Meet the Nomads – Nicholas Paton of The Boy Wander

Nick is originally from Sydney, Australia and realized that he wants to pursue long term travel after a spending some months in New Zealand, Austria and Switzerland and later on when he traveled to Canada, USA, Central America and Colombia. Like many of us who are traveling full time, Nick thought at first that long term travel was a far fetched dream until he met online various travel bloggers who have been traveling for a long time.

What I love about Nick’s blog is that he easily engages his readers the moment you finished reading the first paragraph. You get hooked and you wanted to find out more about what happened in his story. His writing style makes you feel as if you’re also traveling with him.

If you haven’t visited his blog yet, then I suggest you check it out and follow his adventures. Get to know more about Nick and visit his blog at The Boy Wander.

But before you leave this page, check out my short interview with Nick.

Meet the Nomads - Nicholas Paton of The Boy Wander

How did you discover your passion for travelling?

“I feel like it was something that bubbled away under the surface looking for an outlet. It was a trip to Austria in early 2009 followed by a snowboarding trip to NZ later that year really kicked me into gear though. It was then that me and a mate decided to spend a season in Canada the next year and this stretched into a 9 month trip down the West Coast, through Central America to Colombia. I was hooked!”

What’s the most horrible experience that you’ve had on the road?

“My most recent trip from Rishikesh to Manali was pretty horrendous, we missed a train, got ripped off by a taxi driver and I ended up listening to people vomit for the last 5 hours on a bus that I was sure was going to crash. In saying that, horrible experiences don’t stay that way for long, looking back you can usually laugh at them.”

What’s the best travel experience that you’ve ever had?

“In Palenque, Mexico a local guy gave us directions to a hidden waterfall in the jungle. It took some finding, but we discovered two big waterfalls and a river amongst the jungle that we had all to ourselves (and if you twist my arm, I may just tell you the name of them).”

Meet the Nomads - Nicholas Paton of The Boy Wander

What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling?

“It’s the realization of just how much potential we have. It’s learning that we can pursue our dreams and I’m finding travel is the perfect tool for refining those dreams. We’ve grown up with the belief that to be happy you need a nice car, a good job (with good being defined in terms of dollars rather than contentment) and a big house. Putting everything you own in a backpack and being the happiest you’ve ever been turns that idea on its head.”

What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated?

“Change is a big motivation for me, I thrive off it! It’s the new food, new people, new cities and the potential of new experiences that keep me fresh and excited. Although I don’t make money from my travels I like to think of it as my 9-5, it’s gives me perspective to compare this lifestyle to the daily grind. I talk about shifting that perspective in my post The Ten-Year Holiday.”

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?

“Joe Rogan. I’ve been a fan of his podcasts and think he’d be the most well-rounded travel partner. He’s a stand-up comedian with an intriguing philosophy and very objective view on the world. He’d make for some good conversation.”

Meet the Nomads - Nicholas Paton of The Boy Wander

Where’s your favorite place in this planet and why?

“I don’t play favorites but I’ll give you a top 3. The lookout near my house has some of the best (and lesser-known) views in Sydney. Puerto Escondido in Mexico and Vancouver are both places I fell in love with equally for the places themselves and for the experiences I had there.”

What’s your best tip for newbie traveler?

“Book your flight right now. It’s the game changer, if you’re struggling to discipline yourself and save the money or you’re hesitating about taking the leap, it all disappears when you have a departure date. It becomes real and you realize that you now HAVE to make it happen.”

What’s the funniest and silliest thing you’ve ever done while travelling?

“I spent a season working on the ski fields in Canada in 2010/2011. One night after a couple of post-snowboarding drinks we caught wind of a rumor that on top of one of the hotels there was a private jacuzzi for the resorts CEO. We tore through the hotel looking for anyway to get to the roof top all we managed to discover was the CEO’s storage room until we were chased out by security. We had to run out the fire door which led straight into waist deep snow. I lost my flip-flops (as an Australian it will never feel right calling thongs flip-flops) and another guy lost a shoe that we never saw again.”

How do you fund your travels?

“At the moment, I’m funding them with money I’ve saved. I worked ridiculous hours in the lead-up to this trip and should have enough to support a couple of years of travel. In the meantime, I’m looking at new ways to make money that can continue to support me.”

How do you keep yourself safe on your travels?

“Common sense and instincts are king. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Likewise, if you find yourself in a dark backstreet of a city now is not the time to take out your DSLR. I keep all my valuables (laptop, passport, wallet, camera, etc) in my day bag. Unless it’s locked in my hotel room or hostel locker it doesn’t leave my side. If I’m eating at a restaurant and have to wash my hands 5 meters away, it comes with me. Advice from backpackers and locals goes a long way as well.”

What do you think about yourself?

“Hmm, I’m spontaneous but perhaps a little stubborn. Once I’m hooked on the idea of doing something it’s hard to change my mind which is why solo travel suits me perfectly. In saying that I love conversations that challenge my perspective. I’m out to collect experiences – both good and bad.”

Meet the Nomads - Nicholas Paton of The Boy Wander

“I’m trying to share my experiences as I pursue my current dream of travelling the world indefinitely. At the moment I am running around India, Nepal and South East Asia. My travels are primarily focused around adventure, exploration and nature. You’re much more likely to find me amongst the jungles and mountains than at a temple or man-made monument. You can keep up to date with my wanderings at Facebook, Twitter or my blog – The Boy Wander.” -Nicholas Paton of The Boy Wander

Editor’s Note: All pics are provided by Nick.

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