I’m Confused About Life Just Like Everyone Else

I’m Confused About Life Just Like Everyone Else

By |2016-07-01T10:23:28+00:00December 29th, 2014|Everything Else, Personal Stuff|209 Comments

Confused About Life
Yes, I’m confused about life just like everyone else. I get depressed, I struggle and I feel lost too, more often than you probably would imagine.

In fact, back in August of this year, I had a bit of a breakdown. That might be an understatement. It was actually quite a significant breakdown.

Despite having been traveling for 15 years, despite doing things like spending time in France, Romania, Singapore, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Turkey and more during the first half of this year…when August came around, nothing made sense to me.

I was placing intense personal pressure on myself, I had no answers to anything and every day I woke up with a ‘holy-crap-I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing’ kind of confusion.

And then, while in Bali, I got dengue fever as an added bonus. After Bali, things didn’t get much better and following a couple of more unfortunate incidents that occurred, I was officially more confused, frustrated and distraught than I had been in a long, long time.

When this happened, I just stopped what I was doing. I stopped everything. I flew back to Florida in August, where my family lives, and I stayed there. I could barely sleep at the time so I would just get out of bed at around 5:00am each day and go for a walk. Then I would sit around for hours on end doing nothing at all. Sometimes, when motivation struck for a few moments, I would try to think about every aspect of my life hoping to find some kind of clarity but that clarity never came.

The days passed and I felt as if I was going absolutely nowhere, making no progress at all, still feeling as completely confused about life as ever.

The Burrito

One day, after three weeks of this sitting around doing nothing, I finally made an important realization, interestingly enough, while eating a burrito.

I had gotten the urge to drive over to a small burrito shop, one that I eat at every time I’m visiting family in Florida. I ordered the same burrito I always order, filled my glass with the same sweet iced tea that I always fill my glass with and took a seat at the same table I always try to sit at. The main difference this time was that I was still fighting back tears every few minutes, something that would just hit me out of nowhere during this period of depression, and I wasn’t as eager, given my loss of appetite, to eat my burrito.

While waiting to see if I’d be able to actually eat, I started looking around the room, observing the other twenty or so diners in the restaurant. There were families, groups of friends, pairs of co-workers and a handful of other people eating alone just like me. I watched them all for around ten minutes, looking at their faces and observing their behavior and trying to figure out whatever I could about their lives.

And then I suddenly…burst out laughing. Before I knew it, I couldn’t stop laughing and believe me I tried. I stared out the window, bit my lip, pinched my thigh, closed my eyes and tried all sorts of ideas without any success.

Why was I laughing?

At that very moment, I realized that the ‘answer’ I had been looking for was so simple that I had no choice but to laugh at my inability to have seen it earlier.

All along I thought I was looking for some kind of magical clarity. I thought I needed to find a way to get rid of the confusion and feeling of being extremely lost.

But as I looked around me in that burrito shop, I started to understand that every single human being feels confused and lost as well, over and over again throughout life. Nobody is exempt from these feelings, it’s all a part of the human journey.

So, being confused and lost is not so important, not such a big deal.

Havana Palolem, Goa

This Is The Important Thing…

What’s important is having confidence in who we are as an individual as we face life’s ups and downs. And the only way to be confident in ourselves is to make sure we know exactly what kind of person we want to be and to then do whatever it takes to ensure we act and behave accordingly.

We need to be our true self at all times.

In my case, while in that burrito shop, I realized that I had lost all of my confidence because I no longer knew who I was.

Somehow along this crazy traveling adventure of mine, my life became so scattered that I forgot some of my principles, I forgot some of my strongest beliefs and I definitely forgot about staying true to myself. I was trying to live up to one image one day and another image the next, never even knowing myself which Earl, or Derek, should show up or would show up, when all along I should have just been the one and only ‘me’.

As soon as I understood that getting back on track simply required me to re-focus on the kind of person I want to be and to then make sure I am always that person, my full appetite returned and I ate that burrito ever so quickly.

My motivation to get up and out of the house came right back, my desire to work towards my goals reappeared and most importantly, I felt happier and more confident than I could remember feeling for a very long time.

Don’t Worry, You’ll Be Okay

Let me say this….don’t worry about the confusion you are feeling. Don’t worry about feeling lost and having no idea what to do in life.

Don’t worry if you wanted to travel in 2014 and you didn’t. Maybe you traveled less than you had wanted or your plans didn’t go as expected. Maybe you wanted to quit your job and head in a new direction but you weren’t sure what to do or maybe you couldn’t decide between traveling or going to school. Perhaps you just don’t know how to take the first step towards your goals and you’re worried that you’ll never achieve what you really want to achieve in the end. Again, don’t worry about these things.

Worry about who you are right now instead. That’s where it starts.

Understand what kind of person you want to be as you move through this world, what you believe in, how you want to treat others and what is important to you. Once you figure this out, the rest will come and you’ll be able to handle any periods of confusion, fear, uncertainty or whatever you must face along the way.

The thing is, I’ve always believed that a happy, confident me is in a far better position to achieve my goals than an unhappy, unconfident me. It just turns out that I forgot that for a while this year and it knocked me way off course.

Luckily, I’ve remembered it again.

Final Words About Happiness and Burritos

As part of my final post of this year, I wanted to share this experience above so that you can also go into 2015, not just with another list of things you want to achieve, but with a new confidence and happiness – a result of staying true to yourself at all times – that will help you actually achieve whatever it is you set your mind to.

I don’t want you to be sitting in a burrito shop back home, unable to eat, unsure of how to deal with life and wondering how you’ll ever find your way again.

I’d rather meet you in a burrito shop somewhere out here in the world, swap travel stories and get to know you, the real you, the person you truly want to be.

Who’s ready to meet?

I sincerely thank you for being a part of this blog in 2014, for reading this ramble and my countless others as I discuss what it’s like, and what I learn, from living a life of constant travel.

Without you, this blog does not exist and that’s something I’ll never forget.

With much love,
Earl


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209 Comments

  1. […] you should because everyone else is doing it! If that’s you then I highly suggest you read this piece by the incredibly honest Wandering Earl where he is almost begging us all to take a step back and […]

  2. Ava May 9, 2017 at 11:53 am - Reply

    Henry you jist verbalize exactly what I’m feeling and thinking. The overwhelming feeling if dread and anxiety with all the things happening. Being an empath doesn’t help at all, and pisces, uber sensitive to all this!

  3. Henry May 8, 2017 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Just do what makes us happy?? Well, yeah of course we want to be “happy”

    But yet I don’t understand how “doing what makes you happy”
    provides a deeper meaning for you when you close your eyes at night?

    I used to be a hardworking, upbeat and positive person with an attitude of gratitude. I’ve been the type to ask questions to myself. I loved learning and insight.

    But here recently with all the crazy things we are bombarded with, how expensive is it just to survive, innocent people getting hurt… the pile up, it’s getting harder and harder to ignore, or know what to believe in for some sort of peace of mind, to keep pushing on.

    Maybe my spirits broken. But I’m struggling with overall perspective, meaning, and having fuel to move on… my mind has been dazed, lost and in that whats the point of all this mode. I know this type of thinking gets people nowhere. But it’s and it’s been bothering me.

    Nothing seems to feel right to me anymore and I normally can dust this sort of thing off.

  4. snails July 8, 2016 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    The reality is to learn to love yourself first. Before you make new friends and get into unsuccessful relations, learn to know yourself. if life is throwing at you situations that seclude you from other people, then get the lesson from that. It wants you to spend quality time with yourself first. Everything else is a distraction. I barely have few good friends myself, they often wonder how I never call or can spend time with myself n not get bored. But I am always there for them when they are low. My answer is I ask myself want it wants, read more, or explore places nearby or explore important non mainstream topics, learn some new hobby or skill and I make sure I at least give it a try if not perfect it. I am trying to know myself rather than know other ppl. When you look without you will always be disappointed, when you look within you will find peace and that’s A promise. All the hurdles life’s throwing at us is an indication we need to change something. Unless we learn that lesson our troubles won’t Stop. So take a step back analyse what is happening, see what mistakes you made, most importantly learn from them, and move on. You are your only true friend you’ll ever have. Be nice to urself 🙂 I’ve had my share of sadness and that lead me to understanding this one important lesson. And be careful what you wish for, if you ask the universe for strength it will not make you strong, it will pose different kinds of challenges and give you opportunity to show or develop strength to battle or accept them. So choose your wishes wisely. N you will wonder why this is happening to you, and the simple answer is you asked for it, this is just the universes way of granting your wish. So think wisely before asking, be specific. 🙂

  5. Carrie G. September 12, 2015 at 1:45 am - Reply

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I am in a state of confusion myself now since my divorce. I suffer from SAD in the winter, so for the longest time I made it my top priority to move to FL. My divorce freed me to go. I moved to FL and my life turned into a tornado. Everything went horribly wrong and the homesickness got the best of me. So, I moved back to Chicago and was happy to be home and with family. I was in my familiar place. But, the winters depressed me again, so I moved back to FL and things took a turn for the worse in my life. One bad thing after the other, nonstop. And, I started missing my familiar place AGAIN. I felt tortured or cursed, idk. Anyway, I abandoned my home in FL and came back HERE. Now, I am so effing confused on what to do. I know this sounds crazy, but it is the mess I am in. This crossroads thing is destroying my life. BTW, I got therapy for the SAD, but all it did was waste my money. I used the effing lamp and it did nothing. So, now I am just depressed and hopeless. My lease is up in 3 weeks, so I have to get back to FL and figure out what to do with my messed up life. I have no motivation to even get on the plane. That is how depressed I am.

    • Anas September 19, 2015 at 7:59 am - Reply

      Just do whay makes u happy

  6. beezapples August 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    Thank you….. I was just complaining to my self that this year and many years AROUND August especially when the seasons change I just have an emotional shift. This just made me feel 110% better that I am ok and I just need to eat a burrito.

