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The Traveler and His Work

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1.

Once upon a time, there was a traveler. He began traveling because it helped him feel alive.

Gradually, he became more and more comfortable with traveling, and therefore more motivated to see the world. The more he wandered, the more he wanted to wander. He memorized flight schedules, lists of the world’s capital cities, and random airline trivia. He didn’t have much material wealth, but he was a millionaire in Frequent Flyer Miles.

Not everyone understood why the traveler was traveling. You’re going where? You’re doing what? You don’t take photos? You don’t read Lonely Planet? they would ask.

But it was so much fun. The planning, the forward motion, the exhilaration, the anticipation. The traveler liked the process of going somewhere as much as the sensation of arrival. It was enthralling, even if no one else understood it.

2.

Then a few things happened that changed the traveler’s life, mostly for the better. Instead of chronicling his journeys for a small group of people, he built relationships (one-by-one, in most cases) with a much larger group of people. Like traveling, this was also a lot of fun. The traveler began to hear stories of other people who were on a similar path, or who were somehow inspired to begin an adventure of their own.

Whenever the traveler ventured to faraway lands, 140-character messages would appear by the dozens from the traveler’s friends and followers who wanted to meet in person. This was a little awkward for the traveler at first, since he had always kept to himself and usually went to bed well before midnight, but over time he began to understand the importance of such connections.

The traveler also had a few window-shopping critics, who thought he was of lesser status for paying more than $5 a night to sleep in Saigon, or for not renouncing the evil Starbucks empire. But mostly he had a small army of remarkable people, all with stories of their own to share.

3.

But then something else happened … the traveler’s work, which he had always structured in a way to support his travel, began to encroach upon those same adventures. While flying to Tokyo, he would think of the ten hours he would miss being offline. And as the traveler made his travel plans, he thought, Oh, I have to get to Yemen soon, but I’ll need to fly back early for the conference in L.A.

Instead of flying to Madrid to wander through Morocco, the traveler flew to Milwaukee to get paid for talking to people. Workshops, media engagements, coffee meetings, conference calls, daily radio interviews that he stumbled through in an attempt to be coherent—these became the traveler’s main expenditure of energy instead of the travel he had loved for so long.

And very slowly, the traveler realized that he missed what he had when he started: the feeling of being alone in the world. The bright lights of Singapore. The overnight trains through the Soviet Republics. The taxi drivers in the Middle East. (Well, not those.)

The traveler had a few strengths that had brought him to this dilemma, but he also had a notable weakness: driven by what people thought of him and the fear of losing it all, he didn’t want to say no to anything. And thus when he traveled, he thought more about his Inbox than the critical need to find pastries in every city. He didn’t go out for six-hour walks very often anymore. When he saw the dozens of 140-character messages from people who wanted to meet up in Amsterdam, he began to think: I wish I could just take the train to Brussels and eat waffles by the riverbank.

The traveler also had a wife, a cat, and some semblance of a home life that he didn’t want to lose. Thus, the traveler came to a fork in the road. How could this traveler still wander the world, without sacrificing his relationships or the career he had also come to love?

4.

The traveler thought about this problem for a long time. What to do? He had already attempted, without success, to drop “at least six hours of sleep” from his daily schedule. Other conventional answers didn’t seem like a good idea. Outsource his Inbox to a faraway land? Replace the cat and hire a real assistant?

Those answers weren’t the right ones, but the traveler realized that something had to change. He took care of the easy things first. He stopped doing the radio interviews that no one listened to. He cleared a few projects from his schedule. After touring the New World for four whole months without going to foreign lands, he set aside another four whole months to write his second book.

But first, the traveler decided to take a break, completely by himself, without any agenda. And thus the traveler booked a trip without telling anyone where he was going. On the way out to the airport, he stopped at the evil Starbucks empire for a delicious pumpkin scone. The traveler was his happy, random self again. He flew two hours away for a connection to a longer flight. The flight time on the long-haul was nine hours, and he thought to himself the whole way: this is perfect.

