My traveling journey has just begun. In the last two years, I have gone from dead-end job to traveling to 15 brand new countries. Currently, I live in Taiwan and I'm loving life. It is quite amazing the lessons I have learned and the people I have met on my journey. The change is real, and it just took two years of traveling and 15 countries later.
Life Fulfilling Job:
There had been many jobs in my life before I moved abroad. The last job that I had was a bit soul-sucking. It required me to sit for 8-9 hours a day answering phone calls, opening up mail, and sometimes just reading finance and travel blogs. The reading of the blogs gave me a bit of wanderlust.
Sitting and not really learning or making much of difference in the world was something I did not want to do the rest of my life. I wanted to see the world and make a difference in the life of other people.
Teaching English as a Second Language:
The big decision of mine was to move abroad and travel. Traveling is not always free so I had to figure out how to make it the most cost-efficient. My goals were to travel, save and enjoy life. One way to accomplish those goals was to teach English.
Taking a leap of faith, I bought a course to become an English Teacher with International TEFL Academy in Chicago, and a bought a one-way ticket to Taiwan. I was going to Asia. It would be something new, something adventurous, and something fun.
It was time to enjoy life, make a difference in students' lives, and see the world one place at a time.
After two years of traveling, I found a wife. It was quite unexpected. At the age of 30, I had an epiphany that I may just be single for the rest of my life, and I was ok with that. What I didn’t know was that I would meet a wonderful woman that loved to travel and teach as well.
I'm going to be honest, many people had predicted that I would meet my wife here in Asia. I met a wonderful Asian-Australian named Sarah.
The cool thing about Sarah was that she had visited 50 plus countries before I met her. She was fun and energetic, and wanted to see more of the world. It was perfect. I now had a travel companion.
Countries of 2017:
In 2017, I really didn’t start traveling as much. I made it to Taiwan in August, and my adventures started from there. My main residence would be based in Taiwan, and this is where I would live and take opportunities to travel to other destinations.
In December, I went to Melbourne, Australia to have Christmas with Sarah and her family. It was my first time in Australia. The weather was warm, and the people were quite nice.
In 2017, I had made it to two countries.
Countries of 2018:
In 2018, Sarah and I did a lot of adventuring. It was time to discover more of the world.
For Chinese New Year, we took a trip to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This trip was an eye-opening experience. I learned how to find cheap accommodation, and getting cheap flights was a very big priority to keep costs down. Just enjoying life while traveling was a big thing. I also took my first discovery dive on a scuba diving trip. (It lasted 26 minutes.)
In May, Sarah’s parents were in Hong Kong so we flew over to visit them. It was my first time to Hong Kong. This was obviously before the protests, but it was a good trip to enjoy Cantonese food, see the city of Hong Kong, and spend some more time with Sarah’s parents.
August of 2018:
This was the month we would take an epic adventure to Central America. Central America would be a first for both of us. I would need to brush up on my Spanish skills, and we would be in the heart of some beautiful scenery and land.
We were able to visit Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. We spent 36 days down in Central America seeing Mayan Ruins, drinking coffee, scuba diving, meeting up with friends in Guatemala and El Salvador. There were many lessons to learn like almost running out of money. In the end, it was an amazing trip with multiple places we could go back to visit.
After that large trip in 2018, Sarah and I focused on wedding plans. Surprise! We would eventually get married around Chinese New Year down in Melbourne, Australia.
In 2018, I had been to 7 different countries.
Countries visited in 2019:
2019 was a monster year for traveling. Since Sarah and I both worked at a government school, we were entitled to 14 days of marriage leave. We were able to use this leave between the time we got married and the end of our contract, which was in August. Therefore, we decided to do lots of traveling.
I had made a goal to visit six new countries for 2019. At that time, we had already planned to visit Fiji, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile.
In February, we flew down to Australia to get married. After the marriage, we took our honeymoon trip to Fiji. It was nice and relaxing.
In April, we took a trip to Indonesia. By using points, we got a free round trip ticket to Jakarta and back to Taipei. We were able to visit Bali, Flores island, see Komodo Dragons, scuba dive with some Manatees, and see some great scenery.
At the end of April, we took another trip to El Nido, Phillipines. The trip consisted of Scuba Diving, taking two tours (A and C), getting to chill on some cool beaches, and getting some food poisoning. It is never fun to get food poisoning, but we managed to still have fun on our trip.
Our Big August Trip:
This was another 5 week trip. We went back to Latin America. This time, it was a trip to Peru, Bolivia and Chile. A bucketlist item that we wanted to cross off was to see Machu Picchu and hike the Inca Trail. So we set off to Latin America.
We were able to hike the Inca Trail, see Machu Picchu, Bike down Death Road in La Paz, make fun photos in the Uyuni Salt Flats, and enjoy cheap delicious wine in Chile.
August was a trip full of fun-filled adventures.
As 2019 closes, we had visited six different countries.
Two years Traveling and 15 countries later:
As I look back at these last two years of traveling and the end of a decade, I have to say, the choice to seek out adventure and travel was one of the best decisions of my life. I was leaving family and friends behind, but they were in full support.
Whenever I can go back to America to visit my family and friends, I do it, but I have to say, these past two years of being abroad have definitely shaped my life for the better.
As I look back at my life, the life lessons I have learnt from experiencing different cultures, food, kindness, and how different people live; it has given me a bigger sense of how life is not about the individual. It is about love, and the love you show for others. There are so many people out there in the world that are just genuine, kind, and loving people, even to strangers.
Love is such a great thing. You see it through the eyes of so many people you come in contact with.
What is one place you would like to visit?