There are a few questions that I get asked on a regular basis, so I decided to create this page as a place to just put everything out there.
However, if this list doesn’t satiate your appetite you’re welcome to contact me and ask whatever.
How many countries have you been to?
Eighty-something at last count–see which on the Countries Visited page.
What country has been your favorite?
I like different things about each country, so I can’t really say I entirely like any one country over the others. (Except for ‘murica, of course.)
If I absolutely had to choose though, I’d say Japan, Thailand, and Turkey–I love the food, people, and history of all three. As far as Japan goes, I’ve spent so much time there–especially during the period right after high school–that it definitely had a hand in shaping who I am today, to the point that I think of Japan as a second home.
How can you afford to travel so much?
Through a combination of low-cost travel techniques and not spending money on stuff I don’t need.
I drive an older-model car that I bought in cash, don’t have a mortgage, and don’t have any loans. Even if I did have any or all of these things though, it wouldn’t be an issue–it’s all about priorities.
The two most expensive components of traveling are usually accommodation and flights, both of which I usually get for cheap, if not free. Most of my flights are free through various frequent flyer program credit card sign-up bonuses (while paying my cards off in full most months and maintaining a pristine credit score). As far as a place to lay your head at night, I’ve spent a lot of time on friend’s couches (especially during the first few years of my travels), in hostels, and in basic hotels (tip: using Couchsurfing is a great way to cut costs and make friends while on the road).
I usually spend less while traveling than I do at home, so I enjoy looking at it like I’m getting paid to travel.
What do you do for work?
I ran my own web development firm right out of high school for over ten years. During most of that time I had zero savings, and was spending money as quick as it got in my bank account (not recommended). I supplemented my income by doing various side-projects, such as selling stuff on eBay, fixing computers, and developing affiliate sales web sites. This type of work was perfect at the time, as I could do most of it from anywhere in the world using just my laptop and an Internet connection, which is exactly what I did.
Nowadays I’m focused on growing my safari company and web development firm, along with developing a few online-based ventures and partnerships on the side. Again, mostly Internet-based, so I can maintain my itinerant lifestyle for as long as I choose.
When are you going to “settle down”?
I remember when I used to say that I’d “settle down” and whatnot once I hit 25. Then I turned 25, and the finish line was pushed back to 30.
Well, I’m over 30 now, and I’ve finally learned to stop setting silly arbitrary time limits for myself.
Do you ever get homesick?
I can’t say that I’ve ever felt homesick. I get tired of particular places at times, but never feel any sadness or an urge to just go home. That being said, I do enjoy reconnecting with friends and family when I’m back in the Detroit area (although I’m usually already planning my next adventure before the plane touches down).
Do I hear an accent? Where are you originally from?
Ever since returning home from my first stint living in Japan I’ve been consistently told that I have an odd accent/don’t sound American/sound English, etc. Both Americans and non-Americans tell me this on a regular enough basis where it’s kind of a running joke between my friends and I.
I was born and raised in the U.S., as were my parents. The accent, if it exists, is just some strange result of traveling too much (that’s how I explain it at least).
Do you have a goal of some kind you’re shooting for?
Always! My short/medium/long-term goals include:
Visit at least 100 countries by the time I’m 35 years old.(on hold for now in order to focus on business priorities)
- Develop my companies and processes to the point where I have a decent amount of savings and a comfortable stream of residual income coming in every month, with minimal ongoing time invested.
- Create lasting, positive change in the world through ventures I’m involved with. At this point it looks like it will either be education and empowerment through entrepreneurship initiatives in developing countries, and/or facilitating the possibility of world travel for those that otherwise wouldn’t have the chance.