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29 life lessons learned in travelling the world for 8 years straight

| 830 comments | Category: culture, positive mentality, travel

EDIT: This blog post was written on my 8 year travel anniversary in 2011. In 2013 I celebrated my TEN year travel anniversary with a much more visual representation of the top ten lessons learned in travelling the world, including the absolute best footage from my travels, and you can hear me speak out the lessons directly to the camera. Here it is:

If you liked this video, please copy and paste this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RtGmqaM3Zo

to your Facebook wall to share with your friends. Thanks!!

Now back to the more detailed blog post about 29 lessons learned in life!

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Eight years.

That’s 416 weeks, or almost 3,000 days.

This is the amount of time that I have not had a fixed home; moving to a new country, culture and language every few months and taking absolutely everything I own with me. It has been a significant percentage of my life, and it’s still long from over.

I had actually done some travelling before – a couple of summers in the states, and an entire month already in Spain. But about this time back in 2003, on the week of my 21st birthday, I left Ireland for good. I had graduated university a few days before, and knew that I’d only be coming back “home” for visits (I’ve never once missed the family Christmas dinner). But it’s not really my home any more. Since then, “wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home”.

After devoting my life to them, university and schools had taught me nothing of any real importance. I had gone through as many books as I could and thought I knew it all, but the fact of the matter is that I have become the person I was meant to be in the last 4/5 of a decade, while on the road. And I certainly still have a lot left to learn.

[Edit: People keep asking me how I can afford a travel lifestyle for so long, or if I'm rich or if my parents paid for everything. I paid for the entire trip myself, starting with no money saved up; I can assure you my lifestyle is way cheaper than most settled people who prove observation #10 and need so much money to buy rubbish!

You don't need to be rich to travel the world. To find out more about me and my story, please read my site's About page to see a list of the many jobs I've had during my travels. For just the last one year I've been earning money by helping people to hack languages quicker. I've also followed this post up with some FAQs about long-term travel here, regarding finding work and the psychological aspect of it.]

Since yesterday was my 29th birthday and this week is my 8 year “travelversary”, I thought it fitting to share 29 of these revelations with you of things that I have learned on this journey. Many of them are about life in general, but these are actually my observations after meeting many people from all over the world:

1. Everyone everywhere basically wants the same thing

Vastly different as the world’s cultures are, if you speak to Italian millionaires, homeless Brazilians, Dutch fishermen and Filipino computer programmers, in their own languages, you start to see that we are all incredibly alike where it matters.

Everyone just wants validation, love, security, enjoyment and hopes for a better future. The way they verbalise this and work towards it is where things branch off, but we all have the same basic desires. You can relate to everyone in the world if you look past the superficial things that separate you.

2. Deferring your happiness to the future is a terrible idea

Too many people presume that when they have that one thing they can work towards for years then “everything will be alright”.

This is delusional.

When you get it, there’ll be something else missing in your life. I fundamentally believe that long-term pure happiness from one particular situation or achievement is a pipe-dream, but we can learn to be content with what we have, live in the now, all while enjoying the progress and changes we are making.

If your whole life is working up towards one really big major goal that you hold on to for years, then you will have a major anticlimax after the dust settles. Work towards it, but stop deferring your happiness.

Get there slower and enjoy the ride. I like how it is portrayed in this video:

Enjoy the show, and don’t wait for the finale. A song I really like (in Spanish) reminds me that the present really is all we have.

3. “Someday my ship will come in” is bullshit. You will NEVER win the lottery. Be practical.

People seem to have a strange concept of how luck works and how the universe/some deity/karma/their lucky shoe or how “they deserve it” will mean that things will eventually fall into place for them. You are “due” to win the lottery or will get swept away by prince charming any day now. “You deserve it” (as if others don’t).

This is a misunderstanding of how the world actually works. Perhaps I’m wrong and praying or hoping that it will all work out, or generally being a nice person is what really “does the trick”, but why not actually get off your ass and do something tangible too while you’re at it.

