Travel The World, Meet Interesting People, and Shoot Them. Seriously.
In just three weeks from today, I’ll be just another clichéd image, the silhouette of a backpacking traveller shrinking into the distance. I’ll even be blogging about my journey around the world and into the unknown, just to complete the stereotype. I’ve realised lately, the concept of grabbing a backpack, filling it with what I’ll need, and heading off to travel the world long term, sits well with me. Really well.
Fortunately, one of the great side-effects of long term travelling is the minimalist lifestyle. Travel the world, and minimalism becomes a beautiful necessity. My consumption, and my possessions, will be limited to what fits in a
4535 litre backpack.
Travelling long term, I won’t be able to go shopping for household cleaning products, kitchen appliances, 53-in-1-wonder-tools, or new abdominal busting exercise machines. There’s no space for new cars, new sofas, new TV’s, or new forms of space-age vacuum storage bags that enable me to store both a winter and summer set of bed linen in my backpack.
There’s only so much consumption a backpack can take. If I buy a new pair of shoes, I’ll need to get rid of the existing pair. Same goes for jeans. And jackets. So there’s not much point in going shopping, when you travel the world long term. I’ll have to consume experiences, rather than things.
If time really is money, then I’m about to become the richest man on earth. With plenty of time up my sleeve, I’ll have nothing much to do but explore new sights, taste new food, and meet new people. Every day will be filled with new experiences. I’ll grow as a person. I’ll learn a new language, a new recipe, and a new way of dealing with a life full of randomness and surprise.
Travel the World, Travel Long Term
A little while back, I decided the path my life was on needed changing. Either I continued to wither away, spending my life working for heartless, prescription drug taking, narcissistic parasites, in one soul-less greedy company after another, or I don’t.
I decided I need to travel the world, and travel long term.
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with making money, or buying things you don’t need. I’m not judging. In any case, there’s no denying that most people would have a more complete, more fulfilling life, if they had much less stuff, and many more experiences.
We all need less junk. Some people call it minimalist. Our Grandparents just called it normal. The world hasn’t always been this way, this hyper-consumerism-on-steroids is a fairly new phase in the de-volution of humanity.
Our descendants will look back at this period in human history and wonder what the hell we were doing. They’ll wonder why instead of travelling the world, most of us sat indoors in sterile offices working all day in jobs we hated, performing meaningless and repetitive tasks only to spend our money on crap we didn’t need. Then we rinsed, lathered, and repeated, daily.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
34 thoughts on “Travel The World, Meet Interesting People, and Shoot Them. Seriously.”
Great pics and post Nate! So excited for you to start your journey!
Thanks Noelle! I’m excited as well!
Woah! Scary title!! You’re so right about all the “stuff”! I’ve barely purchased a thing in 6 months. My daught gave me her new vans. They’re gorgeous. And heavy. I resent them in my backpack. I’m going to flog them as soon as I can!! I never thought we would get to that point!! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures!!
Yo Tracey! My favourite travellin’ mumma ;) Yep, you know better than most…and wow, 6 months already? Time flies. My advice – give your Vans to a homeless person, or charity. Do it!
I’m working on it, Nate! Great post. I’m currently trying to veer away from buying so much & sending all my funds to paying off $40,000 in debt in 3 years or less. Until then, working my butt off on building my nomadic translation and travel writing careers so by the time I jet off, I have a source of nomadic income and work that I *love* and go hand by hand with traveling.
Your time is coming so soon! Excited for you. Can’t wait to see all the photos you’ll capture — judging from these they’ll be amazing =)
Thanks Marie. You’ve got a plan, and it sounds like a solid one. Keep following it, and I bet it won’t even take three years. Very happy to have you following along for my ride…
Loving the pics Nate and Phillipa …………who knew Perth was so cool :P
Cheers Tony, I’ll make sure Phillipa gets the message you left. And, you’re right, Perth does look pretty cool in B&W!
Wow I really like the caption of every photos which brings out the story well.
Just three more weeks and your journey will take on a new perspective. Look forward when you start “shooting” every interesting people you meet along your journey :)
Thanks Mandy – this was my first post with captions on every photo, so I’m glad someone enjoyed them. I think I’ll do it every time from now on.
can’t wait to follow the journey… godspeed nate! btw im assuming these close range street shots are done adhoc. do any of your subjects ever say anything negative after youve taken their pic up close? (ie. the stunned persian looking dude) I can never work up the nerve to shoot so close
Hey Royce! Occasionally, I get a negative response, but it’s so rare as to not a worry. In any case, dude – I’ve seen what you look like in your NYC winter mode of dress, I don’t think many people would say jack if you took their photo! ;)
Also, thanks for the well wishes mate.
Couldn’t have said it better if I tried. Looking forward to following your journey in a few weeks. In the mean time, enjoy packing that 35L backpack – that’s tiny!
Thanks Kieu… yeah, I’m reconsidering moving up to a roomy 40: ;) Great to have you here.
