Welcome to my blog and I appreciate you stopping by!
My first name is Derek, and my middle name is Earl, but Wandering Derek sounded pretty crappy. So, Wandering Earl it has been. You may call me Derek or Earl or Dearl or anything you want, I don’t mind.
Quick Summary About My Life of Travel
On December 25th, 1999, I left the USA for a three-month, post-graduation trip to Southeast Asia. The idea was to backpack around Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and then return home and start a career in the sports industry (I wanted to be a Sports Agent).
When I landed in Bangkok, I had $1500 USD to my name and that was it. So I booked a bed in a crumbling old wooden guesthouse in the center of the city for about a dollar per night and let the adventure begin.
In the end, I never went home after those three months.
And it’s now been over 16 years and that trip has still yet to finish.
The adventure has involved over 88+ countries on 6 continents as I’ve worked, lived, traveled and volunteered all over the planet.
Over the years, I’ve done everything from danger travel to living in Romania to learning Spanish in Mexico to working as a Tour Manager on board cruise ships. I’ve spent over two years in India, where I once randomly ended up acting in a Bollywood television show. An inappropriate amount of time on tropical islands, eating inappropriate amounts of street food, a three-day kidnapping in Bangladesh, teaching English in Asia, becoming an online entrepreneur and partaking in an endless search for a pair of sandals with sufficient arch-support for my flat feet are just a few more of the experiences this lifestyle has led me to.
Since 2012, I even started a small tour company, Wandering Earl Tours, where I lead small group trips on unique trips to various countries around the world.
It’s been an absolutely wild ride to say the least.
How Did I Get Started Exactly?
It was exactly three days into that first trip back in 1999, as I celebrated the Millennium at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, when I became inflicted with an untreatable addiction to world exploration. So addicted in fact, that the thought of returning home literally made me sick to my stomach at the time. Therefore, without any other option, I decided that, instead of going home to pursue a standard career, I now wanted to set my sights on becoming a permanent traveler.
But again, I had only $1500 USD and as time passed, that money naturally began to dwindle.
As any good problem-solver would have done in that situation, I took this as a challenge and got to work on creating a solution to the issue. It certainly wasn’t easy, and it took some time, but I eventually got there. With a ton of hard work and determination, as well as a refusal to accept anything less than the achievement of my goals, I managed, piece by piece, to create the nomadic life I envisioned.
I found work, saved some money, found more work, traveled at the same time, started working online, kept traveling and on and on (more details can be found here), always keeping my eyes open for the next opportunity.
And now the result is being able to constantly travel the world, allowing me to constantly seek out that eye-opening, first-hand education that only travel can provide.
The thing is, I don’t travel to simply check countries off a list. In fact, if I simply traveled to see the sights, I would have stopped traveling a long time ago!
Instead, I prefer to focus on the human interactions and the life lessons learned along the way, both of which are, in my opinion, the most valuable aspects of travel.
They are certainly the reasons why I’m still traveling today.
What Will You Find at WanderingEarl.com?
The purpose of this blog is simple.
I want to use my own experiences to prove that long-term travel does not have to be a crazy fantasy. It can, and should be, a realistic lifestyle option instead.
That’s exactly why I started it back in 2009 and it remains the core mission today.
Through my own adventures – from the incredible moments and rewarding interactions to the struggles and major challenges – I aim to provide a realistic and honest account of what long-term travel is truly about and how you can work on achieving such a goal yourself.
While the recognition and mentions this blog has received over the years are certainly nice, nothing compares to an email from a reader telling me that the the blog helped them achiever their own travel goals.
And that will never change!
(As a side note, you won’t find any hastily-written Top 10 lists or a barrage of sponsored/promotional content here. That is not what this blog is about.)
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Thank you for reading this page and I certainly look forward to communicating with you!