Today is February 29th, but should really be March 1st if it wasn’t for leap year soooo yeah I did it… I have been on the road for 365 days… an entire fucking year! This was also supposed to be two separate post, but because I am lacking a good WiFi connection am just making it one huge one (sorry about that)! What seemed like an impossible dream a year ago is now an accomplished one. I am sitting here at my friend’s apartment in Cairo, Egypt as I write this… and can’t believe it. I am looking back and thinking, “damn what courage and balls I must have had to actually do this”. I mean really before this I had never been on a trip alone… I had never backpacked… I had never stayed in a hostel… and I had never been outside of the U.S.A. or Mexico. I had sold just about everything I owned including my car… I quit my job and said bye to everything I knew. I knew doing this was going to be a huge risk… but it was a risk I was willing to take and a risk that has turned out to be the best thing in my life.
As I type this I can’t help but look back at what an amazing year I have had.
- It all started with me printing my one-way ticket to San Jose, Costa Rica & boarding the plane!
- A week in I was adjusting with life as a backpacker and had many highs & lows.
- I got a nice welcome to Panama City by having a local ask me to show him my penis.
- Spent 3 nice in David, Panama and enjoyed the David International Fair.
- Got wild in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica (my 1st of many XXX post).
- Was held at gunpoint in MonteVerde, Costa Rica.
- Met a drag queen in Isla de Ometepe and she spent the night telling all her thoughts & feelings.
- Got wild again this time in Isla de Ometepe and my 2nd XXX post came to life.
- Got addicted to the “Traca Traca” in Granada.
- Rolled down a Volcano in Leon & almost killed myself.
- Went Pupusa Mania in El Salvador.
- Visited my 1st ruins ever the Copan Ruins in Honduras!
- Gave life to my most popular post EVER by giving a HAND JOB on a CHICKEN BUS!
- Ate the best Carne Asada ever & bugs in Oaxaca, Mexico.
- Enjoyed many Rivers, Ruins & waterfalls in Palenque, Mexico.
- Spent 6 unBELIZEable days in Caye Caulker doing nothing.
- Celebrated my 100 days on the road wondering why we don’t have equal rights.
- Attended my brothers beautiful destination wedding in Playa del Carmen.
- FINALLY MET KELLY CLARKSON… EEEeeeeee~
- Attended my Best Friends Wedding in Houston (home).
- Visited my parents home town Gral. Teran, Mexico that is now run by drug cartels.
- Made it to Paris and found out what it taste like & that every one is jealous of Mona Lisa.
- Found out the Brussels is obsessed with golden showers!
- Cried for the 2nd time on the road.
- Enjoyed shrooms, pride & good times in Amsterdam.
- I experienced what it’s like to be blind.
- Enjoyed the hospitality of one of my readers in Hamburg, Germany.
- Went camping in northern Germany and made a quick visit to Denmark.
- I was a very bad boy in Berlin.
- I spent 24hrs in Prague and accomplished my mission.
- A friend from home visited me in Munich, Germany.
- Had the best & worst time of my life in La Tomantina and shared my thoughts.
- Spent a week in Valencia witha few bloggers and yeah did nothing.
- Celebrated my 200 days on the road and confessed I still get scared to travel.
- Went Tapa mania all over Spain.
- Had an interesting 1st 48 hours in Africa.
- Met a town with a million shades of blue.
- Shared the 1st city I hate & still hate… Fez!
- I was about to go home…
- but the Sahara Desert saved me.
- Took an expedition through the Sahara Desert in Morocco.
- Spent 10 nights in Essouria, Morocco.
- Went to a Corrida de Toros in Spain & still don’t know if it’s a Spanish tradition or animal cruelty.
- Took myself on a date to Hard Rock Cafe in Madrid!
- Was able to take part in OCCUPY MADRID!
- Was 4 for 4 for a bit… on a roll with my naughty self.
- Felt at home in Barcelona with my girls.
- Wondered what the hell was Antoni Gaudi thinking.
- Wrote my 1st drunk post that was taken straight from my journal.
- Experienced in Ibiza, in November.
- Had to explain why I was still in Europe.
- Got lost in Venice, Italy.
- Saw the most beautiful nude man in the world.
