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Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

For most of my life, I’ve been a traveler. Both of my parents are choir directors, and thanks to world tours, conferences, and performances, I’d been around the world twice before seeing any states outside the central timezone. A good portion of my childhood was spent waking up in hotel rooms, quickly orienting on what city I was in, and coming up with a plan for the day. From a very early age, I developed a deep love of exploration and adventure through doing it all the time.

Into the wild blue yonder...

Over the years, I have chosen careers where my wanderlust was beneficial. I traveled to research people’s lives, speak at conferences, organize foreign events, and whatever excuse I could think of. I’ve helped guide large groups of friends and coworkers through complicated foreign situations where nobody spoke the language. I’ve helped the occasional foreigner on the street find a really awesome restaurant. Though really, everyone should be doing that last one.

I’ve made it a goal of mine to be able to be extremely adaptable to new situations and environments while getting a lot of value out of my work. As much time as I’ve put into making travel and my work coexist, it’s time to take the next step. I’ve been saving up for a while, and I just left my job at an innovation consultancy to focus on travel and writing. My last day is tomorrow.

Every now and then in life, you just need to jump. It doesn’t matter if you land where you wanted; it’s the jump that matters. It’s time now for me to jump.

Everything I’ve been writing about, from living out of a single backpack to navigating labyrinthine airports to getting stranded in random foreign countries, is about to become my full-time life. I’m going ultra-minimalist, and all of my possessions are going to be in one small backpack as I hop from city to city. I’m going to learn a lot as I make lots of mistakes, get lost in random places, meet amazing new people, and accidentally shatter gadgets that would have been extremely useful, and it’s all going to make it on here.

I have a little over a month left in wonderfully foggy San Francisco while I get rid of all the things that aren’t going in my backpack and take friends on some local adventures I’ve been wanting to try, then I hit the road. My first stops are Thailand and China in September and October, with a quick break in the states afterward to regroup before heading around the world.

A huge thank you to everyone who reads, and especially to those who have commented, written me, followed on RSS and Twitter, and bought things I’ve recommended. Also, big thanks to Chris Guillebeau for showing me new ways to navigate the world and Everett Bogue for inspiring me to go as minimal as possible. All of you are the reason I do this, and without you I wouldn’t have the strength to make this jump.

I have some amazing articles coming up about traveling light, navigating strange countries like you live there, and exactly what I’m going to have in my backpack, and I hope to see you there. This is going to be a crazy year, and it’s time to take a big breath and jump.

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  1. Niels Bom says:

    Wow, sounds awesome! Enjoy the hell out of it and let us know how it goes!

  2. Chris Dame says:

    Thanks, Niels! There are sure to be some amazing experiences, scary near-misses, and hilarious mistakes, and I’m looking forward to all of them.

  3. Erich Ian says:

    Congratulations! Let me know if you stop in Australia!

  4. Chris Dame says:

    Definitely. I’ll try to swing by after SE Asia.

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