I’ve been following Greg’s blog since I started blogging and his blog is one of the few blogs out there where you get to know a lot about the “real life” of a traveller.
He blogs not only about the good things about travel, but also about the “low” points one might encounter when travelling. His blog connects deeply with his audience because of the things he had shared in his blog.
Greg left his home in Kentucky last 2005 and travelled for quite some time before he went home just recently. Greg is not done yet with vagabonding and will surely go back on the road soon so keep following his adventures.
Get to know Greg more and visit his blog at Vagabonding Life.
Here’s my short interview with Greg.
How did you discover your passion for travelling?
“I was mired in Corporate America for nearly 10 years, but never quite fit in. I knew that I didn’t want to wake up one day kissing my Rolex and fondling my BMW. My family and friends hardly travel outside of the U.S., so I wasn’t really sure how to escape suburbia and life behind a desk. I joined the Army hoping to fix my adventure cravings, but that only made things worse!
I ended up going to Hawaii in 2001, and loved the island life. All I could think about was Polynesian culture, so I returned two more times with a stack of resumes hoping to find a job. I didn’t, so I ended up searching online for options. I first came across the travel community on Portland-based Bootsnall.com, which eventually led me to read Rolf Potts’ book Vagabonding. As soon as I finished that book, I knew what I had to do!”
What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?
“I know that I should probably insert a quirky or funny moment here — there have been plenty of those — but I’ll keep it real. The worst experience of my life came in 2009 when my friend and travelmate died in Indonesia from drinking a poisoned batch of arak.”
What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?
“Wow, that’s a tough one. After leaving East Timor, I met a brother and sister on a Pelni ship who invited me back to their village in a remote part of East Flores, Indonesia. I was the only foreigner there since missionaries came to visit this former-headhunting village halfway up the slope of a volcano. I ended up staying there for two weeks without any common language. They were dirt poor, but wouldn’t accept any offers of money. It’s nice to be reminded that there are still genuine experiences with locals out there that don’t end somehow with you digging for money.”
What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?
“Despite differences in religion, culture, and toilets, people around the world are the same: they just want to wake up happy. I’ve found my life calling, and after six years of traveling I now know that there’s no getting off this train!”
What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?
“A lot of people have that misconception about travel. Real traveling is rarely a vacation. Without a doubt, I keep going because of the fascinating and wonderful people that I meet. Who’s waiting just around the next corner? Even though I travel alone, I’m never really alone. When I get too tired or feel the magic slipping away, I stop moving for a month or two — that always helps.”
This is a silly and hypothetical one. If you would be given a chance to travel with a popular person or a celebrity, who would it be and why?
“Probably Anthony Bourdain; we share the same penchant for debauchery.”
Where’s your favourite place in this planet and why?
“It must be the Thai islands. I try my best to avoid them and inevitably I end up back there somehow with a Thai bucket in my hand.”
What’s your best tip for newbie travellers?
“Visit all of my websites. OK, seriously: Talk to everyone — one conversation could change your life. And unplug; you’ll never really get connected to a place if you’re always staring at a laptop or smartphone.”
What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?
“I enrolled to study kung fu at the Shaolin Temple school in China. Why I thought I could start — and survive — training at age 32, I have no idea. I’m still sore.”
What do you think about yourself?
“I’m right where I want to be, so happiness bleeds out of my eyeballs. Life is too fun to take too seriously.”
“My blog VagabondingLife.com is a disorganized-yet-fun archive of travel, life metamorphosis, and crazy adventures gone wrong. Be prepared for a healthy dose of anti-Rat Race propaganda and bad grammar. The mission is to give people an honest, realistic view of what a life of travel is like, rather than spoon feeding them the usual top-10 articles. My website StartBackpacking.com would be a better choice if you’re looking for travel tips and advice.” – Greg Rodgers
Editor’s Note: All pics are provided by Greg