From Proletariat to Traveler
Travel has always been part of my life since I was a kid. I was lucky, my parents brought me to the Caribbean and even to Hong Kong when I was in junior high school. But it was always sporadic and always as a sidecar to life’s other responsibilities, like school or my job.
In 2003, I traveled to Armenia, my ethnic homeland, with my father. And this trip made an impact on me. As fate would have it, several months later, I lost my job of five years. Yet, I did not despair, but instead I planned my first real overseas trip which lasted nine months with a three month stop, volunteering in Armenia. This trip changed my life. I realized there was more to life than just working.
Then I went back to work because that is all I knew. That is how the world worked. And then the financial crisis struck and decimated the economy in 2008. I lost my job in the financial services sector. In 2009, I started the year on the road which ended up being an 11-month trip, including my 7th continent, Antarctica. This was an epic adventure.
And that was the year I started counting countries. I thought maybe it was possible to visit all 193 countries in the world as I plotted a course around the globe, picking off new countries. During my journey in 2009, I traveled to 22 countries with 17 of them being new. This opened new doors for me, since it resulted in exploring new countries that I would not have visited without the idea of completing this quest. I traveled to countries like Syria and Yemen.
When I returned home after this adventure, I knew I never wanted to return to corporate life. I needed independence and flexibility. I began investing in real estate after the crash, and slowly built a business which has provided financial freedom.
And then I decided to start GlobalGaz, my travel blog. I wanted to share my travel experiences with other fellow travelers. But so many bloggers seemed to be writing the same posts on the same places. I needed to carve a separate path.
Since then I have traveled to over 170 countries. I have seen and experienced so much. It sounds hackneyed, but it’s true. More than I could have ever imagined.