I personally don’t believe in magic or fairies or astrology or sky wizards or large-scale invisible inexplicable forces at work on petty daily activities of humans. I’m sceptical about such things, and believe they are all impossible/ridiculous, and knowledge of this has enriched my life. As a practical person, I see the world as a very logical place with physical and social rules and understanding this has helped me live well in it.

The universe owes you nothing, you owe it to yourself to be the master of where your life ends up.

4. There’s no such thing as destiny. This is excellent news!

Destiny is used as a cop-out and standard excuse by most people for why they don’t do something with their lives. The thing is, it doesn’t exist.

Your limitations are not set by who you know, where you were born, what genes you have, how much money you have, how old you are right now, what you did before or other things that you can claim are your stamp of failure for life.

If you are determined enough there is a shitload of opportunities in life that are totally achievable with minimal cash, regardless of who you are.

5. Seek out people with different beliefs and views of the world to yours and get to know their side of the story

As you can probably guess from #3, I have some beliefs about the world that don’t jive with a lot of people’s. However, a lot of people get their meaning in life from believing in things I don’t. If everyone thought like me, the world would be a very boring place.

So when I meet someone with a very different belief system to mine, it’s better to get along than to try to “convert” them. This is as true for how the world works as it is for language learning methods, fashion, movie tastes etc.

When someone is sure about something and has believed it for many many years, then you cannot convince them with a few cleverly picked words. Everyone is closed minded about something, including me. They have to discover it themselves over time or just continue believing what they do. Don’t take responsibility for convincing the world you are right. It’s important to acknowledge that maybe you are actually the wrong one.

The world is much more fun with people of varying interests and beliefs. Despite my scepticism, in my travels I have hung out with astrologists, palm readers, very religious folk, conservatives, and people who hate technology. And my life and experiences are enriched so much because of it.

Spending time exclusively with people who agree with you on everything would never challenge you and allow you to learn so much more.

6. Living a good life is the best way possible to convince people

Enough words and enough arguing. Just live by example and soon you’ll have people on your side when they see your results and how passionate you are. No need to “convince” them. Just show them that you are there, tell them how you got there, and they will start to realise that maybe you aren’t that crazy after all.

7. Nobody has it all figured out

Almost everyone has problems and puts on a brave face – don’t presume they have it easy. You see of each person what they let you see. You have no idea what they are going through or what they had to put up with to be in a situation that you can consider “easy”.

This is universal – millionaires, students, the cool kid, the party animal, the introvert and everyone in between has more to their story than the superficial restricted one you see. Never dismiss them as having it easy if you don’t know the entire story.

8. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know”

There is a stigma in some cultures to admit ignorance about a particular topic. Don’t dance around the issue – just say I don’t know. Honesty is way smarter.

9. More money will NEVER solve your problems

As long as you are not living in the street or going hungry, then you do not “need” more money. When you spend enough time with people who are actually living on next to nothing, but having a full life, then you will truly understand this. Everything that is wonderful about life doesn’t cost a penny, and the rest is way cheaper than you think it is.

10. Possessions own you

Look at the real reason you want to buy more expensive crap and realise that it all comes down to validation from others in one way or another. You don’t really need any of it unless it’s directly related to essentials in how you work or survive.

The need to buy new crap dictates your life – it fixes you in one location with that house and furniture, and it governs how much money you need to earn. And it almost never actually enriches your life in any way. The less you own the better.

11. TV is the greatest black hole of time available to mankind

I wasted so much of my life before age 21 spending 3-4 hours a day watching TV. Following shows that I “had” to see, in order to “relax”. I regret almost every second of it. The whole world was passing me by outside.

TV was an important part of the 20st century, bringing communication and news to the masses, but now it’s wasteful. People get biased news through it, when much better alternatives are available, watch terrible TV shows through it that teach them nothing, and it sucks so many hours of their lives away that they seem to forget about when they delude themselves into thinking that they don’t have time to pursue real passions in life.

