They are not only highly durable, but also extremely rigid, with a weight limit of up to 350 lbs. Also, it comes with a 2-year warranty, which means that it is going to last you a long time – making it worth the price!
Current Pricing and Details


Sportstuff 1030 Adventure Paddle board

Sportstuff 1030 Adventure PaddleboardIt has large anti-skid EVA pads that secure the paddler’s foot, providing optimum protection. They have a maximum capacity of about 250 lbs., and are super convenient! Also, it comes with a Mesh backpack, allowing you to keep all your accessories together. In our opinion, it is a great all-rounder paddleboard!
Current Pricing and Details


The Vilano Journey Inflatable Paddle board

Vilano-Journey-Inflatable-Stand-PaddleThis is made using a high grade PVC material, which makes it highly durable. It provides excellent grip and has an anti-slip deck pad that makes it comfortable for paddling all day long. More so, it has a bungee on the front deck for storage needs. What more could one ask for?
Current Pricing and Details 


The Bestway Hydro-Force Paddle board

HydroForce-WaveEdge-Inflatable-Stand-PaddleboardIt is the cheapest option you will find in the market, whilst also being highly reviewed. It is extremely easy to use, which makes it the best inflatable paddleboard for beginners. If you are looking for a cheap option but don’t want to compromise on the quality, this is the paddleboard to go for!
Current Pricing and Details


Aqua Marina Vapor Paddle board

Aqua-Marina-Inflatable-Stand-up-PaddleThis is neither too expensive, nor too cheap. It comes with a magic backpack to keep your supplies in one place and allow you to carry it conveniently. Also, the inflated drop stitch chamber on the paddleboard offers comfort and stability, and is ideal for newbies.
Current Pricing and Details


Review of the Top Inflatable Paddle boards on the Market

After having reviewed all the best inflatable paddleboards, you can now easily make your decision regarding which paddleboard is the most suitable for you.

If you ADORE paddle boarding, and find that it is more than just a hobby for you, invest in the best and go for the Tower Padle Boards Adventurer SUP. However, if you are short on your budget but still want to experience the thrill, we would recommend you to go for the Bestway Hydro-Force Paddleboard. Paddle boarding, if done right, can provide you with the most thrilling experience of your life! So dance with the waves, enjoying nature in its purest form!

How to Solo Female Travel Like A Boss

Traveling alone is an amazing experience, especially as a solo female. So pack your bags ladies – your dreams await.
While traveling alone may make you nervous, it’s totally worth it! The first step may be the hardest, but it is also the one that will spur you to make deep connections, experience the true ‘you’, and (I believe) become a better woman.

Why You Should Try Traveling Alone

Want to raise some eyebrows? Tell someone you want to travel alone as a female. Expect to immediately hear concerns about your safety.

Society doesn’t like a deviation from the status quo.

You know what I’m talking about: the traditional path of a college degree, marriage certificate, and birth certificates. For some of us, for you, for me; we want a little more. It’s not that those things don’t have merit or that they don’t provide happiness. For those of us whom the allure of travel is undeniable, the idea of settling down runs counter to our dreams.

Kayaking in Pai, ThailandKayaking in Pai, Thailand

Are you still not sure if this sounds like you? Let me tell you the three biggest reasons that traveling alone appealed specifically to me: freedom, self-exploration, and energy. When you travel alone, you don’t have to answer to anyone or explain your actions.

This results in control over doing the things that you truly enjoy (like spa days). This self-reliance, coincidentally, forces you to test the waters – sometimes literally. Once you start to focus on yourself, you find a certain energy. If you are naturally empathetic like me, stress or worry about others’ lives slowly drips away. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes.

One question you should expect to get more than any other as a solo female traveler: “Don’t you get lonely?”  And, my answer is a resounding “Absolutely not!”  Traveling solo is one of the best ways to meet people. Reflecting back on my experiences, I find I was more open and more approachable because I didn’t have my social safety net to find comfort in.

I was constantly meeting interesting people either from my hostel, tours or locally. I can truthfully say I never felt alone. If my newfound travel friends were getting a bit needy, and I needed some ‘me’ time, there was nothing obligating me to hang around anyone I didn’t momentarily want to.

If you’ve got to this point, I think this female solo travel thing is for you. Here are my top ten tips for how to solo female travel successfully as a young woman…

Do Your Research

Knowing what to expect when you step off the plane and feeling prepared will put you at ease before a solo trip.

From the weather, the local currency to safety tips, there’s an abundance of information out there make your trip better.  For international travel, start by entering your destination in the U.S international Travel page to find passport/visa requirements, safety information, local laws/regulations, and required vaccines.

It’s also a good idea to sift through blogs, forums, and social media because you can find a ton of great information from travelers who’ve been there. They can provide you with the positives and negatives and overall advice on almost anything you need about the destination. One resource that is extremely helpful is TripAdvisor forums. Travelers are constantly reviewing and answering forum questions to give the most up to date information.

When you have a specific activity in mind, be it sightseeing, scuba diving, or just bumming it on the beach, it’s a good idea to research your options beforehand that way you’re not spending precious vacation time trying to figure things out!

Additional information that is valuable to know prior is reliable and safe transportation modes, areas in the city to avoid and most importantly, the cultural etiquette of the respective country.

solo female travelImage: Unsplash Annie Spratt

Blend In

As a solo female traveler, it’s necessary that you avoid attracting too much attention to yourself.

It is crucial to know the social etiquette especially when it comes to what to wear. If the country you are visiting has women that dress conservatively, do the same, as this will help you to avoid being singled out as a potentially vulnerable target. The last thing you want to do is draw any unwanted attention to yourself or come off as offensive to the local culture. This also includes avoiding outfits that scream “TOURIST!” Warding off the pickpocketers and scammers is the goal.