    Thanks

  7. […] I’m confused about life, just like everyone else […]

  8. Don't want to write August 4, 2015 at 12:11 am - Reply

    Just read this. Really inspirational. For the last couple of years I’ve really struggled to understand myself as a person. I just think what actually gives me happiness and whether if I will ever feel happy and content. All I want is to wake up with that inner peace and not feel anxiety and depressed. Enjoy the beautiful things in life, but I just seem to wake up with constant worries. Every morning I try to stay positive and hope something will spark in my career or change. But yet again confusion. Really does affect your Confidence. But your story is so beautiful and natural. Hopefully if I ever feel a blip or down. Will read this and just enjoy life step by step. Thank you x

  9. Depressed and poor July 28, 2015 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Well, Earl, you should try having a breakdown when you’re completely broke and are clinging to the stinking apartment you have. You’re blessed to have enough money to do what you want. And a family to stay with when you need it.

    • Wandering Earl July 28, 2015 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      Of course everyone is in a different situation and certain situations are much more challenging, that’s for sure. I’m just writing about my own life on this blog and what I face. There are also people that don’t have an apartment and who owe a ton of debt so it is all relative, but the point is, no matter what our situation, everyone gets confused about life and we all share that regardless of how much money we have.

  10. Mae Corbin July 4, 2015 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Thank you :]

  11. Tina June 14, 2015 at 2:29 am - Reply

    Hi Earl,

    Thanks for sharing your story! With such honesty……
    I myself am not a natural traveler. I have never traveled outside of north America in my whole life of 37yrs. Up until last September 2014. I came to India to meet my now husband and am living here since February. I listened and followed my heart even when so many thought I was crazy!! Lol only problem is now too find my step here. For now I’m full of confusion and frustration. I’m not sure who or what I am now?? Or where to go now??
    I’ve always been intrigued and enjoyed many cultures. So that’s not my problem!!! My problem is more being taught in life all a certain way, believing its right!! And than looking at others and seeing the opposite. And than asking inside what’s right and what’s wrong??
    North America always watches for others think, who has the best car,clothes,house;and care about proper etiquette within family and friends. And the rest of the world can take care of themselves mentality.
    Where as here much mentality is different…..
    It is definitely a reality check!!!

    Any suggestions Earl to help with this transition??
    Thanks greatly
    Tina

    • Wandering Earl June 15, 2015 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      Hey Tina – I think you just need to keep on trying new things, meeting new people and visiting new places. The more you see, the more you learn and eventually, or maybe quickly, you’ll be able to answer some of those questions. Keep an open mind and realize that there are endless perspectives to everything and most things can’t be classified as right or wrong. It’s different for different people and whatever you feel comfortable with, that’s perfectly okay. Again, there is no right or wrong as long as you are following what you truly believe in!

  12. Anna May 16, 2015 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    I wasn’t sure what to expect when I clicked on your page, since I go through spurts of blogging research every few months until it passes and I just keep on traveling. Usually I find the same stereotypical advise and content, with the occassional blogger that stands out. I also typically focus on female bloggers, so stumbling upon your page was surprisingly refreshing. First of all, I love the honesty of your blog and respect the rawness of this post. Secondly, I think no matter how many times we convince ourselves that everyone has doubts and insecurities, it is nice for people who seem like they have it all figured out, to admit it. Finally, I am going to be that annoying person who asks for some advice and hope that you respond. I have been traveling since birth and without really noticing I was doing it, I have become nomadic in the last 3 years. I used to be a relatively superficial teenage girl with a shoe addiction and somewhere along the way I realized I don’t need 20 pairs of shoes and I’d prefer to be able to fit everything I need to live in a backpack. Which is how I ended up living in rural Tanzania with one pair of hiking boots for the time being. I have been blogging for friends and family for several years out of a sheer love for writing and sharing stories, and recently have been hearing a voice in the back of my head saying “maybe I could do this full-time and not just as a hobby.” You are the first blogger I’ve reached out to, so this is really wishful thinking that you’d have the time or anything insightful to offer me on a personal level, but I figured it was worth a shot.

    So here’s my big question(s): How exactly does one turn a passion for writing and traveling as a hobby into a full-time gig? More specifically, how do I do it without compromising on my other dreams and goals, and most importantly my morals? Is that even possible, and if not, how do I determine if it is meant to just be my hobby?

  13. shalini May 10, 2015 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    It is an effective writing…good to hear that everyone have different phases of life..ups and down….good inspirational massage

  14. Laurie April 20, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

    I really needed to read this. Thank you from one nomad to another. 🙂

  15. denrik April 10, 2015 at 12:13 am - Reply

    A thoughtful and helpful post from Earl and appreciated by many readers. I think it points to the way that psychology has indicated that the meaning of life is to create and elaborate meaning..this sounds tautological. But reading around the ‘psychology of happiness’ academic literatures, this is what it tends to conclude. In other words, folk have to always cultivate and re-create meaning through interactions, purpose and community. As Earl shows, thoughtful travel can be an important part of that. Religion, relationships and economy are clearly caught up in these logics.

  16. Charles Haslett March 31, 2015 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Earl,
    I once traveled most of The United States in my late teens and into my early twenties. Where am I now? I’m 27 years old, constantly struggling and battling with my thoughts of what I should be doing with my Life. Love fills my heart for traveling and I scream inside to take my first step back out into the world. One important individual stands in front of me, my Love for a woman, my girlfriend. Of course I want a future with her, to be married and have a family. Yet, I feel I wont be truly happy with Life unless I explore my passion of Travel. I can’t just get up and leave her, I fear she wouldn’t understand.

    Every decision I’m faced with, I’m unable to make up my mind. Like you mentioned, ‘School or Travel?’ ‘Job or be a free Spirit?’

    You’re told growing up has serious obstacles and times of great decision making. I’m lost. Please, if any advice you have, I’m all ears.

    -Charles Haslett

  17. Stetson Williams March 4, 2015 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    It’s funny that I should discover this article now, when so recently I’ve gone through such a similar emotional battle. I have been fighting a feeling of helplessness and depression for some time now, too tied down by the life I’ve allowed myself to be steered towards to cut loose and do the things I dream of doing. I regularly feel lost, and as if I am wasting what precious time I have doing things I don’t believe in or value. I feel like I’ve gotten a handle on it though, by re-evaluating my dreams, rediscovering my passions, and making an escape plan to get to them. I would actually like to thank you for your help in that. Your story, and the stories of your various travels always inspire me and light a fire to get out there and take that path less traveled. I’m a Florida boy myself, and it’d be an honor to meet you, if you’re ever back in the state and in the mood to meet a fan.

  18. Mademoiselle Nomad February 26, 2015 at 8:26 am - Reply

    Wow what an honest account. I loved that you shared this. I have been comfortable in my travels but my recent relocation to Cape Town for a second time proved to be very hard this time around. With finances running low, me getting older and health not always as great as when I was 16, life can get overwhelming and I wonder what the heck am I doing and is it worth keeping on travelling or should I stop and finally listen to everyone else telling me to ‘come back home’, find a ‘normal job’ . It’s so great to see that getting depressed can happen to the most experienced nomad such as you. And yet life goes on. Thank you for sharing this and also to end it off with hope and positivity. Hahah and I had to laugh when I read the burrito section because guess what I’m eating right now as I read this? Coincidence? I don’t think so…

  19. […] Yes, I’m confused about life just like everyone else. I get depressed, I struggle and I feel lost too, more often than you probably would imagine. In fact, back in August of this year, I had a bit of a … Read more → […]

  20. Peggy February 16, 2015 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I think it’s important to remember that life never stops, and even if you’ve figured out the answers to life for the time being, life keeps on changing and we have to keep asking ourselves the difficult questions. Change is what drives growth, and I’m glad you’ve picked yourself up. Keep on, keeping on.

  21. Rachel February 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Just wanted to say thank you. Your post matches my feelings right now, but it’s also given me an ‘answer’, that I’m hoping if I keep holding on to, eventually things will sort themselves out.
    Kind regards.

    • Rachel May 21, 2017 at 3:10 am - Reply

      So this is me replying to myself, 2 years after feeling very depressed, confused and lost. It eventually prompted one amazing holiday to Japan last year, and I just had to come back. So at the beginning of this year, I quit my job (an awesome feeling), and I’ve been in Tokyo for 3 months now teaching English and I don’t want to go home :). Thanks for being the inspiration for my new life, for now at least! 🙂

      • Derek May 30, 2017 at 5:04 am - Reply

        That’s awesome to hear Rachel and I really appreciate you providing this update! I’m sure the adventure will continue for you and in the meantime, keep on enjoying Tokyo!!

  22. yara Coelho February 5, 2015 at 11:57 am - Reply

    That was exactly how I felt this January…. Entering a new year with a massive breakdown and dropping everything was not what I could call a wonderful beginning of 2015.

    The weight of traveling non-stop for over 16 years, always making new exciting friends, but never building long deep relationships because everybody comes and goes in a blink of an eye…. Losing all my income, going through a heart break, questioning if blogging isn’t just wasting my time… etc, etc, etc.. But ultimately, we have the chance and the opportunity to flip things over and take control of our path.

    I’m traveling with my dog now and back on track, life is great 🙂

  23. Amy Jane February 2, 2015 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    Wow. I’m came across your article randomly. A few weeks ago I was reading “Hyperbole and a half” and, after months of being in a funk, the author, Allie, comes across a shrivels piece of corn under her fridge and can’t stop laughing hysterically. It doesn’t make much sense, but somehow that ended her funk. I lost my way in life somewhere around six months ago and can’t seem to get back on track. Your words related to my current situation, but made a bit more sense than Allie’s corn. I’m still waiting for this clarity to hit me, or a burst of self-confidence or self-esteem or a funny piece of corn (I’ll take any of the above at this point). It was comforting to read how your burrito experience come along out of nowhere and gave me renewed hope that my own moment of clarity will come. Thank you!

  24. Louisa January 24, 2015 at 7:12 am - Reply

    I really appreciate your honesty and vulnerability, Earl. I find it powerful and rare. I don’t feel the same as you do about confidence as the solution. In my life, confidence comes and goes. When I’m trying to be confident, my attention is on — guess where?– ME! and I’m more likely to have self-doubts! (Ironic…) Instead I prefer to focus on enthusiasm. When I feel low, I ask myself, what do I care about, and how can I express that? It gets the focus off me, and it works.