TVs encourage people to be antisocial. The only TVs you should be watching are someone else’s – go to your friend’s house to share a series you like if you must, or go to the bar with your mates to watch sports. Your life will notbe enriched by sitting at home watching a screen with zero interactivity to it.

12. The Internet is the greatest tool ever available to us, but daily use must be capped

Unlike TVs, the Internet is interactive and allows you to take part and become virtually social. It connects communities all over the world and without it, the last 8 years simply would have been much more difficult for me for many reasons.

Having said that, it has the same potential as TV to become a black hole of time. Use it to enrich your life, but put a cap on how much you use it so you can get out and live that life. Replacing one screen with another (even when you use it to chat to people) is just escaping the real world, which is much more beautiful.

13. Get outside and do something with other people

My favourite website in the world is Couchsurfing.org, precisely because I spend so little time on it. It has simplified my travel life tremendously by allowing me to host people to maintain my languages, and to search it for interesting people to meet up with.

The world that is worth experiencing is not in books or on TV or computer screens. It’s with other human beings. Stop being shy and get out and meet them!

14. Speaking only English is incredibly limiting to non-tourist travellers

If you are visiting a country for a weekend, then you can check into your hotel and order food in an expensive restaurant and get a guided tour in English. You can even make local university educated friends, and successfully create a bubble to protect you from the local language for as long as you like, and delude yourself into thinking that this is the way things are.

But you will never truly experience the local culture if you limit yourself to being able to interact on a deep level just the well educated part of it. English-speaking travellers miss out on so much – not speaking English has defined most of my travels and the amazing experiences I have had would have been impossible if I didn’t try to learn the local languages.

ANYONE can learn a language. When I was 21 I thought I couldn’t do it, but one day I put all the bullshit excuses to one side and just spoke it. Speaking a language from day one is the ‘secret’ to being able to learn it quicker and at any age.

15. Modern foreign culture does not have to satisfy your stereotypes

Every country in the world is modernising but this does not mean that they are westernising or Americanising. What makes them unique does not have to satisfy your “quaint” tourist-brochure view of them. Leave ignorant stereotypes aside and have an open mind about how modern life is like in that culture.

Not all Irish people drink, not all Brazilians samba and play football, and Germans, Dutch, Filipinos and everyone else will surprise you if you leave your presumptions about them at the airport.

Respect the differences, try to adapt to them yourself and realise that to them you might seem backwards in many ways.

16. Take your time

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living in countries that are more “easy going” it’s that they are way wiser than the rest of us in their pace of life. People and countries that do everything quicker also do it worse. Take it easy and go slowly.

Enjoy every bite of food, walk at a slow pace and take in your surroundings, let the other person finish their side of the conversation while you listen attentively, and stop in the middle of your day, close your eyes or look at nature and become aware of your breathing.

17. You can’t please everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

State your opinion and stick to your guns. If you are confident enough and share your idea with enough people, you will piss off someone no matter what you talk about. That’s their problem, not yours.

18. Trying to be cool or following trends is for mindless sheep

Peer pressure is for people who are afraid of their individuality. Stand up for yourself, and go against the flow if that’s what you feel is best. What’s cool now will be frozen over in a few years.

19. Make mistakes – and LOTS of them!

Mistakes are how we learn. Failures are the stepping stones to success.

20. Wear sunscreen

Seriously. Protect your skin. Follow that and all other advice in this video:

21. Stop thinking so much and act

People think their way out of doing everything that’s worth doing in life. The reason I feel I’m getting so much done in the last years is precisely because of how much time I give to over-analysing whether I should do something important or not: None.

22. Dance and sing whenever possible

Dancing and singing are great releases and forms of expression. It’s hard not to feel good after a session of either!

23. Making new friends is easy and so is appreciating your current ones

My entire eight years travel has been alone. I arrive in a new nation without a single friend waiting for me in many cases. I have no connections, but I make them anyway. I find a party online and go straight to it and say hi to everyone. Soon, if I try enthusiastically enough, I’ll find people I can socialise with on a regular basis.

