Around the world in 347 days : Lessons learned from a year of travel

Elisabeth and myself in Paris, France

Elisabeth and myself in Paris, France

This week I returned to the United States after 347 days of traveling abroad.

In this year long trip, my girlfriend and I visited 13 countries and had an experience unlike anything I could have ever imagined.

My goal with this post is to share with you a bit of our experiences, and lessons learned from our lap around the world.

 

13 Countries, countless experiences

Our trip was insane. We lived out of a suitcase for almost a full year while I worked remotely from a computer to fund our adventure. 

Below is a schedule of our major moves:

While in the philippines, we took a private boat out to an island and visited this run down lighthouse. We were the only people on the whole island

While in the philippines, we took a private boat out to an island and visited this run down lighthouse. We were the only people on the whole island

St. Louis, MO > Puerto Vallarta, Mexico + Trips to many neighboring cities
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico > Los Angeles, USA
Los Angeles, USA > Manila, Philippines
Manila, Philippines > Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam + Week trip to Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam > Ranong, Thailand + Trips to Phuket and Bangkok
Ranong, Thailand > Singapore
Ranong, Thailand > Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Ranong, Thailand > Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden > Oslo, Norway
Oslo, Norway > Berlin, Germany + Weekend trip to Munich for Oktoberfest
Berlin, Germany > Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain > Paris, France
Paris, France > London, England
London, England > St. Louis, MO

Needless to say, we saw and experienced more of the world this year than we had in our entire lives before.

 

How traveling changes your worldview

A lone monk walking down the street outside our home in ranong, thailand. Photocredit elisabeth Cairnes

A lone monk walking down the street outside our home in ranong, thailand. Photocredit elisabeth Cairnes

When you are growing up, you live in your parents house. 

Everyday you play with the same toys and in the same environment. 

Everything you know is that which is around you. 

Then one day, you make a new friend at school. Your parents take you to his house, and your worldview is changed.

At your friends home he has new toys and a new environment. 

You see how his family lives, how their lives are different from your own, how some things are better and others are worse. 

When you visit your friend, your worldview and the lens from which you view your life and environment changes. 

When you travel, the same thing happens on a much larger scale.

Fishing villages at halong bay, vietnam. Those are houses floating on the water. It is an entire village including schools for the kids and everything. 

Fishing villages at halong bay, vietnam. Those are houses floating on the water. It is an entire village including schools for the kids and everything. 

When you travel, your worldview is opened and you begin to see how other people live. 

You see countries of poverty and you become grateful for everything we have.
You see countries of wealth, health, and happiness and you see flaws in the USA.
You see how others live their lives, the good, the bad and ugly.

With every new place you visit, it gives you a new perspective on your own life.

Traveling broadens your worldview in ways in which you could never imagine.

 

"I sure wish that I could travel"

Throughout this whole experience, I have spoke with countless people from around the world. When I tell them what I am doing, I get a unanimously similar response.

"That is great that your work allows you to travel. I sure wish I could do the same."

Some form of this sentence pops up nearly every time I tell someone. 

Standing atop one of the many supertrees in singapore

Standing atop one of the many supertrees in singapore

In the way they frame their response, the separate them from me. They assume that I have some innate ability or privilege that they do not.

The truth is anyone can work remotely and travel. 

All you need is an ability to generate an income without being physically present.

That means that if you can work form a computer and provide value for someone, then you can work from anywhere.

I personally, do web design and marketing to provide an income for myself. 

But the truth is, a year and a half ago I couldn't have built a website on my own. 

I taught myself everything. I utilized sites such as Lynda.com and Skillshare.com to learn new skills that I could do from anywhere.

A year and a half ago, I didn't have the skills to work remotely.
I deeply wanted to travel so I taught myself the skills.

You can do the same. It is hard work and it will require you to learn something new, but if you really want to travel the world and work remotely, you can.

 

Whats next?

our beloved puppy sophie who we have missed while traveling abroad. We are glad to be back home with her

our beloved puppy sophie who we have missed while traveling abroad. We are glad to be back home with her

After 347 days abroad, everyone is asking what is next?

While we have loved travel, Elisabeth and I are excited and ready for a home. 

And we are excited to spend time with our dog Sophie. 

We are excited for a bit of stability in life (For a while at least…)

In December, we are moving out to a small town called Goldon, Colorado. The town is West of Denver at the Foothills of the mountains. At our backdoor, we have seven miles of Nature trails and a view of the Rockies. 

While our travel schedule won't be as intense next year, our living conditions are completely possible as a result of our work life. We are living an hour outside of Denver. If we commuted everyday, this would be a painful commute. 

Yet the ability to work from home allows us to live in an stellar location. 

Even when we aren't traveling, our lives are still designed with an ability to work remotely in mind. 

The freedom of remote working extends beyond travel, it becomes a part of life that increases quality of living. 

 

If you want to work remotely, you can

Don't keep making excuses for yourself.

Realize right now that if you want to work remotely, you can.

You just have to put in the work to learn how to do it.

If you can earn an income without being physically present, then you can work from anywhere

Whats stopping you?

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