- Was dirty with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
- Had a tragic yet amazing Thanksgiving in Rome.
- Popped my Italian Gelato Cherry.
- Spent a month in Athens doing nothing.
- Celebrated my 300 days on the road knowing I can not do this for the rest of my life.
- Shared my New Years Resolution.
- Rang in the New Year in Istanbul, Turkey.
- Had a short adventure through Turkey visiting Ephesus, Pamukkale & Cappadocia!
- Fell in love with Istanbul, Turkey.
- Wondered if we live in Transit.
- Had my 1st gay date of the year in Cairo, Egypt!
- Lived a childhood dream of visiting the Pyramids of Giza!
- Visited the Sahara Desert again this time in Egypt!
- Saw a side of Tahrir Square they are not showing on the news.
- Had a view of Luxor the pharaohs didn’t even have.
- Visited my 1st Egptian Temples in Luxor.
- Shared my experience of a 2nd class train ride in Egypt.
- Visited my 1st slum “Garbage City” in Cairo, Egypt.
It’s crazy to think that one can actually do all that in a year and this is just the adventures & thoughts I wrote about. As I sit here though thinking about the year I have had only one thing keeps popping up in my head.
“After this trip you will never be able to go back to a normal life.”
Those words have now been spinning through my mind for the past month and I have not been able to get them out of there. They were spoken to me a month ago while I was visiting Elephantine Island. I shared photos of the Island and mentioned that it was my new love, but never quite mentioned what happened on that beautiful island. It was there that I had yet another amazing experience.
As I was wondering around a local waved me down to come over and speak with him. Not thinking much of it I walked down and we chatted a bit and then enjoyed playing around with the group of kids that were there. They told me their names and wrote them down in my guidebook then asked me to take photos of them with my camera. Moments later I was invited onto a houseboat that was floating on the Nile by a guy from Holland. We chatted away about my travels he offered me a beer and then he chatted about his travels. It was later as we were watching the sun set that he mentioned those 15 words that I can now not get out of my head. He too had done a Round-the-World trip and when finished re-joined the rat race in the corporate world but years later couldn’t take any more and left it all behind again to travel for ever. I knew he was being honest when he told me those words, because hell even I before then had wondered… would I ever be able to go back to a normal life?
In reality though what is normal??? Normal at home for me was being on the daily grind of 9-5 and having the same schedule week in week out living a life of content and certainty. Normal to me now is living out of my backpack and backpacking around the world, finding how to get from point A to Z or finding a place to sleep in a different city and exploring many of the worlds most amazing cities, sights and ruins.
Even though it may seem like a lot of people do a Round-the-World trip because I meet many people on the road that are doing it and have met many other bloggers who are doing it as well. The reality is that we make up a small portion of the worlds population and are not quite understood by people who have never taken one or understand why we love travel so much. It’s a million emotions that I try to share on this blog that I love about what I am doing. I love the good, the bad and that everyday is a roller coaster of emotions filled with uncertainties as I explore many corners of the world.
I know today I am celebrating my one-year anniversary, and that my Round-the-World trip is not over yet. I know I still have about 9 more months to a year before I head home and know that’s a long time from now. Hell I even know that when I get home I am going to work away to start saving on my next huge adventure (trust me this isn’t my last RTW adventure). The thing I am scared of is when I do go home… will I feel like it’s my home? Will I be able to go back to the life I had? Will I be able to relate to my friends? Will I be able to go back to a normal life?
Those are questions I know I cannot answer now, but are on my mind. I try not to think of them, but well I do and thought I would share. Even though I have those fears I am going to continue on the road I am on and live life on my terms. This is the road I love because it has taught me more about myself and the amazing world we live in than any other road I have taken.
On a less thoughtful note I also keep thinking about how proud I am of myself for actually making it this far. Crazy how it started out as little dreams and thoughts that are now a reality and that I am a year into them. I know I have mentioned it before and will mention it again… travel is not for everyone and it is not going to make everyone happy. I am doing this because it makes me happy… and I just want to help people be happy… because in the end that is all that really matters in life. Find your dream and go for it… take a chance… take a risk… make a change & breakaway.
Thanks again everyone for following along on my crazy adventure around the world.