Climb Mount Kota Kinabalu! Sorry, not today I’m having pizza & a blue pill

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ August 10th, 2011. Published in: Travel blog » How to live overseas » Sabah (Malaysian Borneo) » Website updates.
Mount Kinabalu surrounded by clouds in Sabah Malaysia

Malaysia's most famous mountain vs finding a place to live ...

“My kind of traveling” is very different to …

I don’t quite know how else to sum it up really. I often say to people who want to meet me:

“Are you sure, I’m kinda boring really”.

It’s like going on an archaeological dig, sounds cool to see all those old bones and maybe even a whole dinosaur! But, the reality is a whole day in a mud pit watching people with toothbrushes brushing away millimeters of dirt and then get very excited about it.

No, not my thing either. But Indiana Jones sounds so much better!

The romantic side to travel

Exotic destinations like island hopping in The Philippines. Exploring old European capitals like Budapest. Or watching hot air balloons in Turkey. Relaxed, fun and big smile destinations that will make your friends jealous no end.

Heart thumping adventures

Get stuck in the riots in Tibet during the second uprising. Travel overland into Iran as rumors of a U.S. invasion follows. Arrive into Pakistan during an assassination attempt, a climb to nearly 18,ooo feet in -40 degrees (wind chill),  plus another riot in Nepal, not to mention finding the pyramids in China.

Yes, my life has had a lot in it …

Take a year off. Take a career break. Take 2 weeks off and visit another country, eat new food. It’s so very different to what you are used to at home. Even a weekend getaway, it feels good thinking about it right now, doesn’t it?

Now wrap that into nearly 7 years. No, it’s not like the above. It’s very different. And, I do believe, near on impossible for the majority of people to fathom without knowing a lot more. Hence today, this journal, and in the future a book.

This is no vacation, nor aimless travel adventure.

The notion of real perpetual travel might seem ideal, the raw reality is far removed from anything remotely pleasurable.

A hard notion for someone stuck in day job to comprehend. Harder still for those that want the ultimate freedom of travel, that requires such a job to finance. Worse are the market pitches claiming it to be true, they do after all want you to buy something from them …

For me, travel is a means, not an end zone

Here we must depart I am afraid.

Yes, travel to me is a tool to accomplish my end destination of finding a new place to live. It is a pioneering journey, but one that humanity has done for eons.

Pizza in Malayasia

Pizza Italiano senza uno montagna in Malaysia (Italian pizza without a mountain)

One that recreation has filled a void with, using short-term fixes.

I am looking for a permanent solution.

Climb Mount Kinabalu!

In the meantime these were the words asked of me one day by a group of nice travelers at a guest-house.

I turned down the chances to climb one of Malaysia’s most famous mountains that day without question.

Here’s why.

Conversation and information over pleasure

I like pizza, and it fills me well. The owner of this particular cafe is an Italian expat. No better an opportunity to delve into the expat community of Sabah.

An essential part of last years journey was all about fitting in when living overseas. But, I was trying to fit in with locals. The expats, though some nice, were mainly a lot older, heavy on beer and younger girls. Not really my social scene. Local integration is not without it’s bumps either though.

Kota Kinabalu is a tourist city. Meeting locals here is a different ball game. Moreover the expats here are a lot more diverse. Again, mainly retired, they don’t seem so caught up in forgetting about the world in can of beer every day.

In this case, I had struck up a conversation with an Italian pizza cafe owner. It was worth more to me than seeing Mount Kinabalu.

I explore new places in a very different way to most people

Most importantly the pizza cafe owner was simply a wealth of information about living in Sabah. Not only from a practical side of things, but also from a side of life that’s very hard to get good information on.

The man asked me questions not of travel, but of living in different places.

And, what a relief to my ears it was to hold a discussion with someone about the reality of a life overseas.

We then talked about the womanizing ways of the French and Italian Prime Ministers. We laughed over the stupid things. We complained about the heat. We talked about The Sopranaos and how nothing has replaced it on TV, aside from Dexter, which I don’t think he knew about.

Yes, we just had a regular conversation. And, that was what I enjoyed.