He still wasn’t sure he had the answer to the dilemma, since he loved almost everything he did and still didn’t want to say no. But at least for now, the traveler was able to say with confidence … “Everything is going to be okay.”

###

Image: Geoff

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119 Comments

  • Hugh says:

    Awesome parable and good for you, Chris!

  • Wow. I can totally relate to this story – even though we’re no where as visible as other traveling workers and bloggers. We reached that point over the summer, where stops to visit followers, attending/presenting at conferences, being interviewed for storeis and organizing rendezvouses trumped our own personal journeys and wanderlust.

    Not that we don’t want to meet folks in our travels.. I just felt so out of balance with it all, and like too many were watching our every move.

    For the past few months, we’ve been on a remote tropical island where no one knows us as ‘Technomadia’ – and enjoying just being us. Talking and interacting with others as just people they meet in the course of the day, not some image of a person they construct on twitter or our blog. It’s been absolutely wonderful… and yup .. everything is going to be ok!

  • Jenn says:

    It makes me smile to think about this traveler… may his journeys bring him joy. (And believe me, I needed a smile this morning.)

  • Matthew says:

    Glad to hear everything’s going to be ok. Thank you so much for everything you do, including taking time for yourself.

  • Jackie says:

    Go for it!

  • Stacey says:

    🙂

  • Matt Langdon says:

    It’s a good problem to have and you seem to have come up with the best solution. Well done Chris.

  • Christopher says:

    Your writing is beautiful. Keep well.

  • Donna says:

    It’s the “magic” you found in it that made everything else happen. If you lose the magic, it all goes away. Do what you have to do to never lose the magic – even if it means saying “no” from time to time!

  • patti says:

    whether shredded by travel or art/family/the business of life, the torn feeling is so real. I haven’t been on a plane for months yet I feel this way daily – laundry? or painting…. grocery shopping or take out, once again?? 🙂 My artist husband who is runs a graphic design business to support our family shares this as well. His canoe, his fishing boat are calling… Hope you have a great trip!

  • Cynthia says:

    Success is the real task master.

    I think I am glad that my InterPlay work is spread out over hundreds of people and seems to grow only at the speed of the body.

    and here’s to wanders! solitude! adventure! and being a pilgrim.

  • YES. Well done. Bring Back the Magic. Everything WILL be OK. so pleased for you.

    ~Paula

    p.s. possibly add to, but never replace, the cat 🙂

  • Kelsey says:

    When I saw your recent tweets about your travels to the “Axis of Evil” I thought, “Good for him.” You’ve got a lot going on and no one could blame you for juggling all your responsibilities from your home, but you keep on traveling. Awesome! Travel, no doubt, helped make you who you are. It’s great to see you sticking to your roots.

  • Michael Brown says:

    Mmmm . . . . me wishes that simple traveler much happiness in his travels!!

  • Signe Beck says:

    Thanks for the morning giggles. You are hilarious. I’m glad you are working to keep life in balance. It is tricky for all of us! I’m off to the gym, EE (Starbucks) for Java, and then work. Looking forward to the next round of frequent flier miles, and eternally grateful for the mongo tip on the USAir promo a year ago at Christmas time. Sensing that you weren’t completely crazy, I jumped on the bandwagon and loaded up on expensive stickers. Being rich in frequent flier miles gives me exponential happiness. Happy Valentines celebration to you, your wife, and assistant!

  • Love it. Glad the cat is staying 🙂

  • Margaret says:

    Way to go Traveler! I agree totally with what Donna has to say.

  • Wendy says:

    Oh Chris, do I know this one! It is energizing to “give” but profoundly draining to “be taken” yet the boundary between them is often invisible. It’s up to us to set and protect that invisible boundary. May a healthy boundary become a lovely symbol of respite for you.

  • Tim says:

    Ahhh, the feeling of being well-balanced, thank you.

  • Josh says:

    Chris, I hear you. Thanks for sharing how far you’ve come! I can see you’re trying to balance the fruits of building a business and the time it takes to develop your network of friends and customers, and you don’t want to lose it, right? Ah, the problem with attachment. Travel embodies and teaches so much the opposite – spontaneity, lightness, randomness…

    I have the same issue with being rooted and also wanting to travel. For me, it just helps to take a step back and realize how far I have come, take a deep breath, and feel grateful for all I have. I know from your writing you are filled with gratitude, it’s just important to keep tapped into that!