If you are friendly, genuine and charming, making friends with people from every culture and background is possible.

When people who are surrounded by family, networks, work and school colleagues, other friends, clubs and communities they are a part of… tell me that it’s hard to meet new people I feel like slapping them in the face to wake them up to the opportunities around them, which I haven’t had consistently for almost a decade. Look around you!

24. You don’t know what you’ve got ’till its gone

Don’t take anything for granted. I couldn’t afford to pay for accommodation one night and had to sleep outside on a rock because of it. Ever since then I appreciate having a bed, couch or hammock, no matter how small or where it may be, because I know what it’s like to not have one. One night was enough to burn it into me – I sigh a breath of relief every time I go to bed now.

I went partially deaf due to an ear infection for two weeks and appreciate my hearing and all the beautiful sounds around me all the more because I got it back. I also gained an appreciation for signed communication that I’d take advantage of several years later.

I’ve never lost anyone close to me, but I hug my family members and tell them I love them every chance I get, and clear any bad air with friends and don’t hold back on sharing my emotions with them. Life is too short – if I lost anything important to me then I want to make sure that I never wasted the time I did have with it or with him or her.

25. Swallow your pride and apologise

Never hold a grudge and never try to win every argument. Sometimes it’s best to let your pride slide for the sake of clearing the air with someone. Be the first to say you’re sorry. Never wait for the other person to make the first move.

26. Doing anything specifically to impress people is stupid

People will never give you the validation you seek if you try to be a dancing monkey for them. Saying how many languages you speak, how rich you are, who you know, where you studied or what you do for a living, or trying to show-off in any other way to get someone to like you, or working for these things just for the bragging rights will leave you really disappointed.

People are impressed by those who aren’t trying to impress them and are comfortable in themselves and social and interesting. Sometimes to be “interesting” all you have to do is be a good listener.

27. People are not alone in being alone

One of the most frequent questions I get asked as a long-term solo traveller is if I feel lonely. The short answer is no. You can find the long answer in this post about long-term solo travelling.

But the fact of the matter is that loneliness is much more common around the world than I previously thought it was. I was actually much more lonely in my university (fixed) life than I am now. And I meet many people who have vast networks of social groups who feel desperately lonely because they feel nobody gets them.

Then others who simply changed their lifestyle in some way (not necessarily by travel, but perhaps marriage or starting a demanding job) and have lost contact with all their childhood friends because of it, also feel lonely.

I’ve talked to many people who are convinced they are the only ones who feel this way. Each time I hear a similar story I can hear the Police in my head “seems I’m not alone in being alone…” Believe it or not I find this very comforting when I am genuinely separated by thousands of kilometres from anyone who even knows what my name is. Even though nobody is in exactly the same situation, the amount of people in the world I’ve met tells me that I’m very likely not the only one in such a situation, even at that very second.

No matter how lonely you might feel, there is always someone who can relate to you. Perhaps you can’t talk to them right now, but they are out there.

28. Love isn’t “all” you need, but if you don’t have it in some form, your life will be very empty

We don’t need love to survive, but without it there will be a huge hole inside you. Make sure that every day you have someone (family, friends, lover) to remind you that you are special. If you postpone this part of your life until later, after you get or do that thing you want to do, you will continue in that lonely path indefinitely.

29. The most valuable lessons in life can never be expressed in black and white, but must be experienced

I thought I knew it all back in university – and that everything of importance can be found in books. But the truth is that the most important things in life are very hard to put in black and white, including what I’ve said in this post.

When most of the world’s information is at our fingertips, a mouseclick away, it makes it feel like we don’t need to experience any more. Movies, books, or “living vicariously through someone else” means we can apparently get the general gist of anything.

This is false. Experience is the greatest teacher of all. Stop reading about or watching the world passively and start living it.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this list. Since my birthday was yesterday I want you to remember that in about 5 weeks or so I’ll be making my delayed birthday request. It will cost you nothing but 2 minutes of your time. Please don’t forget it. :)

Enter your email in the top-right of the site, follow me on twitter and like this site’s page on Facebook (in the left sidebar) to find out what that is when the time comes!

