“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Fortunately for Jon Brown, he didn’t wait 20 years to pursue his passion for the nomadic life. His interest in travel started during his first international trip to Europe in his early twenties. By the end of this month long excursion, travel had become one of his life’s new passions. The years following his return though gave way to a successful career as an engineer where he continued to be promoted year after year. He had reached an enjoyable level of comfort with a good income and a recently purchased house. But this secure and stable life could not hold back the tug of wanderlust that continued to pull him towards his love for travel.
Taking the Risk to Go
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-Tzu
Like many of us, Jon knew there was more to his life than merely maintaining a sense of comfort. He looked on with envy as he read about other people who had created a nomadic life of travel. His inner longing drew him towards a nomadic life but he was fearful of the risks of leaving the security of his career and lifestyle, worrying that he may end up broke and living under a bridge in Los Angeles.
Jon reached a point though where he knew he would regret it if he didn’t follow his dream of travel. He explained, “it was a process of convincing myself that I could do it.” Over a several year period in his late twenties he began seriously planning an open-ended world trip. He started by eliminating his debt and saving enough money to have a financial cushion in case anything went wrong. After planning for several years, he quit his job in 2006, sold his house, and started a 6 month road trip across North America before flying to Asia, where he would travel for the next year.
During the trip he had an amazing journey exploring six different countries. His adventures included such experiences as riding an elephant in the Surin Elephant Festival in Thailand; kite surfing in Goa, India; white water kayaking in Nepal; touring northern Thailand by motorcycle; trekking the Himalayas in Tibet; teaching English to monks in Northern India; and countless other experiences. But Jon describes his favorite moment “was when I had the realization that I could have a rewarding, professional career, while still being location independent and traveling the world.”
Creating the Vision
He wanted to continue his journey in Asia but decided he needed to spend some time planning this nomadic career to financially support his travels, instead of relying on his savings and investments. In 2007 he returned to California to be with his girlfriend and dog and formulate a technomadic lifestyle. He spent the next several years reconnecting with his early passion for web development and programing and created his own location independent business. With this new freedom, he recently moved to Maui with his girlfriend to enjoy the island life. Though he is currently setting up his home base in Maui, his intent is for it to be a hub from which to further explore the world.
“Nothing so liberalizes a man/woman and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him/her as travel and contact with many kinds of people.” – Mark Twain
During Jon’s trip, he came to have a new appreciation for giving back and contributing to others. As he recounted his experience of teaching English in Tibet and India, he explained, “I really came to understand how much I love being of service to people. I really enjoyed helping people for the sake of helping…during my trip I helped people learn the language of English, now I help people learn the language of digital technology.”
Thinking back about his resolution to take the trip to Asia, Jon explained that it was “one of the single hardest decisions I ever had to make in my life but was probably one of the best I ever made.” He learned that “a nomadic life isn’t living on a train, always on the go. It just means you can pick up your tent whenever you want to go.” You can read more about Jon’s nomadic adventures on his Blog.
What adventures do you dream of embarking on? What projects have you always wanted to accomplish? What people do you admire because of what they have achieved? Connect with your deepest longing, find your aliveness, and start planning the exciting life you want to experience.