    Don’t worry, we’ll still be here when you head off into the next country. As long as you keep writing about it, that is 🙂

  • I agree with Donna, no matter what you do, don’t ever lose the magic.

    Your story mirrors my own journey in lots of ways, and I have also been struggling with wanting that old feeling of “being alone in the world” again. It is a hard thing to do when you have decided to become a leader of some sort, paving the way for others in your area of specialty. Especially when you enjoy being that leader in so many ways. So I too am off on a secret journey in a few weeks, to get back to that magic that I miss and crave. I believe that it will rejuvenate me and provide the clarity that I need to move forward on my path in a way that I will not lose that magic again. Sometimes you just have to go back to your roots 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your story. I wish you happy travels full of carefree adventures and of course…magic.

  • Carol says:

    One of your best posts. When our “about _______ (travel, art, family)” begins to replace “_________ (travel, art, family)”, it’s time to _________ (travel, do art, be with family). Great expression of that truth.

  • Amber J. says:

    I can definitely relate to stopping by the evil Starbucks empire and getting that pumpkin scone! It’s too tasty!

    In all seriousness, it is important to take periodic breaks to make sure you haven’t gotten to far from the core of who you are, and what you set out to do.

    I think if more people did it, there would be less people posting these comments from the confines of their cubical.

    Cheers to purposefully escapes.

  • andy traub says:

    Beautiful.

  • You put some wind under my wings this Monday morning and hold the space for us more earthbound wanderers. As long as I have a trip on the horizon – even a weekend get-away, I’m a happier camper. May you find the perfect balance and share that exploration with the rest of us.

    Planning a west coast book tour myself in a few months en route to the TBEX Conference in Vancouver this June. Any recommendations are most welcome.

    Happy trails!

  • Sean says:

    It’s often hard to maintain an unconventional life without a healthy dose of freedom and spontaneity.

    Keep on keeping on Chris!

  • I’ve always said, it’s not a time management problem, it’s a self management issue. Glad to see you’re managing yourself well.

    Rasheed

  • As another constant travelers these past 5 years ( as a family no less)…I hear you! Enjoy!!

  • Anne says:

    Reading you this morning made me feel happy and grateful. You reminded me (as so often) to be true to my own freedom. Enjoy!

  • Sylvie says:

    Et bonne St-Valentin cher voyageur solitaire…

  • Matt Coffman says:

    Love this post! It gets my vote for one of the top 5 AONC posts ever.

    Glad to know you’re in the magic at the moment, Chris.

  • Maggie Dodson says:

    Wow, synchronicity is really working for me these days. You read my mind. I was wondering myself HOW could you possibly fit all of this and still pursue your original dream in such a way as to enjoy it as much as you did before. ‘Replace the cat and hire a real assistant’ !!! Ha ha ha!

    Good for you……you seem to have found the answer. Keep on travelling.

  • Heidi says:

    Love this. Ahhh, freedom… Mmmm…

  • Laurie Ann Silberman says:

    To thine own self be true Chris. Never let the success you have found being who you are stop you from being who you are. 🙂

    Your true buds will understand.

  • coby hendriksen says:

    You are a wise guy Chris, still in touch with your emotions and needs. No need to explain all this, no excuses for changing your plans, it is YOUR LIFE. Have a ball!!

  • Way to go Chris. Have fun!

    I need to take more personal time, myself.

  • Brilliant thoughts and writing. Thanks. If you ever have free time in ATL and want to deviate from looking for pastry shops or Starbucks, I would love for you to be part of our Visitors Gallery.

  • I’ll Fly Away, oh Glory….I’ll Fly Away. There’s a song in there somewhere. I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to sing it after you’ve had your waffles there in Belgium.

    You will be a better man, albeit a bit bigger. HA

  • Deb Wood says:

    Does the traveler have kids?

