A few days ago it was my birthday. I’ve been good about writing something on that day in past years, like in this post, but right now I’m just wandering around to finish off this interesting year and simply didn’t feel like putting something out that particular day.
It was a big day though. My birthday was also the fifth anniversary of the date that I departed Arkansas and embarked into the life that I currently live.
I have been traveling full-time for the last five years. I’m not much of fan of travel numbers, but I think in that time, I’ve been to around 75 countries and perhaps traveled 50,000 miles…. or 75,000… I really don’t know. I’ve probably spent 3,000 hours or more in transit, on trains, buses, cars, rickshaws, and yes, occasionally planes.
I’ve meet some amazing people in every corner of the world, a good number of whom I still consider my friends, though I rarely if ever get to see them in person. I’ve loved. I’ve lost. I have seen more unique places in the world than perhaps 99% of the rest of the people alive today. I’ve worked with some of the most inspiring and original people that you could ever imagine. I’ve written it before, and said it countless times – I’m one of the luckiest people on the planet. Perhaps not lucky in all aspects of life, but the number of times that I stop and think to myself “you are such a frickin’ lucky fool.”
But the number of times I’ve said that in the last year or so hasn’t been enough.
I’m ready to be the lucky fool again.
In circling the globe without flying, and managing to hit the southernmost and northernmost cities in the world in the process, I accomplished a feat that I’m not sure many people have done, outside the nautical community. I’ve done the longest continuous rail route possible today, Lisbon to Saigon, all in 30 days.
I like doing big things. I like challenging myself.
In the last couple years, I have been focusing far too much on how I am going to make a living out here, so as to keep traveling. It is the wrong focus. Yes, I need to make money to keep this up, but in my very self-analyzed 2013, one of the many things I have realized is that I’d lost the passion. Almost completely.
I love the fact that my office is in a great place almost everyday, but work only drives me so far. And it keeps me in front of the computer far too long and keeps me from what I want to do. I love wandering. I love challenge travel. I also like meeting new and interesting people and frankly, I feel like I’ve lost the skill of social interaction in the last few years.
It is time to get all that back. Now.
I’m ready to get back to big things. Challenge myself. See what I am capable of. I’ve been putting off the biggest idea I have had since my RTW trip, but am already making plans to do that in 2015, but in the meantime…
The Next Adventure
I was talking to a friend in recent weeks about how each of us wanted out 2014 to work out. We threw around some ideas. We talked about how each of our work projects are going. Talked about hanging out together again in a different location. And, like most of the big things in my life, it hit me quickly, hard, and I knew immediately it was something I wanted to do.
A huge USA road trip.
Just a few months ago, I finally sold my car back in the States. I had held onto it for all the time since I’d left back in 2008. I’m a full-blooded American, meaning… I love cars and love to drive. Giving that car up was like giving up a small part of myself. One of the few things I miss in my lifestyle is just not having the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a car and drive for hours and hours. Like cooking for me, it is therapy. And I want to do it again.
So, I’ll be announcing the details in the coming weeks. We are looking at leaving from San Diego around January 20th or so and getting back there by March 1st, when I need to fly back to Europe for some commitments there. We’ll have about 38 days of driving… and I’m going to want your feedback and ideas of what we should see and do before we leave and during the trip over on my Facebook Fan page.
Time to get back on the proverbial horse. Time to get back to all the things I love in life.
Happy Birthday for a start. Re-inventing yourself, if you will, is not easy as I have had to do it a number of times. Its takes a lot of courage and balls to be honest. A game plan is a really good way to hit challenges head on. Good luck and take care, Paula
A plan??!! That doesn’t sound like any fun at all 😉
Congrats on your travelversary and belated Happy Birthday! Can’t wait to hear all about your American road trip. That Mustang is one sweet ride!
Thanks Steph. I am excited… and scared, about that big road trip. Is going to be epic, whether good or bad!
Belated happy birthday! We look forward to seeing what you’ll be up to this year.
Thank you Laura. I hope to be up with some good stuff this year. Right now, January through June is shaping up nicely. Let’s see how this goes!
The car you will not sell says a lot about your roots, Travel around the world; travel around the moon; nothing says USA like a Mustang.
(Unless, of course, it’s the ’56 ‘vette in your header art.
50’s ‘Vet and 60s Mustang?? A man CAN have it all!
Stating the obvious here, but never let that car depart the family. That’s a fantastic car. Maybe it’s an Arkansas thing (I grew up in Conway), but there is just something amazing about a Mustang.
That car will never leave the family. For sure. Folks just renovated it this last year for the next generation of Hodson drivers.
