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Reflections on a Life of Travel and Retiring The Traveling Philosopher Blog

I’m not going to beat around the bush; this is the last post here on The Traveling Philosopher. And by some definitions, therefore my last blog post as a travel blogger.

It was four years ago that I had recently arrived in Costa Rica, the first Latin America stop on what was to be something of an indefinite, long-term trip around the world. Just months prior I had started this blog, The Traveling Philosopher, as a place that I could color outside the lines. Somewhere that I could put on paper everything that was in my head, where I didn’t have to abide by a publication’s style guide or an editor’s do and don’t list. I wanted it to be an expression of my feelings. And there was a lot, like unresolved feelings about the passing of my father, anger at the loss of my dream job, disappointment at a pile of debt, and discouragement of an impending divorce.

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By |January 5th, 2015|Featured, Philosophy, Travel|10 Comments

What Travel has Taught me About Innovating my Life and Work

I felt so Bilbo-esque four years ago when I said to myself, “Let’s go on an adventure.” Maybe Bilbo even felt like me, as if his life should have more meaning than it did. On paper, the age of 27 saw me with a philosophy degree, a divorce, debt, a recently deceased father, and a resume that most recently included video store clerk after being laid off from my dream job. So what was the natural thing to do? I’ll tell you what the natural thing was NOT to do. It’s not to quit the only job you have to start your own business as a freelance writer/consultant, leave all of your possessions, and then travel the world without any saved money.

But I did just those things. But while I’ve been fortunate enough to travel my entire life, I always viewed travel as an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. A trip was simply the collection of experiences between the time I stepped onto the plane (or into the car) until I stepped off. I didn’t see travel as something that affected my life beyond the actual trip itself. That all changed, however, when I bought a one-way ticket to Central America.

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By |October 30th, 2014|Featured, Philosophy, Travel|14 Comments

What I’ve Learned From Both Living Nomadically and Discovering Home

My first trip to Los Angles was when I was 11. It’s one of the most vivid trips from my childhood. Part of it I can remember as if it was yesterday, like breakfast (and the subsequent conversation with our waitress) one morning at the InterContinental Hotel Los Angeles, located just off Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City. “Oh, you are nearly a Southern Californian being so tall and with such curly hair, but not with that accent.” I blushed, as she continued on, telling me that maybe, just maybe I’d be playing for the Lakers being so tall. 20 years later and I’m back in Los Angeles, just off Santa Monica Boulevard still, but this time I call it home.

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By |August 29th, 2014|Featured, Philosophy, Travel|7 Comments

We Don’t Take Trips, Trips Take Us

I raise my hand at the bartender, “Una mas por favor,” I say with confidence, as if it hasn’t been a while since I’ve practiced Spanish (talking Spanish at my local taqueria in L.A. probably doesn’t count). He effortlessly pops the top off a Modelo beer and sets it in front of me. All around me I’m satisfied by the sound of only Spanish, though I’m only recognizing about one out of every ten words. But this isn’t my destination. No, this is Mexico City Airport, where I’m laying over on the way to Costa Rica. The last time I was here? Three years ago when I was returning from a trip I took to Costa Rica that ended up lasting several months. Or, was it the trip that took me?

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By |June 23rd, 2014|Featured, Philosophy, Travel|2 Comments

Finding Our Identity by Traveling

Per my customary Sunday night routine in Playa del Coco I belly up to the bar of one of my local watering holes to take in my one American indulgence since I landed in Costa Rica: Wings and NFL football. Sitting beside me is a guy who I haven’t seen in town (the town is only five blocks long) but who immediately strikes up conversation.

“Well what brings you to Costa Rica?” he asks.

“A bit of work and play,” I respond, though I quickly regret not giving a more black and white answer, fearing we may be heading down a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down.

“What the hell do you do for work that would bring you down to Costa Rica?”

“I’m a travel writer.”

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By |May 20th, 2014|Featured, Philosophy, Travel|15 Comments

Travel as a Means to Finding a Home

It was three years ago this month that both my best trip and best decision to date saw its final moments on a beach in Costa Rica. Seven months prior, in my “home” of the Carolinas, following several years of struggle that came to a head with a divorce, I sold and gave away everything that couldn’t fit into a backpack, quit my job to start my own business as a freelance writer, and set out to travel the world. Life had lost its luster. In honesty, I wanted an out on life.  If there was anyway I could get out of my work, marriage, home, or life, I was looking for it. So I did. I set out on a journey, with no intended tangible or intangible destination. What resulted was seven months of travel that would change my life, taking me from what felt like an abyss, to feeling like I had been reborn, seeing life with a beauty and wonder that I’m not sure I had even seen  as a child. On that beach I felt a resolve and sense of accomplishment like I had never felt before, as if I could go home and continue on with life. Except my journey wasn’t ending. It was just beginning.

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By |March 25th, 2014|Featured, Philosophy, Travel|15 Comments

What my Mom and Travel Taught me about Thanksgiving

It was one year ago this week, that I remember sitting in the living room […]

By |November 27th, 2013|Featured, Philosophy, Travel|20 Comments

Life Lessons from Missing the Train…Twice

“It’s already left,” the conductor replied out of the window to me when I asked […]

By |October 6th, 2013|Featured, Philosophy, Travel|7 Comments

Sunsets From Around the World

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, then you know I have a […]

By |September 24th, 2013|Featured, Tips and Trends, Travel|5 Comments

Friday Photos (#FriFotos): I’m on a Boat Edition

It’s Friday, which can only mean one thing. Okay, maybe it means a few things, […]

By |July 19th, 2013|Featured, Tips and Trends, Travel|3 Comments