  25. Aaron Davidson January 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the post. It was great reading an article that was so open. Great work putting yourself out there for all of us.

  26. […] https://www.wanderingearl.com/confused-about-life-just-like-everyone-else/ ~ He was the first travel blogger I stumbled upon on Facebook. Among the hundreds of them out there, he stood out to me because of his many years on the road, his writing style and his easy-going personality. If you have a question, he answers you back, promise! […]

  27. An Nguyen January 11, 2015 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,
    This is the first time i write a thing for you. I’m come from Vietnam, a small country so I often feel a little bit shy to talk to you. It’s weird but it’s what i feel. But the most important thing now is I wanna write something for you. I wanna say that: I appreciate you so much, Earl. You’ re the person who inspired me to live my life with travel passion. You’re the person who inspried me to travel all of Southern part of Vietnam last year, and keep traveling to the North now. You gave me the courage to backpack to another country: Siem Reap, Cambodia – just alone as the 1st time in my life, to realize many many great things about myself that I never knew before. And now, your sharings is encouraging me to follow my dream, open a hostel in my hometown (Danang city, Vietnam) in July, this year. I’m addict to meet the backpackers around the world, That what i wanna live for my whole life. I’m happy now to keep travelling each month and preparing for my Hostel business.
    Thanks for everything you made to me. Thanks for all, Earl!

    • Wandering Earl January 13, 2015 at 1:59 pm - Reply

      Hey An – That’s wonderful to hear and I’m really so happy that you explored your country and Siem Reap as well! And your hostel idea sounds great too…I was in Danang many, many years ago so I might have to go back and see your hostel when it’s ready 🙂 Please let me know when it is open and in the meantime, enjoy more travel adventures!

  28. Magdalena January 11, 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Weirdest thing… Thank you for this!
    Have been feeling like all air has been sucked out of me and like there is very little direction and purpose in my life, and it’s been creeping up on me, untill it hit me good today. Sat down listening to music, looking into a blank screen at the laptop, not a proper thought in my head. Two words kept popping up in my head: travel-live. Searched them- and this is where I happend to end up, with you telling it exactly like it is. And how you put yourself back together again.
    Have not made your acquaintance before, so this is a first for me! But not the last 🙂

    • Wandering Earl January 13, 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      Hey Magdalena – Well, it’s very nice to meet you 🙂 And I’m happy that you found the site and connected with this post. Looking forward to communicating some more!

  29. Matt January 11, 2015 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    I feel this way too right night. Its horrible. But I’m going to take your advice and give it a try. Thanks

  30. Keith January 11, 2015 at 1:55 am - Reply

    This is a post I personally wrote years ago on a traveling site that has thousands of members, it won me a post of distinction . Read it and enjoy.

    Its entitled { Sitting at the Diner Alone }

    It’s funny last week I had some alone time away from everyone as I spent the day just kicking back doing my thing I decided to go out and get a bite to eat.

    I arrived at Boulder station a Local casino east of Vegas I thought to myself I am going to eat at the Counter as its much quicker didn’t have to wait in that 20 minute line to be seated and I wouldn’t have to worry about sitting next to a family of 10 with 5 crying kids.

    AS I sat at the counter, just looking around I noticed quite a bit.

    Most folks over the age of 65 always eat lots of soft foods Example salads and soups with bread I guess as one gets older your digestive tract can’t break down the harder foods as easy anymore.

    Another thing I noticed many were just sitting there is a trance like look, almost like life has just ran by them and there is no turning back a comfortable numbness of profoundness kind of like seeking answers and or almost waiting for that day.

    However what I really noticed was how so many folks were ALONE!

    Its funny how we get older in life and less and less people are now surrounding us for the final leg and or journey we take upon ourselves. As I looked around I couldn’t help but ponder how many sitting around this counter about 30 in all were all thinking the same thing.

    {WOW Life sure did fly by and know it s all downhill from here with no friends and little family left. }

    Why is it as we get older we become ALONE, why do we have limited friends, why do we have limited patience, why do we prefer to be left alone, And why o why do WE all eat soft foods ?

    I am coming up on 44 this June and I look around and see all me my friends with their families and wives and kids I wonder to myself will I be that Old guy sitting at the counter 25 years from now wondering what the hell happened to me.

    When we are children we have so many friends and nothing bothers us at all. WE overcome everything and forgive all. As we get older we become jaded to the point of No return.

    To be Loved, Feared or Hated, Which one are You ?

    Or will I finally accept the fact that even thu my life has had its share of up’s, down’s and all arounds.

    I won’t Die Alone at the Counter.

    Mrstein

    • james January 27, 2015 at 2:34 pm - Reply

      Great article Earl. I am also a traveler myself. You guys might be interested in this article that I wrote about a similar situation. Check it out.

      https://jimmyesl.com/teach-english-abroad/is-34-too-old-to-teach-english-abroad/

    • steven November 28, 2015 at 5:19 am - Reply

      this is a common thought/question that i have for a long time .
      is this the path of life that everyone have to go thru .
      having fewer and fewer friends as you grew older ?
      Sitting alone and just waiting for the day to pass by ?
      it just like waiting for the death to come ?
      what happen to all their friends ?
      did they choose to be alone ?
      do they embrace being alone because they had seen the too many fake peoples around .
      everyone is seeking for true friends but dont they realize it in you yourself .
      And alot of times ,peoples give up being trueful to other because peoples will start judging you when you are the real you .
      that why alot of peoples are wearing a mask !
      the only time when they are not wearing a mask is when they are old and they dont need to impress anyone anymore.
      so they embrace being alone for most of time.
      that my thought .
      anyone can enlightenment me ?

  31. Cherise Vecchio January 10, 2015 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who has these moments of doubt. In the end I look at the bigger picture and ask myself … Am I happy? As long as it’s yes, I know that I will get back on track and be going in the right direction again soon!!! Thanks Earl 🙂

  32. Joya January 8, 2015 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    It’s rare for people to be this open and I think you’re so brave. It’s a constant work in process to embrace who you are and let go of shame or pressure. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Kaylee-Ribblett April 5, 2016 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      I feel the same exact way! People never feel that they need to be different and he did, he spoke his mind. No-body else does and that means a lot. He is an extremely well spoke and brilliant man. People just don’t get the fact that he is the most open writer i have ever seen!

  33. De'Jav January 8, 2015 at 9:54 am - Reply

    I think the majority of us gets to this point of not know what to do. It can be very to share with others. Keep dreaming and doing you it all falls into place. Thanks for sharing your story it’s invigorating.

  34. Jee Ann January 8, 2015 at 6:07 am - Reply

    This is such an emotional and inspirational message to end a year and start another one! I once felt this depression in my regular job and, like you, I had put pressure on myself, wondering what I was doing, what was going to happen to me, or why I felt that way. I overcame it when I realized that I needed to chill out and believe in the things I could do, knowing the cliche but ever-true, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

    Thanks so much for this precious reminder and motivational letter to all of us, Earl! Have a great and adventurous year ahead!

  35. Chris January 6, 2015 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Always touching to read and feel one of your more personal moments.

    Life is a roller coaster, always up and down and truth be told, I’d think most people would be lying if they said they truly knew what they were doing!

    Looking forward to reading along for another ride in 2015, and if you happen to be anywhere nearby as we travel across Latin America (and beyond) I’d love to share a Burrito or two!

    • Wandering Earl January 8, 2015 at 5:58 pm - Reply

      Hey Chris – Hopefully we get a chance to share a burrito for sure! Thanks for reading this year!

  36. Chad January 6, 2015 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this post, exactly what I needed to read at the moment.
    I’m about 19months into my travels, broke and have definitely been stuck trying to work out what’s next. Glad to have some encouragement and know there are other people in the same position. Thanks again and good luck with your travels this year. 🙂

  37. Scott January 6, 2015 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Thanks Earl! I mean Derick….

    “You Are Enough”

    And maybe your purpose is more about what reactions and help you bring people through travel than travel itself.

    Cheers Bro

    PS. Look me up if you visit Colorado! We have great Burritos.

    • Wandering Earl January 8, 2015 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      Hey Scott – I am actually leaning that way with my travels…they seem to be more about bringing people together and the idea of interacting with new people and learning from them as opposed to your standard travel itinerary/sightseeing kind of travel. Looking forward to those Colorado-style burritos!

  38. Uptourist January 5, 2015 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    That’s it. You don’t have to put pressure on yourself. The answer will come eventually. You don’t need to come looking for it. Everything will fall into place. Just feel your connectedness with Life and you will find the answer. That’s just how life works.

  39. Scott Brock January 5, 2015 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Great Post! Never stop dreaming.

  40. brendon January 5, 2015 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    This has to be one of the most inspirational posts I have read in a long time. I have been on my own travel journey the last 4 years and have felt lost like you on many occasions. It’s great to know that I’m not alone, And I look forward to meeting you in a buritto shop somewhere someday 😉

  41. Hanne Hellvik January 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl! What a great post! I know exactly how you felt. I have been struggling with much if the same toughs last year. And it feels good to hear that others do to. Especially someone so successful as you, that I look up to. That really succeeded with his blog! But things are getting better now. But I still needed your reminders.
    I hope that 2015 will be a great year for you! I look forward to continue to follow your blog. Happy new year, Earl!

    • Wandering Earl January 6, 2015 at 4:52 am - Reply

      Hey Hanne – Glad to hear things are getting better for you and I hope it continues throughout the year!

  42. Rana Singh January 5, 2015 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Wanna know something Earl you are an inspiration to me. Every night i go through you blog and loved reading your articles. Just know something everyone like you the way you are and believe in yourself. That’s all is needed. Happy New Year.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      Hey Rana – Thank you for that comment. It means a great deal and it’s wonderful to know you’ve been enjoying the articles as well. Wishing you a splendid 2015 ahead!