  • Heather says:

    Good luck, have fun, and be safe! And I’m jealous!

  • Hannah says:

    The traveler seems to exhibit the ability to examine his life and make corrections if off course–the best skill for living an authentic life that does not simply repeat past patterns. Oh, would that so many more would do the same!

  • giselle tamine says:

    I think what inspires us about you, is your ability to do what your heart desires and what you feel is right for your soul. Congratulations on having the clarity to take this time for you and do what you love to do. What ever path you seem to take, you continue to inspire and teach us. Thank you and enjoy every second!

  • Wouter says:

    Please bring back the travel stories to this blog! That’s what it all started with – travel is your passion after all, isn’t it?! I’m so curious to hear about your experiences in Tripoli, and wondering where you’ll be going next!

    I’m sure writing about travel itself, instead of about business, will help you get the passion back!

  • Catherine says:

    Enjoy your trip. I hope you find the perfect pastry. And, Viva Starbucks!

  • What an awesome parable ..and some fantastic comments too – this community is loving & wise & supports the wonderful traveller, “evil” Starbucks or not 😉

    I found this very moving, Chris – thanks for the reminder that we have to be true to ourselves, and that it TRULY doesn’t matter what others think of us.

    Keep rocking! And have a blast. And keep the cat!!!
    Tracey

  • Mary Fleming says:

    Thanks for your honesty, courage and clarity of thought. You have a wonderfully genuine way of sharing your journey with us. Not just the travels, but the inner journey as well. To me that is the real essence of your success and the reason I look forward to your posts whether you are at home or in a tiny country I have never heard of. Enjoy your time off. We’ll all be here when you get back!

  • Just Plain Bill says:

    Take Care!

  • Alexis Grant says:

    Love this. I can relate to this line:

    “The traveler realized that he missed what he had when he started: the feeling of being alone in the world.”

    In this age of e-mails and texting and tweeting, being alone isn’t valued. But once you learn to enjoy it, it’s hard to go without that alone time.

  • Rachel says:

    That was a great story that I needed to hear. Thank you.

  • Ellen says:

    Wishing you new adventures, new thrills, more of the unknown – I think it is freedom we are all after with “borrowed” wings.

    Enjoy!

  • Harry says:

    Brave to admit and good for you.
    enjoy the planet, you only have a short life time for it.

  • Beatriz says:

    When does our passion or hobby start feeling like work? 🙂 Some of us can make a job out of a passion, that is a bliss… but it’s important not to lose the balance… or it will end up feeling like a job. Some of us have family…. and traveling becomes a weekend trip to a near place. Cherishing these moments and honoring our stages in life is part of it all…

  • CJ says:

    Love, love, love it, Chris!

    What an awesome way to be a great Valentine to yourself.

    By listening and taking great care.

    Be well.
    Christi

  • janewilk says:

    I have so missed your frequent updates but am so happy that you are finding yourself again and happy with getting your center back. I love what you do and love hearing about it – when you have the time and energy! Go, Chris, go.

  • Jodi says:

    I hope your path continues to become clearer. You are a true inspiration as you follow your heart. Have a wonderful trip.
    Jodi

  • Sherrill Leverich-Fries says:

    Fabulous! So glad you are making sure you do what makes you YOU. Because then you can keep sparking us to do what makes us us.

    And glad you’re keeping the cat…. 🙂

  • Love this post. I can only speak for myself when I say that even if you stopped writing for a year when you came back I would still be interested to hear what you are saying.

    It’s like the friend you have who lives far away, you hardly speak but when you do you feel like you were just together the other week. Your a friend now, and I am happy for you that life is going well – even if that means we don’t get to talk so often. I am even happier that you are doing what you need to do to stay healthy physically and emotionally. I expect no less of you.

  • Ken w Hunter says:

    it’s about the journey …. thank you for continuing to share.

  • Merle says:

    way to go, Chris! Being secretive sometimes is the right thing to do in order to be a happier self.

