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April 20, 2010

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Choosing My Own Path

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Looks Like a Good Path to Me

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Looks Like a Good Path to Me

 

Why did I quit my job to go travel?  To let you see what’s out there of course. Ok, it’s not really about you, it’s about me.  That doesn’t mean I don’t love you though!

Normally, I am one of my least favorite subjects.  Now I have a whole post to fill about me.

Laid back, quiet, and easy going sums me up pretty well.  It’s an easy enough path to take and I walked down it with hardly a bend or uphill for many years.  Ultimately I realized that wasn’t enough anymore and that it was time for a drastic change.  Here’s how it came to be.

I graduated with a degree in mining engineering in 1999.  Took a job with a silica mining company and moved to Oklahoma.  Eleven years later, I was a plant manager with the same company.  Well, there was a 1 year career break in there too.  Moving was nothing new for me.  In fact it’s the norm, this one makes 12 of them.  It doesn’t take long for my feet to get itchy.

Really though, it’s not that I’ve been in one place for too long.  I’m doing this so that I can do what I want to be doing.  I don’t have anything bad to say about the people or company I worked at.  The problem was that I was one person at my job and someone else when I wasn’t there.  More accurately, I was the person I want to be when I’m far away.  When I’m on the road I…

  • don’t fall asleep at 9 pm Friday night
  • meet interesting people, who are my own age, and not all male
  • get to share ideas and experiences with these people
  • go out of my way to see what’s around the next corner
  • take pictures
  • enjoy each day

An awesome travel writer, Lauren Quinn, just wrote a story about this far better than I can.

Travel, as a long-term activity, is not the norm.  The US is especially notorious for this with our, “work is who you are mentality”.  No gap year before or after college, under 25% of Americans have passports, few hostels for others to come visit.  Two weeks ago my friend Daniel and I were watching tv when a Southwest “Bags Fly Free” commercial came on.  He was in shock, “What? Airlines charge for bags! When did that happen?”

“Um, about two years ago…”

Maybe as part of my contrarian, go with the flow until I’m told what to do, streak, travel has become a part of me. Even when I’m at home.  Not planning a two week getaway to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, but in an immersive, out-of-the-way, budget style.  Every morning the first thing I do is fire up my RSS reader to see what stories are being told about places that I dream of seeing too.  Seriously, that’s what I see every morning while I’m eating cereal.  What choice do I have?

Now the time has come to allow myself to choose what to do and see what can be made of it.  I’ll get to be creative by taking pictures and telling stories (some true), get out of the office to see amazing places, or even be lazy and blow off a day now and then.  It won’t always be easy or even fun, what is?  What I do know is that whatever the tomorrows bring will result from this decision to follow my own path and I can’t wait start.

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26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Apr 20 2010

    I feel you

    Reply
  2. Marsh
    Apr 20 2010

    Haha, Daniel’s stupid.

    Reply
    • Apr 20 2010

      I’ll just say that I entered his email into the “email updates” box and he hasn’t figured out where to click in his confirmation email.

      Reply
      • Marsh
        Apr 20 2010

        How the hell does that guy make at least double what I make???? Does he know how to turn his computer on and check emails? Is Pat hiring?

        Reply
  3. Bill Doyle
    Apr 20 2010

    Congratulations Brian!
    The time to do something like this is now. I look forward to reading about your adventures and plan on buying you that beer. Just don’t know where or when yet. Something like your plans. That will make it that much more fun.
    Via con Dios.

    Reply
    • Apr 20 2010

      Looking forward to it Bill!

      Reply
  4. Apr 20 2010

    It’s awesome to read about other people taking the plunge into the unknown. Years have passed since I did it, and I still can’t think of a person I’ve met or talked to who has regretted the decision – it just opens up the world to you.

    Reply
    • Apr 20 2010

      I agree 100% Dave. Thanks for all the help getting this site going and for the inspiration.

      Reply
  5. Apr 20 2010

    Congrats on taking a year for an adventure! I wish you a safe journey. I hope in a few years I’ll be able to take a year and travel too!

    Reply
    • Apr 20 2010

      Steve, wow, hadn’t seen your name in a while. It’s great to dream about a trip isn’t it. Find a way to do it, you won’t have regrets.