The biggest question I keep getting asked is not about me nor travel …

I enjoy meeting people as I travel. When I do, I enjoy normal conversation. Conversation not about travel; nor the usual 101 questions I get asked about myself.

Why? The questions I get asked about in real life are not really about travel nor myself.

Most people are simply not interested in me, though the pretense is there. They are however, interested in what they think I have in the form of a “little blue pill” that can help them jump out of a life less ordinary: To embrace the rapture of freedom. 

And, it’s true. Along with a few other things, I really do know the answer to this question.

But, it’s not as easy to swallow as “a little blue pill”.

Life’s big corner

Nepalese Miner

I like, and have to do, things that most people find hard work when on holiday ... but to me it's a do or die routine like many others around the world

Sure Mount Kinabalu is great. Please do consider climbing it. Photographing it. Writing about it. But I’ve climbed mountains on the top of the world and know the stories well enough by now.

Returning, the travelers from earlier were full of mountain talk. I listened to some funny quips, and typical stories. Not so different, but good for them.

However, when they asked what I had been up to, and I told them. They nodded half heartedly and smiled in polite necessity.

I understand perfectly. I’m like watching that archaeologist in a pit to them.

“We are both traveling, but for different purposes.”

A not so stellar meet up

Last week I met a couple over coffee via an email from this site. It was kind of awkward. They were on a one year round the world trip and full of excitement:

Have you done this, have you seen this?

Me: no, nope, not today.

Them: How long have you been here again?

Me: Yea, it’s just a different kind of travel.

Them: Nodding of heads and stares at the guide-book (aka, hoping someone can rescue them).

“Travel” is great, i enjoy it, but I don’t want to live it 24/7

In Bangkok I met a traveler with their own travel blog. The conversation nearly/has driven me to the point of removing the word “blog” from my own site. Something I debated heavily when I started this site.

Their main area of conversation was Google. How to get to the top of the search engine rankings. How to make money to travel. How to get free trips.

It got worse.

Next was how do you think “this person“, does it? Do you think I should talk to them? Or go and meet them?

By now I’d switched off and was making up conversations in my head in the hope the evening would come to a close that bit sooner.

Only the person wanted to go out for beers … and couldn’t understand my answer.

“Thanks, but no beer, I’m working tonight, and it’s not on my budget.” A blatant lie due to my stomach, but the last person I wanted to share my medical problems with was this person!

“It’s only one night and … we’re here!!!”  (how many times have I heard that)

“I’m just gonna get something to eat and go back to the hotel.”

And yes, they were offended by all this. And no, at this stage of my life I didn’t give a hoot!

Been there, heard that 1000 times

After 6+ years of hearing the same questions … I avoid telling many people what I am doing. The really interesting people won’t be asking either.

I dare not say what I am doing anymore in a hotel or guest-house. Either that or I should just hand out a press-release of Frequently Asked Questions.

What a relief it is to meet someone like that Pizza maker, or a lone traveler on a train like last week.

They couldn’t care less about a blog, how many countries anyone’s been too. They just wanted a real conversation about life, and some interesting stories.

And, so do I.

Two boys in the slums in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Who knows what will happen in your life as you make your way down its many paths ... that's what makes it so wonderful when you meet people looking for other things, in their own way ...

I’m simply very happy to meet people who want to talk about anything other than “cool things to do” and everything about me or rather that “little blue pill”.

Sadly in person, just like that archaeologist; I’m actually a lot more boring to be around in reality than one might have thought.

It’s why I am very happy to write guides, how to’s, and all manner of helpful travel resources for everyone. But sit me down everyday and ask the same questions about how to get up and leave … well, I’ve answered that already.

The people I really enjoy meeting, and dare I say visa versa are those that know their path in life. And, are not looking for greener pastures one way or another. People with interesting tales, lives and stories. People that like to share experiences pro quo. Not those looking for quick answers.

At the end of the day, this, or any other really good lifestyle means: hard work.

The people I  enjoy meeting are rarities, and I cherish the moments our paths cross!

No return travel …

I’ve not gone home to anywhere in my near 7 years of travel. There’s a difference, I’ve met plenty of people who enjoy travel but savor going home for respite in-between the journeys.

