4 Thoughts I Didn’t Have While Traveling

When I returned from my recent extended trip to South America, it occurred to me how much my daily thoughts had changed from their routine back home. These are a few thoughts that didn’t even occur to me during three weeks on the road:

1. How’s my stuff doing?

I have written on the topic of minimalism before, but living out of a suitcase for three weeks shows you that you can lead a fulfilling life with a bare minimum of stuff. While at home I wouldn’t have dared wear the same shirt two or three times in a week, I came to realize that this stuff largely doesn’t matter. We spend precious time, money, and headspace making sure our apartments look perfect, we have the right shoes to complement our pants, etc., but once these things considerations aren’t around to clutter your mind they lose their foothold on your consciousness. When I had to do minor chores manually that were usually done by superfluous devices back home (e.g., drying my clothes, as Law Dogger has written about from his travels), it became just a minor part of the day.

 2. Are things at work okay?

If you were raised in America and consider yourself a “productive member of society,” you were likely imbued with some remnants of the Puritan work ethic. Get a job, work yourself to the bone, be as supplicating and useful to your managers as possible, and kiss ass hoping for a bigger raise at the end of the year. There is an element of shame that we all have to shed when disengaging from the corporate drone mentality, and travel can be an important catalyst in that process. If you’re working for someone else, no matter how much you like your job, it’s still just a job. As soon as you disengage from your smartphone, it’s amazing how quickly the crises of the office seem to melt into the background of your consciousness.

3. Am I in danger?

When I told people I was going to South America, I was amazed at how many people told me to “watch out” and “don’t get kidnapped”. Most Americans are scared to leave the United States, even when violent crime rates in many South American countries are lower than U.S. cities. Much like sex, the risks of travel can of course only be minimized and never entirely eliminated. But with proper precautions, I did not feel truly in danger at any point during my trip. You’re not going to have an adventure if your risk aversion prevents you from seeing the world outside your day-to-day life. Take a shot, and chances are things will be fine.

4. Am I spending too much money?

This is, admittedly, a first-world privilege for those who have disposable income to spend, but once you free yourself from the need to buy dumb trinkets, eat at the fanciest places, and sleep at 5-star hotels, the most fulfilling experiences on your travels often end up being the cheapest. I could spend less than $20 reading a book on Copacabana beach under the shade of an umbrella, eating my fill of açai, and drinking as much water and coconut juice as I pleased.  You’d be amazed how little you spend taking in a city, drinking espresso at cafes, and talking to strangers. If you can, in a typical workweek, eat out at lunchtime (and sometimes dinner), go out for drinks with co-workers, pay for recreation, own a gas-guzzling car, and engage in other types of consumption, you can afford a fulfilling vacation.

It’s a cliché that travel allows us to introspect on our priorities, but its power to change our very thought processes makes it a truism worth repeating. Go on an extended voyage and record the things you think about on a day-to-day basis. You just might be surprised with what’s really important to you.

Read More: Thoughts From A Siberian Girl

32 thoughts on “4 Thoughts I Didn’t Have While Traveling”

  1. in my experiences of globe trotting it’s a bit like being in the army… you are just forced to make do and get on with it… thus your tolerance level rises massively…. that can last a lifetime if you allow it to….
    the only draw back is there are moments, when you really appreciate the benefits of having your own place, and the massive amount of time and energy wasted hauling your ass all over ….
    once you lose the ‘must have’ mentality… you can stay in one place, and still live like a gypsy… then you are truly free because you want for nothing – yet have the stability of your own place…
    it’s largely a question of compartmentalizing – apartment + furniture is separate to clothes and things you need – junk gets thrown out, and you are lean and mean. You can be much more efficient when you are based in one place…

    1. “the only draw back is there are moments, when you really appreciate the
      benefits of having your own place, and the massive amount of time and
      energy wasted hauling your ass all over ….”
      1. Find some place that you think looks nice.
      2. Go there.
      3. Sit! Stay.
      Rent an apartment and don’t leave until the locals start chatting about the weather when you pass each other on the street.

    2. Try the 100 thing program. Anytime you want to “add” something new – you get rid of something. Make sure you only maintain the most important 100 things in your life at one time.

  2. I’d like to see a Paid Forum on RoK. I need advice from real RoKers, a real Gentlemen’s Club.

    1. There is a big problem with Filipinas Sam.
      Once you think you have found the prettiest one, an even hotter one comes around the corner. When you get to Manila checkout Miss Universal on Libertad. They will treat you like a “King” there 😉

    2. Your one-itis for this Filipina is very un-ROK. Just get back with your ex already, it couldn’t possibly have been any worse.

    3. Tough love time. You can do better – you show weakness and they’re like predators, all over you, especially when she sees you’re into her and can support her kid.
      If you do it, you will live to regret it.

