Guess who’s back with another brilliant blogger and some insightful stories this month? That’s right! Dusky’s here and today I’ve got somebody on-board that has been a privilege to have on this modest shanty that is Nomadic Lives. Hope this is as inspiring to you as he has been for me over the past couple of years. Presenting to you – Blogger of the Month – August 2015.
Blogger Bio: Derek Earl Baron, more commonly known to the world of dreamy work-desk occupants with exotic locations as their desktop backgrounds as ‘Wandering Earl‘ is easily amongst my top 5 travel bloggers in the world. What I enjoy most about his work is his tongue-in-cheek and extremely emotive writing style, which I personally relate to. Wandering Earl took his baby steps towards making a career out of ‘wandering’ way back in 1999 – to put things into perspective, at this point my idea of travel was the monthly cross-town visit to my grandparents’. With more than 15 years of a nomadic lifestyle behind him, Wandering Earl is living proof that a lifetime of travel is not a crazy fantasy, but a realistic lifestyle option. It was really thrilling to be able to have Earl on board for this short interview, I hope you’ll enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
After you’re done with this little heart-to-heart, don’t forget to scourge his archives for the choicest of travel stories on the internet. If I were you, I’d begin with Thank You to The Militant Who Stole My Car 🙂
Dusky: The highest item on your bucket list that you’re yet to tick off?
Earl: I don’t actually have a bucket list but visiting the rest of Central Asia – Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakstan – is something that I’m very interested in doing in the near future.
Dusky: Name one thing/person that is the greatest inspiration of your life.
Earl: My high school guidance counselor who told me that I shouldn’t have such big goals in life and that I should just try to follow the normal path, find some ordinary job that I’d enjoy and settle into the routine. As soon as I heard that, I thought to myself, “I’m going to prove this guy wrong!” and that’s been my focus ever since. It’s sort of reverse inspiration I guess! (Hallelujah)
Dusky: One item you carry with you on your journeys that has absolutely no right or reason to be with you on the road, but you still can’t leave it behind!
Earl: A small rubber duck. A friend gave it to me once to take along on a trip to Finland and Estonia and ever since, I’ve carried this thing around with me, for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
Dusky: The one artist/musician/band that tends to dominate your playlists on the road?Earl: It switches often but Dire Straits is up there. I’m old. (no beef there Earl, Knopfler is KING)
Dusky: If you could describe one incident that would qualify as your one big-break in the world of travel-blogging, which one would that be?
Earl: Being mentioned by Time Magazine’s website as one of the best blogs in the world in 2012.
Dusky: What is the biggest stereotype travel has broken for you?
Earl: That people are different. Turns out that people all over the world, regardless of nationality, religion, economic status or anything else, all want the same thing – to live a simple, happy life with enough money to take care of their family and enjoy time with their friends. They don’t want enemies or to fight, they don’t want to hate anyone else, they just want as peaceful and as happy a life as possible.
Dusky: Given that I’m someone who isn’t the most naturally social person, I’m very curious to know how you end up making friends on your journeys. I’ve my own ways, but I’m sure I’ll discover something new here!
Earl: I’m not very outgoing either but it all comes down to the word “hello” in the end. As often as I can, in hostels, in cafes, on the street, in shops, at sights, etc., I just say hello to as many people as possible. Sometimes it leads to nothing but a quick reply but it often leads to meeting new friends as well. It’s quite simple really!
Dusky: Can you describe the most unusual alcoholic drink(s) you’ve tasted?
Earl: I’m not a big drinker. (oh! Bummer…we’ll just have to stick to my favorites when we finally meet for a drink then *winks*)
Dusky: Of all the craziest jobs you’ve done throughout your nomadic life, which is the one job you loved the most, and why?
Earl: Organizing and leading tours as I do now because it allows me to help other people travel to destinations that they otherwise probably wouldn’t have traveled to on their own. Helping people achieve their own travel goals is what it’s all about for me!
Dusky: Describe the craziest thing you have done on your travel – something when you think about in hindsight may even seem dangerous or life-threatening.
Earl: This would probably be traveling from Peshawar, Pakistan overland to Kabul, Afghanistan back in 2006. I survived of course and didn’t run into any issues, apart from a few Taliban roadblocks along the way, but it probably wasn’t the smartest decision.
Dusky: Is there a single regret in your nomad-life? If yes, would you like to share it with us? Earl: Not many regrets although I do wish I had more of a purpose when I first started out traveling instead of just traveling for the sake of traveling. It would have been more useful to have more concrete goals and reasons for visiting the places I visited during the first few years as that would have helped me gain even more from my experiences.
Dusky: Describe the most amazing person you’ve met on the road – you don’t have to name him/her, just describe the person and the moment you met/the time you spent together & the memories you’ll always remember.
Earl: There’s a Buddhist nun who walks all over the world for peace. That’s it. She walks across the USA and Canada, she’s walked from Europe to Asia, across Australia and everywhere else in the world too. Her single goal is to promote peace and human rights for the people in the regions she passes through. I’ve always admired her because she has dedicated her life to something so important and is probably the least selfish person I’ve ever met on this planet. I actually met her in the Dubai Airport when I accidentally stepped on her foot. I turned around, apologized to her and she just smiled. We started talking before parting ways and incredibly, a couple of years later, I heard that she was in Australia when I was there as well, so I met up with her during one of her long walks.
Dusky: If you had no choice but to give up travelling at some point of time in your life, what would you do next? I’m guessing the ‘what next’ question must have occurred to you at some point of time in your life? Also, if you could exchange your nomadic life for something else, and you could pick any three things of your choice, what would they be?
Earl: I honestly don’t think about this much at all. My theory is that if I wake up tomorrow and realize that it’s time to stop this traveling lifestyle, then I’ll stop. I’ll take what I’ve learned, I’ll take my skills and knowledge and move forward. At the same time, what I’ve created with my blog is something that won’t just die if I stop traveling. The business around the blog is something can last even if I’m not out there traveling all of the time. I wouldn’t change this lifestyle for anything else, not at all 🙂