“Do you think it’s possible to travel in a continuous way?”
Yes, and I don’t need to think, I know so, because I’ve done it for the past three to four years. Of that time, I really spent a good 10 months out of each year traveling if not more. I only go home in the summers and even when I’m home I spend a good third of the time to half the time traveling in Europe. So yes it’s definitely possible, no doubt about it.
And on having stability without having a den somewhere: There’s something very interesting that happens when you travel all the time, especially the way I did it because it was essentially being homeless. I rarely would book a hotel or hostel. I usually would show up somewhere, I would know nobody, sometimes try to see if a friend had a friend, but usually I wouldn’t know anybody and I would have to figure out my needs once I got there, often not even speaking the language. For me I did this to figure out who I was, and the process of doing this, of being in ever changing environments – everything around you changing all the time – you figure out what part of you is true in all the different environments you’re in and what is the part of you that changes. A lot of who we think we are depends on the environment that we’re in.
It depends on what you mean by “stability” and depends on what you expect. If you are willing to lower your expectations then yes, you can have the stability you need everywhere. I’m probably not the best person to ask about stability because I’m a very unstable person. I am all over the place, I go from one extreme to the other and I’m comfortable with that and I like it, but I definitely am crazy and most people would not want to live the life I have led.
“Is there some balance you can strike while traveling, always feel at home and never have to go back?” Yes. You can strike that balance, but you can also always feel at home because I believe if you trust people, if you’re open to strangers taking you in, you can find family everywhere you go. But if you’re lucky and you have a family of your own… you will never have other people like that in your life those people are special to you and your home will always be your home. I say home is where the heart is – I really believe this – you can carry your heart on your sleeve, you can be at home everywhere you are but there is special significance in the people you grew up with, who nurtured you, and that will never change. As for never having to go back, if you have a home to go to, you probably will want to go back, but you do not have to go back – you’re free. You can vagabond indefinitely.
People say this is only possible when you’re young. I don’t think that’s true. I’ve met people who are really not young and are traveling and are living lives that are really nuts, but for sure it’s easier to do and it’s more of a desire that’s there when you are young because you have the desire for exploration.
I believe that one’s beliefs have a major impact on reality – the reality that you create – and though not everything might be possible holding the mindset that it is, is the only way to discover what actually is possible. A lot of things I did were things that people would tell me were completely ridiculous and impossible, but it’s only because I, somehow for whatever reason, thought they weren’t (and I tried it!) that I discovered what I actually could do. And honestly I think if there’s something you really want to do, you’re the only person who can answer that question. For sure you can do it. You’ll figure out – trying to implement your ideals into reality – how they can be done. Your ideals will evolve and you will realize new ways of doing things that were completely unexpected. Oftentimes I had a goal – or just something I really wanted – and it tends to happen to me in a way I completely did not expect, in ways that are stranger than fiction.
Now, there’s another aspect of your question which I think is very important and it’s one that sometimes I don’t really want to address because I find it kind of boring… but actually it’s not boring at all, it’s just that it’s not something I like to think about. It’s all fine and dandy for me to say, yeah you have your ideals and all that is possible but the real question for a lot of people is logistics. Like how do you actually make it happen. Most of the time people feel like this thing that’s limiting them is money, or time. The ironic thing in today’s world is that people who have money don’t have time, and people who have time don’t have money.
But in any case, when it comes to your question, of course it’s possible to travel indefinitely but how do you sustain it financially? I mean the way I did it was… I didn’t sustain it financially. I just went for it and I figured it out on the way, and what happens when you do that is that you will figure it out because you just simply have no choice and when you have no choice all sorts of opportunities open up to you because you’re looking out for them.
