Slower Travels, Lessons Learned

Two Suns are Better than One.Spending the last few weeks on the street once again confirmed my general approach to slower travel. While other location independents call themselves “professionals” – and, certainly, deservedly so – I am more a location independent dilettante kind of guy. Give me six months in Cartagena and (some) work will get done. Give me a motley month of Northern Germany, England and Cologne, and I won’t even read my e-mails anymore. So yes, I certainly need to make sure to travel as slow as possible – and, when I can’t, get into some kind of connection habit on the road.

Other take-aways from these weeks:

1. I didn’t miss the web – again. As on my Amazon adventure nearly a year ago, I could perfectly well disconnect from all those beeps and blinking messages and didn’t miss them at all.

2. I actually did miss some people from the web. My group of online peers and friends has grown quite a bit since 2009. As little as I care about most news, blogs and tweets out there, I really missed your updates, guys.

3. Days get short if the breakfast starts at 1pm and lasts six hours. I’m actually considering implementing a four hour breakfast week in my life to have more time to get stuff done.

4. You cannot live here without having an income. While it’s perfectly possible to spend a great month in the Caribbean on a $200 budget, Europe is just too expensive. I’ll have to consider this when creating my retirement plan for … well, the rest of my life.

5. 23° F (-5° C) is way too cold to camp. There was ice on my tent. Nuff said.

6. If you want to save somebody’s life, make sure their airways are open. (I did a first aid course and feel ready to save you if you’re into trouble. Just call me.)

7. Two suns are better than one. See attached photo.

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  1. Sounds like a great trip Fabian…are you back in the western hemisphere now? You touched on what I think is a critical point. Namely, you didn’t miss the web. I think it’s analogous to a lot of things in life today that we sort of assume we couldn’t do without. ‘Oh, I couldn’t live without a phone/TV/Friday night binges/a car/fill in the blank’.

    Just because certain things are a part of our every day lives doesn’t mean they’re good, or that they should be, or that we couldn’t get along without them. And in this world of ours, I think we could all get along with less. And, perhaps, even thrive.


    1. That’s it, Jeb! In Colombia, I don’t have a phone (in Germany, I do), I got rid of my TV some years ago, Friday night binges never really were my thing (though some good pints with friends still can be a lot of fun), I never had a car… and yet, there are many things to let go of in many situations… so yes, still a lot of blanks to fill in – and thrive!

  2. Totally agreed with Jeb on not missing the web….that’s just great that you were able to disconnect from some of the noise out there. #3 is hilarious!! This is what I’m talking about – we need to stop taking ourselves so seriously. It’s always nice to have a good chuckle in the morning as I’m sitting at my desk.

    1. We’re a group of internet friends that can live without the internet. Weird enough. Maybe we should create a kind of offline nerd movement with a typewritten und badly copied zine, and we only communicate via pagers and fax…?!? ;)

  3. i am definitely more of a ‘slower’ traveler too! i like to live as part of the culture, not blaze my trail through tourist spots. interesting point that slower travel also is managed by budget, and your lack of work. i like how you say you’re a location independent dilettante. i’m right there with you. eventually, it would be nice to be a location independent “professional” but for now i’m enjoying my slow work approach. :P only downside, as you mention, is being forced to be a slow traveler when there are definitely some trips i want to take that might have to be put on hold as i try to hustle for more funds :P

    1. Money definitely IS an issue, though it also depends on your taste. If you really, really like big cities like New York and London and want to be there a lot of time clubbing etc., you will need a lot more than if you are happy with a smaller city, a great beach or a beautiful mountain. For me, I want some kind of a mix, so I have to develop some better income strategies for sure… but I hope I’ll be able to stay dilettante for a lot longer! :)

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