Maybe because it’s in the title of my blog, but somehow people tend to think that the only thing I do is travel. Sure, for seven years now and since living abroad, travel is a BIG part of my life. Travel is my passion—so much so that I’ve turned it into my job and who doesn’t want to do what they love? But it’s not the only thing about me.
Travel has always been a part of my story. When I was a college student, the deciding factor in which university I went to (besides a very useful financial aid package) was my school’s study abroad program. I knew travel was going to be a big part of my life from a young age; blame my dad. He always kept me curious about the world.
But, since traveling full-time has become my job, some of its wonder has diminished a bit. Not to say that I don’t enjoy traveling, but it does cause a surprising amount of stress now that it’s a big part of how I fund not just my further travels, but my life and even a little bit of my savings account. Travel is not the end-all, be-all of my life, though. I love it, sure. I get that it’s a huge privilege to essentially get paid to travel. But it’s not my only passion. And while my blog increasingly consumes my life, there’s plenty more to me than my travel blog.
5 Things I Love Besides Traveling
I’m not sure when it happened, but cooking is my absolute favorite way to disconnect. Part of it grew out my desire to eat at home. When traveling, I find myself eating out in restaurants, cafés, pubs and the occasional Michelin-starred restaurant. When I’m home, I just want to enjoy a real home-cooked meal—and that means cooking it myself. Also, as a self-identified social media addict, cooking is the easiest way for me to disconnect. Something about getting my hands dirty, running around the kitchen with knives and boiling pots of water, makes it difficult to tune into my Instagram and Twitter. So, instead, I focus on cooking. That’s probably why you don’t see a lot of kitchen-selfies on my feed, too.
Back when I was living in Boston, I found myself regularly attending music gigs, concerts and even the odd music festival. At one point I was attending up to three live music concerts a week—usually indie bands in small dive bars popular with Gen Xers and little music clubs, rarely paying more than $15 entrance. I don’t attend as much live music these days as I used to (and to be honest, it’s mostly when I’m traveling that I get to see a gig like Adele in Adelaide or The 1975 in Columbus, Ohio), but it’s still one of my #1 ways to ground myself.
I grew up in Texas and spent most of my youth sitting by a swimming pool. I’ll be the first admit—I didn’t always love swimming, and even now my favorite type of swimming involves a book, sunshine (and sunscreen), a radio and a cold beer. But even swimming in a gym or a public pool, I just love the cold splash of water, the wetness and the (mostly) nakedness. Moving our body in ways we normally can’t—it just feels so free and comfortable. When traveling, I love a good beach destination and snorkeling—wow, I can’t even ever properly describe how amazing it is to see wildlife in the ocean. I’d be a fish if I could.
I recently said in an interview with Expedia.de that deserts are my happy place. The calmness, stillness, solitude—it’s my favorite kind of nature. But it’s not the only kind of nature I find it easy to escape to. Every time I’m starting to feel overwhelmed or when my life feels that much more chaotic, I escape for an hour or two to a park, or a day trip somewhere green and disconnected. Even this past weekend I escaped for a day to the Spreewald—a biosphere reserve that’s also a UNESCO site.
Years ago I wrote about the joy of ‘retail therapy’ and it all still holds true. There’s something really exhilarating and comforting about spending money on oneself—no matter how or where you spend it. In 2010 I quit my job to travel with $20,000 to spend on my adventures and it wasn’t the fact that I was traveling around the world with the money that was so special, it was the fact I spent this money on what I wanted in that moment. These days I’m lucky enough that my work as a blogger, writer and marketer covers most of my travel expenses, so my expendable income goes into other things—like clothes, beauty products and a surprising amount of hats.
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I am not just a traveler. Not just a blogger. Not just a writer. Like most of us, I’ve got a lot more to my existence. I’m also a cook who likes to invite friends over for dinner parties. I’m that guy who goes to a concert and still records awful-quality videos of songs I already have access to on Spotify. I’m the guy who puts on a speedo and sits in the sun with a book and yet I somehow never get past a few pages, opting instead for people-watching. I’m that city-boy who escapes to the forest every few months and then sends out a stereotypical Instagram photo. And I’m also that guy who can’t help but order quirky clothes of Asos and Amazon. I’m so much more than just a traveler.
Follow my Instagram live story @travelsofadam for regular updates when I’m not traveling