In my life, I have done both.

So yes, I can claim to be a 20+ year travel veteran if I mix and match my life’s travel ventures.

Let me write that the former is by far more taxing, and I don’t recommend it. It certainly wears you down. A lack of support, stability, security, and resources.

Even 2 years in Africa or The Philippines does not cut it. It’s simply not the same as having a “home” base. By a long shot.

Maybe it’s a lack of family, permanent friends, and support networks. Maybe it’s a mix of cultures, bureaucracy, security, age, life … the list goes on.

I’ve done it, and am doing it. It’s an arduous campaign. I have no regrets. But if people are looking for a that “little blue pill” this is not it.

Maybe after my campaign is over, I can package the “blue pill” a little better. Write better instructions, improve the compounds that create it. Make it taste better, or make it easier to swallow. Sounds nicer …

The future brings …

If you subscribed to my updates/newsletter, you’ll know what I am going through right now. If not … well, you missed out on that bit of news didn’t you!

As such, writing here will become sporadic. Cease at worse. And hopefully, let’s be positive, will continue unabated for a long time to come.

For now though … I can only close this page on my journey by saying …

I am a fighter and a survivor. I am an adventurer and an explorer. I am proud and I have honor. I will endeavor to continue on ….

(insert grin from the right side)

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58 Great responses to Climb Mount Kota Kinabalu! Sorry, not today I’m having pizza & a blue pill

  1. i am hoping that you can continue to write here – it’s incredible, the view into your life – because it IS so different from traveling. i am laughing at the travel bloggers you met, and what they wanted to talk about. i’d have gone for the pizza, too.

  2. John Wilson says:

    Good post.
    Both have pros and cons, and I understand what you are doing – marching to your own drum beat.
    Not bad to listen to others, free trips and all are not all that bad – google number one is a good goal.
    You have to want it though – and your drum beat leads you elsewhere.
    That in and of itself is good.
    Good travels, peace of mind is a good quest. Hope you find that “place”.
    I hope you do not end up finding that “place” because you cannot go anyplace else.
    Keep blogging, pay attention to the inner voice, have fun.
    Maybe this is your “sewing needle”.
    Remember, enjoy the journey, because the destination is never is as good as expected.
    John D. Wilson

    • There’s a fine line in marching to ones own beat, and going completely off the rails too.

      I try, I hope, to manage the former a little better. But yes, I don’t like cookie cutter blogs nor websites either. Being offline for so long, and not reading anything, shows why my RSS and email subscriptions have gone from 100’s to 10’s recently.

      Happy too! Thanks for the support John!

  3. Michael says:

    You got me on the second picture. I know that “place” very well and love it too. (insert a wink of the right eye here) I’m also quite intrigued about that Italian expat and how he landed there. I’m sure there’s a story behind that too.

  4. Jason says:

    A lot to digest there Dave, and many parts to your post are still spinning in my head. I bet you run into many that think it would be so cool to live a life of constant travel, such as yours.

    Nearing seven years on the road must really excite some people, but I feel that most (nor even I for that matter) can really understand what it’s like to endure that amount of time without a home.

    Many people just starting out on their own adventures, would fantasize about such a life, but few could ever endure such a long time away, without any home base.

    I feel I can understand a little of what you are trying to put across, but I have met many over the journey that have been unsettled for to long, and get somewhat lost within themselves.

    Enjoy the journey and safe travels mate…..

    • “I have met many over the journey that have been unsettled for to long, and get somewhat lost within themselves.”

      Very good quote Jason. These roamers can get very strange. I’ve seen them at the start, middle and end. I knows the signs, I avoid them and the conditions.

      It takes all types, but being a lost soul is not something I have planned :)

  5. Eyague says:

    Hi there,

    Hope you will find joy in ur sabah trip…

    do drop by at UMS’s aquarium if love the marine life stuff…

    or, do feel free to go to Simpang Menganyau (english: the tip of borneo), I love that place…liken am in Hawaii…. local ppl, not expat…lol~

  6. Denise says:

    I really hope that you keep posting, and that all goes well for you.
    I guess that’s why I have no or little interest in meeting fellow travellers when on the road – I meet people because I like interesting conversation, not because I’m afraid to be alone. If every conversation runs along the lines of, ‘what’s your name?’ ‘where are you from?’ ‘where have you been to?’ and so on and so forth….I don’t really see the point. I’d rather just keep in touch with friends I already have abroad.

