The most important thing in life

T

I started writing a new book. The idea behind the book is to get people to quit their jobs and travel the world. What an arrogant goal, but nevertheless, that is my goal. I can explain…

No amount of “good job” is worth spending your remaining days at a comforting assisted living facility wondering what Kenya might look like. The time is never right. The money is never right. There’s almost always something missing from the imperfect puzzle that I’m trying to complete before I buy that damn plane ticket, and it never comes. I’m good at not so many things, but here is one thing I’m better at than most: making the decision to travel.

I remember sitting at a diner in Manhattan with my buddy Tyler discussing where we should live. I’m a publicist–well, before that I was a traveling rolling paper salesman, and before that a bartender, and before that a music agent, and before that a theatre producer and before that a concert promoter and before that a barista and before that a pizza delivery boy and before that–well, I don’t have all day here. Point is, for the last seven years, I’ve hunkered down and made writing and marketing my only hustles so that I could work from anywhere.

I moved back to New York from Los Angeles a few years back after my world record road trip to be closer to my family. But it became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to afford to live in the city without bunking with seventeen other guys–nothing wrong with that, but it’s not my style. I want my own place. I’m 34 for fuck’s sake. So, I found myself at that diner with Tyler discussing where we might move, as he was in a similar situation.

“I wish I could live outside of the country,” he told me at one point.

“I think I’ll go to Spain,” I responded.

That’s when I went to Kayak on my phone and bought a one-way ticket to Spain. I had one client at the time. My finances were in as much order as they could be. I had book royalties, journalism jobs and one PR client. I had just enough money so that over the horizon I could see a bright future with a comfy loft, but not enough in the bank to believe it would happen tomorrow. I said the greatest words anyone can ever say: fuck it. And I got the one way ticket.

I thought I might go there to wander around then come back a couple weeks later with a solution as to where I should settle down, but while I was in Barcelona, I booked a one-way ticket to Montevideo, Uruguay. Took me four months to come back from South America. I made it to nearly all of the countries in the continent.

What’s important about that adventure is, though it was just another one of my adventures, I find myself talking about it all the time. That’s how I know it was something worthwhile, because I am always talking about it. Sometimes I get jealous of travel bloggers, that’s how I know I envy them; that’s how I know I want what they have; and that’s how I choose my goals because I know if I don’t get started doing what they’re doing, I’ll never forgive myself.

Not everybody is like me. Not everybody wants to be like me. But almost everyone wants to travel and most people deem it impossible given their situation. Well, in my fifteen years of roaming, the five hundred hostels I’ve stayed at, the three thousand travelers I’ve met, I’ve heard a whole lotta situations. I’ve heard people transition from a comfy investment banking job to road tripping Peru; from high-fashion London to Spanish sexcapades; from not-a-penny in-the-bank-Louisiana to all her needs met in Medellin alongside a new handsome Argentine cowboy (and no, she didn’t end up as a hooker); from nurse in British Columbia to 37-year-old solo female nomad taking that damn trip she’d been putting off for her whole life.

Sometimes (most of the time) solo travel is less about the destination and more about personal achievement; proving to ourselves we can do it, which is well worth it.

So, I decided to devote many hours every morning to compiling a book of all the secrets I’ve learned about how to make that transition so that you make sure you don’t end up with the worst thing you could possibly end up with: regret.

I’m going to share everything that I’ve learned about attaining the most valuable resource life has to offer: experience. I don’t want to spoil too much of the surprise, but it’s got the best title ever invented. I know this because I think this, and my thoughts are never wrong… except when they are utterly fucking wrong, which is often.

Nevertheless, I’m writing the book anyway. If you feel so inclined, post your dream destination and hard-to-get-out-of-situation below so I can make sure I address everything.

About the author

Greg
Greg

I'm a high school dropout who escaped reform school when I was sixteen and hitchhiked the country as a homeless teen till I finally made sense of the world. I now work as a travel writer, marketer, publicist, I published a book and broke the guinness world record for longest road trip. I've done some other crazy shit too. But I'm still alive and seven years sober. Enjoy my insanity...

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