You can keep your fanny packs at home!

No matter where you are or how confused you might be it’s important to always walk with confidence.

Even when you’re completely lost try not to appear as confused as you are. As a woman traveling alone appearing confused can attract the wrong kind of attention and put a target on your back.  Nobody starts out as a wonderfully confident solo traveler. As you become more comfortable finding your way by yourself and making your own choices, your confidence will grow. Don’t confuse cockiness with confidence; if you are in danger ask for help.

Cruising down the coast of Vietnam.Cruising down the coast of Vietnam

Be Aware

Being aware of your actions and surroundings at all times can save you from some major mishaps.

Be mindful of what information you give to strangers. Avoid saying you’re alone or exactly where you’re staying. You don’t have to be paranoid that everyone’s out to get you just use your best judgment and exercise common sense.

When traveling internationally, read up on topics of conversation to stay clear of in particular countries. You don’t want to offend anyone or put yourself in a dangerous situation because of something that you said.

Scuba Diving in ThailandScuba diving in Thailand!

Keep Your Valuables Hidden

Pickpocketing is a huge problem in a lot of countries.

To not fall victim to this crime avoid flashing your valuables in public. Be mindful of the attention you are attaching to yourself when pulling out your phone on the streets or carrying your camera around your neck. It is also smart to keep these possessions in your reach at all times, along with key documents such as your passport, visa, and wallet.

When you are traveling solo, you lack an extra pair of eyes on your belongings. Crossbody bags that zip or latch-up are recommended. And always keep it in front of you!

Ask For Help

There’s no way to be fully prepared, especially if you’re in a new country. Anytime you’re traveling, especially solo-traveling, you can expect something to go awry.

That’s why it’s important to have a plan B. Unfortunately that doesn’t always work out either. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Whether it be other travelers (which have surely gone through their own struggles) or the locals, someone will be bound to help you.

Book in Advance

You finally arrive at your destination… and now what? Even if you don’t have a strict travel itinerary and time frame, it’s always best to book your first couple nights beforehand.

You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you can’t find a place to sleep before you get the lay of the land. Go into your trip confident and stress-free knowing that you have somewhere safe to stay upon arrival. In addition to peace of mind, booking your accommodations, flights, and tours beforehand is typically cheaper and again, won’t waste precious travel time on research and planning while you are there.

To avoid any mishaps, keep a copy of your booking confirmation numbers just in case something goes wrong. Consider consolidating all your information into the TripIt app. TripIt syncs with your emails and instantly creates a master itinerary for your trip that includes your flight info, confirmation information, emails, locations, and contact information. Among other awesome features, you will automatically get mobile notifications if a flight is delayed or canceled.

Be Prepared

No matter how much you research and plan, eventually you are bound to experience a few unforeseen complications. When you’re traveling alone you don’t have the luxury of having someone to fall back on when disaster strikes. It’s important to have a backup plan for your backup plan. No trip is perfect (unless of course, you’re Beyoncé) so come ready.

As a female solo traveler, travel insurance is one of the most important things that you can purchase for an international trip. Travel insurance can cover everything from doctor visits, lost/stolen baggage, to cancellations or trip delays.  World Nomads Insurance is one of the most reliable travel insurance companies and covers all of your basic needs.

Along with having a copy of all your information somewhere online, also carry around a hard copy of your passport and travel insurance information in case of emergencies.

Natural infinity pools in Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Download Essential Apps that can help your trip go a little smoother. Maps.me is one of the most useful map apps because you can use it without having Wi-Fi. Whatever map app you use, be sure to download offline versions before departure. It’s also always good to have an app like Airbnb or Booking.com to book accommodation on the fly if need be.
  • Learn a few phrases in the local language for basic needs, like directions and how to ask for help. Not only will it help you during everyday activities, but it can also help you to avoid being ripped off. Many locals show more respect to visitors who make the effort to learn some of their native languages. For on the fly translations download the Google Translate app. It has a database of over 103 languages, can translate images, and work offline.
  • When it comes to your money, prepare a plan A, B, and C. What if you get pickpocketed or the ATM eats your debit card? The last situation you want is to be alone with no money or access to it. Unless you can breakdance or play the accordion on the side of the street, keep some emergency cash and an extra debit/credit card hidden. Also, don’t forget to make your bank aware of the countries you are traveling to beforehand to prevent them from freezing your accounts!

Let People Know Where You Are

While you’re off adventuring don’t forget to check in with your loved ones back home. Post pictures and send updates leaving a trail of where you are.

If constantly checking in isn’t your thing use the Find My Friends app so your friends can…..well…find you.

If you prefer to be in constant communication with home, purchase a SIM card so that you have internet access. This allows you to call and text your loved ones with either iMessage, WhatsApp or Viber! Be sure to unlock your phone before you leave, as this can take a few days to process and is more difficult once out of the country.

It’s also always a good idea to let the staff at your hotel/hostel know that you are traveling alone. Give them a quick update on when you intend to come back from a day of exploring.

In the case of an emergency, it’s always a good idea to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment program. It’s a free service that allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to enroll with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The embassy will contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.

beach solo travel

Post on social media so people know where you are – Instagram your way to safety!

Be Mindful Of Where You are At Night

This is common sense, but as a rule of thumb, wherever you are you should be cautious about walking around alone at night.

Research what the safest and most reliable form of transportation is and spend the extra couple bucks on it to get yourself back home safely. Especially if you’ve been drinking!!

Don’t be Scared

It’s important not to let fear get the better of you and prevent you from exploring everything this world has to offer. This time in your life is about you – and you will be a much stronger, more independent person because of it.

The ways in which travel betters you as a person greatly outweigh any of the difficulties you might face.

