The years were spent travelling through 80 cities, 40 countries and over 100 Airbnb places.
It was pretty much one continuous journey, apart from a bolt-hole in Switzerland and the occasional night at Mum's house.
I romantically assumed that a life spent free from the shackles of convention would turn me into a Jack Kerouac. But in reality, It was more Alan Partridge in his roadside Hotel than Hemmingway exploring Cuba.
I'd sit in some tiny room, desperately trying to find something to watch on the internet – if there was enough broadband. There rarely was.
The daytimes spent in the local coffee shop and my actual day-to-day life was more about sock-washing-drudgery and emailing than trips to Vancouver or van journeys through the desert.
But I can’t always be out doing something, can I?
There isn’t always ‘something’ to do. It often rains, it’s not always safe, I’d be bankrupt in weeks and like most people occasionally, I just plain old can't be bothered.
If there was one thing I learnt, it was that travel is NOT an opportunity to ‘escape’ yourself. From yourself, there is no escape.
The only place you have is in your head and from here, you can never escape.
Travel is just changing scenery, not escapism. Vistas are forever viewed from within the confines of your head.
I, myself and my demons were always with me, no matter how hard I tried to outrun them.
To be honest, my travel wasn't motivated by the desire to escape my demons anyway…my demons are rather small and fluffy and I’m quite fond of them.
My travel wasn’t motivated by a curious mind, either. I just boringly suffer from severe FOMO and restlessness. But whatever the original motivation was, 10 years on, the lifestyle transitioned into something more…. ‘normal’.
The day I officially began travelling non-stop: October 11th comes and goes without me even noticing. A pretty good indication that it’s just not that big a deal anymore. I struggled to think of a profound and/or interesting way to describe my life back then other than just;
I didn't live anywhere and I didn't own stuff.
It was simple and as complicated as that.
Despite its descent into normality though, the lifestyle afforded me the most interesting, rewarding life. If I had to check out tomorrow, I’d be off to Valhalla fulfilled and content. I’ve seen the world, I have friends in far-flung places, and I’ve experienced many different cultures and viewpoints.
My life was diverse and unpredictable. I've learnt to live without stuff and most importantly, the desire to even have ‘stuff’ in the first place.
My lifestyle taught me a very purest kind of independence. I’m my own company and counsel. There’s not much that me, myself and I can’t get through. I can figure it out.
It was pretty easy-breezy but I’m not taking any of that for granted. I know how grateful I should be. How lucky I have been. Sure, you make your own life and your life is yours to orchestrate as you will but we all need a dollop of good luck and fortune along the way.
I’m just going to put it out there. If you fancy living without a home, it is possible. With not too much effort either. All you need is a job that allows you to work from anywhere and no children.
Easy, right? If you can keep your expectations low and accept that most of the time, life will still be a bit, dull – and that that’s OK – then fuck it! Do what I did.
Just go. Leave, come on. Vamos…
Manhattan, New York
New York Harbour, New York