  • Terri says:

    Chris,

    Thank you for sharing this post. Natalie Sissons of Womanz World recently introduced me to your book and your blog and I am a huge convert. As a 31 year old breast cancer survivor, the universe has recently grabbed me by the shoulders and given me a hard shake. I have decided to leave my old life behind and am in the midst of trying to create a new unconventional life for myself in my post cancer world. Your words have helped inspire me to take the first leap with a 10 week trip to volunteer and travel in Africa. Thank you for continuing to keep your message authentic and for reinforcing that true freedom comes from knowing ourselves well enough to know exactly what we need, regardless of external expectations.

    Enjoy the freedom of this trip!
    Terri

  • Brado says:

    Excellent! Thanks for the weekly inspirations and encouragements. I’m enjoying being a travel hacker!!

  • Nay says:

    Wow! This sure’s a good reminder. Thanks for inspiring others to do the same.

  • Regina Marie says:

    I really relate to this story, though yours is much farther along.

    I’m just a woman who has traveled a little and fell in love with it. I am still trying to find the path to travel for myself. I’ve never even been out of the USA, and only traveled (for non-family reunion vacations) only a few times.

    I hope one day to have to find the balance as well… and it’s wonderful getting to hear about your adventures.

  • Perhaps the traveler might want to do something extremely radical–cut himself off from email, twitter,and the web for a whole week! I love your posts and your dedication, but we could survive for a few days without you.

    Your the best Chris, take care of yourself!

  • Kate says:

    Ahhh zen, the freedom of the open road (oh to be travelling…) Your priorites are SO RIGHT!

  • Christopher Palbicki says:

    Nice creative approach to a posting . . . I may have to steal this one for myself. 🙂

    Also, while I think it’s great that you’ve toned down the radio interviews, don’t underestimate their reach . . . I first heard about you on a podcast, The Marketplace of Ideas with Colin Marshall.

    Be well and happy travels!

    -Christopher

  • katkins says:

    At last! I started following your blog so that I could vicariously clear customs in Ukraine and aimlessly wander the side streets of Tbilisi. Glad you’re back on (off) track.

  • Daryl Gerke says:

    Ah! Reinvention time. Just went through that myself. But going the other direction here.

    After a couple of million miles in the air, decided to stay home for a while. More time to spend with my wife and grandkids. More time to enjoy the AZ winter. More time to work on things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, like the new blog.

    But life itself is a journey. Enjoy every minute — on your terms! And yes, watch out for those Mid-East taxi drivers.

    Enjoyed meeting you in AZ. Safe travels!

  • Sharon says:

    I am about to embark on an adventure of my own. I am pretty nervous and reading the news this morning didn’t help! However, I am greatful for your message today. Your second sentence gives me the perfect reason to go forward – wanting to feel alive.

  • Michelle says:

    Chris, you’re amazing, and a great inspiration. Do you!

  • Kathy Piatt says:

    All these comments are so positive, I don’t have much new to add. I’m trying to figure out how to do the same thing myself. Enjoy! Great post-very creative and inspirational.

  • Amaya says:

    Point taken. I am now shutting down the computer and heading out for a walk around Santiago’s Old Town.

  • Dennis says:

    Excellent post! But now I’m wondering where you’re wandering off to. Wherever it may be I’m sure you’re enjoying the moment.

    As Rick Steves says, “Keep on Traveling”!

  • Cheri says:

    It’s all good Chris! The fact that you recognized what was happening is fantastic. Enjoy your journey! I’m working towards that life of non-conformity myself and hope to be out on the road (or in the air) soon!

  • Angela says:

    Love this! Great writing style.

  • Wendy says:

    Sounds like the cantus firmus of being human, looks like the story arc of all those who dwell in this era! May we all keep searching-no matter how far we have to wander.

