This summer marked a year straight of travel.
In the last year – in fact in the last 6 months – I’ve been on all 7 continents and since I started traveling, I’ve been to 29+ countries in the past 12-13 months (I’m losing track).
I didn’t set out to do it, but as it turn out, I accidentally knocked another thing off my impossible list – travel for a year straight.
As I’ve been trying to explain my life to people lately, it looks something like this:
Where do you live?
- I’m currently [wherever I currently am].
- My girlfriend is in New York.
- My car is in San Diego (thanks Melinh)
- My mail goes to Chicago
- My business is in Wyoming.
I didn’t set out to do it, but I basically ended up traveling for a year straight on accident.
It started last summer when I headed to Barcelona for the DCBCN conferences and some other European summer adventures including a road trip through Greece, a pirate ship adventure in Croatia, and 48 hours in Iceland. That ended up turning into some fall adventures, wedding and family events, followed by holiday events, restarting 777, Christmas family trips and then flying out to Australia for the first leg of the 777 international spots and then running non-stop for the next 3 1/2 months.
With all that in mind, here’s a few things I’ve learned.
Constant, Fast Travel Makes For Low Productivity
Table of Contents
Okay, I knew this already, but this year re-enforced it. I have to say, between the energy it takes to run the ultra marathons and the travel that came along with it (plus coordinating and running multiple businesses), moving to a new place every week or so absolutely kills any type of productivity you can have.
I’ve been in NYC for part of the summer and while New York is anything but relaxing, I’ve been able to get a tremendous amount of work done simply by staying in one place.
Home Bases are Important
Something about “overdoing” travel lets you appreciate how important home bases are. You don’t always need the perfect spot, but there is something amazing about being able to have the keys, walk in the door, and just throw all your stuff anywhere you want.
I don’t imagine I’ll stop traveling anytime soon, but I’m going to be incorporating this into my next living + travel itineraries.
I Judge Cities Based on The Quality of Their Coffee Shops
I spent tons of time in coffee shops whether it’s on phone calls, writing or planing on where I’m going to sleep that night.
Melbourne, Saigon & Chiang Mai are up there – but South Africa is a surprising choice you might not think about that much.
It’s a weird area to become a snob in, but it’s how it is.
Tech Has Caught Up to Travel: Countries Haven’t
While traveling, I was able to run IMPOSSIBLE, grow the meal plans business, and improve what we’re doing at Impossible.org. I began growing the team and had a pretty successful time. Online, things were great.
Offline was a different story.
By the time I had gotten home, my car’s license plate sticker had expired, my driver’s license had expired, I had my passport invalidated & the new one was ready to expire, my eye prescription had expired and I had run out of contacts.
Sounds like some simple stuff, but when you’re literally not in the states for half the year, these things are surprisingly annoying details to handle and there’s no good way to handle them online (yet).
You Can Always Come Back
Everyone I talk to about travel is always concerned about leaving.
But here’s the thing about leaving: You can always come back.
You can always do what you were doing before.
Why not go on an adventure?
The Right Gear Makes a World of Difference
Having the right gear makes travel either amazing or horrible. I pack light (2 bags, carryon) and going through all 7 continents, in every hemisphere with multiple different climates, made this a challenge.
If I had the wrong gear in Antarctica, I would have been in a heap of trouble.
What I realized
Finding a method to do both plan for each race and stay light adn travel with two bags took some getting used to, but I’m still a huge proponent of packing half the stuff and bringing twice as much money when and where possible.
Doha is a Terrible Place to Spend 48 Hours
That is all.
I’m Constantly Talking About “Places To Live”
Maybe some normal people talk about places they want to visit. It seems that lately, almost every conversation I have with people is about “when you can live anywhere in the world, where do you live?”
That’s a quality problem to have – for sure – but it’s still a problem.
You Forget The “Rules” in the US
The first week I was back in New York, I got a street ticket for drinking. At 30 years old…
Apparently open containers are not allowed in the US. Somehow, after months in Asia, Europe and Africa where they don’t care about these types of things – I forgot that this was a rule.
I’m going to blame this one on Pieter. 🙂
The Best Adventures Happen on Accident
The best adventures happen to you.
When I was coming back from Croatia, there were no good flights home (happens when you book Europe in the summer last minute).
As a result, I started looking at more unusual airlines & I remembered that Iceland Air allows for a free stopover on the way to or from Europe. cCeland has been at the top of the list of places for me to visit for a long, long time – so I booked it and gave myself 48 hours to explore what I could there.
When I landed, I ended up renting a car, driving it along the south circle, sleeping in it, trail running to every hot spring and plane wreck I could find and then heading to the airport and flying back home.
It was one of my favorite things I’ve ever done – and it happened to me more than I happened to it.
It Can Wear On You…
To be honest, I’ve been very happy to be in one place for a bit. I’m a bit worn out on travel and while I have some stuff lined up this fall to head out on, I’m going to enjoy the next few months of relative tranquility.
There’s Nothing Quite Like Travel
There’s nothing like it. I’m looking forward to resting up and getting strong again stateside, but give me a couple of weeks and I’ll already be planning my next trip…