    • In all likelihood, I’ll start up again soon. Priorities are being changed again. At the time, I had to push everything into survival mode, and put health first. Hence no posts.

      I’ve not seen nor read any blogs (aside from a movie review blog:)) for near on 2 months now. It’s nearly as good as avoiding those “where are you from questions”

      Meeting genuine people is a key aspect of long-term travel, living overseas. Many of these people simply are not travelers. I think this is a confusing aspect for many people to comprehend.

  7. Jakob says:

    I don’t think I could wander for such a long time (respect)…allready after a couple of month I would be happy to come home, a feeling of coming home to yourself, one of the most important reasons for me to travel. I must admit it looks very difficult to me if you’re travelling for such a long time, I definitely would experience traveling in a very different way. Hoop to meet you one day and I won’t ask you about the “blue pill”. Save travels and keep on writing…please.

    • I hear you on not wanting to wander for a long time. I don’t like the idea either. It does take all types though. And, if we were all the same, then we’d all be pretty boring.

      I see your profile pic is you in a tent(?). Many people see me and think I love camping out etc. Truth is, I can’t stand it! (respect to you). But, I like reading about it. Just not doing it.

      The writing, it looks like it will continue on soon … I had to prioritize my health over the past few weeks.

  8. Leslie says:

    You have a really interesting perspective as a 7+ year traveler. Having traveled continuously for 1 year, I know how exhausting that was and how at times it was really hard work. Sometimes I just wanted to crash for a few weeks in one place and sleep in the same bed for more than two nights– and you’ve decided to travel perpetually, for LIFE! It sounds romantic to leave everything behind and travel forever, but having had a taste I think I prefer to be settled in a home base and then take trips. I enjoy reading about your journey and hope it continues for a long while :) Are you still looking for a place to call home, or do you think you will travel indefinitely?

    • I have no intention of traveling indefinitely. Not having a home base is simply not practical nor safe for someone without a family.

      At least not for someone who wishes to accomplish things in life like I do. There are aimless wanderers out there. But, you’d be surprised to know that beneath the lines of webblogs many go home, often. Nothing wrong in that, only they give the perception they are on the road 24/7 “continually”

  9. jim says:

    I must confess to having enjoyed your writings of your travels since I first heard about your journey to the Philippines.
    How I envy you at times but its not all about travel but also the experiance that goes with it.
    Thank you for sharing that experiance with your many readers me in particular and I hope you will continue to write in the future.

  10. iamthewitch says:

    What a lot to digest! I knew your travel style was different when I first commented on your post on Sabah once, and instead of white water rafting, you preferred the train. :) Well I hope you stay the way you are and continue to be a nomad just because of your own reasons without succumbing to the typical touristy activities.
    PS: I have tried to subscribe to your newsletter again, this time with a different email account ;)

    • I like to think, there’s nothing else like this website out there. If, for nothing else, that people will get an honest answer when they come here.

      Thanks for the new subscription, hope you get the updates through it. There will be a new post / newsletter sometime in the next 10 days :)

  11. Charu says:

    A really good post. I’m glad you too are in the camp of marching to your own drum because nothing good can be gained by blindly following the rest of the pack. As for Google and SEO —they create such BORING posts. I’d rather read a well thought out essay that is true to the person rather than a cookie cutter version that is SEO friendly. I’ve not traveled continuously like you have, but when I do travel, I find I have to take things slowly and savor. Rushing ends up blurring the experience. I’m glad you’re discovering yourself in the process. Well done!

    • Thanks Charu. I’ve never tried to march to anyone’s drum other than my own. Sometimes it works, and people enjoy. Othertimes no one here’s the beat but me.

      However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. People writing just for shock, seo, keywords etc can have their cookie cutter blogs. Nice on the outside, hollow on the inside.

