The year that was 2011 was an odd one for me. There was certainly no shortage of traveling as I bounced around from Australia to Southeast Asia to Mexico to Eastern Europe to Turkey, back to the USA, to South Africa, and now, back to Romania over the past 12 months. But even with all of those interesting adventures, as the year reaches it’s end, I still find myself just a little bit confused as to the direction I’m actually heading in life.

In reality, I’m not too surprised by this confusion considering that the year 2011 presented one giant wollop of a challenge, the kind of challenge in which one thing after another seemed to go wrong or not work out as I had expected. This year saw a great deal of changed plans, some of which completely took me by surprise, as well as long-lasting periods of uncertainty, more than a handful of troubling moments and a higher than normal amount of utter confusion.

Hooray for all that.

And so, needless to say, as a result of this somewhat bizarre and difficult year, I’m ready for the New Year to begin. Perhaps on January 1st I will finally be able to clear my head and find some answers to some common questions, questions that I have been asking myself quite often as of late, questions such as ‘what’s the point of what I’m doing?’ and ‘what am I trying to accomplish?’.


Wandering Earl in the RainOf course, it would help to get a little head start and use the last couple of days of 2011 wisely. I guess there’s no point in waiting until after the New Year to begin figuring things out. And that’s why I think I’ll just go ahead with an idea that I thought of a few minutes ago, an idea that might prove to be beneficial and maybe even therapeutic.

I’m going to jot down all of the random thoughts that are currently mosh-pitting through my head in the hope that seeing such a list in front of me might help me sort through the muck and discover some answers.

I’m not overly confident that this will work, and I’m a bit nervous that the nonsense inside my head may scare a few of you away, but I’m willing to give it a try nonetheless.

Fifteen Minute Break…

Okay, I’ve now spent the past fifteen minutes contemplating my life and writing down every thought that entered my head. And here’s those very thoughts…

  • What on earth am I doing with my life? (A common one, I know.)
  • I really do enjoy eating soft cheese.
  • No matter what happens, I still feel most at peace when I think about packing one small backpack with a few possessions and just walking around the world, a thought that has been in my head for the past ten years.
  • Winter weather is not nearly as terrible as I once thought (it’s freezing in Bucharest now but miraculously I’m surviving.)
  • I want to be on television.
  • I’m starting to think that my musician friend who told me I could be a good singer if I took a few lessons was lying to me.
  • We should all be laughing at most of the things we get upset about.
  • As always, I would love to spend less time in front of my laptop.
  • I really hope that nobody ever greets me at an airport with kazoos.
  • I want to learn how to be an Wildlife Tracker in South Africa.
  • Wildlife Tracking, South Africa

  • Socotra Island is a must-visit for 2012.
  • Gladys Knight has a lovely voice.
  • I really don’t care too much about the main sights the world has to offer, preferring much more to go anywhere and meet new people.
  • I miss my afro.
  • Did I mention wanting to walk around the world?
  • Shaving my armpits is excellent, but why am I plucking my eyebrows as well?
  • When am I going to finally sit down and learn how to play the banjo?
  • I would love to show other people around India.
  • As I get older, good water pressure in the shower and comfortable pillows are becoming much more important to me.
  • Really, what am I trying to achieve with the blog and the traveling? What are my true goals with this lifestyle?
  • I miss Mitch Hedberg.
  • How do I help encourage more people to find a way to start traveling?
  • I think it’s time for a one month silent meditation retreat.
  • What happened to my goal of being a stand up comedian?
  • It’s a good thing that Italian guy who wanted to cut my head off with a machete on board a cruise ship never managed to get the machete or hunting knives he bought while in port on board the ship.
  • Sometimes, the way we humans spend our lives seems absurd and useless to me.
  • How can I use the knowledge I’ve learned over the years in a way that benefits as many people as possible?
  • I really need to update my music collection.
  • Istanbul might be my new favorite city on the planet.
  • I’m most content when laughing, being around close friends or meeting good people I never would have met had I never traveled.

Hagia Sofia, Istanbul
Well, there you go. And truthfully, now that I’ve read over that list a few times myself, I’ve unfortunately been left shaking my head, feeling even more confused than before. I even started feeling a little sad that my head is full of such stuff. Why am I thinking of Mitch Hedberg, soft cheese and my afro from 10 years ago at a time like this? I need some direction. 2012 is only a few days away. Oh my.

But wait. Wait just a minute. What about all of you? Surely most of you will be entering 2012 in a state of some confusion as well. Isn’t it natural around this time of year for all of us to question what we’re doing in life and what we truly want to achieve during our time on this planet?

Surely I can’t be alone.

So, maybe all of us need to spend the next few days wisely. Perhaps we should all stop procrastinating, we should all put down the tweezers and stop plucking our eyebrows for a moment or two.

Then, we should start thinking seriously about what we want out of life. Let us all create a list of our most important goals and then read that list over and over again until we realize that life is far too short to just plod along for yet another year without trying to achieve them.

I’m in. Who’s coming with me?

Alright! I’ll just assume that most of you raised your hand and, as a result, I now feel a little better knowing that we’re all in this together. We’re all a little confused (right?), but at the same time, we’re all determined to find our way in 2012 and to make sure that the next time we ask ourselves, ‘What am I trying to accomplish?’, we have an answer and a plan to make it happen.

This post did its job after all.

Have a wonderful New Year’s everyone! Enjoy your celebrations, please be safe and whatever you do, I’d appreciate it if you could refrain from using kazoos.