  3. America really needs point 2 to end; the sooner the better. The fact that plenty of people are perfectly willing to toil for chumps for any scumbag in a position to make them that offer, has created an entire culture of scumbags-take-all.
    Just as your job as an employer is to maximize value to shareholders/owners/yourself; your job as an employee, is to maximize value to yourself. Meaning, do absolutely no more than you can get away with for a given level of pay. Spend the rest of your energy working on other things; or perhaps stealing corporate secrets in anticipation of starting up on your own is a foreign country, or something. Just never, ever, ever fall for the childish notion that you and whomever you happen to collect a check from, form some sort of “we.” It’s them and it’s you. Never “we.”
    And ditto for whatever geographic boundary you happen to reside within. It’s not “we”, or “us Americans”; instead only ever a bunch me’s and you’s and them’s; none of which owe anyone else anything.
    The only people hounding you to think otherwise; are those in a priviliged position to benefit personally from “we”/”us” etc. doing well. Meainig politician scum and those connected to them; and corporate slave drivers. As such, given these people are all scum; it’s your moral duty to deprive them of as much as you can; or at the very least contribute as little as you can to their well being; while extracting as much from them as you can for yourself.

    1. Excellent – as a wage slave conscious of my exploitation in an office full of money grubbing, weasely, hypocritical, corrupt cunts- I say here, here- you are completely right.

  4. The only thing more important than living life is living life well. You are meant to enjoy your life…..not waste it in decades living/working in a cubicle.

  5. And this is how it is if you don’t travel with a woman. For guys that have wives or g/fs to accommodate, it’s a totally, totally different story. Especially the money.

    1. Aye, true. I ride from Ohio to Sturgis, then to Wyoming every couple of years, alone. It’s an amazing experience enhanced by being beholden to nobody and nothing for 2 weeks.

    2. Excellent point!
      I dont’ even pack an extra pair of shoes while traveling, lest my backpack get too heavy. Why would I take along a needy, demanding female who would only get in the way of meeting new and interesting girls. And, it’s near impossible to squeeze the average American fattie into the overhead bins or under the seat. Forget about it!

  6. After many trips to the mountains to ski with friends and family, the most-fun and relaxing experience is when I am solo. No doubt, times with the ski bunny girlfriend on green/blue cruisers for a few days is definitely good stuff, or bar-hopping through Vail villiage with 3 drunk buddies is fine too. But as an experienced skier, sooner or later you want to hit the shit, and on your own accord.
    After all, the crisp mountain experience you think about all year isn’t necessarily about hanging with former frat brothers-gone-beta-provider, or patiently coaching some little lady through deep bumpy powder (as she eeks and whimpers for her latte back at the condo).
    Back country shutes and double black diamonds are not for the meek. When you get off the chair at 12,550 feet, and are free to head-off in any random direction without looking back, and no two fucks are given as to what run and difficulty you are heading into with chest-deep powder through the trees and boulders? Yep.

  7. I’m 29, in Australia, single with no baggage and little furniture, I am yet to do any travel abroad. Have spent the last few years moving around the major cities looking for and doing IT work.
    What really surprises people is that although i’ve moved around a lot, at my age I have NEVER been on an airplane. Basically in 29 years I have never been of the ground for more than 3 seconds…
    Never could work out where I wanted to travel to, I guess I never liked the idea of spending most of my savings on a short one month holiday, with the knowledge it may be a good time but that I would have to come back to the same life with less money in my pocket.
    The idea i liked was waiting until I make good money doing what I love (not IT) and taking that skillset etc on the road/around the world with no plan to return home.
    Though after being in a sex drought for a few years with all the westernized hamsters, you would wonder why I haven’t taken the plunge already…

    1. As with all procrastination:
      Just get a start on it already! You’ll figure out the rest along the way.
      The travel website Orbitz has a “cheap flights in the next 30 days” feature (google for it). It will tell you cheap flights out of Melbourne/Sydney/Perth/wherever.
      Or read the RooshVForum “cheap flights from X to Y” thread.
      Get started!

    2. “I’m 29, in Australia, single with no baggage and little furniture, I am yet to do any travel abroad.”
      In your own words, there’s nothing holding you back. Travel anywhere– anywhere at all– and it will open up more possibilities than you can imagine… including making you more valuable in any labor or professional market.

    3. As with all droughts you begin to get used to the thirst. Like you intimated; time to make the plunge into deeper and more unfamiliar waters to kickstart your life again.

  8. Good points. Every time I leave the country it flushes out my head. It’s getting to the point where I fight depression whenever I return home.

    1. Well, it’s because you’re thinking of it as “home” in contrast to simply a “place where you temporarily reside”. Sounds like semantics, but viewing it in this way can cause a paradigm shift that moves you in a direction of taking action to move elsewhere. I’ll never call Australia “home” – I don’t feel right there despite a multi generational heritage spanning back to colonisation. To me, the USA feels more like “home” than Oz ever does or will.