Travel is a life-changing experience and one that anyone who wants to experience absolutely SHOULD. I hope these tips make learning how to solo female travel easier. And helped you make your decision a little bit more certain if you are still in that stage, or if you’ve already decided and are soon to be on your way, a little bit safer and a little bit easier.

Hanging on a ledge at the Horseshoe bend in Arizona.

 

Do you have any questions or comments? please comment below or message me on my Facebook. Like the article? Find more at my personal travel blog Catchmeifyoucam.

Part 2: Adventures in Sumatra, Indonesia

Samosir Village

We woke up at 8 to catch the 9am ferry. Everyone was up so early; the market was in full swing. What had been dark and deserted the night before now was filled with vibrant colours and shouting.

Parapat, Indonesia

The fruit stall at the market in Parapat, Indonesia

The Ferry to Samosir

We were playing a guitar out front and eating some fried rice for breakfast. We caught the attention of a guide, and musician, Himbit. He joined in on our jam and we began singing some nonsensical melody.

Nothing in Indonesia seems to leave on a consistent schedule. Before we realized it , the 9am ferry left at 8:55. Himbit said “I saw it was about to leave but I didn’t want to interrupt the awesome jam!” It felt like we would never get to Tuk Tuk, and we really wished our jam would have been a little less “awesome” so Himbit would have told us the boat was leaving.

A half a day on the plane, 7 hours in a car, and a night in the grimy, yet character filled, Charlie Inn had still left us one boat ride short.

Landing on Tuk Tuk

We caught the next ferry, and Himbit went over with us. We were apprehensive. Did he want to befriend us or take advantage of us – what was in it for him. 

The cottage was finally before us. We jumped off the dock. Finally. Paradise.

A fisherman lifts his net just off the boat dock on Parapat.

Small Batak houses, lush greenery, and palm trees lined the translucent blue lake. We grabbed food at the restaurant and talked with the Dutchman who owned the estate.

After some swimming, the night finally winded down.  We looked on the lake as the moon’s reflection shimmered on the water.

In the distance we heard faint singing in harmony echoing off the lake. It was beautiful, and unlike anything we had ever heard. I looked at Harrison and said “Do you hear that?” Harrison responded, “Yeah, where is it?” I responded, “I don’t know but we are about to find out.”

I convinced Harrison that we would spend our night following the music, and see where it lead us. Music found it’s way into everything at Tuk Tuk, and we were about to learn first hand. Find out what happens in Part 3: Adventures in Sumatra.

Do you have any questions, or comments? please comment below or tweet me @marekjmichalski.

Part 1: Adventures in Sumatra, Indonesia

Making our Way to Lake Toba From Medan

“Taxi you need taxi?” said the stranger outside the terminal.

My travel partner, Harrison, and I had just touched down in North Sumatra. I said “We need a ride to Tuktuk.” We were heading to the world’s largest volcanic lake – Lake Toba. It sits on the worlds largest super volcano, last time it erupted there was a nuclear winter, and the massive hole was filled with water.

Harrison and I looked at the man and traded the look of affirmation. 1 hour later two white boys from Ohio, a 90 year old Indonesian woman, and a native from TukTuk packed into a tiny van for a four hour journey through rural Indonesia.

The two lane road was being exercised as four, but sometimes five when a bold driver would make a furious pass. The old woman had fallen asleep on Harrison’s shoulder. He gave me a look that said “Is she going to make it?” I pointed ahead as we veered back onto the right side of the road with the notion that we all might die anyways.

Taxi North Sumatra

A spitting image of our taxi. All of the vans were decorated vibrantly with paint, stickers, and decals of all colors.

A Night in Parapat

After a few near death head on collisions we finally made it to Lake Toba. We we’re planning on staying on the small island in the middle of the lake, Tuk Tuk. The last ferry had just left and we were trapped on the other side in Parapat.

We wandered into a tattered guest house called Charlie guest house. The place was empty except for one middle aged woman. She gestured a spliff in our direction and said “Smoke?” She was playing bejeweled on a computer from the 90’s.

The Charlie Guesthouse, Parapat, Indonesia

The Famous Charlie Guesthouse in Parapat, Indonesia

Guitars were mounted all over the walls. This was our first clue to the fact that music was ingrained in the culture of Lake Toba. It turns out the guest house is owned by a famous Batak musician, who has played all over the world.

Not one day passed where we didn’t play a guitar somewhere, with anyone and everyone, a jam could happen at any moment. Every place of business had a guitar somewhere on the wall that you were welcome to pick up and start playing.

In just a few hours we would meet a good friend, Himbit, who would end up showing us all around the island of Tuk Tuk. We had no idea what we were getting into – The story continues in part 2.

 

Do you have any questions, or comments? please comment below or tweet me @marekjmichalski.

Interview: Riding a Motorcycle Around the World with Patrick Harris

Introduction

On July 5th, 2013 Patrick Harris left his home in Denver, Colorado heading east on a motorcycle; 636 days later he rode in from the west. He had just finished riding his motorcycle around the entire world stopping in over 25 countries.

From the canals of Amsterdam, to the grassy hills of rural Indonesia, and the aborigine tribes in Australia – almost no stone went unturned. An adventure like this doesn’t end without lessons learned, countless challenges, and the story of a lifetime. I sat down with Patrick to learn as much as I could about his journey around the world.

As soon as you fall into a mundane and repetitive lifestyle, that is when life will pass you by before you know it. – Patrick Harris

How to Ride Your Motorcycle Around The World | Riding a motorcycle around the world | the long way round | Motorcycle around the world | riding a motorcycle around the world.

Patrick’s route around the world. Click image for interactive map.

Interview

Life Nomading: How long did it take you to plan the trip?
Patrick Harris: The allotted time spent planning was a month. However, you need to start planning months ahead for visas and other paperwork. I had a few destinations I knew I wanted to get to, and it took a minimal amount of research to see how feasible various routes were.