      I think it’s better to have one solid well though out reader who reads and comments, then 100 “nice posts”!

  12. Aud says:

    Reading this it all sounds so final and a bit sad :(

  13. borneo says:

    “They couldn’t care less about a blog, how many countries anyone’s been too. They just wanted a real conversation about life, and some interesting stories.”

    this is really good..

  14. Palawan Martin says:

    You seem to write about food a great deal, i just wondered ,are you fat ?

  15. rokh says:

    i do think that deep down in each of us, we know what we want and what we need. so don’t let anyone else tell you different :)

  16. Kristina says:

    Of course your perspective is different if you have been traveling for 7 years. No surprise there that you don’t want to have the same conversations over and over or that you don’t want to do the typical sightseeing. OTOH, the same goes if you are living in one place and just meeting someone for the first time at a dinner party; “what’s do you do?” etc. I get sick of THAT conversation.
    OTOH, perhaps this a sign that you should settle down somewhere for a little while and step out of “travel mode” and into “expat life.” But that bigs a whole new set of issues with it, doesn’t it?

    • I did try the expat life in The Philippines and to an extent West Africa. I think I’ve shied away from it as it’s a very long-term commitment. A lot of which has to do with work, and finding the right place to be an “expat”.

      Which bring one back on a full circle. The answering being, there is no “perfect place”.

      One should sometimes just bite the bullet.

  17. Claudia says:


    I’m certainly not fluent in English so I may have misunderstood some parts of the article. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    I’ve being travelling continously for 12 years and love it. Sure, I don’t have any friend from kindergarden, rarely talk to my sister (seen twice…), missed a lot…but I’m really happy about this experience and looking forward to do it again. Not looking for a home at all, as I know where my only roots are : inside me and that’s really all that I need.
    HOWEVER, I profoundly respect people who are “just” travelling and want to see it all. Simply because we don’t have the same backgrounds and history. And I appreciate that they make the effort to travel and try to see something else. In fact, I even encourage them to do so. Not everyone can afford (and stand as you said) to live this life. But why criticizing them ?
    I am trying to settle down for the very first time in my life because I HAVE TO for business reasons (knowing that it will last only one year, but still, it’s a lot for me) and you know what ? I assume, in fact NO, I’m sure that I’m looking ridiculous for them (these people who actually have a home and do travel to climb a mountain) asking how to choose a second hand car or even register for tax at my age. But they don’t judge. Simply try to help me reaching my goal.
    You should do the same with those people who travel differently, whatever how annoying they can be sometimes, they are also looking for something, even if it’s just relaxing, or boozing, or forget their life for once…
    I’m not trying to patronize you. That’s my way of thinking. That’s how I perceived the article. I would like to have your exact opinion on it and will be glad to be highlighted if I didn’t understand what you were saying.
    Still, love the way you write. Got one of these blog myself, unfortunately not in english.

    • Hi Claudia,

      No problems.

      First up, this post had several things intertwined in it. I write about me. So things can often me one-sided based on my opinions. Unless I am writing an opinion post, in which case I will try to lay both sides to the argument out.

      What I wrote about “travel-bloggers” in this post is based on those I’ve met. Simple as that.

      What I wrote and write about other people are again based on people I’ve met, and my own thoughts on them, and or their aspects. I certainly don’t name names, and change identities to avoid any personal offence, it’s written in the footer too.

      Above all, I respect everyone for their own paths in life be it in travel, or something else. However, I do have my views, and opinions. And, as this is my journal, I express them freely here.

      Some people will agree, some will not. Such is life, but either way everyone is welcome to comment on it.

      It’s impossible to cover everyone’s perspective when writing a personal journal. An example is your traveling “continuously” for 12 years. There are people out there that think “continuously” means from 24/7 always on the move to the first family vacation. Again, as you can see, it’s impossible to cater to both when writing as I do.

      As such, some of the things I write will not sit well with some people, while others will agree. Then, the next week the opposite will happen.

      This is my take on my life and this journey. Just like a dinner conversation, enjoy it, savor it, speak about it, compare it, disagree or agree with it. Most importantly, feel free to talk about it!