Love the Full Metal Jacket reference. That is all. :-)
haha… I often put references throughout my posts ;)
Good to see you are nearly at lift off point Nate. So long as you make sure there’s no room for croc’s I’m sure you’ll do fine!
Cheers Dave…there is definitely no room for Crocs. I was thinking of making a counter on Yomadic, much like the one on TLWH – “travelling for : x days”.. and I’m looking forward to seeing it tick over to “1” ;)
We have a counter. I love that thing!!
Excellent…you’re 191 days ahead of me, as my counter is at negative 19 ;)
I loved seeing Perth in black and white like this – awesome photos! Can’t wait to follow you along on your adventures!!
Cheers Andrea…more black and white where that came from… I think it makes a nice change from the big blue sky that’s in almost every photo of Perth. I always enjoy getting comments from you, it will be great to have you following along!
EXCITING!!! I did this 13 years ago, and look forward to reliving those nomadic days! Trying to find a “balanced” life right now with travel. But once I started living like a minimalist, it changed my lifestyle for the better! Every time I want to buy some “thing”, I think, “Can I use this on my travels?” or “Is this worth to packing and moving around with?” And the answer is usually “No”. It’s surprising how LITTLE we actually “need”. So looking forward to your adventures!!! P.S. I am not a fan of Crocs, either!
It appears we are on the same wavelength, Z. Thanks for leaving a comment, I hope I can provide a good storyline to help you relive those nomadic days…
This post articulated what I have felt in my heart for quite some time now, but written in a much more beautiful way than I was able to express. I read this first thing in the morning and thought about it non-stop until now, that I’m at work nearly two hours later. At one point during the drive I was brought to tears at how overwhelmed I felt with this building up for the last three years.
The whole “Either I continued to wither away, spending my life working for heartless, prescription drug taking, narcissistic parasites, in one soul-less greedy company after another, or I don’t.” passage really hit home for me.
I like to think of people as hamsters in a wheel, that you can throw bracelets, a car now and then, or a new iPad to give them the illusion of happiness. Well… maybe they are happy; but not me. For the last few years I’ve been wondering what is wrong with me. I graduated college, and flit from one soul-less company to another, and got so fed up with each after a such a short while. I looked at everyone else working day-after-day, for years on end, and here I am, not able to stand the same situation for a mere few months.
Now I realize that maybe I’m just different…the same as you (Philosophically).
This post solidified for me that I will be leaving my current job at the end of July– a debate I’ve been having for myself for a few weeks now.
Anyway, this comment is getting quite lengthy, but I can honestly go on for a couple more pages. Really. But, this is probably not the right place for that.
Thank you so much for reading and for the wonderful post. Do know that you are changing people’s lives!! Keep up the good work.
If you have a bit of spare time, please shoot me an e-mail because I think it would be very beneficial for me to get some insights from you.
Merlin, this is the best comment I have received so far on Yomadic. You may leave a comment, and make it as long as you want, any time. You’re really welcome.
Yes, we do think the same about life. The “rewards” that we receive, for being hamsters on the wheel, or cogs in the machine – are they really worth devoting almost our entire life for? No.
You’re not “different” or “unusual” – in my experience, once people let their guard down, and be honest with themselves, most people think along the same lines as you and I. It’s really common, and I’ve been there as well. About two years ago, I was in the same position as I think you are in now – unhappy with the job, and wanting a change in lifestyle. It takes preparation, and may not happen overnight, but the good news is, there are plenty of other options for you – just seek them out, and make a plan to chase them down, no matter what.
I’m trying to be brutally honest with this blog, I don’t think there is any secret, or any self-help books that are needed – we just need a rock-solid determination to make our own lives, and the lives of the people around us, much better in every way.
PS – what happens to you after you leave your job in July?
All I can say is congratulations! I am happy to see you taking off. I think my pack sitting right next to me at this moment in time is a 35 Liter as well. Keep us informed my friend.
Cheers Kurt – you know it, 35 litres is plenty! I’ll be keeping everything up to date on here, it’s really great to have you following along.
wOo hoo! That’s what I’m talkin’ about! 35L backpack?! Wow, you gotta make a “packing” video for this one! I wish you nothing but the best and craziest, and most fun adventures on the road! In 3 months, I’m out as well to start off on my journey! I’ll definitely be following along!
Great photos! And I completely agree with your points about Crocs and travel. You have to wonder what’s the point to a life just spent doing things we hate. You only get one life. You should do what you love.
Thanks Suzy, totally agree – life is too short for Crocs. ;)
Great pics! I like those shots from William Street. The black and white gives them so much character. AND congratulations on your upcoming long term travels! It sounds like you’re headed on the right path for you. :)
Thanks Audrey… William Street has quite a bit of character, in colour or black and white. And yes, hopefully I am on the right path, as at the moment, I have less than 48 hours to go before the journey commences!