Maybe I didn’t quit my job, sell everything I owned, and took off to be a nomadic traveler and writer due to a mid-life crisis at 36 years old. Maybe this crazy need to wander and experience new things is in my genes…literally. A friend recently sent me this article about the travel gene and maybe it explains a lot of things for me.
I love to travel, I need to travel. But it’s more that I need to see and experience new things – and that’s what drives me to travel. In fact it has kept me on the road now living this unconventional (yet enviable) life for the past 8 ½ years. I meet new people constantly and where everyone and every culture is different, there are some things that are very predictable when I meet people, such as the questions they ask me.
I recently wrote about this for InsureMyTrip.com – a site I write for regularly:
(I suggest you read this post first before hopping to the rest of the questions!)
The post was so popular on my Facebook timeline that I decided to take it to the next level and let you in on the next 10 questions I get asked. The questions seem to get more and more personal as you move past #10. And the more people dig, I tend to get a bit more snarky with the answers. But what really wows me, is when someone asks me something that I never anticipated – that makes me actually sit up and pay attention. So – if you have more questions for me – just ask below in the comments and ‘wow’ me!
11. Do you need an assistant?
Why yes I do! But I sadly I don’t need someone to carry my bags and join me on every trip, which is what people are really after when they ask that question. What I need is a real assistant…or intern (which is just a nice way of saying I can’t pay much!). So – if you know anyone that wants to get into the world of writing/blogging, social media marketing, is creative, knows wordpress, and can manage my schedule all wrapped up in a self starter package – bring it on. Could it mean that you travel with me…well…maybe. I have to turn down trips all the time, so there may be opportunities to travel and write too. But first – I need help with website administrivia and logistics before you start packing the suitcase.
If you are truly interested in working with me and getting blogging/social media experience in the travel industry – email me at [email protected]
12. How big is your backpack/suitcase?
I sort of get annoyed by this question…as if the size really matters? But the answer I give for this question is generally, “It’s too big.” You fill what space you have – in your home and in your suitcase or backpack. Hence if I take a big suitcase/backpack – then I fill it and I always end up having more stuff than I really need. And in that same vein – that’s what has happened to my storage unit in NYC too which is why I hate visiting it. My storage unit that I’ve had for the last 8 years is reproducing…it seems to be gaining suitcases and backpacks every time I go visit it! I’m always testing out new products, so I have a lot to choose from.
But to finally getting around to the answer you are all looking for – I’m currently traveling with the new No Matter What Flatbed Duffle by Eagle Creek It’s 77.3L. I also often use backpacks and generally like them better when I’m going to be moving around a lot.
My current backpack is also Eagle Creek’s new Deviate Travel Pack at 85L . Yes – I do love Eagle Creek products – I”ve traveled with them from the beginning in 2006. I also carry an REI daypack that is my carry-on and it packs a punch. It’s no frills and that’s how I like it. It doesn’t look like I’m carrying thousands of dollars of camera equipment in it.
13. Do you ever get homesick?
The only time I get homesick is when I’m physically sick. It sucks to be sick on the road – especially when traveling solo in a foreign country. Otherwise – it’s sort of out of sight, out of mind to me at this point. For the last 3 years or so, I come back to the US often enough to see friends and family so that I don’t really get homesick ever.
14. How do you handle relationships/meet people/date on the road?
Oh Lord – this opens up a can of worms and as of late has been the source of more sadness and tears that it ever really deserves. This relationship dilemma is probably my biggest struggle in the last few years of being nomadic. After 8 years of traveling, and living my 30’s just dating around – I have finally come to the conclusion that I would love to meet Mr. Right. Maybe age does really mellow you out. But the problem is how do you meet someone when you are always moving?
I’ve met men as I travel, but it’s really hard to get to know someone in a short time and then trying to build a relationship when you are on the go is hard. You both have to really, really want it and be willing to communicate constantly. And sadly – so far I seem to be the only person who wants it – so it sort of fizzles.
It seems that the thing that makes me so interesting and exciting as a potential girlfriend/mate – my passion for wandering – is also the thing that people are terrified of – that I’m a commitment-phobe who can’t ever settle down. I’m not sure, they may be right. But I’m willing/wanting to try to meet someone who has a bit of wanderlust but also grounding. I need some grounding in my life. I’m ready.
Anyone have any lovely 40ish guy who isn’t scared of a girl with wanderlust and would like to set me up with in the world?
15. Do you ever feel like settling down? If so – where?
“Yes” to the first part and “I have no idea to the second part”. I suppose that is why I haven’t settled down yet. I really do want a home base – some place I can go to feel secure and grounded. A place where I can be messy, and hang up my clothes and buy big bottles of shampoo without worrying about space or trying to be the perfect guest.
