What follows is a transcript of a video I created reflecting on the last two and a half years of travel at the end of 2020. I’ve been living and working as a digital nomad living in several different countries since 2018.
Three years ago my friend said I was heading out on a walkabout. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew I was going to encounter things I couldn’t predict.
The one thing I didn’t realize is that travel has become something different.
Different from what I experienced as a child. It wasn’t something that I was racking up experiences. It was something that I was putting myself in different environments around different people in different places and not knowing what will happen next.
For the last two and a half years I’ve come to a new appreciation of travel and have come to understand that the things we think we want from travel are not the ones that really matter.
Once you set out on a longer-term adventure you eventually get to the phase of travel where the thing that seemed important will insert themselves in your life and only upon reflection do we figure out what they really mean.
It’s the simple things.
Like the bike rides in the middle of a day. Strolling through Park in Japan with deer who just want to be your friend. Or ducks in Bali going about their day. And blowing bubbles in a rice field.
It’s the familiar but different.
Downpours like you’ve never seen. The sunsets that seem a little more special and you can’t explain why, and the afterglow of those sunsets that never seem to fade away. It’s the secret beaches that don’t seem to make sense and the other ones that have surprises just around the corner.
It’s the totally new experiences.
Like riding past an elephant on a river. A casual ride through Ho Chi Minh…and everything in Japan you always find something interesting in Japan
It’s the people you meet along the way.
Like following my friend to Taiwan…and sharing lunch with him and his partner at the top of the mountain despite being terrified of heights. It’s the acts of kindness that you remember when you look back. Or following someone you’re falling in love with to Thailand and knowing its the only place you’re supposed to be.
It’s the places like Taiwan that weirdly feel like a second home and how special it is to share that place with the people you do love most back home.
Travel will take you to different worlds but you’ll never really forget where you came from, what it’s like back home…but when you do go back home it makes it all that much sweeter and the simple moments with family seem so much more profound.
Just published! The Pathless Path is Paul's book about walking away from a "perfect" job with a promising future and starting over again. Through painstaking experiments, living in different countries, and a deep dive into the history of our work beliefs, Paul pieces together a set of ideas and principles that guide him from unfulfilled and burned out to what he calls "the pathless path" - a new story for thinking about work in our lives. Learn More & Buy The Book Here