      The very best with your settling down, not an easy task to say the least!

  18. Greetings from Urumqi – Xinjiang. Hope things swing the way you want Dave. Just keep doing what makes ya happy; that’s what I do … Nomad-ism, freedom, world cultures & sights, are still addictive for me. All the best.

    the candy trail … a nomad across the planet, since 1988

    PS: I could really do that pizza …

  19. it’s been a long while since I left a comment on this site when I stumbled on it sometime in 2009, I wasn’t even blogging at that time and I rmmbr you were in El Nido that time, the same time I was there too (But I only I stayed a few days). I kept telling my travel blogger friend about you I love your site. Lately, I;’e been asked what’s your favorite foreign travel blog. I always answer, TLHM. :) Thanks for all the posts here, the travel guides and helpful tips are really helpful.
    I somehow understand about your sentiments, I mean the travel blogger part, that’s why I don’t really mention to anyone I meet on the road that I have a travel blog and sometimes I wanna stop blogging. I’m not that well traveled like most of you but somehow I get pretty annoyed or bored about meeting backpacker travelers who keeps talking about SEO, travel blogging tourist vs. travelers, how many countries have you been to, aren’t you scared of traveling solo questions, getting to all the places on their guidebooks, blah blah blah. But well, I guess I have to respect differences.
    Take care on your travels Dave! :)

    • Hi Gael,

      And, I certainly remember getting that comment about the Philippines too. El Nido was / is the paradise of SEA.

      I’m very much done with meeting any form of “travel blogger”. Really not an enjoyable experience at all.

      Don’t get me wrong, there are some very nice people who write travel blogs. But I have no desire to meet them socially and spend any time whatsoever talking about travel, seo, google, or blogging. Nadda, zip, not going to happen. Pay me, and I will, that’s the only way :)

      So, if we ever meet, let’s talk about Tarisers, good coffee, books, well … anything but blogging and the weather ;)

  20. Jasmine says:

    Hey Dave,

    I can relate to a lot of what you said. I’m in this strange place where after 3 1/2 years of travel, I’m tired. I want to find some kind of home base and be an expat for awhile – at least 6 months. That’s why I came to your site tonight actually.

    I am also beyond tired of the guidebook-wielding backpackers asking me if I have been to site X or where did I stay in city Z. Not that I look down on them, but just that we are in such different places in life. I much prefer to talk to the everyday person on the street, and I find myself sharing much less about myself than before, preferring to listen and hear about the day-to-day things that happen in the town.

    Anyways, thanks for writing this because I sometimes feel like something is wrong with me for not wanting to cheek out every museum and sight in whatever new place I’m in. We are all on the road for different reasons, looking for different things…

    • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you Jasmine. Once your make it over the 2 year mark or real travel, you’ve basically got a long list of questions you’ve heard 10x over. Likewise places that basically all look the same.

      It is harder to find new “adrenaline” type things to motivate oneself.

      I liken it to a regular 9-5 job. The first year is fine. The second is repetitiveness and you become a pro. By the 3 the challenge is gone.

      A lot of individual things come into all this of course. I think a key aspect is to realistically ask yourself “am I enjoying my life” if the answer is no. Then change is needed.

      If the answer is “yes, but travel is becoming monotonous” then a hobby while traveling is needed. Or, a change in the type of travel is an alternative.

      That’s my 2cents on the subject anyway :)

  21. Erica says:

    Hey Dave,

    I just stumbled upon your site. Interesting thoughts. Must say I like your subtitle “…traveling the world in search of home.” For many years, I traveled for the exactly same reason. Still do, to some extent. From what I’ve heard, many long-term travelers eventually learn to find a home within themselves – that way they can feel at home regardless of where in the world they are.

    • Thanks, glad you like it here.

      I “found myself”” a long time ago, hence I write pretty much from the hip. I know what I want, when I want it, and how to go about it. It’s just taking a lot longer than I first thought!

  22. Nathan says:

    I have enjoyed your blog for some time, not for the travel information, but for the insight into the mind of a genuine nomad. Good luck Dave, missed the newsletter, but I hope you stay strong.