  • That sounded just like a Paulo Coehlo story…love that guy 😀 I’m going through something similar but more internal than external. Here’s a quote I saw today that was very fitting: “People create the reality they need in order to discover themselves.” ~Ernest Becker

  • manonthelam says:

    Chris you have been truly blessed with the ability to make a living at something you love doing. This story is definitely an inspiration to those of us who envy your wandering ways, but at the same time a warning to not become tied down with the attendant duties associated with keeping your name out there. Enjoy your trip, where ever that road takes you…

    Raymond

  • Good for Mr. Traveler. We won’t name names. Go offline. Eat some pastries. Take long walks. Waste some time with a book on a park bench. Don’t chronicle the journey as much as you could. Make some memories that belong only to you. Tell no one. Secrecy can be so refreshing. Eat the scone, smile for good reason, and relish the anonymity.

  • Delightful!

    Thank you.

  • You are truly walking the walk Chris!! Hero’s Journey and all that. You’ve underlined the importance of continually connecting and reconnecting with your Self. Thanks so much – as always inspiring stuff.

    Day 309 today of the fab EBK and I was feeling like I should be superhuman like, er, Chris, – keeping all the online stuff going all the time, just keep on keeping on, building, growing, broadcasting… more and more and more… and criticizing myself for not being able to keep up with what I myself had created.

    For me, your timing on this story is perfect – you are very much human, (but still super!). And sometimes, you just need to step off the wheel you made for yourself – and it’s ok!! In fact, it’s better than ok – look at the support here for what you decided to do…

    Enjoy pure freedom in every sense of the word!!
    Mi xx

  • mark says:

    Thanks for reminding me of something I almost forgot… adventure!

  • This was nicely written Chris, I’m currently on a world tour with my wife, and I’m trying to work as I travel as well. I’m a website designer, and so far it’s been pretty hard to work on the road. I find that trying to “fund” our trip while we go is not easy.

    There’s usually about twice as much money going out as coming in!

  • Scott Meyer says:

    Great reminder that unless we are whole and well, everything else we do will suffer. Keep exploring and stay well.

  • Larry Burnette says:

    Wow – and I thought I was the only one!!! Glad to know I have company. I have been on 4 around the world trips now and my 5th one is planned for May and June. I’ve visited 80 countries and I was shooting for 100. This article made me realize that I wasn’t thinking big enough!!!! Why not go to all of them???

    My friends question me traveling to these places by myself. They imply that there is something wrong with me for wanting to go alone. There is just something really special about “getting lost” in strange places – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the food, the people, the travel experience, the aloneness, the experience of doing all of these new things. It is truly STUNNING.

  • Laurie says:

    Beautiful, Chris. I love it. Do whatever you need to do to be your “happy, random self.” And whatever that is, it will inspire the rest of us to be our own version of happy and random, lighthearted and free.
    Hope you enjoy your time to the max. 🙂

  • You gotta do what you gotta do.
    Great style, Chris! Jim Rohn is giving you the thumbs up from somewhere!

    Safe travels,

    Peter

  • Patricia says:

    Everything is going to be okay. 🙂

  • Marni Gable says:

    Some people just have “Gypsy feet” and the people and the cats in their lives have to understand. Great to see someone just being themselves, while being self-reflective enough to find the right solution. Life is not ALL OR NOTHING it is give and take.

  • Wyman says:

    Being a celebrity can be hell. At least no photographers. Stay in balance and have an awesome life.

  • Alan says:

    Wow, Chris. Haven’t commented on here in a while, but I really, really enjoyed this. Look forward to seeing you again in June.

  • Meredith says:

    I had a dream last night that the crocodiles were waiting in the water for anyone who dared step in. I took this post of yours as well-timed in its message to the contrary – the part about how everything’s going to be OK. Somehow I found myself convinced you might be right, in spite of the crocodiles. Thanks for that.

  • Ayna Ray Garcia says:

    Have fun Chris.

    No matter what, I believe everything is going to be alright too.

  • Nancy says:

    Life requires constant balancing and rebalancing unless you never move or never grow and what fun would that be.

  • Antonet says:

    Truly enjoyed this piece. Love that the traveller has once again taken to the road. Makes me want to head to the airport and hop on the next flight to anywhere. Bon voyage! 🙂

  • Silvia says:

    As long as your wife knows where you’re going and the cat is fed. Enjoy your adventure!

