CORPORATE RUNAWAY. WORLD WANDERER. COFFEE DRINKER.

Stop

Is It Time to Stop?

It’s a natural tendency to want to know what happens next. That’s why people read horoscopes, mindlessly scroll through Facebook for hours and binge watch every episode of Friends during one inglorious rainy weekend.

Apparently, though, it’s not just Ross and Rachel’s future that interests people. In the last few months, I’ve found myself being asked a single question much more often than before.

“Are you ever going to stop travelling?”

While six, twelve or even 24 months of wandering is somewhat acceptable, people seem to find more than that a bit strange. As my three year travel anniversary draws nearer, friends, family, taxi drivers, random strangers on the Internet have all started asking if this trip is going to end one day.

Aren’t I sick of it yet? Isn’t Lauren? Don’t we want a house? Normal jobs? Kids? 2.4 puppies and a white picket SUV?

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Caye Caulker sunset

Belize, I Like You, But…

6:34 am | Belize | 22 Comments

After a quick side trip to Tikal, we returned to Belize and headed for the coast. What it lacked in jungles and ruins, it seemed to more make up for in beaches, and that was just fine by me. Plus, with distances being so short, we figured it was relatively easy to get from one place to another without taking all day to do so.

Apparently, we figured wrong. The 200km trip from San Ignacio to Placencia ended up taking over nine hours, involving three buses, a long and miserable wait and a kind-hearted water taxi driver who saved the day.

I’ll admit that wasn’t quite how I’d imagined things would go when I’d woken up that morning… but on the upside, there were fewer dead bodies this time around.

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Temple of the Jaguar

A Side Trip to Tikal

We’d only spent a few days in Belize, not nearly enough to get a feel for the place, and already we were leaving. It wasn’t a problem – we’d be back again in 48 hours – but it felt strange to be swapping currencies and languages yet again. We were off to Tikal.

Arguably the most famous of the Mayan ruins, Tikal sits around 100km into the northern part of Guatemala. There are stupidly-priced day trips that leave from various points in Belize, but (a) they require spending all day on a bus for a few hours in the park, missing sunrise and all the good bits and (b) did I mention they were stupidly priced?

So we opted for a more interesting plan.

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Cahal Pech trees

Getting Hot and Sweaty in San Ignacio

10:32 am | Belize | 12 Comments

After the bloody introduction we’d had to Belize, I figured our time in this small Central American country could only improve. We’d marked out a vague itinerary for our two weeks, allowing plenty of time to not do very much – to ward off exhaustion, we’d finally learned to reign in the ambition when it came to exploring somewhere new in a hurry.

Sticker shock had made itself known even before we arrived, however – a quick glance at accommodation prices told us that Belize wasn’t going to be cheap. A decent double room, often without air-conditioning, typically ran upwards of $40/night — without even the benefit of breakfast to take a little of the sting out of it.

Food, too, was expensive – maybe we’d just been spoiled by six months in Mexico, but cheap and delicious street eats seemed in short supply. Public transport, however? That, at least, was a bargain – the rickety old Bluebird buses bounced and rocked their way all over the country for a couple of bucks.

After half a day on one such bus from Belize City, we arrived in San Ignacio sleepy, grimy and with stomachs complaining loudly. A jerk chicken restaurant near the bus stop dealt with the intestinal cacophony, and when we finally tracked down our hotel, a shower removed most of the travel stink as well. Sleep, however, was going to have to wait. We had rocks to look at.

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Prayer flags, Kathmandu

The Lost Art of Stepping Away

11:55 pm | Nepal | 24 Comments

With Lauren recovering from mono and the rainy season already starting, trekking was off the cards. No Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit for me, at least not this year.

Nepal is plagued by chronic electricity shortages – scheduled power cuts happen every day for several hours, not to mention the unscheduled ones. Unless you’re using cellular data, internet speeds are glacially slow as well. It’s a terrible place to try to get any work done online.

For three weeks, then, I couldn’t do what most visitors do in Nepal (trek), and I couldn’t do what I usually do anywhere else in the world (work). What on earth did I actually do, then?

I stepped away.

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Tuna sandwich

That Time I Ate Portland

Sometimes I return to a city for the weather.

Sometimes I return to a city for the culture.

Sometimes I return to a city to visit friends and family.

They’re all good reasons… and none of them were why I went back to Portland in March.

No, I went back to Portland to eat.

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Pencils of Promise - Ghana

The Paradise Pack Sale: Travel the World, Work From Anywhere And Help Build a School

11:37 pm | Article | 1 Comment

Just a quick post today to let you know about a big three-day sale called The Paradise Pack that I’m a part of. It’s a bundle of 12 guides and courses that will help you achieve your goals, save money on travel and provide tools to let you work from anywhere in the world, including my tech guide for digital nomads, Hammocks and Hard Drives.

The website went live a few minutes ago, and for the next 72 hours you can pick up the pack for just $97 (that’s a saving of over seven hundred dollars!). Even better, $10 from every sale is going to Pencils of Promise to help build a school for kids in Guatemala. Great resources for you, and a school for kids in Central America. Awesome.

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Belize City bus

A Bloody Welcome to Belize

7:34 am | Belize | 12 Comments

“What the hell?”

The bus lurched to a stop, passengers scrambling over each other to press their faces against the grimy windows. Sweat dripped from my forehead as the fickle breeze disappeared, while loud voices competed with distorted hip-hop from a dozen mobile phones.

In my exhausted state I could understand little of the heavily-accented Creole, but eventually a single word started to make itself heard over and over again.

A few people snapped photos on their phone as the bus eventually started to move, police waving the traffic on past what looked like a bundle of clothes in the middle of the road. Drawing closer, I realised that what I’d thought was discarded clothing was nothing of the sort.

The body of a man lay face-up on the highway, the broken remains of a motorbike scattered up and down the road. Thick, dark blood lay pooled around his head and body, baking in the heat of a tropical morning. The white towel over his face explained why I couldn’t hear the wail of an approaching siren.

There would be no point calling this man an ambulance.

The murmurs from other passengers increased in volume as we passed, that single word being passed around like a football once again.

Dead.

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