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Seven Years On the Road

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Today marks the 7th anniversary of the day I turned over the keys to my house and began a life of full time travel. There are other dates close to this I could have chosen as my anniversary, but I picked turning over the keys to my house as the start of my travels because that was the point of no return.

When I began in 2007 I told everyone I would be gone for a year, but secretly I thought I might be gone for two. Never in my wildest dreams, however, did I think I be doing this seven years later.

Never did I think I’d be celebrating this day on a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean having visited over 150 countries and territories around the world. I never could have imagined that I’d have won so many major travel photography awards, because when I started I never thought of myself as a photographer.

I am often asked how long I will keep traveling. The simple answer is: forever. There may come a day where I get an apartment somewhere, so I have a place to retire to between trips, but I foresee myself traveling for 6-9 months out of every year for as long as I am physically able.

I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to create a career out of doing something that I love. The difficulties I have (and this has been a problem almost since day one) has been balancing the travel and the work. If I do end up getting an apartment, it will be so I can have more time to share stories, edit photos and work on projects that I just don’t have the ability to do on the road.

Despite the fact that I’m almost always traveling alone, there are many people to whom I owe thanks, who help me to do what I do:

My assistant Amy. She keeps things going when I’m out of contact. She will pick daily photos and post images to Facebook when I don’t have the internet bandwidth to do it myself. She also is my liaison when dealing with the many destinations I work with and also manages my schedule. Life would be much more difficult without her. She has also become a travel blogger in her own right.

G Adventures. I’ve been associated with G Adventures for almost 4 years now. During that time I’ve traveled with them to 6 continents and have gotten to know many of the amazing people who work for the company. Being an ambassador for a company is easy when you believe in their mission and can stand behind their product. A special thanks go out to Bruce Poon Tip, the founder of G Adventures, who came up with the idea of the Wanderers in Residence program. He’s done a lot of innovative things, and I think this one is often overlooked. A big shoutout also goes to Sacha Mlynek who is my liaison at G and helps everything go smoothly when I’m out on the road and everyone else is in Toronto. I also have to thank Andrew Hickey who was a big advocate for myself and the Wanderers during his tenure at G.

All Of You. What I do wouldn’t be possible without all of you who take the time to read what I have to say and enjoy my travel photography on a daily basis. I’ve met dozens and dozens of you around the world, and it really is one of my greatest pleasures when traveling. The feedback and responses I get from everyone is really what keeps me going. That so many of you have actually started traveling or made plans to visit a place because of my images is the highest compliment you can give.

After seven years, I still love what I do. Visiting new places, meeting new people and exploring the world never gets old. I’m still amazed at how much of the world there is for me to see.

Here is to seven more years of traveling!

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Comments

  1. Nathan says:

    Congratulations! This is such a awesome accomplishment and leap of faith.

  2. Arpad says:

    Happy anniversary Gary 7 years is such a long time I wish you as much more as many you want

    I also like your blog. I am very new here so there are a lot to actually explore however I would like to ask for your advice as well

    I have traveled around some time always in my free time always low budget and avoiding any tourist guidance just to explore on my own many time with friends.

    The truth is that on the road I realized (although I think I always knew) that staying at one place is just not for me. Until now I never really believed that it is possible but recently I was so fed up with everithing so I tried to find alternatives and that is how i find your site.

    I would like to ask your advice how to start. Problem is that I do not have any possessions like you had in the beginning of your journey. I earn very little from my jobs so I wont be accumulating much money very soon.

    If you wish I can write you an email but I know probably you have a lot to read everyday.

    Thank you for your help

    Fair Wind

    Arpad

  3. I wonder what it is with March. There are so many travelers celebrating their anniversary this month! Must be Spring :-D

    Anyway, congrats on YOUR big day!

    Cheers to more years of travel!

  4. Awesome story! I hope you add another 7 years!

  5. Michelle says:

    Wow, 7 years is a long time to be on the road. Not sure I could do it for that long but it must be fun trying :) And you obviously have a lot of fun doing it.

    Love your blog, btw and congrats on your success.

  6. Crissy says:

    Thanks for sharing your 7 years with us. Here is to 7 more! and 7 more after that!

  7. Congratulations! I have only been out “here” three years but looking forward to many, many more. You have been an inspiration.

  8. Peter Thomas says:

    You’re an inspiration to many and I admire that you have made it for seven years. Please don’t stop now, continue to inspire us with your adventures.