I’ve actually been swept up in the tiny house craze as of late. I’d actually like to move my stuff out of my storage unit and upsize into a tiny home that I could use as a writing retreat and home base. I’m starting to put those wheels in motion – but for a supposed commitment phobe who has never owned property before this process is slow. Two steps forward, and one back as I panic. As for where – that’s the hard part. I’ve started looking into the Catskills, or Colorado a bit, but who knows – I may chicken out like usual when it comes to actually settling down.
16. Do you have a ton of frequent flier miles?
Sort of. But I’m a mile hoarder – I only really use them for domestic flights. And honestly it’s not as many as you think. Most of the time my airfare is paid for by the project that I’m working on which means my flights are free anyway. But before you get all schoolgirl excited on me, realize that this also means I don’t have control over what airline is chosen and booked. So that means I am the proud holder of many frequent flier miles on many different airlines and alliances. Not quite as great as one might think.
17. Have you ever had anything stolen or had something bad happen on the road?
First off – I’m knocking on wood right now as I give you this answer – no, I’ve never had anything big stolen… yet. I misplaced/lost/had stolen an ipod and a couple of Kindles, but nothing huge. And no, I don’t wear a money belt or do anything special but simply be aware. I’m sure my time will come, as I’m not infallible. As far as bad things happening on the road – sure it’s been 8 years of course bad things have happened as they do in life in general. But nothing really devastating…yet. But if you want to get a feel for some of my mishaps or bad travel – then check out these Bad Travel Stories.
18. Where are you going next?
Australia! I’m heading to Oz for a month to some new areas – the Blue Mountains in NSW and South Australia. Massive adventure awaits in the Blue Mountains with all day canyoning trips and hikes. After that the rest of 2015 has me heading to NYC, Spain, the Indy 500, Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska, Belize, Russia/Arctic Circle, Alaska, San Francisco, China, and Germany…whew….the globe is spinning fast for me this year. Seriously, why wouldn’t you want to date me?
19. When are you going to write a book?
Ugh. Everyone, and I mean everyone wants me to write a book. However I cringe at the thought. Maybe because I feel like I’ve already written a novel on my blog for the last 8 ½ years…what more do you people want?! I have written 1,266 articles on my blog about my travels – all at about 800 to 1400 words. Let’s do the math – that’s around 1,244,000 words – that’s a novel people. So forgive me if I don’t get excited about sitting down and writing a book. However I’m human so there’s a little ridiculous part of me that wants to be published, as for some reason it seems like that makes my life choices more legitimate. (Yes – I know this line of thought is stupid). So tell me – if I were to write a book – what in the world would you want it to be about? And the more important question – who wants to ghost write it for me?
20. What Camera do you use?
There are times that I absolutely loathe this question. When it’s asked by people in conjunction with “You take such beautiful pictures, what camera do you use?” I can’t help but then infer that they think it’s the camera that actually has the ability and not me. Let me just tell you – photography isn’t about the camera. It’s about composition and seeing things. THEN it starts to become how you can manipulate the settings in the camera or post processing to create a look you want. But it starts with the person and their ability to see and compose a shot. Want to know how to start to take beautiful pictures – then read this article I wrote – The Secret to Taking Beautiful Travel Photos – and THEN go out camera shopping if you really must.
Ok – now that I’m off my soapbox. I use a Canon 60D with the following lenses – 17 – 55mm, 10-15 mm, 75-300mm, 28mm fixed. If you go out and buy this stuff it doesn’t mean you will take beautiful pictures. Invest in a class to do that.
Where Do You Buy Toothpaste?
So this isn’t necessarily one of the top 20 questions – but it’s one of my favorite ones I was ever asked. I buy it anywhere I can on the road and weirdly buying toothpaste when I’m on the road is one of my favorite things to do. Mainly because it reminds me of how lucky I am to travel and see the world every day. Bare with me – there is a connection here in my brain. I brush my teeth every day, so that means every day I look at the toothpaste container and consider where I bought it. Sometimes it’s a brand I know and sometimes it’s not. The writing on the tube is in English, French, Thai, or my favorite – Arabic. I think about where I bought the toothpaste and how lucky I was to travel to that country. It’s a weird daily reminder I know, but it’s the truth. Looking at my toothpaste makes me happy and thankful. This is how my mind works. And in fact – when I’m done with that toothpaste tube, I get really sad (because I’m horrible at goodbyes ) to throw it away as it means that country is going to be out of my system on a daily basis now. I have to say goodbye to the daily memory of that trip.
Ok – bring it on – what other questions do you have for me?