  43. Where in the World is Nina? January 5, 2015 at 6:33 am - Reply

    Hahahaha… I love this Earl! I always appreciate your writing and the fact that your so candid. Yes, we’re all a bit nuts and nobody has everything figured out. It’s a great feeling to realize it… Excuse me while I go eat a burrito now…lol

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      Hey Nina – Hope you enjoyed that burrito!

  44. Saji January 5, 2015 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Hello ,I really like this article because I really need help.Im a teen who is so confused about who I am and who I want to be. Im a chatterbox , and very kind to everyone , and im trying to stand up for myself in school when people make fun of me, and this leads to who I want to be because Im trying to be carefree , outgoing, quiet ,polite,confident , strong, independent, mature ,helpful , and to be honest. Everyday I try so hard to have the qualities but I always fail and go back to becoming to my old self , its pretty hard for me because I never give up.I also dont know if its right to change who I am into someone else that is completeley diffrent, and dont get me wrong Im changing for myself , not for anyone I really like these qualities Ive selected to be , but for some reason everyday I fail. Can anyone give me any advice on what to do. Anything would be very appreciated Thank you very much.

    • George Bezushko January 7, 2015 at 11:04 am - Reply

      Saji, maybe it would help to remember that the disappointment you feel is not who you are. Some of the people I knew in school, who were made fun of, are today some of the most successful and interesting people I know! Everyone feels hurt and confused at times, and sometimes waiting until we can travel down our paths to see where it takes us is the most painful part. Be who you want to be, and be who you are.

  45. Chuck Smith January 4, 2015 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    Thanks very much for posting this, Earl. I’ve been battling some depression off & on during the last few years (and I went traveling for 7 months as a way to deal with it, but found that didn’t really cure it as I’d hoped). I wonder if you’ve ever read the massive bestseller from the 1970s, “The Road Less Traveled,” by M. Scott Peck. It’s a great book. Anyway, I’ve been re-reading the first page or so a lot lately, and here are the first two paragraphs, which seems to me to pretty much agree with what you came up with:

    Life is difficult.
    This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 3:48 am - Reply

      Hey Chuck – I have not read that book but after reading that paragraph, I certainly want to. I’ll download it now actually. Thanks for sharing that on here my friend.

  46. Crystal - Poor Explorer January 4, 2015 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,
    This post it so ridiculously timely. I’ve been travelling 1.5 years, currently I am in Mexico waiting to head to Cuba when my sister Facebooks me and tells me a few days before New Years that our mother has cancer all over her body. On NYE we found out she has about 6 months to live. I’ve gone completely numb. I can’t concentrate. I can’t stop crying. I feel like I’m pressuring all of my friends too much with my unhappiness. It’s a shitty time but there are loads of people going through worse. Just going to have to come out the other end as strong as possible.

    • Sarah January 4, 2015 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      I’m so sorry!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 3:51 am - Reply

      Hey Crystal – I am really sorry to hear about this and I can understand the numbness and all the rest. It’s something you have to go through I think, not worrying about anything else. Just focus on what you need to focus on, spend time with your family and deal with the situation as best you can. Don’t worry about the crying and all that, don’t worry about it at all.

  47. Sergio Romero January 4, 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    You rock Earl! I had been under the impression that once we as humans got “ahold” of ourselves that we wouldn’t experience panic to the extent you described in this post. I feel relieved to know even at 30 and having taken your tips, advice and energy to travel in 2014 only to return to a 9-5 job in the past two weeks; I will as some point be tested and experience the same confusion as I did when I was 25. You’re blog keeps my spirits bright while at work by knowing you’re still traveling like a boss! I’ll run into you somewhere in the world, someday. Happy New Year! Here’s to reading many more of your adventures and reflections in 2015.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 3:55 am - Reply

      Thanks Sergio! I look forward to running into you out here somewhere for sure!

  48. Markus January 4, 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I stumbled upon your blog through a friend on Facebook today. There are so many articles about getting out of these difficult phases and you brought up the aspects which really matter. Thank you for your honesty and for motivating me to actually get back to what I _really_ want to do and be.

    You definitely have a new reader!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 3:56 am - Reply

      Hey Markus – Welcome to the site and I look forward to communicating with you some more!

  49. Lisa January 4, 2015 at 10:32 am - Reply

    Thank you for posting this.

    I think about these things daily, and sometimes it drives me crazy. I do also come to the conclusion that confidence and being who I want is what I need to just do. But I also keep needing to remind myself of what it is that is tearing me down. Personally I keep getting myself into this rush. Where I think I have no time and the things that I want to happen I get so caught up in and obsessed with, because I feel they need to happen soon or I will lose the opportunity.

    I keep trying to remember that it is okay to slow down, to let go. I try so hard, it is actually on these walks with some sliced fried banana’s, and a glass bottle of coke (and the straw I will not use) that I lose myself in my music and surroundings. I see my thoughts, and then I stop and begin laughing when I realize that “Why am I in such a hurry? I have so much time! Everything is okay”. I keep digressing to this way of being from when I was back in California living. One reason I am here is so I can live without that feeling, 3 weeks ago I remember telling my friends back home “It is odd but great, for the last 5 months I have not once been in a rush, worried about time, or money..”.

    Anyways, enough about me. It is just nice to see that (and this is a selfish thought lol) I am not the only person who loses themselves. It is good to have a reminder of how normal it is.

    Thank You Again!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:01 am - Reply

      Hey Lisa – The time thing is a good point and I also like the idea that we actually do have plenty of time in life but we waste most of it, so it seems like our time is very limited. If we waste less, suddenly we feel quite good about how we spend our time!

  50. Michael January 2, 2015 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Earl-

    I just posted this but I’m not sure that it worked.

    I want to travel the world just as you do. And I’m not far from taking the first step. I’m 24 years old and not a lot is tying me down. However, I have one big question for you- What do you do all day?? I don’t want to just be “wandering” around. Maybe that’s where your article about traveling with a purpose comes in. But, I am curious of what you actually do all day? Through all these years of travel, I can’t imagine you’ve just been wandering and wondering what to do all day. I would truly appreciate it if you found the time to answer my question! Thanks so much!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:08 am - Reply

      Hey Michael – No two days are the same, ever. Sometimes I’m on my laptop all day getting work done, sometimes I’m meeting up with friends or meeting new people or visiting some sights or just walking around or a combination of any of the above. It depends on where I am, what my goal is at that time, how much work I have to get done that day and on and on…just like I’ve mentioned, it really is about having a purpose. With each destination you visit, it’s good to know what you want to get out of the experience on some level just so that you have a foundation to guide you each day. Hope that makes sense!

  51. Kathy Schmidt January 1, 2015 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Earl I am with you on this one. Just the other day I had a lady trying to be very helpful suggest that I should consider getting a corporate job with the cruise company I am currently working for… see entry “Why don’t you get a corporate job”. And I found myself trying to explain myself to her and getting myself quite upset as these are doubts I always have in the back of my mind, safe life vs living life (until a good mate, also fellow traveler, reminded me that some people just don’t think the way WE do! It was the WE that really helped me remember who I am and that I am not alone). Then again there are some days I find living up to everyones expectations of me being this great independent world traveler overwhelms me too.
    Sometimes you just need a reminder that we all go through this.

  52. sarah January 1, 2015 at 7:30 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing Earl. Being so well known and loved in the travel community I think that it will be hugely inspiring and helpful to so many to read your words as I’m sure we’ve all felt this way…I know I have. I’m sorry you had a tough year but it does feel good to know that I’m not alone in those times of doubt and insecurity. Maybe losing oneself now and then is a good way to clarify who we really want to be.

  53. […] Maybe you don’t even want to travel, but you think you should because everyone else is doing it! If that’s you then I highly suggest you read this piece by the incredibly honest Wandering Earl where he is almost begging us all to take a step back and figure out not what we want, but who we are and what makes us happy: I’m Confused About Life Just Like Everyone Else. […]

  54. Stacey January 1, 2015 at 6:23 am - Reply

    Thank you for your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable. It’s wonderful to see something genuine on the internet! 😉

    • John Mayson January 2, 2015 at 6:24 pm - Reply

      Same here. I have stopped reading some travel blogs because I feel like a robot is writing them or it’s written by someone who has taken way too much Prozac. Your blog is real.

  55. Ajay January 1, 2015 at 3:39 am - Reply

    Hi Earl, wish you a happy new year 2015. I am your friend from India who never met you but I did post an Urdu couplet which inspires to travel if you don’t remember me. Look this new year with a new hope and I would like you to see you this time if you ever come to India.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:10 am - Reply

      Hey Ajay – I do remember that post and I wish you a wonderful 2015 as well!

  56. Elaine December 31, 2014 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Great post Earl. Happy New Year!

  57. Ina December 31, 2014 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks! This is an eye opener. I lost myself, my confidence and belief in myself, when I quit my job in 2013 hoping to find another abroad. Each time I open my social media account, I just feel more depressed because I see my friends’ posts and they look so happy and accomplished that I began to wonder what is wrong with me. But this post is an eye opener. I’m not the only one going through this, and I’m only human. I have resolved to remember this feeling and use it as an inspiration to help others who go through the same experience. Thank you Earl, and Happy New Year to everyone!

    • James January 3, 2015 at 1:49 am - Reply

      I know what u mean about opening your media and everyone looks so happy. I’m 33 and will be 34 in March. Recently I was getting sad and confused like earl, but this story really helped me. I’m also a wanderer and sometimes feel lost, but I also know I’m looking for something in this world

      • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:04 am - Reply

        Hey James – The thing is, behind those happy-looking photos, most people are also lost and confused as well. Once you realize that, it’s easier to accept our own confusion and to then try and do something about it.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:14 am - Reply

      Hey Ina – I think it’s important to remember that those who are struggling tend not to post on social media as much and those who do post, probably aren’t as happy as they appear 🙂

  58. Kyle December 31, 2014 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    I was wondering why you never write on this blog anymore. I would’ve never guessed that you were feeling this way though. I actually thought to myself that you started making enough money doing your traveling tours that you decided that you didn’t want to write on here anymore.