  9. Penny says:

    Gary, It was you and others like you who planted the idea in my head that I could travel around the world on my own. So I retired on 12/31/13 and jumped on a plant on 1/1/14. I’m taking my time, but have already been to Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. I can’t imagine not traveling now. People don’t realize how much is involved in keeping it all going – travel arrangements alone can be overwhelming. Oh for an assistant! LOL. Your photographs are truly remarkable – stunning too. How did you make the transition from not thinking of yourself as a photographer, to a prize-winning photographer? And what guidance can you provide those of us who are still at stage one? I love photography and traveling. I will celebrate my 70th birthday this December on the road! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  10. Congratulations Gary and thank you for the never-ending inspiration!

  11. Cherishka says:

    I look up to you and thanks for continuously being my inspiration!

  12. Jonny Duncan says:

    Well done on a life of continued travel Gary! I’ve been moving around away from home for 17 years now and I still love it.
    Good luck for the future.
    Jonny

  13. 7 years! That’s 7 years of envy I have on you.. (hehe)

    Congratulations guys, what an accomplishment to be proud of! I hope one day, the dream of having this figure comes true for me – I would be extremely happy

  14. regina says:

    Congrats Gary, wow your blog and your trips are impressive. I am absolute curious what your next 7 years will be.
    best regina, from travelschick.de

  15. Congratulations Gary – you are an inspiration and I can’t congratulate you enough on your achievements, not only with your blog, but your photography, and the partnerships you’ve developed and maintained. True inspiration. Cheers to another 7 years :)

  16. dgn66 says:

    Your blog is very nice, I’m constantly watching. Also I think your site is very up to date. This article was descriptive and a great article.

  17. Marie Zalbe says:

    Congrats and happy anniversary, Gary! I wish I could travel too, just like you. By the way, just want to know if you already visited the Philippines?

  18. Crystal Bird says:

    Wow! Seven Years abroad & counting! It must be AMAZING to do what you do. Do you EVER get tired? Anyway, I’m sure the sights/sounds/scents/societies all make up for the jetlag. Love your photos too, btw. What a dream to be able to do what you do!

  19. Jen says:

    Congratulations Gary! What an amazing and inspiring accomplishment. I look forward to reading more about your travels for many more years to come.

  20. Nicole says:

    Congratulations Gary! I find your site such an inspiration to me and you’ve been places most people dream of. One of the highlights of my day is seeing your picture of the day. I can’t wait for my rtw trip next year. 50+ countries and counting.

  21. Gary, You truly inspire me. I will be taking the “plunge” full time and leaving everything behind. Thanks for showing me that it can be done and realistic in your writings. Keep leaving the “breadcrumbs” and hopefully someday we cross paths. God Bless.

  22. Claire says:

    Congrats!7 years is amazing. Inspirational, you let me believe I can do it too!Keep going.

  23. Rhonda says:

    Congratulations! You continue to be an inspiration to all of us who wish to pursue a more nomadic / location-independent lifestyle! Great to hear you’re still enjoying it, in spite of it’s challenges.

  24. Zsolt says:

    Happy anniversary Gary :)

    I’ve been on the road for less than 10% of the time you have and I’m already beginning to see the end of it.

    Traveling for this long has changed me forever, and I doubt that I’ll be able to spend more than a few weeks in one place ever again. But at the same time it made me realize that I miss having a home, a place to go back to, a place I don’t have to share with anyone if I don’t feel like it.

    My situation is of course different, as I’m not making a living off traveling, only what I do allows me to travel. But I guess I’d feel pretty much the same even if I was.

    I guess people like yourself, who could go on travelling for ever, are wired differently. I admire you :)

    Keep up the good work!
    Zsolt

    • Gary says:

      It isn’t for everyone. I meet people all the time who say they would love to do what I do, and the reality is they probably wouldn’t want to do it after a few months.

      I’m guessing the people who could do this for very long peridos of time would be around 1-2% of the population.

  25. Roma Amarnani says:

    first of congratulations on your accomplishment… :)
    secondly i wanted to ask about the work you do…means what kind of work you do and also maintain being a traveller …i wanna do that…
    work nd travel together…
    would appreciate your reply…
    congo again.. :)

  26. Katie says:

    Wow! Congratulations on the big anniversary…quite an accomplishment to have stuck to it all these years! Congrats, and I agree that it’s an inspiration

  27. Peninah Gatwiri says:

    You are a source of inspiration to me Mr.Gary… I have been following you since i was in high school .. i am now a third year in university here in Kenya and i feel to welcome you to Kenya please… come and see what we can offer you here… I would like to have a mail address that i can interact with you.. if you dont mind please

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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