I planned the specifics on the road, based on my own research, or the advice of locals or other travelers.

There was some light research on visa and carnet. A carnet is basically a passport for the bike, to make sure that it enters and exits the country with you.  I only left with a very rough route, and not too many specific destinations or plans.  I planned the specifics on the road, based on my own research, or the advice of locals or other travelers.

LN: What was your inspiration for the trip?
PH: My main inspiration was the book Jupiter’s Travels Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. by Ted Simon. It tells the story of his four-year journey through 126,000 km across 45 countries. I can’t recommend Jupiter’s Travels enough, or his other books Dreaming of Jupiter, and Riding High.

Ted Simon, the author of Jupitor’s Travels

Question: What were some of your considerations before the trip? How did you mentally prepare?
PH:  The stuff I spent time on were the things that were in my control.  I researched route possibilities, visas, border crossings.  I studied up and practiced on the motorcycle maintenance aspect.  As far as mental preparation, I basically just looked at the risks – breakdowns, sickness, injury, theft, etc. and decided that they were worth taking.

LN: What type of Motorcycle did you use and why?
PH:  I rode a 2013 BMW F800GS.  Depending on who you ask, you’ll either be told that a BMW GS is the perfect bike for the job, or you’ll be told you should’ve picked a KTM/Kawasaki/etc.  In my opinion, the bike performed great…I still have it, and I still love it.  But at the same time, you won’t find me talking down about other bikes.

Ride what you find practical and comfortable.  Ride what you like.  Ride what you already have.  Ride what’s affordable.  Just go ride something.

LN: Regarding your emotions: highest point? Lowest point? Did you come close to quitting?
PHI can’t really think of specific highs and lows (there weren’t any huge peaks or valleys, mostly, the whole trip was one big plateau).

The localized highs happened when I met and got to spend a few days with really great people (locals, or other travelers), and the lows happened when I had to part ways with those people.

It’s kind of sad to think of the great short-term relationships I had with people, most of whom I’ll never see again. I’m thrilled that at least I got to experience a few days with them.

Making friends in India while changing a tire.

LN: What was the most surprising aspect of a foreign culture you observed/experienced?
PH: India. Having lived my whole life in the US, India was the farthest from what I has previously experienced. Varanasi specifically was the most shocking to me. It’s an incredibly sacred city, and it was the most I had ever been exposed to a religion in that way.

In Varanasi, religion is in the background of everything going on, to such an extent that saying it’s in the background is a bit of an understatement.

The specific thing there that really struck me was the cremation of bodies on the banks of the Ganges river (where downstream, people are bathing, washing clothes, etc)

LN: Where was your favorite place to drive?
PH:
For me it was northern Thailand. The roads were winding and picturesque. While there was chaotic driving there at times, it was the right level of lawlessness in my opinion.

I still find myself day dreaming about driving through the roads in Thailand to this day!

Roads in northern Thailand. Image: 2livethedream.com

LN: Was there ever a time you felt in danger?
PH: I was most nervous was when a kid on a bike ran into me in Indonesia. He flew off his bike. I didn’t have any serious injuries. I stuck around to make sure he was OK, and some people crowded around me.

If it had got dicey, I would’ve left the scene, which is typically what foreigners are told to do when there’s an accident in a third world country, as things can sometimes get violent quickly and unexpectedly.

LN: How were the customs (immigration checkpoint; not culture) at Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore? Was it confusing to switch from driving on the left to the right?
PH: Customs were always pretty uneventful, except for getting my bike into India…that was a huge hassle The only time I ever paid a bribe was $2 to get out of Laos. Crossing between Thailand a Malaysia was easy as can be…got my passport and carnet (paperwork for the bike) stamped it and out and was on my way.

It was actually a lot faster than crossing from Canada into the US. As far as Singapore, I didn’t bring my bike in. It sounds like that’s a huge mess of paperwork and running around, so I opted to not bring the bike with, considering that I’d do all that paperwork just ride around the city for a few days.

I had a couple close calls throughout SE Asia, but they were really manageable after being in India. Close calls in India became a daily occurrence.

LN: What was your least favorite place to ride through? Any particular location make you think “I’m going to die”?
PH: The riding in India got fairly stressful by the end, and road conditions were rough at times. I loved most everything else about India, though. I had a couple close calls throughout SE Asia, but they were really manageable after being in India. Close calls in India became a daily occurrence.

Shipping a motorcycle in Indonesia

Lifting the bike onto a boat in Indonesia.

LN: How did you finance a 2 year trip?
PH:  Work a lot, spend a little.  There’s no inheritance from a rich uncle or trust fund from daddy behind my trip.  I just worked quite a bit (sometimes toeing the line of insanity) and didn’t put all the money towards instant gratification.

LN: What did your family think about your trip?
PH:  They were nervous for sure, but I think they knew it was coming a little bit.  In 2007, I quit my job to do a 3 month trip around the US and Canada.  I think that was a bit of a shocker for them, neither my parents or my brother seem to have my combination of wanderlust and irresponsibility.

I was planning to ride on the other side of the world in places I knew nothing about, so they were more concerned about me actually making it home. My mom has reminded me in numerous occasions that I’m responsible for every gray hair she has.
Motorcycle in ChinaI

LN: How difficult was it to ship your motorcycle from place to place, and was it expensive?
PH:  In regards to difficulty, it varied quite a bit.  The two factors that affected it were the countries being shipped to and from and how commonly that route was used to ship motorcycles.  My first shipment was from Canada to Scotland.  I found a company whose entire business is flying motorcycles between Canada and the UK, so they had the whole process very well set up. 