Happy bday and travel anniversary! 5 years is certainly impressive. A US road trip is something I’ve always wanted to do. You should have held onto the BMW to take along!
I know. Funny, isn’t it. Right after I sell it, I decide to do a road trip. Ironic.
Happy Belated Birthday and congrats on the big road trip decision! I’ve been wanting to take one through the US for forever. There are so many fantastic regions to visit, I’m excited to see what you pick! It will probably be just what you need to get back to what you love in life!
Thanks, Bridget. It is going to be a whirlwind. Much too fast around, but… that is part of the challenge!
Happy birthday! Nothing like a good road trip! Have fun!
Thanks ya’ll. Keep warm up there in Canada!
5 years on the road is incredible.
We started our journey with a 3 month road trip of the USA. Even in 3 months we only saw a fraction of the country! I feel we could go back and have another 3 month road trip and not see the same town twice!
Heck, in an ideal world (with a much bigger budget), I’d actually do about 8 months just road tripping the USA. Such a fabulous country. Love it.
Your mustang brings back so many memories! My mom had a red ’67 mustang and I always loved that car. I remember it from when I was a kid!
It shall never leave that family, as long as I have a say in the matter.
Michael, You should visit us in South Bend! We can take you to the Studebaker Museum. And Notre Dame, if you’d like. We’ll make smoked meat. It would be great!
Trying to see if we can do anything on the Notre Damn campus. Hopefully after the holidays we can sort that out.
That’s a brilliant idea. I love road trips, wish we could’ve done more of it on our recent trip to the US. Look forward to the stories in due course. Congratulations on your anniversary too, and belated happy birthday.
Allow me to add my belated Happy Birthday greetings – hope it goes well and you have a nice Christmas at home.
Thanks for all the well wishes. I will have to be well rested to handle all this coming up!
Can’t wait to follow along on your road trip. I love cars, trains, planes, and generally being in motion so it will be great to see your pics and read your stories!
You and me both. I simply love motion.
Best of luck on your next journey, love the stang! My first car was a red 95 mustang. Still at my parents house as well. Take care.
You gotta keep your first car. That is one of the classic memories in life.
I’ll be looking forward to the photos!! Happy birthday and good luck with your next adventure. Exciting times.
Happy Birthday to you! And Happy Anniversary of Blogging! 5 years on the road. I love that you set goals and want big challenges. It is inspirational. George and I left Los Angeles for a one year sabbatical over 1.5 years ago. We just decided to keep going. I agree that running a website can overtake the travel focus. I am working on how to balance it all for 2014. Enjoy your time driving in the USA! Hope you travel Route 66. I will go check your facebook page NOW!
We Said Go Travel
Thanks so much for your note Lisa. Ya’ll are an inspiration to all of us out here traveling. To do that as a couple… impressive!
How did I miss this? Happy Birthday, Michael. Can’t imagine a better way to celebrate. A red mustang. I would expect nothing else. I hope you’re working on a playlist worthy of the car and the trip.
Thanks for the birthday wishes, Megan. I have been without an iPod for quite a while on the road. Getting one over the holidays, so the playlist will be ready.
Yay! U.S. road trips are the best – I’m hoping to do another (at least short one) in 2014, too. There are SO many cool things to see and do in America, and I try to remind myself of that with an epic trip at least once a year!
I remember talking to you about our mutual love for the road trip. Looking forward to following yours also.
I never ever have time to visit blogs anymore yet alone leave comments sadly – life is simply far too busy – but something drew me here tonight. It must have been your 1967 Mustang!
My Mum had a 1967 Mustang in the early 70s when I was just a little kid. It was deep purple – long my favourite colour. We did a lot of road trips in Australia back then, our little family of Mum, Dad and myself (before my sister was born), and it was always in the big Dodge Phoenix that my Dad drove (he would buy a new one every year – all my baby/toddler photos are taken on the bonnets of the old Dodges!).
But one year for whatever reason we took my Mum’s Mustang on our summer holiday north of Sydney. It was year of really horrific floods in Queensland and I remember being in the back seat with my legs up on the seats as the water had seeped in. It was a very cool car but it wasn’t waterproof.
So cool to know you still have that car. Good luck with your trip! Love road trips and spookily have just been posting about them in response to reader requests. Despite us now being based in Cambodia – the last place you want to do a road trip. Enjoy!
happy birthday! I always wanted to do a big USA road trip so im really looking forward to reading up on your trip!
Congrats! Have passed your 5 years a trip on the road. It’s enjoyable always. Looking for your safe journey.