There’s a whole movement nowadays called “Digital Nomadism.” It was a popularized a few years back by this guy called Tim Ferriss. He wrote a book called The Four Hour Work Week and it’s about how you can use “Geoarbitrage.” This word means basically, to go to countries which are poorer than yours – that have a lower cost of living – earn money from the first world and use that money in cheaper countries and work on your laptop, on your own business, or work on the internet. Most of them (Digital Nomads) go to South East Asia and live in Thailand, Bali or whatever. For me the idea is… it’s interesting, it’s groundbreaking in a way because you become location independent, so you do travel but you you end up spending a lot of time in coffee shops and you know… still doing a grind.
My traveling was born out of the realization that I couldn’t spend more than a couple hours of the day working, that anything past two or three maybe four hours would be time spent on distraction. It’s just not possible, at least for me, to spend 12 hours a day doing something, especially something that requires focus. I just – I don’t have that much of a bank of focus energy. I would spend like 12 hours a day trying to make myself do something and end up with two or three hours of actual work so I thought, If that’s the case why don’t I spend the rest of the time traveling and exploring the world and then give myself a good two hours every day to work and I will only have those two hours whether it’s when I wake up or before I go to sleep or whenever I find time on the road and I’ll use that time extremely effectively because I won’t have more time to waste.
What I wanted to do was study – I maintained my self-study after I started traveling. I studied in buses and trains in the middle of nowhere, in between borders, just sitting under a tree, I’d pull out my computer in the middle of nowhere and do my hour or two of work and it worked because I simply had no choice. I only had that certain amount of time to do it, so I did it.
And that approach is great when you already have a game plan for what you want to learn or what you wanna do. But if you are working on concept-heavy learning or if you need time to introspect and come up with something new, that’s likely not gonna work because the grind of travel. All the things you need to deal with, the free time you will have every day will not be much, and is not enough to sit back and really consider a lot of things. It’s doable for tasks you need to accomplish, for example I was learning things, I already had everything planned out so I just had to go through it. But let’s say I was trying to learn theoretical physics or if I was trying to do some complex mathematics, it would be difficult because I need to actually really think and have a peaceful mind to do it. So it only works for certain types of things.
On Connectivity and a Global Community
Now another thing that makes all of this possible is the Internet. Without the Internet being what it is today, there’s no way I would have done this from the beginning. From quitting school to self-studying… just that alone would not have been possible without the Internet, because I wouldn’t have access to all the resources I used to study things on my own. But mostly what I want to talk about, relative to your question, is… you know when you travel you can feel lonely but for me, I use the Internet towards an ideal of world community that I always had, and to keep in touch with everybody I met, and really that’s why Facebook is so important for me. I disagree with Facebook, the way they do a lot of things, the fact that they’re a company and they sell our data, but at the end of the day it allows me to keep in touch with almost everyone and that’s pretty sick.
I can be anywhere and I don’t feel a need necessarily to go home, because I’m in touch with my whole family, I’m in touch with my friends back home and I’m in touch with all the friends I met traveling. Of course it’s not the same as going home and being there, but I do feel like I’m in touch, I can access, I can speak to people. Within a day I can have a conversation with almost anyone in the world and that’s just awesome.
On Never Stopping
And the last thing that’s worth pointing out, I think, is what kind of travel you’re thinking about. If your question is, “Can I be location independent indefinitely?” Yeah, for sure. If your question is, “Can I travel in extreme ways without stopping, and keep on going?” The answer again is yes, because I’ve done that.
I just kept on going. Even my breaks were in places I’ve never been in before and ended up being whole new stories and adventures. So yeah, for me, I mean, anything’s possible. Honestly, just go for it, because whatever everyone in the world would tell you is not possible is really just something that’s waiting to be shown possible, and if it’s something you want to do you’re the person who should be doing it because that’s how we contribute value to society, right? We inspire, we show that anything can be done. When there’s a will there is a way.
Any question of if it’s possible, the answer is: Do you really want it?
PETERPAN IN | CONSTANT TRAVEL
“Do you think it is possible to travel in a continuous way, have stability without having a den somewhere? Is there a balance you can strike while traveling, always feel at home and never have to go back? I have been wondering for a while…”