I cleared my bike through customs in Scotland in about 30-45 minutes.  In India it took 3 days and a couple taxi rides clear across the city to do various bits of paperwork.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was my shipment from Istanbul to Mumbai.  First off, that route doesn’t seem to be commonly used, so finding a shipping agent that would even work with me took a lot of time in itself.  Then factor in customs on both ends and it was quite an ordeal.

Just to show how much things can vary, I cleared my bike through customs in Scotland in about 30-45 minutes.  In India it took 3 days and a couple taxi rides clear across the city to do various bits of paperwork.

As far as cost, the flight for the bike was typically about 2x what my own ticket’s cost.  Going by boat is a bit cheaper but takes much longer.  Another note on going by boat…not only does it take longer for obvious reasons, but it also seems to be fairly common for there to be delays and route changes, making the timing fairly unpredictable.

Shipping the bike in India.

LN: We often preach that travel can change someone, and help them grow. What was the greatest lesson you learned?
PH: The classic answer to this is something along the lines of how great and caring everyone around the world is or freeing yourself from your material possessions.  Yeah, I can’t disagree with that, but everyone’s heard that so many times that you don’t need to travel to learn that, you just need to read a couple travel blogs.

I learned, and will never forget that challenges and discomfort are what make life interesting and fulfilling.  Pursue new interests, or take your current interests to the next level, and once you start feeling comfortable, repeat the process.  As soon as you fall into a mundane and repetitive lifestyle, that is when life will pass you by before you know it.  To put it simply, don’t live life casually.

LN: Did you go back to your old career afterwards or did things change?
PH:  I was going to, but plans changed about 6 months into the trip.  After quitting my job, my boss offered to let me take a one year leave of absence, which I really appreciated.

I started to realized that I still had no interest in going back to my own job.  I felt that as a trip of this magnitude could very well be a once in a lifetime thing, maybe I should extend it a bit, as that would be much more feasible than planning another trip like it a couple years later.  So, the 10 month trip turned into 20 months.

I’d taken up welding as a hobby and always really enjoyed it, and I had gotten bored of sitting at a desk in my old job. Upon getting home, I went to welding school and am now working in that field.

Just hanging out on a cliff side.

LN: What’s your next big project? How can our readers support you?
PH:  Right now I’m trying to spend my time learning more about welding and metal working.  Maybe that’ll turn into a side business in the future.  Next big project will probably be building a motorcycle, and a few years down the line, I’d like to build a cabin in the mountains.

Conclusion

Pat finally made it home to Colorado.

Challenge yourself. Conquer the challenge no matter the difficulty. From riding a motorcycle around the block to riding one around the world. Keep setting goals and knock them out. Never be comfortable. See the world and take it all in. There is one life to live, and there are opportunities everywhere. Pat saved up and looked towards the future, then when after his challenge. He went around the globe, and learned that being behind the desk isn’t for him. The difficulties are what make this life interesting. Good luck…..

How to Teach English Overseas

How I started Teaching English

I was 23, fresh out of university sporting a degree that seemed more than ever like a glorified letter of recommendation to assure possible employers that I was of average intelligence.  The realization that I had finally entered the “adult world” hit me like I had plunged into the icy pool of water. I had been in freefall over for the past four-and-a-half years.

I was spending over half of all my waking hours mindlessly creating Excel spreadsheets, vouching invoices and wondering if Diane knew she had a mustache…

I had been plummeting towards it my entire life, but had always told myself that there must be something beneath the surface, invisible to those above, that kept people ticking, that justified getting out of bed on Monday morning to trudge into their office where they would repeat last week’s tasks in slightly nuanced ways.

I quickly realized there was nothing waiting for me under the surface and began to question the sanity of everyone around me.  Was the carrot-on-a-stick simply a week-long vacation at the end of the year?

I was spending over half of all my waking hours mindlessly creating Excel spreadsheets, vouching invoices and wondering if Diane knew she had a mustache, and if she did, why the hell didn’t she shave it?  Maybe some people are content to live this way, but I was not.

I was young, restless and I wanted to travel.  I wanted to meet new people, see things I didn’t understand and not know what was going to happen next week.

A series of fortunate events led me to learn about the innumerable opportunities to teach English abroad.

Without a second thought I sold my car, TV, bicycle and everything else of considerable bulk, condensing the remainder of my belongings inside two old suitcases.  I kissed my heartbroken mother goodbye and fled to Vietnam to teach English.

Teaching (Harrison) an English class in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

So now, I will lend you my expertise so you can make an adventure of your own, start a new career, and learn how to teach english overseas.

Requirements of an English (ESL) Teacher

Regardless of which country a person chooses there are a few basic requirements that all share.  You must hold a bachelor’s degree.  

Teaching Certificate

While a teaching or English degree would obviously be preferable, it is not mandatory.  You must also have a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate.  This can be obtained so easily it’s a bit scary, and it’s often the case that the only real obstacle to acquire one is the fee, which can be as little as $100 or as much as $2500.  This can be done online or in person at a TEFL center.  Here are a couple important tips for choosing the correct TEFL course for you.

Ignore “guaranteed” job placements.  Nine out of ten times the school will be some shithole in the outskirts of China whose only requirements are to not be Chinese.

Ignore “guaranteed” job placements.

Nine out of ten times the school will be some shithole in the outskirts of China whose only requirements are to not be Chinese.

Purchasing a TEFL or CELTA Course

You get what you pay for.  While everyone would be tempted to choose the cheapest course you can find, you must remember that it may not be high quality.

Beware discounts. Many websites, like Teflen.com, will offer an outrageous discount of anywhere from 50% to 80% off, claiming you only have a few days before the sale ends.  This is just a marketing tactic and blatant lie.  Teflen.com has advertised a 70% off “sale” for the past two-and-a-half years, trying to scare you into enrolling by saying you have a limited time left before the “deal” ends.