    Well, for what it’s worth you have greatly inspired me in my life and actually your blog changed the direction of my life. If I never would’ve read your blog, I would’ve never done the five month traveling trip which changed my life forever. If you changed the course of my life, the chances are high that you have greatly impacted other peoples lives through this blog. Thanks for being an inspiration man and I hope 2015 is a better year for you!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:16 am - Reply

      Hey Kyle – I wouldn’t say ‘never’! I still write about 2-3 times per month instead of the 4 times per month I was writing last year 🙂 But I’m really happy to hear that you’ve been inspired through the blog and that you had such a great travel adventure. I look forward to hearing about your future adventures as well and hopefully meeting up at some point to share travel stories!

  59. Sally December 31, 2014 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Thanks for being real. It is far too easy while wandering off the beaten track to suddenly look up and think, where the heck am I! Take time out to regroup, rethink and regenerate (okay, that last one is for timelords). Great site. Keep writing, traveling and leading us on your incredible adventures. Also- where is that beach house in the photo? I think I’ve found my next destination!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:18 am - Reply

      Hey Sally – Regeneration in process. 🙂 And the beach house is in Palolem, a beach in the south of Goa, India, one of my favorite beach spots!

      • Sally January 5, 2015 at 5:27 pm - Reply

        OMG Earl! I stayed at Flavia’s last time I was in Palolem- I love that place! Found a group of life-long friends and cheese & tomato sandwiches at Pelton’s on the beach. Too cool! (They only had the beach shacks then- guess it went up market!) Perfect place for that regeneration!

  60. T December 31, 2014 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Wow, really needed this at the moment.

  61. Tiffany @ ModernDayNomads.com December 31, 2014 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Wonderful post! We’ve all been there, but not many have the courage to say so. Wishing you great things for 2015.

  62. Joyce December 31, 2014 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    What an honest post. I couldn’t agree with you more! Thanks for the post!

  63. Bogna December 30, 2014 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    Dear Earl, let the 2015 be better than this passing year. Never lose passion for travels, and for writing. I joined the “cult” of reading your blog some time this year and it’s been an inspiring journey. I believe that having travelled for so long, you do need to settle sometimes, just feel somewhere home. It is ok to have breakdowns, human nature I guess. We all have them. Have a fabulous New Years.
    Much love,
    Bogna aka Boogie

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:19 am - Reply

      Thanks for the comment Bogna, I really appreciate it. Wishing you a great 2015 as well!

  64. Susan December 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your honest writing and willingness to be vulnerable. I always enjoy reading your blog.

  65. Jennifer December 30, 2014 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    what a brave post! Yours is one of the few blogs I actually follow because its real. Thanks for keeping it real. Keep on keepen on.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:20 am - Reply

      Hey Jennifer – Thanks for that!

  66. Igor December 30, 2014 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    Excellent article Earl. I kinda of needed to read something like that.
    I don’t know if it make any sense, but every time (ok, almost every time…) I am having a bad time this sentence come to my mind…. Image a good life your you and work for it.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:21 am - Reply

      Hey Igor – Every time we feel down, it’s good to have something – a person, a sentence, anything – that we can turn to in order to ensure we don’t fall too far.

  67. Barbara Hocking December 30, 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

    What an inspiring read and yes I hate huge brick walls like that in my life’s journey and as you wisely and rightly say – its always being true to yourself that will steer you back on course. I think when you hit rock bottom and that spark of light creeps through to help you on course proves we weren’t as far into the darkness as we thought we were…. like I think dear Robyn Williams must have felt. You have inspired me totally on a new chapter in life we hope to make for ourselves where we hope all we have worked together for will come true in a small modest and brave dream of having a little piece of the cake while there is still a song in my heart with my dear husband to take a leap of faith…. you have so inspired me and rejuvenated my strength and hope that we can make it happen – thank you dear friend…. happy travels and lots of burrito’s to look forward to yet.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:23 am - Reply

      Hey Barbara – I’m so glad to hear about your new chapter in life and that leap of faith usually proves to be the most rewarding leap most of us take! Enjoy the journey ahead, enjoy those burritos and hopefully we’ll meet up for one at some point!

  68. Alejandro December 30, 2014 at 11:46 am - Reply

    I could tell you a dozen of different things but I will say only 2 words, the rest is unimportant:

    Thank you

  69. Linda December 30, 2014 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Life is NOT greener on the other side which you clearly indicate in your blog. These feelings come up often with me. I feel short changed in some instances, I see too much waste, and I feel I’m not taking charge of my own wants. It’s been a journey of caring for others on demand as I have children, and grandchildren. Its the way of life I have chosen. I’ve taken care of my husband who is now completely recovered from surgery and errors during surgery which prolonged his hospital and well state. I am so ready, but now I live behind a sheer veil, not so sure yet. Thanks for sharing, your down made me up and as I write this, I’m smiling.
    Happy, healthy, New Year, with miles of smiles ahead for you!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:25 am - Reply

      Hey Linda – That works for me…if this post can put a smile on your face then it was well worth writing!

  70. David Ouellette December 30, 2014 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Really comforting to read this from you Earl! I went through a similar depression a few months ago in Colombia – it really takes away from the purpose of travel to be in that low mindset. Glad to hear you’ve overcome that obstacle!

  71. Penny December 30, 2014 at 9:46 am - Reply

    I wish we were friends.

  72. kim December 30, 2014 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Happy New Year Earl!

  73. Pete December 30, 2014 at 7:25 am - Reply

    Hi Earl, most people reading your blog would kill for the lifestyle you have. I feel despondent all the time because I don’t seem to have any choices right now. You seem to have all the choices I want to have but you still suffer the occasional crisis. I’m not sure if that’s comforting or worrying. I guess everyone is human and the grass is always greener. Glad you’ve put those thoughts to rest for now anyhow. Happy travels in 2015.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:27 am - Reply

      Hey Pete – I think it’s just a fact that we should all realize – nobody is exempt from confusion. Also, what a life might look like from the outside is not usually what it’s like to actually experience it. Once you take into account a person’s entire life history, all of the experiences they’ve had, the problems they’ve dealt with, it becomes impossible to reach a conclusion that someone is living the ‘ideal life’. There is always more to the story I’m sure!

  74. […] I read a post by Wandering Earl, he says I’m Confused About Life Just Like Everybody Else, and it rang absolutely true. Nobody knows the answers and we all have to do what we need to do to […]

  75. Franca December 30, 2014 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Thanks Earl for sharing, I felt that way too and sometimes happens again to me, but as you said there is nothing wrong about it, feeling lost and confused is perfectly normal and I think it’s also part of our life as a challenge. Moments like this help us to grow, understand ourselves more and hopefully get stronger and more confident.

    So where are we meeting for a burrito and a chat? 😉

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:28 am - Reply

      Hey Franca – You let me know, I’m craving a burrito badly right now!

  76. Arielle December 30, 2014 at 6:51 am - Reply

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. I have come to realize that we are all just trying to do the best we can. I have also started to see that we all struggle with feeling bad feelings. Society has put pressure on us to be “happy” all of the time. Then, when a black cloud strikes we put so much pressure on ourselves to be happy. But it’s ok to have down times, too. Thanks for sharing your story!

  77. Steve p December 30, 2014 at 4:30 am - Reply

    Earl,
    You need to try to stop thinking of yourself and go try help others. there are plenty who need help in Florida.
    I too am a traveller. (Must hurry this to catch bus from here to Marakech. Earlier this year, Greece. Earlier, an ashram in Tamil Nadu.)
    I too spend a lot of time on introspection.
    but most of my spare time I am doing voluntary work for charitable organisations.
    Try it!
    Steve, Casablanca. (home is Bristol, UK)

    • Pete December 30, 2014 at 7:30 am - Reply

      Steve, I was interested to read your comment. Volunteering is something I’m very keen on. I volunteer here back home in the local hospital on weekends. When I eventually get enough cash together to quit my job, I plan to use sites like workaway.info to get volunteering work abroad. Do you have any experience with this site or others? I’d be interested to get your views. Thanks.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:31 am - Reply

      Hey Steve – I have done volunteer work and found the experiences to be very positive. But I wouldn’t say that I’m just thinking of myself…keep in mind that I spend a great deal of time every day working on this blog, answering 100+ emails, trying to write useful posts and working as hard as I can to help ensure others have the resources to achieve their own travel goals.

  78. paul hutchinson December 30, 2014 at 4:09 am - Reply

    Your right earl sometimes we just asking the wrong question…..and that is the place to start……What sort of person do I want to be ?
    great honest post….happy new year.

  79. Pal December 30, 2014 at 3:36 am - Reply

    Interestingly, the very same thing happened to me this year (and the last year too, actually) and just like for you, it was there somewhere in August that it all got unbearable. Just like in your case, my realisation was also as sudden and as clear, and quite obvious really. Who was I, what was I doing, and why? The answer was to go back to who I feel comfortable with, finding my confidence, just like you write it here.

    Sure, for me it meant a step back from my dreams and taking a job within my old profession, but the beauty of it is that it’s an area where I feel at ease and comfortable. The dreams can still be there and they don’t necessarily have to be chased away, but sometimes it is important to focus in on the familiar to be able to take the important steps towards a new direction. It’s about having the right perspectives and the right expectations at the end, so yes, I totally agree with you. This time as well.

    Thanks for this year, for all the good reads and for the rambles – they usually lead to some really good thinking down the line, often sowing the seeds for a good new pattern in life. And I wish you a Happy New Year!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:34 am - Reply

      Hey Pal – Thanks for sharing your story and it seems like you have the right attitude to face life’s periods of confusion. It is about the right perspective and understanding that getting back on track may involve stopping for a bit or going back into our comfort zone in order to regroup. Happy New Year to you as well!

  80. Melanie December 30, 2014 at 2:39 am - Reply

    Earl,

    As many above here have shared — how inspiring it is for you to share so openly and vulnerably. I’ve been in a similar place lately and I think you’re right that every single human being experiences this but a handful have the courage to be able to share it. Thank you for this.