Please let me know what you think about this list in the comments below!

[Edit: People keep asking me how I afford a travel lifestyle for so long. I can assure you my lifestyle is way cheaper than most settled people who prove rule #10 and need so much money to buy rubbish!

You don't need to be rich to travel the world. To find out more about me and my story, please read my site's About page and specific details of how aspects of my lifestyle work are covered in Language Learning, Travel and Business and Problogging resources.]

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Comments: If you liked this post or have anything to say, please leave a comment! I love reading them :)
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  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.odierno Dominick O’Dierno

    You hang out with “conservatives”?!?  No way! ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      I convinced one to vote for Obama ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      I convinced one to vote for Obama ;)

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.odierno Dominick O’Dierno

        Congratulations, convincing someone to even vote nowadays is a big achievement.

        Since statistically roughly half of your readers are probably conservatives, I’m pretty sure they are happy to know you would hang out with them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.odierno Dominick O’Dierno

        Congratulations, convincing someone to even vote nowadays is a big achievement.

        Since statistically roughly half of your readers are probably conservatives, I’m pretty sure they are happy to know you would hang out with them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.odierno Dominick O’Dierno

        Congratulations, convincing someone to even vote nowadays is a big achievement.

        Since statistically roughly half of your readers are probably conservatives, I’m pretty sure they are happy to know you would hang out with them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.odierno Dominick O’Dierno

        Congratulations, convincing someone to even vote nowadays is a big achievement.

        Since statistically roughly half of your readers are probably conservatives, I’m pretty sure they are happy to know you would hang out with them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.odierno Dominick O’Dierno

        Congratulations, convincing someone to even vote nowadays is a big achievement.

        Since statistically roughly half of your readers are probably conservatives, I’m pretty sure they are happy to know you would hang out with them.

      • http://www.chadkeck.com Chad Keck

        And now 2+ years later you are proud of that fact? Yikes =

        • http://twitter.com/chrisco Chris Comella

          Maybe Obama was/is the lesser tow two evil’s up for vote in America in 2008? Maybe he will be the lesser of two evils up for vote in 2012??

          • http://www.chadkeck.com Chad Keck

            There may not have been a great overall candidate in 2008 but that said Obama certainly was not the lesser of two evils IMHO.

            In 2012 there are actually some decent candidates lining up. Many who aren’t but at least a handful that can and should replace Obama.

        • http://twitter.com/chrisco Chris Comella

          Maybe Obama was/is the lesser tow two evil’s up for vote in America in 2008? Maybe he will be the lesser of two evils up for vote in 2012??

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      I convinced one to vote for Obama ;)

  • http://www.getintoenglish.com David

    Happy Birthday Benny : ) Great list. I think the comments about social media are VERY timely, and, yeah, it sounds like common sense but we should step back a little + enjoy more of what like, + un-clutter what we don’t really need.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Timing programs that remind us to get off our browsers or social networking programs are great to get you into using the Internet more efficiently. :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Providing for your children is a basic necessity of life, which counts in the survival I mentioned. Most people in that very desperate situation of not having enough food will not be reading this blog post. There’s a danger of thinking that you need way more than you actually do “for a rainy day”, and living your life for the sake of creating that nest egg when it would be so much wiser to just live more frugally.

    Glad you are enjoying the blog!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=851375320 Tianna Morison

      i know a lot of people will comment but reminds me of: in japan i met an aussie who, when he was 8 his family sold their house, bought a small motor home and traveled with the kids for a yr or two. then they put them back in school. they didnt have a ton of money to do it but got by and my aussie friend said it’s the best thing his parents ever did for him. kinda unrelated to the thread, but thought i’d share.

    • http://www.kerrilowe.com Kerri

      I have a hard time with this one…I think I get caught up in what I need to save or that some of my unhappiness comes from feeling guilty that I am not saving money. I live relatively frugally by NYC standards. Rent-stabilized apt deep in Brooklyn, etc. but still, the cost of living is high. I don’t really get to buy new clothes or have luxuries, but I wouldn’t rather live anywhere else at this point in my life!