A TEFL is for a job; a CELTA is for a career. If you want to make real career out of teaching English you should consider getting a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults).

A CELTA is backed by an accredit university, however, it does require much more time and money to obtain compared to a TEFL certificate. Go overseas has a whole article dedicated to the intricacies of teaching certificates if you are looking for more details.

Image Source: www.gooverseas.com

Choose your location before you choose your TEFL.

Do some research on the different schools and their requirements for your given country.  Some schools, like many in Southeast Asia, are not very strict when it comes to TEFL certificates and treat it more as a formality required by the government than an actual testament to your ability.

It was not until a year later that I finally coughed up the money for a legitimate, albeit cheap, TEFL certificate in order to be considered for a job at one of the more renowned English centers.  Teachers who take their TEFL course in person claim it to be very helpful, especially in the area of classroom management.

While you may find a job without a TEFL, I would not recommend it. It is a short, easy course to complete, and will prove beneficial for not only you, but your students as well.  It’s important to remember that the students you are are teaching pay good money for the classes and deserve a good teacher!

Teach English in Rio De Janeiro

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Image: Agustin Diaz

Choosing a Country

Choosing a single country from the voluminous collection is a daunting task.  Each country is very different and has its own benefits and shortcomings.

South Korea is a very popular choice with its high demand for English teachers and common benefits such as health insurance and a paid 2-4 week vacation, though the students are infamously difficult to deal with and the hours are long.

Downtown Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Image Source: Unsplash – Peter Nguyen

Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are all great choices with high pay, low living-costs and generally affable people, but the weather is always scorching hot and the monsoon season can be annoying to say the least.

There was a time where you could make a killing in Japan teaching English, but sadly that time has come to an end.  While there are still many opportunities to teach English there, the pay has dropped and the cost of living will eat up a significant portion of your salary, especially if you have your eyes set on Tokyo.

If you don’t want to travel quite as far as Asia, there are many choices in South America and Europe including Spain, Poland, Brazil, Colombia and Nicaragua.

Finding a Job

When it comes to finding a job, there are many online resources at your disposal.  It can be effective to drive directly to a school with your CV to try to meet someone in person, but I have had much more success using the internet.  Here are some sites to help you in your job search.

English Teaching Jobs in Vietnam

www.vietnamworks.com
www.jobstreet.com

English Teaching Jobs Cambodia

www.everjobs.com

English Teaching Jobs in China

www.teachabroadchina.com
www.eslcafe.com
www.teachaway.com
www.eslteachersboard.com
www.tefl.com

English Teaching Jobs in South Korea

www.eslcafe.com/Garamond
www.gone2korea.com
www.weteachkorea.com

English Teaching Jobs in Thailand

www.ajarn.com
www.teachingthailand.com

English Teaching Jobs in Brazil/Latin America

www.eslcafe.com/Latin America

Reasons to be an English teacher

While it isn’t the most glamorous job, the benefits of being an ESL teacher are numerous.

Salary

For the work you do, the pay is generally quite high, assuming you’ve chosen one of the many countries with high demand.  I am currently teaching English only twenty hours a week and still making enough to save around $400 a month.  When I was working 35-40 hours a week I was saving about $1000

Flexibility

Most schools, especially English centers, are very lenient when it comes to taking time off.  As long as you let them know a month or so in advance, you are golden.  Even better, if you are in Asia, airfare is astoundingly cheap!  I can fly to almost any country in Southeast Asia for $100 round-trip.  In the U.S. I couldn’t fly one-way to the state adjacent to me for that price!

This is a job that can take you almost anywhere in the world.  Tired of life in Nicaragua?  Book a one-way ticket to Myanmar and don’t look back.  Myanmar losing its luster?  Pack your shit and throw it in the back of a bus heading down to Thailand.  Sick of Thai food?  Move on!  This is one of the few jobs where you can pack up and move at a moment’s notice with few repercussions.

Giving Back

While you may not be a couple steps away from being the next Jesus, it feels really good to know the work you are doing is helping someone. Not only that, but you actually get to watch your students progress over time.  In a country like Vietnam, learning English is the key to creating a better life for many people and their families. Not only does it widen the scope of job opportunities, but it significantly increases their potential salary.

Respect

In many countries outside of the USA, teachers are revered.  In Vietnam the word “teacher”, or “thầy” in Vietnamese, is actually a title, much like the way we address doctors. While becoming an English teacher probably won’t make you feel like a superhero, it’s nice to know that people value and respect what you do.

Personal Growth

I know what you’re thinking – you get down towards the end of the list and read “personal growth” and think to yourself, “Wow, this guy is really starting to grasp at straws…”, but it’s true!  Think about it. Moving on your own to a foreign country on the opposite side of the Earth is a great opportunity for self-discovery and growth.

It will test your resolve and character, and you will learn much about yourself and your role in the world itself.  To quote Roman Payne, “Wandering is the activity of the child, the passion of the genius; it is the discovery of the self, the discovery of the outside world, and the learning of how the self is both “at one with” and “separate from” the outside world. These discoveries are as fundamental to the soul as “learning to survive” is fundamental to the body. These discoveries are essential to realizing what it means to be human. To wander is to be alive.”

Tips for your journey

Children as Clientele

Unless you land a job at a university, you will mostly be working with people under the age of 18. In Vietnam and many other countries that we sometimes refer to as “third world countries”, over half of the population is under the age of 30.

Most adults have already started a career path of some kind and don’t want to spend their time or money learning a language that will be of little or no aid to their career at this point in their lives.  For these reasons, children are the most abundant form of client in many countries.

Teaching English in Thailand. Image: National Geographic

Strange Schedules

If you are teaching at a public school or university this will not be the case, but if you are teaching at a language center the classes will be scheduled for nights and weekends, because during the weekdays people must either go to school or work.