  81. Chris December 30, 2014 at 2:12 am - Reply

    Thanks for this article. It helps me right now when I’m confused about my feelings and why I am feeling them. Medications can really take a toll on your personality and body. This article made me cry because of how closely I feel I can relate to the moments you describe.

  82. Darlene December 30, 2014 at 1:50 am - Reply

    A friend shared this blog and I am so glad to have read it. Thank you for your honesty.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:35 am - Reply

      Thanks for reading Darlene!

  83. Clelia Mattana December 30, 2014 at 12:17 am - Reply

    I love this type of posts, too bad that not many people have the braveness to talk about these issues. It would help so many others out there, struggling and feeling alone.
    Kudos to you for being so open.

    The “stay true to yourself” advice, really hit me big time. It’s not as easy as it might seem, and sometimes we forget about it. Your post came at a very good time for me, so thank you for putting yourself out there with honesty as usual.

  84. Colin December 30, 2014 at 12:13 am - Reply

    Thanks for the authenticity, it couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Struggling a lot lately with the tension between a “normal life” — good job, benefits, etc and wanting to go back to the nomadic lifestyle I lived a couple years ago. As I’ve gotten older the pressure to define a “direction” or career seems to be ratcheting up…it may be self imposed but it is none the less real. Not having a clear sense of what to do or a strong sense of identity has brought on a lot of downs. At times it feels like everyone else has figured it out to some extent and I’m the only one who is confused. Appreciate the dose of reality. I’ve been reading your site for 3 years and it helps to know someone as successful as yourself experiences similar moments. Best wishes for 2015

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:36 am - Reply

      Hey Colin – I think most people out there, regardless of where their life has taken them, still experiences similar moments of confusion and doubt and all that. It’s just a part of life and none of us can escape it. We’re all in this together!

  85. Claudia December 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    We’ve all been there at some point in our lives… thank you for sharing your emotions with us!

  86. jc December 29, 2014 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Thanks Earl for your post I can definitely see myself into it. From france, Traveling for few years then arrived in Australia after living someone I loved in Moscow. Bref. I was in wonderful Sydney with no taste for life. Nop. Didn’t wanted to travel. Didn’t wanted to think. Desperately searching for a sens to my life. It was a year ago. Got shit faced for few months until running out of money. Got back to work in logistic like I always end up working in and slowly regaining myself. My confidence was still super low but I had now fantastic friends around me. After nine months working hard my sponsorship visa got refused. Fuck. I needed to sort me life again. I m use to it after all those years but man that hurt. Three days later I decided to stay in oz with my friends in awesome Sydney. And it all came into place. Kind of a miracle. I m gonna gwt a student visa (never study before) learn the basics in marketing and management and start my saucisson business. I m so buzzing right now that I could move a mountain. It all makes sens bro.i m happy. My mojo is finally back after at list three years. I m gonna smash it. Produce some delicious french salami and soutg African biltong and sell it on the market here in Sydney. Watch out peeps! My product is addictive. I m selling slices of happiness. 🙂

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:37 am - Reply

      Hey JC – I wish you the best and keep up that positive outlook!

  87. steve December 29, 2014 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    Good little story. Good to hear u worked ur way out of it.
    have a great 2015!

  88. Ford December 29, 2014 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    Earl, you need to move more dude! I might be wrong but the impression that I had recently is that you seem to be spending too much time in one place. Romania… You’ve chosen your path. Keep Doing It Large!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:40 am - Reply

      Hey Ford – Thanks for the advice…and while Romania has been my base for 3 years, I’ve only spent 1 year in the country so far in total. Last year I traveled quite a lot, to at least 15 countries I think. But perhaps I need to move even more this year…sounds good to me I think!

  89. Sally December 29, 2014 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Yes yes yes. Even in amazing countries, surrounded by amazing people we all get depressed. But i just concentrate on the now. Life is now and we all just have to be happy and like you said, be ourselves! I love this post, it’s so relatable and yes everyone does feel like it and it’s hard. I’m glad you pulled yourself through

  90. Mel December 29, 2014 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    This couldn’t have come at a better time.

    I quit my job 3 months ago to travel the world and watch sunrises. Here I am, 3 months later sitting in the library holding back tears because I don’t know what I want to do. Because I’m a hairs length away from running out of money and having to go back home.

    The fear of not living up to the standards that I’ve placed for myself have been eating away at me. Would it be a failure if I went back home and lived at my parents house for a while?

    I have to remember why I decided to leave in the first place. What are my values? Who do I want to become? Then make every decision based off of that.

    Thanks for the reminder, maybe I’ll run into you someday.

    Warmly,
    Mel

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:42 am - Reply

      Hey Mel – I shall look forward to that day! And I will say, nothing is a failure…it’s your journey and whatever happens, happens. Just learn from each experience, make the most out of each day and try your best to figure out what you are trying to achieve. Plenty of people go home, live back with their parents, earn some more money and try again…nothing wrong with that at all. The important thing is to focus on why you are traveling, having some sort of purpose, and then it will be easier to take steps towards that concrete goal.

  91. Barbara December 29, 2014 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Man! I needed this post! I had two low low moments in 2014. I had never felt so low in my life. Thank you for sharing about your most vulnerable time. Really lifted me up. Love it when you say ‘don’t worry you’ll be okay’. Everything will fall into place one day. Happy new year Earl!

  92. Don December 29, 2014 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,
    You have it right! It takes a lot of looking at oneself to be sure you are heading in the right direction. I have enjoyed your blog this year. While working overseas in International schools in the middle east, I was given the opportunity to visit many countries and make many new friends. Your blog reminds me of the adventures I experienced, but really haven’t shared. Sooo, I now have started reviewing pictures I’ve saved and writing down stories to share with my family & friends. Your blog awoke my need to share the joys I had on those adventures. It also gave me the “bug” to travel again-this time , here in America. Thanks!! Keep on writing:)

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:45 am - Reply

      Hey Don – That’s great to hear and I’m sure you have plenty of stories to share! And you’ll have plenty more if you travel around the America as well of course. Thanks for reading the blog last year and let me know when you have some photos/stories up somewhere!

  93. Crystal December 29, 2014 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Great post! Thank you for the reassurance. 🙂

  94. Shan December 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,
    we’ve never met, but I’ve been following your blog for several weeks now as I plan for my next stage in life – a life of more travel, and time and location freedom. I was searching for others that had a similar path to my own – folks that were perhaps further along on that path – and happened upon your blog. I want to thank you for sharing the post above. It was very vulnerable, and something most people may be uncomfortable sharing, especially over social media, where there seems to be a compulsion to share only a very sanitized, perpetually happy, version of oneself. Despite its vulnerability, a post such as this helps others in a similar position feel more connected, and less alone in their feelings. It helped me to confirm that others are confused as hell too, no matter their life circumstances. It was a nice reminder that peace of mind and centeredness always starts within – external circumstances are secondary.
    Thank you again Earl. I hope to meet you along the path one day 🙂
    Shan

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:46 am - Reply

      Hey Shan – I think once we realize that we are all confused, suddenly that confusion doesn’t seem so troubling. It becomes a lot easier to deal with and just make the decisions that we think are best for us at any given time. Looking forward to meeting you as well!

  95. Anthony December 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Great to hear you snapped yourself out of it mate. Your blog was majorly instrumental for me in leaving my full time job and working for myself whilst moving and living overseas. There’s probably thousands more people who you’ve helped without knowing it. This reason alone should be worth it for you to keep doing what you’re doing I think…

    For those of us who live against the status-quo face an immense amount of social pressure. We are essentially ‘breaking out of the matrix’ and going against everything we were conditioned to believe.

    Screw that I say! As long as we are decent human beings, there is no right or wrong way.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:47 am - Reply

      Hey Anthony – There’s definitely no right or wrong way to live…and making that realization is important. It’s not easy but once we can accept it, I think we find that many of the pressures we face aren’t worth spending too much time worrying about in the end.

  96. Ashley December 29, 2014 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Great advice! I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one who feels lost majority of the time, so thank you for your honesty and for your words of encouragement and reassurance.

  97. Susun December 29, 2014 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    You know how sometimes the universe just gives you what you need?… Well, I needed this post! Thanks Earl 🙂

    All along I’ve been focusing on my external world and if I should do this or that or the other thing… What ‘should’ I do to be the person I want to be, when all along I ‘should just focus on actually ‘being’ the person I am and the rest will figure itself out! Go figure lol.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:48 am - Reply

      Hey Susun – Go figure, is right 🙂 Glad the post was helpful for you!

  98. shannon thorson December 29, 2014 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Earl,
    This post really hit home for me in a big way. I’ve been pre-burrito break-through for the last few months. Not in a terribly dire state but one where the biggest obstacle each day is my lack of mojo. I think the sort of get-up-and-go type of people can often forget to bring along our sense of purpose on the ride.

    I just really wanted to thank you for putting a bow on this issue for me. Regards, Shannon

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:53 am - Reply

      Hey Shannon – I think losing our sense of purpose is easy to do these days with so much external pressure about how we should live, what we should want, etc. Sometimes we just need to step back and remind ourselves of why we are living the life we are living in the first place…and then try to focus a little more on that foundation in the hope that we don’t lose our way again too quickly.

  99. Joseph December 29, 2014 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Earl one of the best posts I’ve read. Why? Because you relate to me big time in this post

    I’ve traveled the world extensively, at the moment though I’m home here in Australia with itchy feet. Once you get bitten by the travel bug it’s hard to shack off. My dream is to visit every country on earth before I leave this amazing place

    For me, I think writing a manifesto to live by for both your values and beliefs if a great way to look back and remember who you are

    I do have a few questions which I’m keen to know

    1) what is your life purpose?

    2) what’s your biggest dream(s)?

    3) what is your vision with the blog and what is your actual mission statement?

    4) if you had to start this blog all over again knowing what you know now, what are the top 3 things you would do to fast track your success and why?

