Saturday, June 10, 2000

About Us

Geoff's Bio

Why do I travel:
For me this is a truly a hard question for me to answer. There is a pull in me to travel that I cannot fathom. Truth be told,
I'm kind of a cranky traveller. I am often not completely in the moment and sometimes cant wait for many travel experiences to be over. I have come to abhor long bus rides. I can take that crankiness to a new level when I haven't slept well (which happens often while travelling) and have been know to be an ugly American in certain situations involving touts or when I feel I'm getting ripped off. But I always come back to it. For me the good always offsets the bad. The world is so big and I have seen so little of it. At my core I know that I am only on this planet for a very short time and so I should do my best to experience all aspects of life to its fullest.

My first foray overseas was as a very typical tourist to a
European country. My first trip to Africa was with a guided group that completely isolated me from people and the culture. From there my travels became increasingly less typical. Machu Pichu in Peru, Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. But it wasn't until I met Cindy and decided to just tramp for a year that I really started to understand the beauty of long term travel. Life slows down and becomes crystallized. Experiences feel richer than at home, you challenge yourself more often, and feel more alive. Life is lived with intent.

I found re-entry into my old life extremely difficult and bland after the most interesting year in my life. I had a hard time reconnecting with my friends and floundered from job to job. When I finally
couldn't take it anymore, I suggested to Cindy that we go volunteer oversees somewhere. That led me to hooking up with VSO Canada (a brilliant organization), and our move to Mombasa, Kenya. After two years back in the states, its time to leave again.

About me:

I am married with no kids. Never wanted any. Never will.

Growing up I always said that I never wanted to work in a cubicle. I dutifully went to college and obtained a degree in a an area I had no interest in whatsoever. After that I spent 5 years blundering around in a ski town working in various outdoor related jobs. Something misfired in my brain and I decided to leave because I could not supplant the idea that "if I didn't leave now I would be here forever". I would become one of the multitude of aging ski bums living hand to mouth and season to season. Looking back on that now, it doesnt seem so bad at all. Anway, I stumbled into an information technology job in after moving to Oregon. Cubicle land. After 15 years in, Ive tried to leave that field 3 times but somehow keep ending up back in it. It's soul sucking. I hope that line of business is forever behind me now that I've quit again.

I have sold almost everything that I own 3 times in the last 6 years. Each time I do this, I think its going to be the last time, and then I decide to leave the country again so the sell off begins.

don't buy into the American dream. I don't own property, don't have much in savings and don't plan to retire. Some may find that crazy but I think that waiting until the end of your life to experience your life is equally crazy. Ive had too many people in my life die too young, so consequently I'm better at taking care of my current self than my future self.

How do we afford to travel?

Its simple. We save for it. We
don't have a mortgage payment, we don't have a car payment, we don't have kids, we live our lives very simply and own almost nothing compared to most people our age. We got out of debt years ago and live by the creed that if we cant pay cash for it, we don't buy it. You would be surprised to see how easy it is to put money in the bank if you just don't buy all that crap that the American advertising juggernaut tells you to buy. Believe me, you don't need it and it will not make you happy.

Travelling is not as expensive as people think. Depending on where you are in the world you can easily get by on 20 to 30 dollars a day. Often the place you are staying in is as nice or nicer than your place at home. The longer you stay in one place, the cheaper it becomes. You learn to shop like the locals. Plane tickets are the most
expensive part of travel. Once you reach your starting point, travel overland as much as possible. Its much cheaper and traveling like the locals do gives you an invaluable opportunity to meet them and see how they live. I have met other travelers that support their meanderings while working along the way. I cant say if that would work for me because I have never tried it.

But you have to be careful. Long term travel means budgeting extensively and obsessively staying on that budget. Every penny that you save adds up and means that you can stay out just a little bit longer.

We also make sure that we have some sort of buffer in the bank to come home to. Enough to give us time to settle in and carry us over while we search for new employment. That money is sacred. If you run out of your travel money while out and about....
tuff. Its time to come home. You can always make more money, quit your job again and take off.