Beware of Expat-focused Housing

Housing that is marketed specifically towards expats almost always has an extorted price, because they know that you are inhibited from dealing with locals by the language-barrier.  Not only that, but your housemates will be constantly changing every few months, as many of the expat-housing company’s customers are college students studying abroad or doing an internship.

The rooms nearly never have separate electricity meters, meaning the electric bill is split evenly, and there is usually one scumbag who likes to leave their air conditioning on all day so their room is cool when they get home, screwing everyone for the sake of their own comfort.

So if you have a friend or someone that can help you find housing, take advantage of it!  It will save you quite a bit of money and hassle

Most foreigners here share the attitude that it’s a waste of their time and energy, and confine their movements to….places where people speak English.  As a result, they are only getting a fraction of what the country has to offer them.

Learn the Language!

I cannot begin to tell you how empowering it is to speak the local language in a country where very few people speak English.  Not only that, but it is fun as well!

In school I hated learning Spanish because I never had any opportunities where it could prove useful, but here I can learn something and use it the very same day!  Most foreigners here share the attitude that it’s a waste of their time and energy, and confine their movements to places that are designed for foreigners and people that they know speak English.  As a result, they are only getting a fraction of what the country has to offer them.

Not only that, but the people here love seeing a foreigner speak their language, even if you are butchering it like a sick pig.

Research Transportation

It’s important to know how you are going to get around before you move to your new country.  In most countries you will probably end up riding some kind of scooter or motorcycle, but do you need a motorcycle license?  Will an American license suffice in your chosen country?

Xe Om

Find Temporary Housing

I would argue that it is better to wait until you are in the country to find housing, maybe even until you find a job.  Make sure that you like the area and it has good proximity to your place of work and any other places you think you will be frequenting.  In the meantime you can stay at a hostel or hotel.  Most will give you a deal if you book a room for an entire month, so don’t hesitate to negotiate the price.  It would be wise to book this before you get there.

Conclusion

If I had a general piece of advice for anyone, it would be not to settle. We don’t live long enough to waste our waking-hours slogging through an endless procession of papers and numbers that mean nothing to us. Don’t do it because it’s what your parents did. Don’t fool yourself into thinking your paycheck is a reflection of your personal success. If you are not happy with your work you are failing to seek your true ambitions and realize your true potential.

How to Pack a Carry on and Fit More in Your Bag

Two hours after landing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam I realized my checked bag wasn’t showing up with me. Oh crap! My bag was in Taiwan sitting in the belly of the airplane. In my case, I was fortunate enough to eventually receive my bag. But for many, the odds of your bag getting back to you once lost aren’t al the best. This is why we always recommend you to try your best to use a carry-on vs. checked bags as often as possible. Learn some of our Life Nomading tricks and tips for how to pack a carry on and fit more in your suitcase for your next great adventure, where it may lead you.

As if we haven’t already convinced you to carry-on, it’s worth noting that airlines don’t always have our back when it comes to lost luggage. They will reimburse up to a certain dollar amount – for example, its only 3,500 dollars on American Airlines.

To avoid the inconvenience of replacing your stuff or coming out in the red it is in your best interest to pack as much as possible in your carry -on bag.

Let’s Get Started Packing Your Bag

First thing’s first, there are restricted items and limitations on what you can and can’t bring in your carry-on bag.

Be sure to read your airline’s policies and check other TSA restrictions on what you can or cannot take in your carry-on. This helpful checklist breaks down what you can or cannot take in your carry-on versus your checked bags. Lame, we know!

It’s also important to note that there are different rules that vary from one country to the next for what is considered a carry-on bag. Some countries let gigantic backpacks slide, while others seem to barely let purses count.

This list comprehensively covers weight and size regulations for carry-on luggage around the world. I had a lot of trouble finding the perfect bag, so I researched and developed an article outlining the best international carry-on bags.

Now that you know what you can pack, its time to figure out how much of it you can possibly fit in your suitcase. The more you can fit in a carry on bag the better (most airlines do not weigh your carry-on).

Here are some of our tried and true tips on how to pack a carry on to optimize space:

Plastic Bags, Vacuum Bags, and  Compression Bags

Compression_Packers-e1454636616670

Compression bags Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. make more room to load up a bag with all your favorite clothes. They leave extra space for more items, and some even claim to reduce wrinkles! There are two main types of space saver bags, vacuum and manual rolled.

With vacuum bags, the downside is that a vacuum or hose is needed, and a puncture renders it useless. I personally prefer the Travis Travel Gear Space Saver Bags Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. myself. These work just like the vacuum bags only you push the air out manually. If you have delicate clothes that wrinkle easily these bags may leave a mark but you can spray the clothes with wrinkle releaser Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. once you arrive at your hotel.

If you’d prefer to use vacuum bags, be sure to read our article: Best Vacuum Storage Bags For Travel

Travis Travel Gear Space Saver Bags. No Vacuum Rolling Compression, Pack of 8 Price: $17.97 Travis Travel Gear Space Saver Bags. No Vacuum Rolling Compression, Pack of 8 Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/30/2019

Roll Your Clothes by Hand

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Rolling your clothes by hand may take a little time, but it is worth extra work! By rolling your clothes, it gives you more room in an otherwise small area in your suitcase.

An added benefit of rolling your clothes is that you can put the clothing around the sides of the luggage, and this will help protect the items placed in the middle.

