My horoscope on the day I decided to quit my job and travel the world...
The Sun goes from Scorpio into Sagittarius. Your life gets a lot easier,
starting now, and it'll be a lot more fun, too. You'll have opportunities to
travel, especially once you figure out where you'll get the money. Ask somebody
who owes it to you, for starters...
April 10, 2000
Well, today is my 30th birthday and I finally completed my masters degree and my hovercraft , prerequisites for leaving on
this trip. This day marks a transition in my life. I still haven't figured out
"where you'll get the money", but nevertheless I am ready to head out.
When am I leaving you ask? Well, tonight a few friends are getting together for
a birthday dinner at "Something Fishy" (japanese steak house), tomorrow
afternoon "Roma" is getting together for an "Adios" lunch, directly after which
I will be heading out of town on the first leg of the world tour.
The first leg of the world tour is solo travel by motorcycle south along the
pacific coast, through Baja, Mexico, and Central America.
The most common response I get from people about this is 'Are you crazy?!?!?
Isn't that dangerous?!?!?' Well, there is really only one way to find out...
After all that travelin' I decided to refuel for a week back home before
continuing on. Well, as expected a week turned into a month and a couple
sidetrips spawned. A weekend in Vegas with some friends from Santa Barbara,
followed by a week of fishin' a lake up in the great white north (Canada) with
my Uncle Larry. Let the fish tales begin...
After almost a month of carrying on, I finally got around to buying one way
tickets to Paris with travelin' buddy Fuji in anticipation of the second leg of
my world tour, Europe.
And a whirlwind of a European tour at that. Somehow we managed to squeeze in
just about every 'attraction' possible through all the major 'hotspots' in only
a month. France to Belgium to Amsterdam to Germany to Prague to Switzerland and
back to Germany for the Oktoberfest, from which Fuji hopped a flight to
heartland Malasia to spend some quality time with family before returning to the
cold and heartless working world of pass the tea Boston. There were good times
and bad, but mostly it was all a blur to me.
All I really remember is spending over $20 on a bowl of mussels and some frogs
legs and washing it all down with a beer or two. Oh yeah, there were lots of
monuments too. And cellphones.
After that, lost and lonely once again. Returned to the ever happy solo route
and pleasing only myself on a slow and thoughtful wandering through Italy,
Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria. 'Well, what of these countries' you ask? Beautiful
people and places, heaps cheaper and a bit closer to the truth, but still a
distance from the honest 'adventure' I have found myself longing for. 'Enough of
the crap talk! Get to the real story' you say? Okay, here it is...
Merry December and Happy January! Mom was convinced I wouldn't be happy waking
up on christmas morning to the sound of gunfire in Israel. I wasn't so sure of
that. What I was sure about was not wanting to miss my grandmother's special
80th birthday surprise celebration and so home I went. A typical white Christmas
spent on the living room floor and a mellow New Years spent in the colonial
courthouse listening to a childhood friend play guitar. A small step down from
the Times Square festivities of yester Y2K, but what else do you expect from
someone strung up on antibiotics? Not counting the hundreds of 'mom suggestive
moments', it was then that my ecomomic realities started to sink in. I had
planned on returning for a South African safari and a classic crossing of the
Middle East but my stocks took a dump leaving me with absolutely no money.
'What's next? You can't let this stop you!'
With the headhunters circling me like sharks I quickly landed a 2 month contract
working for TI in Pittsburgh, a lovely town. 'Work?!?! Are you crazy?' Maybe,
but it got me outta debt and back on my financial feet. For many reasons other
then the work itself, this was perhaps the worst 2 months of my life. Read on...
Oh, how work drags on...
The corporate dragon breathes deep and the layoffs begin. An entire department
of excess baggage ditched by the high office leather chair committee. The
techno-sector is crumbling, a sad state of the union that silently warms me up
inside. Finally the bricks and mortar are coming to their senses, realizing how
computers create more problems then solve. Thankfully my contract has expired,
and not a moment too soon.
Back to my travels with a pocket of dough and a renewed desire to 'get jiggy'.
Lucky for me KLM decided to honor my one month return ticket to Turkey
(reminding them of my delayed flights and lost luggage didn't hurt), and so that
is where things will continue... Not sure of my exact agenda, but the time off
has given me time to think. Possibly too much time.
After quite too much relaxing back home I decided it time to get back out there,
and do it in style. Back to India to find myself a motorbike for a few months
atleast until the monsoon hits and then finally work my way toward Oz. I say
finally, because Oz was to be my destination almost 2 years ago when I started
this trip. A trip that seems to be stretching to infinity and beyond.
Well the Enfield through India was a smashing success. Literally. After 4 months
of flawless avoidance along some of the worst roads in the world, I somehow
managed a bender with a TATA on my last day in Delhi. Opened his door during a
passing in the middle of the busiest road in town. Apparently a rocket
scientist. Once again faith offered me another, surviving with only minor
scratches and insignificant brain damage.
Left the Bullet with a friend of a friend and scrambled my way outta India on
the last day of my visa and back to Nepal to avoid 'THE MONSOONS' . Three
weeks of absolutely beautiful trekking through the Himilayas, three more back
through Tibet with its endless landscape of space cowboys, followed by a month
or so around South China to catch everything missed the first time through.
The grand opening of My Store !!!
On to South East Asia, described by most backpackers as the highlight of Asia.
'Once you go there, you'll never wanna leave.'
Well... 6 months later I left. You be the judge...
I couldn't be more sick and tired of rice and noodles. After a year of rickshaws
and rice paddies, silk and sewage, bamboo and buddhas I reckon I've exhausted
the 'Asian experience'. Excited by the prospects of change I scurry through the
SARS infested streets of Singapore and catch a flight...
And finally after years of '...should be there in a month or two...' I touch
down in Oz. Australia to be exact, where for the next three months I'll be
playing the real Survivor; wrestlin' up crocodiles in the outback, camping
beneath the stars to the howl of the dingo, punching back slabs, tossing on
prawns to the Bar-B, and taking advantage of all those aussies met along the way
who ofcourse promised the world but long ago have given up on me.
I thought I escaped, but i'm back. Halfway back to Asia, and all the way back to
rice and noodles. One way to Indonesia, the cheapest getaway from my 3 month
outback experience in Oz. Actually, I was getting tired of meat pies.
So now I will be tearing it up through Bali, Java, and Sumatra on a scooter in
search of Bin Laden. Plans to take a couple months working my round about way to
Jakarta where the flights to South America are dirt cheap... or so they say.
Surprise to see me? Turns out it ain't any cheaper to head directly to South
America then to connect through Los Angeles. That, and my mom starting to nag
put me on a plane once again home for the holidays. Another year, another
holiday spent in the comforts of home...
More time to catch up with family and friends. More time to reorganize my
thoughts. More time to just plain relax.