  • http://twitter.com/sctroyenne sctroyenne

    #14 – I’ve always thought of you more as a travel blogger than a language blogger since knowing from experience how much more you can get out of travel when you know the language. So many people are looking for ways to get off the tourist path and connect with the locals and it’s really not so much about geography than it is about being able to communicate with the locals you come across. Though people shouldn’t let not knowing a language keep them from traveling it does pay to make the effort.

    and a corollary to #5 – When you’re having a discussion/debate, just shut up and listen to people. You can learn a lot by doing that. Especially if they’re older (not that they’re always right but they can have a lot of experience and wisdom you can learn from).

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Well said! ;)

  • http://www.yearlyglot.com/ Randy the Yearlyglot

    Great post. Especially the more personal stuff near the end.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Randy!

  • Pau Ruŀlan Ferragut

    Happy birthday and thank you for this awesome post! ;)

  • http://twitter.com/DangerousBiz Amanda Williams

    Love the post, Benny. You’ve become very wise in your 8 years of traveling.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Number 30 would be “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know” so I still have lots left to learn ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Number 30 would be “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know” so I still have lots left to learn ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/elmbank.carrie Carrie Lewis

    Ah Brendan, I mean Benny! I’ll take immediate advice here and say, LOVE YOU! Your right, and I wish I could be more like you, but sure I’d just need to get of my lazy arse to do it :) Do you think I can be as fulfilled as you within driving distance of our Mammy and Daddy? :D 

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      This, ladies and gentlemen, is my darling sister! She will confirm that I never let her escape without giving her many many hugs and telling her I love her to bits :D

      There’s nothing outside of Ireland waiting to fulfil anyone that you can’t find in it. It’s just not the place for me to live right now. But I’ll always go back, and I’ll see you in just a month!! [HUG]

      • http://www.facebook.com/elmbank.carrie Carrie Lewis

        oh god, I can’t wait to have my ribs broken in public, while you shout… in the library or somewhere where they don’t want your loudness.  See you for the Fleadhbulous Fleadh!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      This, ladies and gentlemen, is my darling sister! She will confirm that I never let her escape without giving her many many hugs and telling her I love her to bits :D

      There’s nothing outside of Ireland waiting to fulfil anyone that you can’t find in it. It’s just not the place for me to live right now. But I’ll always go back, and I’ll see you in just a month!! [HUG]

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks a million :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks a million :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Glad you enjoyed the list!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Glad you enjoyed the list!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Cheers Ray!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Cheers Ray!

  • Laurie Defoy

    Tout ce que tu as dit est tellement vrai. Parfois, c’est bon de voir que d’autres gens pensent comme toi. C’est assez facile d’être entourré de gens qui pensent le contraire de tout ce que tu viens de dire. Merci de l’avoir si bien mis :)

    Tu dis que la télévision et l’internet aussi peuvent être des sources incroyables de perte de temps et c’est vrai. Tu dis aussi qu’il y a bien plus de meilleures sources d’information que ce qui est diffusé sur la télé. Je me demandais si tu en avais que tu préfères et que tu pourrais partager avec nous.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      J’utilise Internet pour les info ;) Plus twitter et Facebook qu’un site comme CNN.

  • Anonymous

    Great points, Benny.

    When I spent my 12 “nomadic” years in Europe (10+ in Germany, about 2 in Spain), I was on a mission.

    My mission was to walk around in other people’s minds to experience their culture through their language and attitudes. 

    I also wanted to twist their reality enough that they would never strive to be “normal” again — or even be able to grasp the concept of “normality.”

    Languages exchanges are about so much more than language!

    I love the video under point #2. Seeing life as full of music that we sing and dance to is a fantastic way to live…and as you have pointed out many time in your blog, it makes learning a foreign language  easier and much more fun.

