Who Am I?
Note, what follows was written in 2000. To find out more about me now, see my profile.
The logistics are the easy answers. I was born in, high school and college were both spent in Massachusetts, until I left in my Junior year to make video games for Electronic Arts in the Silicon Valley. After several years, I went to work for Fox Interactive in Los Angeles. In January of 2000, while thinking about my next career move, I hatched a crazy idea to travel around the world.
I began my planning by searching the net, and found two websites in particular which realize the dream, wired2theworld.com and the RTW Travel Guide. I began to believe that, "it's so crazy, it just might work." Without the responsibilities of a job or relationship, this could be my only chance to pack my bags and see the world. In twenty years I hope to look back on this as one of the best decisions I ever made.
So that was my plan--donate to goodwill much of the extra stuff I have accumulated, sell the car, put the rest in storage, and go. I began to tell people of my plans--in part to reassure me that I wasn't crazy but also to strengthen my resolve.
I fantasized that the sense of independence gained from living out of the stuff on my back would be revitalizing, you know, reject materialism and all... though I soon realized that wasn't quite true. Instead of leaving my worldly possessions I was buying really nice small things to take with me. Sorry Tyler Durden. Gadgets and technology have always interested me, so I decided to incorporate them into my travels. This naturally led me to the concept of maintaining a website to keep in touch with family and friends, to document my experiences, and to help others plan their trips.
Many people have asked me what I hope to accomplish, and articulating an answer has been difficult. Trips of a week or a month seem more like a vacation--especially if you are paid for your vacation time (who's time is that?). Ultimately you have to go back to work. I look forward to the day when I see neither a beginning nor an end to this trip. On that day I will wake up and think about what I want to do, not what I have to do.
So, how much will the trip cost? This is not a question I am comfortable answering, since it involves opening up my check register. However, Kristina and Dave set an example on wired2theworld.com, and it really helped me plan my budget. So in their spirit, I will try to keep track of my expenses. In general, I plan to travel for eleven months (stretching to eighteen months). I expect to spend between twenty and twenty-two thousand dollars (will last the whole time) while on the road. There will also be pre-trip expenses for equipment (I am already over budget on the laptop), immunizations (which were covered by my HMO!), a backpack and boots, etc., which should total another three thousand. At this point I'd like to thank Matt McKnight for convincing me to buy Sun stock (stop falling!) three years ago, which thankfully allows me the freedom to quit my job and travel the world.
I will try not to censor myself while writing. That being said, I'm sure I will.
Copyright 2000 - 2003, A. Marsh Gardiner