Packing Cubes for Travel

Packing cubes are great for making space, but also for the organization. It is very handy and makes packing quicker by allowing you to organize items into separate cubes based on category. In the past, I would sort through all my clothes to find my underwear which I foolishly packed below my shirts. As a result, all the rest of my clothes get jostled about and unorganized. Now I pack them into cubes, and it makes it easier to organize my items. I have a set of eBags Packing cubes Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. that are perfect for this type of thing. They are easy to use and there are enough different sizes to fit any packing job.

eBags Large Packing Cubes for Travel Price: $36.99 eBags Large Packing Cubes for Travel Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 05/01/2019

 

Downsize your toiletry items.

You need to downsize your toiletry items.

Spray cans and glass containers of any kind are not allowed in your luggage. Get small squirt bottles or a set of small plastic containers. Also, buy travel size toothpaste Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. , plastic toothbrushes, and plastic razors Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. . Roll on deodorant also comes in travel sizes. If you run out of anything – most hotels or hostels have places to purchase the core items you need at the front desk.

Lermende Portable Soft Silicone Travel Bottles Containers Set Price: $15.99 Lermende Portable Soft Silicone Travel Bottles Containers Set Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 05/01/2019

 

Use every open space possible.

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When you begin packing, start with all the heavy flat objects first. Spread the weight out evenly across the bottom of your luggage.

Next, place your rolled clothes against the outer walls. This leaves the middle part open for your more fragile items. When all your large items are in, fill the empty spaces with leftover clothes, space saver containers, and anything else you need like a stuffed animal… we won’t judge.

Hopefully, our tips help you on your next trip. Now you won’t get stuck in another country waiting on your checked-bag ever again. Instead, pack it all in the carry-on and maximize your travel! Pack more, spend less, and do more traveling!

Do you have any questions or comments? Please comment below!

3 Adventurous Authors Who Will Spark Your Creativity

Adventurous authors

“I read; I travel; I become.” ― Derek Walcott

I’ve always thought that autobiographies and memoirs are the most intriguing genre of writing. They’re a written format of writers reflecting on their lives and sharing those reflections and experiences with others in hopes that they can connect and provide value.

I’m sharing with you the books that have inspired me most, written by nomads and adventurous authors who have left me in awe of the experiences they discovered, lit up my soul with fresh thoughts and ideas, and most importantly, inspired me to make changes in my own life. I hope they will do the same for you.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic - Adventurous Authors, Elizabeth GilbertRead everything this woman writes. Even her Facebook posts often bring me to tears. She just gets it.

Elizabeth Gilbert has a spirit that I have longed to emulate since reading her popular memoir Eat Pray Love about traveling the world to find herself. I haven’t watched the movie, and I don’t even want to, because the book gave me everything I needed. If you’re searching for creativity right now, or even something else, read Eat Pray Love. It will help you find it.

Her latest book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear was just released in September and is about how to live your most creative life by overcoming your personal creative struggles.

If you want a shorter read about how to be creative and successful, read this article. She also has several other books and articles if you’re interested. Like I said, seriously, just read it all.

Jack Kerouac

One of the most famous literary nomads of all time, Jack Kerouac is one of my top go-to authors for creative inspiration. Every nomad should read Kerouac, and he has a lot of writing to choose from, including my favorites: Dharma Bums and On the Road, which are similar and different for many reasons.

He writes a lot about hitchhiking across the country and the adventures he has with the people he meets along the way. He failed many times before convincing others to publish and sell his creative work, which was entirely new and misunderstood in the 1940s-60s.

Kerouac invented and wrote spontaneous prose, which can be difficult to keep up with at times, but is worth reading in the end. It’s also helpful in overcoming writer’s block, which can be a huge pain for writers. Kerouac makes you wish it was possible to be the true nomad that he was (but maybe a little more put together).

Augusten Burroughs

If most of what Augusten has written in his many memoirs is true (which I like to believe it is), then this guy has been to hell and back multiple times and is somehow still alive. In a world of drab writing that loses my attention after the first paragraph, he keeps my eyes glued to the pages and my jaw agape. The difference about Augusten is that many of this life’s “adventures” were not chosen, but endured and later written as nomadic adventures to finding truth.

His latest book, This is How: Surviving What You Think You Can’t, is sure to cover any and every mental anguish you’ve felt, and he actually tells you the flat out truth about how to deal with it. The Huffington Post claims it is “The last self-help book you’ll ever read.” I’ve been considering reading it again, and after writing this, I definitely will.

Another Augusten favorite of mine is Running with Scissors, the first memoir he published. It’s a New York Times best seller (along with all of his other books) and now a movie. Always read the book before the movie, people! This book will give you a glimpse of Augusten’s early life, and along with his other memoirs, will help you understand how some nomadic lives aren’t as romantic as we like to think.

If there are other nomadic memoirs you think I and other nomads should read, please leave them in the comments below, and I will add them to my reading list!

LN 007: A PSA to You

Ian Hoyt - Be Unconventional

It’s been one hell of a long time since I last uploaded a new podcast episode. It takes a lot of time and a lot of dedication to keep a podcast going. But recently I have changed my train of mind and now am creating Life Nomading stuff like a mad man. Audio, video, and articles (even a book). You name it, I’m really enjoying putting in the time and hard work to bring as much value as I can to you all.

This episode is a short rant from yours truly about exactly that. I say I was drinking water, but I think you can tell there’s a hint of a wine kind of night that came with this recording.

With this new found wind under my wings, comes some changes:

  1. I have moved to Soundcloud. It’s a cool social audio platform that allows for Life Nomading to grow. So if you’re an iTunes listener, have no fear, nothing will changes. But now, you have the ability to listen here, on iTunes or Soundcloud.
  2. Episodes will have different styles. Gone are the days of only interviewing people for an hour. Being that this show is all about being unconventional, you can expect to get interviews, my personal thoughts, and other creative podcast ideas that I want to hold onto for now. 🙂
  3. Quality will increase. Audio quality, levels, etc… will all increase. I promise!

I’m excited. I bet you can tell.

Let’s get it going!