      Reply
  6. Apr 20 2010

    That’s as good of an answer to the ‘why’ question as there is, and while most people will continue to daydream during breakfast, you’ll be living the moments you once dreamed about…

    It’s not an easy decision to make though, so congratulations on making it. That’s probably the hardest part!

    Reply
    • Apr 20 2010

      For me I think the decision was made a while ago whether I was fully aware of it or not, just had to find a way to make it work. So excited to start finding my own journeys instead of just reading other people’s.

      Reply
  7. Apr 20 2010

    Thanks for the shout out. Glad to see you’re getting this thing fired up again—both the blog and your traveling!

    Reply
    • Apr 20 2010

      I promise I wasn’t trolling for a comment, love what you write. Thanks for coming by and hopefully I’ll keep it interesting.

      Reply
  8. Apr 20 2010

    Congratulations on taking the leap. Have an amazing adventure and I look forward to reading all about it.

    Reply
  9. Apr 20 2010

    Thanks for coming by. Can’t wait to find out what adventures are ahead.

    Reply
  10. Apr 21 2010

    Living life without regret is truly powerful! Congrats!
    Also – thanks for giving the concept of ‘career breaks’ for Americans a shout out! We love your career break story – it will be inspiring for so many others out there who are wishing they could do what you have the guts to do!

    Reply
    • Apr 21 2010

      Even if career breaks never become the norm for Americans it’s still a choice that each person can look at and decide for themselves. So glad to be on this side of mine 🙂

      Reply
  11. Shelby Hudgens
    May 19 2010

    Hey Brian, nice site. Hope all is going well. As one who is still “trapped in the cubicle”, I am following your trip with great interest. Take care.

    Reply
    • May 21 2010

      Glad to see you here Shelby. Glad you’re following.

      Reply
  12. Jul 2 2010

    Brian, Shar & I have finally had a chance to ck out your latest adventure. Really look forward to following your exploits for as long as your doin the “On the Road” thing, speaking of which I recently talked to a gal at BOM about Kerouac’s “famous” book which I somehow missed in the 60’s when I was reading things like the Electric Koolaid Acid Test & Be Here Know, only to find out that it was still supposedly a big deal for college level lit. Unfortunately after browsing for a few minutes & trying to figure out just what the hell all the hype was about I blew it off permantly. If you get a chance however, try and get a copy of “In Search of Capt. Zero” by Alan Weisbecker. Minus his earlier exploits, the adventure itself seems more to me the type of thing you’ve done before and are doing once again. God’s Blessings as always to you & your trip. As we used to say in the trucking business, “Shiny side up & dirty side down”. Talk soon! JB & Cousin Shar!!

    Reply
    • Jul 3 2010

      Great to see you here. I’m always looking for book ideas. On the Road is fantastic.

      Reply
  13. Sep 24 2010

    hi brian,

    i enjoyed reading the pieces on burning man…never been there, but tried to get tix this year for metropolis and could not…oh well…maybe next time. i live in sacramento, but i am from michigan. i’ve been to 20 countries and spent about 5 years overseas. i see you made it to australia. this is one of me fav countries and i’ve been to most major cities and had some great experiences there. did you make it to new zealand? if not, i highly recommend this country. buy a motorcycle, as i did, and travel around. top speeds are only about 50 mpg and many roads are only 35 mph or so. lots of space, beautiful people and scenery. you can hike up to glaciers and back down to the beaches. i think this is the only place on earth where this can happen.

    happy travels…

    if your in sacramento, CA let me know as you are welcome to crash at my pad.

    tom

    Reply
    • Oct 12 2010

      Awesome of you to come by Tom. I was supposed to go to New Zealand but hurt my back and had to change plans. It is way up there on my list of places to see. It seems to have sooo many things that I love about the outdoors and the people from there are always fantastic. Thanks for the offer for a place to crash. I’ll keep it mind.

      Brian

      Reply
  14. V.
    Sep 30 2010

    How familiar this all sounds. Especially the part ‘when I’m on the road I…’ SO good you’re living the dream!
    Really enjoying your travel stories and how you experienced places where I have been lately.
    Awesome.

    Reply
    • Oct 12 2010

      So great to find other kindred spirits along the road, lovey even.

      Reply

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