That sunday morning in June 2014 I woke up with the idea to travel around the world. Not because I was privileged enough to make this kind of a decision in a blink of an eye, but because I desperately needed changes. At that moment I had many reasons to consider myself very lucky and happy: I was a Senior Art Director in one of the leading design agencies in Frankfurt and Germany in general, I had pretty good income, secure life, good friends, beautiful apartment, a lot of freedoms – I had wonderful life in many perspectives. But I was extremely overworked and deeply unhappy with my current life situation.
The 2000km test of location independent life
It's not about traveling anymore.– me to Reinhard G, Sept. 2016
In fact, my job was not fulfilling me at all, but required my whole vital energy. At certain point I started questioning my work, my purpose, my lifestyle, my relationships – my ostensible beautiful life was not working at all. It felt like I was enslaved in my own cocoon, which I carefully designed for myself in past years. Ultimately I found myself mentally and physically exhausted and depending on painkillers, as I was sufferings severe chronic migraines. So that morning was the perfect moment to tell myself
Enough is enough!
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Around the world step by step…– John Doe
It took me 18 months get prepared for my tour around the world. I needed time to save money, to plan my journey, and for sure to improve my health condition before heading the road. By the time I boarded on my first flight in December 2015 I took painkillers only occasionally. That was my first, very crucial success in the re-design process of my life. The rest happened on road during the 6,5 months of traveling in 13 countries of my life-changing tour around the world.
First, the distracting noises of my daily life muted, as unexplored and almost daily changing environment took my full attention. Then I started listening to my inner voice and focused on asking myself the right questions. Finally I started finding the answers of how and what my happiness looks like. Not only I traveled a distance almost twice as long as Earths Equator, but I went through a core-shaking mental and physical transformation, which substantially changed my life. My epic journey around the world was the most awesome thing I have ever acomplished.
The Journey Route
Germany – Mexico – Belize – Guatemala – Peru – Bolivia – Chile – Argentina – Australia – Cambodia – Japan – India – Armenia – Germany
My journey began in December in Yucatan Peninsula. After some time in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize headed to Peru and Bolivia exploring the the fascinating Andes. While I kept moving south, I crossed the Atacama Desert and visited later the Chilean Lake District on my way to South Patagonia. I explored there both Chilean an Argentine sides and then headed back to the north of Argentina, to Mendoza – the Argentine wine country, where the American part of my route ended.
I had a short stay In Australia and Cambodia and afterwards hurried up to Japan, where I arrived in early April just in time for then mezmerizing Hanami, the cherry blossom viewing. In June I reached India, where I traveled across Rajasthan, visited sacral cities and experienced the majestic Himalayas in Darjeeling first time in my life. Before my journey ended in Frankfurt, I visited Armenia and I saw my birthplace with fresh eyes.
My around the world tour in numbers:
What happened afterwards?
I came back to my job in Frankfurt convincing myself I was doing the right thing. With no money left after the world trip that was the most reasonable idea I had. The plan was to stick there for a couple of months and build a financial backup before taking serious actions for more independent life. However, the adjustment back to the old patterns was harder than I thought, the 9-to-5 job seemed unbearable to me. A week after I resigned with no money saved and started freelancing - that was just the first step towards the location independent life. From the day one I defined a deadline for myself - latest term in six months (roughly January 2017) I was going to head the road again and test remote working in Vietnam. Which I did, but it’s a way other story...