"My journey, your travel guides - One man on a global quest: travel the world in search of home"
Would you like the long story or the short about The Longest Way Home & David Ways.
Okay let me save you some time. Here's the short :-)
The Short Version: I grew up in a fairly extreme family environment. In other words not so nice. I spent the greater portion of my life trying to leave a place I always knew was never my home. Working, saving, surviving and dreaming.
Long before this journey I made a much shorter similar one. It turned into a travel adventure for the pure enjoyment of travel. After that it was back to work on the bigger task ahead.
Then in 2005 I began the overland part of this current journey thinking it would only take a year or so. That was 12+ years ago and yes I'm still going.
This solo migration has been a much greater task than I ever expected.
It's not so easy to find a home as I am finding out. Read my article on "The Definition of Home". Many people say home is a state of mind not a place. Well, I disagree. Why? Not having the security of a home - meaning no family or no residence - means you're truly on your own. Nothing to fall back on. If I don't find something, I am toast.
I am not the only one
People throughout the ages have done similar things. Look at the millions clawing their way out of developing countries in search of a better place to live. And also the countless people sitting in offices around the world today dreaming of a better life elsewhere. Well I went through the same thing, and now, I'm making that dream come true.
Wanting to find a new country to live in this manner can either fall into the category of idiot with no sense or a wandering nomad. I would prefer neither stereotypes. I am quite honestly simply looking for the best place to live!
Where do you write everything?
For each country I visit there is a mini guide with several unique sections pertaining to this journey. Over the years this website I call home has become a vast travel resource that helps many people. Check out the travel resources section for things from up to date travel guides to in depth features.
The travel blog is my journal. Starting as a private diary of sorts it's developed into a modern day explorers journal which includes helpful guides and insights into local food. This world is constantly changing and I am documenting it like no one else out there.
Why this site? I'd travelled extensively back in the 1990s before I started this current journey and kept a diary like many others do and emailed myself a copy of it as a backup. For this journey I started a small private blog as a personal online journal. Emailing myself notes just wasn't working anymore - we are talking 2005 here. But strangers stumbled onto it and started to read about my journey. It took off from there.
The website has been through a few subtle changes over the years. But I created it for something quite basic:
"With no home, this has become my place to hang my photographs and write my findings as I discover what many others would like to know ..."
I venture to places and find myself in situations very few people have documented. I am proud to say that this is no cookie cutter travel blog nor a fame-starved man's copycat attempt of a book. I know who I am and this is an original pioneering look at travel via 21st century migration.
By these means The Longest Way Home has now become one of the most read travelogues in the world. And without a doubt has become the most documented story arc in online travel history.
From all of this maybe my story can help inspire someone else or motivate them to get through some rough times and push forward with their lives. If I can do this - so can anyone!
Everything on The Longest Way Home was written, photographed, designed, coded and paid for by me.
There are no sponsored articles, posts and no trips or products have ever been paid for by anyone else other than me. The upside side to this is that everything here is 100% genuine, frank, unique and influenced by nobody. The downside? Please excuse the odd typo!
Here's a sample of some great original content can get if you subscribe now!
So there you go. A life on the road in search of home.
Additional Information about The Longest Way Home
I've been interviewed several times by Travelblogs and other respected publications. Yet, the questions keep coming. Here are some of the most popular questions I'm asked and have answered:
Why the overland route? Did you really think you'd find a place to live in a place like Pakistan?
Overland travel is very different to just looking at a map and jumping on a plane. Visiting a place and then deciding. Overland travel allows a way to pass through not just places, but regions. I find people very important too and going overland is a great way to meet everyday people living their lives.
Places like Iran, Pakistan? Well I managed to live and work in Nigeria for 2 years. People often ask questions about places like those. Is it safe e.t.c., I am open to all places and cultures. It makes the world go round. Would I live in those places, well check out what I thought in my country sections on the top menu! Some places even surprised me.
I noticed that you did not stick with your original Map in East Europe?