  • #love #givesmefaiththateverythingwillbeokay

  • Sounds like you made plans for a lot of self-love & getting back to your roots. The world will still be there when you emerge. Don’t worry, saying no is not going to stop the awesome! 😉

    Great storytelling Chris, keep on traveling!

  • Magdalena says:

    Wow, I LOVED THIS. I feel like I could totally relate being that I’ve been living abroad for the past 3 years, and miss family, friends, and holidays from home, but I just don’t want to stop my journey! It’s great hearing your perspective bc many of my friends and family at home just don’t understand why I do what I do!

  • Christopher says:

    How nice it is to get lost where no one can find you? Freeing.

  • Andi Perullo says:

    Everything is definitely going to be okay in the end, I promise! I love that you returned to your roots and went on a trip that no one knew about.

  • GutsyWriter says:

    Chris, you wanted to visit all the countries in the world by 35, so you have to travel. After our intense book tour, it makes sense to get away from everyone. I loved getting away from others in Belize, however, after six months I had island fever and had to get back to see book stores, Peet’s coffee and Trader Joe’s.

  • Kurt Swann says:

    Enjoy your trip . . .

  • Tanja Raaste says:

    This is lovely. Thank you.

  • Fantastic post, Chris. Burnout is a serious issue, and when you are doing what you love and doing exactly what you want to do, the danger is of course in turning what you love into what you hate.

    Break time is not only important but essential and congrats on escaping for a bit! More should follow the example you wrote so eloquently about.

  • Chuck Kuhn says:

    Always great to read your stories Chris. I’ve been a follower for years. Perfect timing on this story as I’m planning my first solo trip to India. Staying 6 months (visa limit) part in May. I’ve retired and my passion for photography and travel was my life away from work (architect). Althought I’ve traveled throughtout my life to many places, I’ve never traveled solo out of the USA. I’m at the stage of my Life, The Bucket List, to see, document, photograph as much of the World that I can. So at 65, I’m set to make new friends, see new faces and do what I’ve always wanted to do. Explore the World. I’ll be checking end, later

  • leila says:

    It’d be madness to kill the root for the sake of the branches! Keep doing what you love…

  • D.J. says:

    Good stuff. Never lose sight of what’s truly important–Friends, Family, Freedom.

  • Susan says:

    This was fantastic. And I empathize with that feeling. Part of why I love NYC is feeling alone and anonymous while still encroaching on these wonderful projects and connections that would be difficult living anywhere else.

    Then those connections and the energy of navigating this city starts to feel like a job. And I forget that what I love is being able to walk anywhere, at any time of day or night, dressed any way I want, and everyone will just leave me alone.

    I hope you get back to what you’re wanting to do.

  • Brigitte says:

    I mentioned to my husband that maybe you’d organize a running thing in Portland for the WDS. He was all…but Chris likes to run for the same reason I do…to be alone with his thoughts.

    There are no easy answers, but it helps when the options are all appealing.

  • Natalie says:

    cheers!

  • Annette says:

    Thanks for sharing this Chris and for reminding us to strike a balance between a passion for our work and what everyone else expects of us and our own internal needs which actually fuel the fire of the passion in the first place!

  • Alex Rascanu says:

    Have a great journey, Chris!

  • Robin Webster says:

    I love the honesty and transparency of this. Thank you.

  • Penelope J. says:

    Chris, An enchanting story and way to look at a true dilemma. When we give so much of ourselves, we take away from what is most important to us. Time to ourselves.
    BTW, I also like the evil Starbucks empire.

  • Chelsea says:

    I’m both comforted and fortunate to have come across your site. I too share many of the same views as the ones you’ve expressed on here and it’s great to know there are others out there too. Only being in my early twenties, I always knew that the typical American lifestyle wasn’t for me. There are just too many great places to experience and so many more meaningful things to be doing in life than trying to climb the corporate ladder or wasting money on material things for other’s approval. I’ve found it very hard trying to explain this to people who don’t understand why I would rather travel the globe instead of planning a white picket fence future. I am glad to see that you too have seen the light! I wish you much luck in your travels and achieving your goal!

  • Tawny says:

    Totally needed that today. Nice post.

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