"Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?" - Bob Marley
Trapped in an US airport because of bad weather and on my way to office in Canada, I realised what my life was supposed to be. My whole perspective of traveling changed. I really enjoyed traveling even if I had to be retained over night at the airport. For me
"facing this sort of unexpected situations was much more exciting that the typical going to office from 8am-5pm"
I thought I had better things to do with my time, like for example, adventuring more. I envisioned a new future: "I will leave my apartment here and go back home and once I get there I am going to travel all over the world". It was 2007 and I've got a new job offer in Spain. Everything looked like right. The right place (home), the right job (a scientist traveller, my dream job), the right salary and the right moment. What I did not imagine is that by taking that new job my whole life would be changed. I was 41 years old, recently divorced, no charges, except my car insurance, phone bills and the ~35kg extra I accumulated through many years of so called wealth. I started traveling for ongoing research collaborations first back and forth, Spain -> Canada -> Spain or going to US or Centro American countries and back home, for a couple of years. Later on I was awarded with a traveling budget by a few Research Agencies in order to communicate my contribution to science, so I decided to take that job and I will start traveling around the world as much as I could. I was organizing conferences here and there.
"I used to let my thumb finger points to the little world map on top of my office desk with blind eyes to let the destiny decide what my next destination would be"
From my office collaborators in Canada I booked one "around the world ticket" for July 2010 with One World (a British Airways partner). It took me a couple of hours to book that trip. It was a 10 stops one-way destination ticket with the restriction that while building my trip I was not allowed to backward directions, I was allowed to build up my trip onwards only. The price was ~20k euros only for airlines booking. No longer that 20 mins later, I received a phone call from a British Airways agency in London to ask me: " how I managed to build that trip in such a short time when they will require about one week for confirmation ". During that phone call the person I was talking to even offered me a job because she told me in her office they did not even know how to use the tool the same company created. Funny eh? Either way that was not my intention so I kindly rejected that offer. I wish I had that offer now that I changed my life perspective :)
My first itinerary was Canada -> UAE -> Japan -> China -> Hong Kong -> Singapore -> Australia(Perth) -> Australia(Sydney) -> USA -> Canada
(see itinerary below)
I really really enjoyed that trip!
When I went back to office after 2 months I realised that i gained around 4-5kg.
I was not surprised because it was all about going on business class, all inclusive, stressing life, sleeping little, enjoying all the foods every new place and country had to offer me and, on top, always relying on taxi and planes all the time.
"It's like you want to try all because you are not sure if you are gonna come back one day"
A few days later I started planning my next trip, but conscious about how costly my first long-term business trip experience was I made a resolution:
I would not go in Business Class anymore. No more posh seats during flights, no more 7 stars hotels in Dubai, no more agency bookings. Somehow first, I was trying to avoid complaints from main office because of over spending traveling budgets, and second, since I really liked traveling so much, I wanted to do it again and again or even forever, I wanted to reduce cost as much as I could.
I believe my passion for traveling come from my childhood, when I observed my parents really enjoying taking a vacation every year in a different place and once they went back home, my father used to give a sort of improvised family presentation to share their wonderful traveling experiences with us. From a scientist point of view I would describe this phenomenon as a highly "mutagenic" one and I always blame my mom for inculcating me those jumping transposons.
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