In many ways, 2013 was a successful year. Nonetheless I’m trying to improve many aspects of my professional and personal life and be happier overall.
What I mean by this is that I want to focus on traveling while I’m traveling and focus on work while I’m working. There is such a thing as traveling well, and that’s what I want to focus on again. I want to be a more perceptive traveler, dig deeper in the place I am, and be more open to people I meet. I also want to be living in the moment, for the sake of my own happiness and sanity, as well to keep my writing interesting and photography sharp. Last year I worked too much as I traveled and failed to fully immerse myself in the cultures and countries I was tying to learn about.
Every year I make an effort to visit a handful of new countries. In 2013, I traveled through Japan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar, all first-time countries for me. For 2014, I’m going to the tiny countries of Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, and San Mario before traveling on to Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania for the first time. Last year I spent 10 months in Asia and this year I hope to spend time in Europe, which I really miss. Traveling to new countries is not only my favorite thing to do, it also helps me to recommend new places for you to travel!
At this point, much of my income is at the mercy of Google and its fickle algorithms. What this means is, all my eggs are in one basket. If Google makes some changes, my income from bogging advertising may shrink substantially or even completely. Diversifying income means freelance writing, starting my travel consulting work, and of course, leading small group tours.
After one successful tour last year, Noel and I have added five more. We are fired up to share our love of travel with you. Our small group tours are geared towards giving you great experiences, letting you learn about the culture through active participation and discovering local food and meeting people. We really think we’ve got a groovy thing going here, so why don’t you travel with us in 2014! See where we’re going: 2014 Travel Tours & Dates
Remember what the dormouse said? Feed your head. (actually he never said that!) Reading more books is always a good idea. Especially if one considers his or herself a writer, books are a primary source of education and inspiration. I’m not sure if audio books count, but they can’t hurt. I read or listened to some great titles last year. Here’s to another year of good reads.
This was one of my goals for 2013 which I failed to achieve. I’m good about working out while I’m in a place for extended period, or while I’m at home visiting family, but not while I’m traveling. True, I do walk a lot while I’m on the road, but perhaps that’s not enough. In 2014, I’ll make an effort to walk a lot more, do yoga in my hotel room, or some kind of small workout everyday.
I’m not one of these 4-hour Work Week people. I’ve got nothing against the theory that devotes more time to hobby and leisure, but I’m not at that point yet. I’m trying to work hard to be more successful, just like anybody else out there. But my goal is to earn enough money in 2014, without over exhausting myself. Of course when you’re trying to turn your passion into your profession, the difference between what you consider to be work and pleasure becomes a fine line. Reading, photography, sightseeing, and sometimes even fun stuff becomes part of the job. For the sake of this argument, I’m defining work as time spent in front of a computer. That is what I’m trying hard to minimize.
In the past I’ve been focusing on having great experiences with my life, as opposed to accumulating things, and for 2014 it will be more of the same. I’d like to continue with yoga and long distance walking or multi-day hikes. Those things make me the most happy and keep me healthy. I’m thinking about doing some walking paths in the UK or Portugal. I have also been toying with the idea of getting certified to instruct yoga. When I can make the time commitment, I’ll go back to Rishikesh for a month or two, although this might not happen until the following year.
I’ll push through 2014 on the same digital nomad path, trying hard to keep making this lifestyle evolve. The thing about blazing this way of life is that it is a work-in-progress, a career with no set instructions. It takes adjustment and alteration every year. The travel industry and media is constantly unfolding. There’s no telling if this is a financially sustainable profession yet, but it’s worth pushing through ’til the end of 2014.