    Thank you in advance for answering the above, look forward to hearing back from you

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 4:59 am - Reply

      Hey Joseph – Thanks the comment and to answer your questions…

      1) what is your life purpose? – To ensure that when the end of life comes, I don’t leave behind a life full of regrets.

      2) what’s your biggest dream(s)? – To continue meeting new people all over the world in places I never imagined I would end up, to share all kinds of experiences with them and to learn from them as well.

      3) what is your vision with the blog and what is your actual mission statement? The goal of this blog is simply to share what it’s like for me to life this traveling lifestyle and to hopefully use my experiences and knowledge to help others achieve their own travel goals. I like to say that this blog also tries to prove that a life of constant travel is not some crazy fantasy, but a realistic lifestyle option instead.

      4) if you had to start this blog all over again knowing what you know now, what are the top 3 things you would do to fast track your success and why? There is no way to fast-track the things that make you successful with blogging. It’s all about building an audience, building trust, creating a community of people who are interested in learning, sharing and interacting with each other. And to build that, you need time. This is part of the reason why the majority of new travel blogs disappear quite quickly…you need time and most don’t want to wait.

      • Hui Ping April 3, 2015 at 9:56 am - Reply

        Derek

        How do you get over the sad and heart-broken feelings when you left people you get to know during your journey which turned out to be very close friend with you knowing that you will most likely not meet again?

        Or am I being too sentimental?

        • Wandering Earl April 4, 2015 at 8:36 pm - Reply

          I appreciate the people I meet and then I remember that there are even more new people to meet in the next destination.

  100. Sarah December 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Earl, Thank you for such an honest, beautiful post. I have had quite a similar experience over the past two years, even had some of the same revelations. I’m sorry to hear that you had to go through it too. I wish for you a new year full of joy and adventure and good friends.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:01 am - Reply

      Hey Sarah – I hope you’ve pulled out of your funk as well and I wish you a great 2015 ahead!

  101. tati December 29, 2014 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing tour ups and downs with US. 2014 was a year I spent realizing my dreams and all along reading your stories.
    This year I left my 3 jobs in NY. Traveled to Ireland, France, Spain, Thailand and Cambodia. I wanted to travel more and not get to Brazil up to Dec but I got really depressed after Cambodia and made my trip short. I’ve been 4 months now in Brazil. Seeing my family, country and friends after 15 years it was nerve wrecking and I was so confused if I wanted to stay here or not. The feeling of “I don’t belong anywhere” hit me and In the desperation I signed up to go work on a cruise ship. I went trough the whole process and I’m now waiting for a date to embark. And this waiting time forced me to breath and take time to myself and now I’m filled with the feeling that I belong everywhere!
    My year was inspired by a lot of what you shared here on your blog. And you have that going for you. You not only putting words out but sharing inspirational moments like that.
    Hope you have a WANDERFUl year and if you lose yourself again at least you know that it takes a burrito to get on track again!
    Cheers!!!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:02 am - Reply

      Hey Tati – Exactly! Next time I’ll go straight to the burrito shop 🙂

      I’m happy to hear you’ve taken some time to breath and I hope you’re excited for your new adventure ahead. Working on the ships is going to give a great opportunity to meet new people and have new experiences while also having some structure, and an income! Enjoy it and let us know how it goes!

  102. Lorraine Thomson December 29, 2014 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl
    I loved your article about feeling lost at times. I don’t feel lost that often as I enjoy where I am (Dubai) and what I am doing (working in a local school) and feel very ‘settled’. But we can’t stay here forever, in fact, we only have a few more years we can stay here because of our age. However, I DO worry about feeling lost in the future ; where to end up; we have a son who lives in NZ (we have NZ passports), my two sisters live in London (too expensive now for us, and anyway, we don’t want to live there again), we have a house in Bulgaria – but don’t want to be there all year… would like to spend winters in S America/Mexico/NZ (if finances allow). Sometimes I feel lost just THINKING about it! I think to travel like you do, you DO have to have a strong sense of who you are and keep working towards the kind of person you want to be, like you said. Sometimes, maybe we all feel we don’t know who we are….and I think travelling a lot can increase feelings of insecurity and ‘what am I doing?’ I have lived in 5 countries over the years and the benefits have been amazing, but sometimes I half wish I hadn’t left my street in London then I wouldn’t be confused !! We have too many choices! But that is a wonderful thing. Life is short and I KNOW I want to travel more and meet more lovely people and, somehow, the future will all work out…..

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:06 am - Reply

      Hey Lorraine – I know exactly what you’re talking about. The benefit of this lifestyle is that we realize we can go anywhere or attempt anything but then, having all of those options can drive a person crazy. It become very hard to focus, to figure out what we really want to achieve and to then make a plan. But at the same time, I wouldn’t give it up at all!

  103. Kendal December 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    I guess it’s easy to forget sometimes that we aren’t the only ones feeling lost. I can look around at friends who seem to have it all together… buying a home, getting married, they seem to be doing what they want to do… but I feel like everything I do falls apart. The vision I have for myself is just not coming together. Sometimes I think it has, or it’s close, and then come financial problems, relationship problems, whatever… and I think “where is my life even headed? It just seems like I’m going in circles.”

    So I try to take some time to sit back and look at what I’m doing… for example right now I feel like I’m just moving back and forth between the US and France, spending so much time dealing with moving crap. I look at my bins of stuff to get rid of and think “I feel like I’ve been doing this for a year!” Which I have. But then I reframe it… OK. So I’m gradually letting go of things. It might not be happening as quickly as I want, but it’s better to be in the process than to have never started it. It’s NOT never-ending. I’m learning, I’m growing, I’m shedding who I am not.

    Then I read a lot of books. lol. I try to remind myself of that Bible verse… “seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all this shall be added unto you.” We can argue about what the KOG is, but to me right now it’s looking within, finding what matters, who you really are, becoming love…. and this will attract what is right for you in your life. You can’t do it backwards.

    I still feel lost and frustrated. I still have days where I go eat broasted chicken or a ton of bacon to drown my sorrow in fat (and then don’t feel so good… I’m a vegetarian), still have anxiety about having the career I want (acting, singing…) so that I’m not destitute and couch-surfing in old age… but I’m finally realizing that I can’t chase this happiness… I can feel a bit like Alice being told to serve the cake before cutting it… but I’m seeing the wisdom in it now. 🙂

    If we’re ever lost in the same city, I’ll get a burrito with you! A veggie one. 🙂

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:15 am - Reply

      Hey Kendall – A veggie one works for me too, as long as there is chipotle sauce around to put on it 🙂

  104. Christine December 29, 2014 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this! I’ve dealt with depression in the past and like you said, everyone has their bouts with it. But I love your point about deciding what kind of person you want to be and then figure out how to be that person. Sage advice. Happy New Year!

  105. Cristina December 29, 2014 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    It’s always good to read you, Derek. After 2-3 years of travels and major changes in life, I felt lost and went into depression. I found myself again and got lost again. Now going up and gaining confidence again. Last year we talked when I was getting ready to move to Playa del Carmen and you give me a few good tipps. Now I’m back to Bucharest, maybe we should meet for real …and talk…cristina

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:20 am - Reply

      Hey Cristina – Sounds good…let me know if you wish to meet up!

  106. Doug December 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Earl;
    Yes all of us go through those kinds of things. One thing I think you should consider is that maybe there’s a spiritual component of the reason were all put on this earth.
    Doug

  107. doug December 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Whats the burrito shop you go to in Florida?

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:22 am - Reply

      Hey Doug – It’s Tacos Al Carbon in Lake Worth.

  108. Rhonda December 29, 2014 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    Wonderful post. So glad you had your epiphany in that burrito store! Our current challenge is getting motivated to do all that needs to be done to put our house on the market in the spring, sell/ give away all of our stuff, and get back on the road. We are nervous about making money as we go, etc but.. have met so many wonderful people out there doing it, we just need to have the faith that we, too, can make it work. I think opportunities present themselves once you’re actually on the right track and open to it. Good luck for a fantastic 2015 and may Dengue fever not revisit!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:19 am - Reply

      Thanks Rhonda and I too am hoping dengue fever doesn’t pay me another visit! Good luck with the big change ahead and getting back on the road…I look forward to hearing how it all goes for you!

  109. Tahlei's Travels December 29, 2014 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Thanks for such a personal post Earl – it always helps to know that everyone else goes through the same shit from time to time. I’m so glad a burrito played a prominent part in your recovery 🙂

    Here’s to a brilliant 2015 for all of us!

  110. Sarah Somewhere December 29, 2014 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Oh Earl, I just LOVED this post from you, thank you. Showing up in the world as ourselves, our true selves, and having the courage to share that with others is so important. I have certainly felt like this more times than I can count, which makes those moments of clarity so wonderful. It’s a fantastic journey, this one called life and I agree that no matter where we are along the path to our dreams, we have the ability to access the peace and joy of the present moment. Our negative thoughts do not define us but are merely part of the experience. I hope your new year is filled with freedom, transformation and adventure!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:23 am - Reply

      Hey Sarah – I like your positive outlook and I wish you all the same for 2015!

  111. Keith December 29, 2014 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    Sounds all too familiar. I went through a similar process in 2008/2009, one which led me to become a blogger. You’re absolutely spot on when you say the most important thing is to stay true to yourself. I wrote about my experience here: https://velvetescape.com/2009/11/travelations-the-trip-that-opened-my-eyes/ – hope you don’t mind me sharing it here.

    All the best and wishing you a terrific (and enlightened) 2015!

    Keith

  112. Carla December 29, 2014 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    I love your blog Earl. 🙂 Thanks for writing this one. I definitely needed to hear it and I’m sure a lot of others do too. Right now I feel lost in fact, in Thailand looking for a new job. So I’ll try to refocus too. I hope you enjoy New Year’s, and your 2015 is full of good surprises.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:25 am - Reply

      Hey Carla – I hope things go well for you in Thailand…I’m sure a bit of refocusing will help you find work. Sometimes we just need to step out of our situation – maybe go to a different town for a few days – to regain our positive outlook and start feeling good again. Once you feel good about your situation again, that positivity will help you discover more opportunities.