  9. Great article BK! Living this nomadic life at the moment, so loving the travel articles people submit. Regarding point number 1, I remember how happy I was divesting myself of my things when leaving. I was always a minimalist, but whittling it down the bare essentials was liberating. Since leaving, I’ve been amazed at how I’ve been able to pare things down even further by about 70%. Always the clothes hor(se) back home, I rotate between shorts and tank tops for the days, jeans and a nice tshirt when I go out with some cowboy boots.
    Here is a photo of EVERYTHING I own at the present point in time – I don;t have a storage locker of things back in the old country and this is the happiest I’ve ever been. A list for those interested.
    3 going out t-shirts (light ZARA ones)
    Converse gym shoes
    5 tank tops
    2 pairs of shorts
    4 pair of underwear
    Cowboy boots
    Rheband Knee wraps
    Lifting belt
    Lifting straps
    Note book and pen
    medicine kit (asprin, immodium, propranalol, modafanil)
    Kindle e-reader
    Hand Sanitiser
    Nail Clippers
    Travel wallet with Passport and various currency denominations
    32DB rated ear plugs
    Contact Lens solution
    The other day I splashed out on some 7 dollar speakers to connect my iphone/mp3 player to in order to have some tunes to fuck to.

    1. Vince, are you on the forums? I’m Aussie too just out of university & totally uninspired by this dump of a country. I’d love to hear how you’re managing your nomadic lifestyle, you mentioned teaching but then said you’re not interested in full time work. As you know cost of living is outrageous here so it’s not easy for me to imagine a spartan lifestyle in some pussy paradise, break it down with a data sheet or something.

      1. Hey Michael – just on the ROK forum at the moment. I hear you regarding the outrageous cost of living back in Australia – here I live for a fraction of the cost and was thinking of breaking down my daily expenses for people to see how you can live and eat like a king for a fraction of what it costs back there. I like going into a convenience store and seeing how many items I can buy for a dollar. (Today I bought six, 1.5 litre waters for less than $2….this is from a convenience store where back home you’d need a bank loan for a similar purchase)
        I just do a volunteer day here and there at schools out of interest and to help; also I find that schools are a touchstone and microcosm of the wider community, so you get a good insight to the culture by teaching. Not to mention the mums and teaching staff fling their pussies at you like so many frisbees.
        Basically man, go for it. I was a broken man when I arrived here; I remember sitting on the plane leaving Australia hoping it would crash so I could get it over with. Now it’s like I’ve been reborn.
        If people are interested I could write up an article since I’ve been spending time in Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand the last few months and it doesn’t get a whole lot of mention here at ROK. Swoop the World has some awesome stuff – those guys crush pussy like madmen….I’m just happy with a 3-5 girl a week rotation with the odd swap out here and there.

        1. I here you man.
          I left Australia in May 2012 to head abroad, i’ve spent at least 80% of my time in Eastern Europe; where i do volunteer work here and there at hostels or private residences for accommodation, food and some money.. the quality of women here is unbelievable! not only are they stunning, but they actually act like feminine women.. graceful, kind, well-dressed and classy.
          And it’s ridiculously cheap.. i found a bar last month where i can buy 1 liter of beer from the tap for around $2.00. Once you cut back on what you actually need, it’s very
          easy to live cheaply while still enjoying yourself.
          This is the contents of my entire backpack, which has lasted me through the hot summers and harsh winters of eastern Europe for almost 2 years now.. (I have a heavily padded jacket which isnt pictured here, as i can’t pack it into my bag)

        2. If you were to write an article it would definitely be well received here I think. You could cover the logistics/costs, the experiences, the effect its had on you. It’s my main goal this year, build my location independent skills to a high enough level that I could get the fuck out of this country. Cheers mate.

        3. I’m just curious how old you guys are. I did this a few years ago when I was in my twenties and loved it. I’ve thought about doing it again soon. Do you ever run into people in their 30s/40s? I have money saved to take a year off from work.

  10. Regarding number 4, there are many ways you can travel. I see people penny pinching and scraping by on the scummiest of scumridden lodgings. To me, travel doesn’t equivalate to living like a shit bag. I want to continue eating the best of food, training in the best gyms, living in the best of accommodations. Girls here will be attracted if you have a great physique that stands out from the skinny, filthy, beer-swilling backpacker and it’s game over if you have an awesome pad to bring them back to. So don’t compromise on those two components if you can.
    I realise higher education is frowned down upon on this site, but if it’s a man’s ambition to travel, I would really recommend a teaching qualification of some kind. In Australia this entails doing an additional one year on top of your undergraduate (doesn’t matter what you study) or 2 years for a Masters. At the very least, get an English Teaching certification. It will cover all your expenses here and money will never become a factor when you travel. Because I’m qualified to teach in international schools, I could earn money to allow me to live like a king, but fuck it, I’m here to liiiiivvvveee; not work.

  11. Point 4 seems to just as pertinent in Brazil as in Western countries; Brazil is expensive and Rio in particular is not good value for money. People continue to hype Rio de Janeiro as a mythical poosy paradise – If I was smarter I would make money somehow out of all the manosphere types who want to believe this.
    Maybe I should (ahem) start a website and forum for men who want to travel overseas and especially to Rio for sex?

    1. I agree. Rio gave me the creeps the first time I went there and I think I’ve been back once on business but that’s it. I prefer Buenos Aires or even Sao Paulo. And I’m sure some of the second-tier towns in Brazil are much nicer than Rio as well.

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