    • Hi Nathan,

      Glad you enjoy the blog. The newsletter goes out every few weeks when you sign up.

      There should be an in-depth Autumn / Fall edition in the next week or so covering all the recent health / hospital scenarios that’s been happening. And, a blog update too, but that won’t have the personal update :)

  23. Ivy says:

    I so hope you’ll find what you’re looking for … It’s not easy, i know that. Wish you all the very best, Dave! ;)

  24. Dave, Jasmine, Jason, MRP,

    We should all meet up somewhere and talk about the mundane nonsense that makes up our daily lives and stuff that has nothing to do with travel but what keeps us ticking. I will bring power lifting, arm wrestling, and ice hockey to the table haha.

  25. Kelsey says:

    I think that you and I have very similar travel philosophies. While I was in France for 9 weeks this summer I too had people get offended when I didn’t want to go out drinking with them or go do some expensive activity. I have been to France before, so it’s not a unique experience, and I would rather enjoy just *being* there rather than running around trying to “experience the country” (whatever THAT means). I enjoyed nights spent in my hotel/hostel/couchsurfing room just as much as nights spent out doing things, and to most travelers that really seems unfathomable.

    • It’s a case of each to their own I feel.

      One of the big things I find online is that many people claim to travel coninously, but actually don’t. Likewise many claim to love traveling, but actually love talking about it more than doing it.

      I much prefer going bargaining for a DVD in a market, and watching it in a room at night, than going out to a bar. Or being told for the countless time about some local food that you have to try, and then force yourself to eat something you are not accustomed too.

      Say that to many “online long-term” travelers and they’ll say you are lying. The truth of the matter is, if you did that every night, you’d end up a very sick puppy.

      It’s best to do your own thing, otherwise those well worn off the beaten path trails will end up with another clone jogging along them!

  26. flipnomad says:

    hey man… get well soon… regardless of your decision about this blog id just like to say thank you for being an inspiration to us and sorry if i bug you sometimes in your email about alot of stupid stuff lol… hope to meet you one day so you could treat me for some beers hehe…

  27. I loved the Philippines staying much longer, 4+ months than the 2 months I’d planned back in 80 but if I hadn’t hooked up with my Filipina wife in Seoul I probably wouldn’t have grown roots there and made it my homebase. I wake up often and decide to DO NOTHING while traveling and that’s the beauty of “life on the road”. When too many “must sees” and “must dos” are scheduled traveling the world starts feeling like a job. And to quote Maynard G Krebs “WOYRK” is a mispelled 4 letter word; if anything I’m doing feels like a JOB my motto is CHANGE IT. Greetings from Georgia, heading to Turkey with the sunshine tomorrow morning toward Cyprus.

  28. Greetings from Kyrgyzstan. Hope you are getting better Dave.

    Despite News of the World reports – rumor has it that you are in the playboy mansion – recovering nicely …

    Regards – MRP

  29. Damn. Knew I was in the wrong country … will his jet pick me up? Or will I be on the slow camel to the harem?

  30. Max says:

    I stumbled upon your website when I was looking for information about Sabah. I enjoyed reading your articles about my country, Philippines

    We share the same thoughts about this country . . . it is also my wish that the Philippines remains off the beaten path. My country is so beautiful I don’t want to share it with the mass tourists. I wish the people in the government remain strangers in their own country and remain clueless in marketing the Philippines. Corruption is good in a way that these clowns in our government don’t allocate so much funds for tourism infrastructure . . . so that only those with patience, determination and time can see the beauty of this country and its people . . . hehehe!

    But I also wish our government will have better environmental protection policies and will be harsh on environmental offenders . . . it makes me sad that our people destroy the environment for short-term monetary gains. resorts building so close to the sea should be penalized big time and those who damage the mountains must be have a death penalty!!! There are already places here that’s been destroyed due to uncontrolled development like sabang in puerto galera, alona beach (you cannot walk on the beach anymore because resorts built so close to the sea) in panglao island bohol. boracay . . . how much can that little island take??? the hills and mountains have been chopped off for resort development. *sigh*