  113. Edmar December 29, 2014 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Wow, what a great post! Thanks for reminding us.

  114. Dan Barber December 29, 2014 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Dear Earl,
    That was a heartfelt post. I hope other peeps are inspired by your thoughtful inward search and the resulting wisdom from it. I’m sitting here in Sitges, Spain at years end..going on to Morocco after this. A bit tired as I just arrived from the States. At the Air Lingus ticket counter in Boston, they kindly changed my seat to a more forward one so I could exit the plane faster and make my connection in Dublin to Barcelona. I ended up meeting this incredible woman who is a drama professor. Her life story was incredible and inspirational. We are always wondering what or if we are doing the “right” thing and having a happy positive life. Her philosophy was to always be mindful and appreciative of the many many little things that make us happy during the day no matter how small. If we focus on being grateful for these things we live in the present and eventually attract more “happy” positive aspects into our lives. I was enthralled as was my new best friend, John, the flight attendant who I will always stay in touch with!

    I wish you a very healthy and happy 2015. You certainly have made a positive difference in my life m8.

    Big Hug,
    Dan

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:27 am - Reply

      Hey Dan – Those are great thoughts and it all makes perfect sense to me. It can be challenging to focus on all the little things but once we get started, it can be addicting and we do notice an increase in happiness. I’m glad you got that change of seat as well!

      Looking forward to hanging out again at some point and for now, hope you enjoy your stay in Spain and Morocco!

  115. Alyson December 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    You totally nailed that one Earl! And it came for me at a great time. Sorry you’ve had a crappy old time lately. I’ve had plenty over the years, but also some inredibly awesome times. Lets all have lots more good ones in 2015.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:28 am - Reply

      Hey Alyson – Agreed, I wish the same for everyone!

  116. Allison December 29, 2014 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful and timely blog. I too have been “blue” and wondering what happened as I plug along in my little business.
    Trying to add new locations, listening to others who are “in the know”.
    This helped me immensely and I thank you for that. I would love to send this to my customers if possible.
    I am just a little paint studio in Frisco, Texas but I do have a few followers.

    Thanks and keep traveling! I love what I do and I enjoy reading about someone who enjoys their life as much!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:30 am - Reply

      Hey Allison – Please feel free to send this to your customers. And I’m happy to know that you love what you do too! Not everyone can say that.

  117. Stephanie December 29, 2014 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    Well Earl, I’m sure you will hear this a lot but: this blog post really struck a chord with me. After traveling for basically 4 years straight I started to feel pretty lost to myself as well. Even though travel makes me feel so alive and vibrant, I started to realize that I was really only emphasizing one aspect of my personality. That’s a huge part of why Mike and I decided to build a home base in Seattle this year. I wanted to cultivate all the other parts of my personality that are important too: the girl who likes to cook, the girl who has local friends to hang out with, the girl who likes to stay in and read on Saturday nights etc.

    As humans were are just constantly evolving and changing, and I think it’s all about figuring out what you need to give yourself to let that growth continue. For a lot of people it is travel, for me it turned out to be the opposite (which isn’t to say I’m done with travel, just that I can’t let it be the predominate thing in my life anymore).

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:32 am - Reply

      Hey Stephanie – Great point and I think we should always try to remember that life is about change. What we want today, even strongly, might not be want we want the most tomorrow. And that’s perfectly okay of course. Being open to them making the changes we feel are necessary is the next step…just like you were, and it seems to have worked out splendidly! I’ve done some reevaluating myself these past few months now, all with the goal of trying to see how I want my life to look like at this stage.

  118. George Bezushko December 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    You know, Earl, this is just one more posting of yours that hits it on the head! I think you write with a lot of wisdom because of your experiences and your sincerity. So let me ask, are you ever afraid to hit the road because of the feeling you’re just going in circles? Even after spending the month of November in Nicaragua, I returned to upstate New York for the winter wondering if I am still looking for the adventure, or running from boredom! I’ll spend the next few months contemplating my life’s goals, whatever they are.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:34 am - Reply

      Hey George – For me, each of my travels has a different purpose. I do believe that without a purpose, I would be running around in circles and not really gaining much from my experiences. So I might come back to Romania in order to catch up on work or go to Australia to spend time with friends or travel to Yemen to have a crazy adventure and so on…this helps give meaning to each trip so that they don’t blend together and I avoid going round and round and round feeling as if I’m getting nowhere.

  119. Jessica December 29, 2014 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    I have read your blog for a long time now, but I’ve never commented before (I feel like this is the typical way to start a comment). This blog post of yours is really dear to me because this is something I’ve been going back and forth with for such a long time -the lack of uncertainty, the lack of confidence, the self-oppression. Your clarity has gifted me with some as well, and I thank you for that a lot. You are such an inspiration to me in so many ways and thank you, just thank you. I really do hope to meet you someday -I may not have many travel stories to share yet but I know that I will someday soon.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:37 am - Reply

      Hey Jessica – Travel stories are not needed to meet! I’d be happy to meet and talk about anything at all and I shall look forward to it happening. And hopefully you can see that we’re all facing uncertainty….and once you realize that, it doesn’t seem so bad at all 🙂

  120. Adrienne December 29, 2014 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Earl,

    Thank you for your honesty and sharing this episode in your life with us. It is far too easy to believe that I am the *only* person who doesn’t “have it altogether” as an adult even though I entered my 6th decade!

    Stopping and remembering WHO I want to be and how I show up in life is really the key for me. It reminds me that I am truly a “spiritual being immersed in a human experience,” as Teilhard de Chardin put it.

    I appreciate your blog posts.

    Happy 2015 to you!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:38 am - Reply

      Hey Adrienne – And I appreciate you reading the blog!

  121. Sophia December 29, 2014 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Anytime you are in Montana, Stop by and I’ll make you a homemade burrito. Growing up in my poor Hispanic household, we called them “tacos”. Funny, this was considered “poor mans food” we had them everyday.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:39 am - Reply

      Hey Sophia – If that’s poor mans food, I’ll take it every day! If I do make it to Montana (I’ve never been), I shall take you up on your offer for sure!

  122. […] Yes, I’m confused about life just like everyone else. I get depressed, I struggle and I feel lost too, more often than you probably would imagine. In fact, back in August of this year, I had a bit of a … Read more → […]

  123. Patrick T Smith December 29, 2014 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    This was such a daring and person post! Thank you for baring your soul to us. You are right- we all “get lost” occasionally, and we each have our own burrito shop in our lives. This is why I love your blog- you are an actual person have a life journey and adventure, which is what life should be. Thank you and Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year. Looking forward to reading you in 2015.

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:39 am - Reply

      Thanks Patrick and I look forward to interacting with you some more in 2015!

  124. Randy December 29, 2014 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Earl,

    As I’ve said many times, I realate to so much of what you write. This article could not have come at a better time. I have been so lost and so confused this mon5h and for me it took an new friend to snap me out of my rut. I thought I was getting sick of Eastern Europe even though I love it here. That’s when I realized that the only thing that has changed is my outlook on things. I was sad, upset, negative and that’s just not me. After spending time with a buddy that really helped me out of my rut I am back to my positive relaxed mindset. Thank you for once again for putting a seemingly complicated situation into plain English. Hopefully we will meet someday. Thanks again bro!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:41 am - Reply

      Hey Randy – I’m really happy to hear that you’re out of your rut and what you said is so very true. I’ve always believed that having positive experiences doesn’t have anything to do with the actual destination, but with our attitude and outlook instead.

  125. Katie December 29, 2014 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for this Earl. I have had my struggles too, especially after arriving back from an extended trip at the end of the year last year – exhausted then depressed. Reading this makes me feel less alone. Happy New Year!

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:43 am - Reply

      Hey Katie – Glad the post helped and I know how that post-trip depression works. It’s tough but the key is to just figure out what you want in the next stage of life, make a plan and start working towards it. It sounds easy of course but that’s what will help you achieve your next goal.

  126. Brandon December 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    🙂

  127. Lauren December 29, 2014 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl,

    Thanks for sharing! I’m on my second year of nomadic living (cruise ship and traveling while on leave) and have experience this as well! It always seems to be when I stop having momentum and too much time to think about my life. Overthinking was always my strong suit 😉 Currently I’m on leave during the holidays, so for once decided to spend it with family, and have been spending most of my time panicking about my direction and where this is all going. Thank you for the kick in the head, it turns out I really just needed a new perspective.

    Always enjoy the blog, keep it up! Next time my leave dates and your tours match up I will definitely be on one

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:42 am - Reply

      Hey Lauren – Sounds good to me…it will be great to have you on one of the tours!

  128. Iván Radchik December 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    This post was amazing Earl. As you know, i’ve been feeling confused and lost but your blogs really help me get through that. I’ve read this post a couple of times and I am starting to realize what you meant with all those emails. Thank you for this fantastic year where i’ve come to meet you, I hope there are many more!

    – Ivan

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:44 am - Reply

      Hey Ivan – It’s been great connecting with you in 2014 and I’m sure we’ll communicate some more, if not meet in person, in 2015 my friend!

  129. Vagabond Tim December 29, 2014 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    I’d love to meet up for a burrito or two, sadly we have never been in the same place at the same time in the last couple of years. Keep wandering and maybe someday we will be…

    • Wandering Earl January 5, 2015 at 5:44 am - Reply

      @Vagabond Tim – It will happen…it’s bound to at some point!

  130. Ava December 29, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    I absolutely love you and your experiences, and with your ups and downs, I learn. I am on a path to move out of the United States by 2016, with my two girls, age 5 and 6, as a single mother, so between you and Enlightened Globetrekker, I find strength and courage.

  131. Yonah December 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    This really touched me in a personal way. I can totally relate to your experience, as I think most people in the world can. Times of uncertainty come and go in life. Hopefully, we end up realizing what truly matters to us.

    Thank you, sir.

  132. Sufiyan Samnani December 29, 2014 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Exactly what I needed to read at this moment. I’m going to read this one article for the next few weeks until it is firmly drilled in my head. Thank you very much, Earl 🙂

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