Yes, this is true. Due to a Eurolines failure that you can read about here I traveled overland straight into Hungary rather than the Ukraine. The original map had been written up years beforehand. Finances and the travel route I had already completed gave me some realizations on finding a home in those countries I did not visit. This is one of the benefits of this fascinating journey. I learn as I go and share the information here.
From Hungary I went to Romania through Bulgaria and on into Turkey. My journey never moved off my planned map since then. You can see the full live overland travel map here. It's a route from the Atlantic in Portugal all the way to the Pacific in China, all overland and all solo. From there I went to The Philippines for over 2 years of travel, living abroad and the reality of social integration.
Check out that map or my travel blog to read more as I continued on through Borneo, Malaysia, South East Asia and then made a return journey to Nepal.
I still want to know more! What? Really? Lot's of people email me looking for more information about my life. Is there not enough here? :) Everything is in my book, which is complete but not published. I am looking for a 21st century literary agent who is also interested in this type of journey. Once that is accomplished you can read a whole lot more.
However, I am now publishing some private journals and thoughts via my newsletter that comes out every quarter as a supplement to my weekly travel blog. If you'd like to read these personal journals just leave your email address on this newsletter page.
Lastly, there are many, many types of readers and fans that visit The Longest Way Home. Some people are looking for travel information. Some are looking for photography or travel stories to inspire them. Others are just passing by looking for some practical travel advice. Then there are the great people and fans who've taken an interest in my story, life and journey.
It's not possible to make everyone happy with this website. But, I do try.
If you find a place to live, will you stop your online journal?
4 years ago I would have said yes. Today, I can say that the travel journal is more about the journey than about me as a person even though I am narrating it. Moreover, it's helped many people, which is a good thing.
Leaving it here as a legacy means it will continue to help people. I imagine when I find a place to live I will also keep the journal going about what it's like to finally settle into a new country.
Meanwhile I've also created quite a lot resources here which will continue to help people even after my journey is complete. My Nepal Travel Guides are one example.
I also hope by that stage my book will be out and a lot more of the personal narratives you don't read online will be in there. And, I promise there will be some eye openers.
Beyond my journal, the practical travel guides, world travel photography, real food reviews and in depth features have really taken off in terms of helping people plan their own travels. So those will also continue.
Are you close to finding home?
Yes, is the short answer. In some ways I am at the cusp of it. I know what I am looking for. With what I've learned so far it's becoming easier to find.That's not to say I can name a country or place right now. But I am able to identify and sort through the myriad of obstacles a lot better than I was a few years ago.
How can you afford to travel for so long?
I did what many unsung people have done in this world. I broke my rear end for a lifetime, saving, planning and dreaming. I worked, sacrificed and do not take luxuries while traveling. I take the backpackers route and go off the beaten path a lot. I have skipped a lot of tourist spots simply because I couldn't budget for it.
I have written a lot about this in my book which I hope will provide another income source. And, on my travel blog in How to live overseas.
Since my preteens I have basically been left alone to make it by myself; surviving. This knowledge has also helped me know how to live like I do at the moment.
You've spent a of of time in Nepal is the journey over?
No, it's not. I'm not Nepali, nor can a "foreigner" ever be granted the right to vote or own land in Nepal. This is not an uncommon thing outside of the "developed" world. Many people are surprised to learn this.
Would I make a home in Nepal if I could? Probably yes. Can I though? No. So the journey continues. Along the way in Nepal I have developed the best guide to Nepal, have been the first in history to digitally reconstruct and preserve Nepal's temples through the Digital Archaeology Foundation project and I've also founded MissingTrekker.com.
I believe that one can do good in the world as one makes a journey though it.
One more thing ...
I know it's not easy to look at my life from the outside. How many people do you know that have no family, home and are out there like this? I am putting all my cards on the table here. It's my one chance and I am running with it!
if you don't "get" this journey. Or don't understand it. Then no problem. There are also some great articles on fantastic destinations here and many more resources that can help you travel.
If you do "get" this journey then dive right in. Search and explore this website for every ounce of information I've stored here that could also help you on your own journey in life or in travel.