    Sharing and celebrating differences instead of converting others to our momentary point of  view is a great one as well.  What a boring place it would be if everyone agreed on everything…

    Now that I have children, I strive to teach my daughters how to seek opportunity in every event, and to understand that the real value of education is to find new ideas, habits and actions that enrich their lives and others.

    They both have been speaking English, German and Portuguese since they were born…and the older one recently finished her  second year of Mandarin in grade school.

    I speak German to them, my wife speaks Portuguese and they get English from day care.

    Believe it or not, it works!

    Happy Birthday and enjoy the Turks!

  • Anonymous

    Great points, Benny.

    When I spent my 12 “nomadic” years in Europe (10+ in Germany, about 2 in Spain), I was on a mission.

    My mission was to walk around in other people’s minds to experience their culture through their language and attitudes. 

    I also wanted to twist their reality enough that they would never strive to be “normal” again — or even be able to grasp the concept of “normality.”

    Languages exchanges are about so much more than language!

    I love the video under point #2. Seeing life as full of music that we sing and dance to is a fantastic way to live…and as you have pointed out many time in your blog, it makes learning a foreign language  easier and much more fun.

    Sharing and celebrating differences instead of converting others to our momentary point of  view is a great one as well.  What a boring place it would be if everyone agreed on everything…

    Now that I have children, I strive to teach my daughters how to seek opportunity in every event, and to understand that the real value of education is to find new ideas, habits and actions that enrich their lives and others.

    They both have been speaking English, German and Portuguese since they were born…and the older one recently finished her  second year of Mandarin in grade school.

    I speak German to them, my wife speaks Portuguese and they get English from day care.

    Believe it or not, it works!

    Happy Birthday and enjoy the Turks!

  • Aaron

    About to start year two for me, seeing that you’ve been successful for such a long time gives me continued hope for the future. Thanks for the awesome site, hopefully one day we’ll cross paths!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Best of luck and have a safe trip ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Yep, people have plenty in common :)

  • http://twitter.com/katefrishman Kate Frishman

    You make many excellent points in this post. I’m currently planning to move my family of seven to France in 2013 so that they can see for themselves that not everyone acts and thinks like an American. (And for several other reasons, but that is the most important one. ) I haven’t quite worked out the details, but I finally realized that it would never change from a dream to a goal if I waited until I had everything ironed out.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Go for it Kate! It’ll open their eyes to a new way of life!

  • Anonymous

    30.Eat well and keep fit somehow!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Agreed.

  • http://twitter.com/vhaas3 victoria haas

    StumbleUpon was lovely enough to lead me to this today! First of all, Happy birthday! And happy traveling! Secondly, as I spend the month of July volunteering and traveling here in Guatemala, I am meeting people from everywhere!! Many of whom share similar life lessons. Though I am only nineteen and my parents are mildly freaking out about me traveling to Tikal on chicken buses, the experiences, the tourists from Australia and Germany, the fear and the self-reliance all make it so very worth it. I am excited to start following your blog :) 

  • http://twitter.com/vhaas3 victoria haas

    StumbleUpon was lovely enough to lead me to this today! First of all, Happy birthday! And happy traveling! Secondly, as I spend the month of July volunteering and traveling here in Guatemala, I am meeting people from everywhere!! Many of whom share similar life lessons. Though I am only nineteen and my parents are mildly freaking out about me traveling to Tikal on chicken buses, the experiences, the tourists from Australia and Germany, the fear and the self-reliance all make it so very worth it. I am excited to start following your blog :) 

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      So I see! Seven thousand stumbles in 12 hours!!
      You’re at the beginning of an amazing adventure, enjoy it :)

  • http://twitter.com/vhaas3 victoria haas

    StumbleUpon was lovely enough to lead me to this today! First of all, Happy birthday! And happy traveling! Secondly, as I spend the month of July volunteering and traveling here in Guatemala, I am meeting people from everywhere!! Many of whom share similar life lessons. Though I am only nineteen and my parents are mildly freaking out about me traveling to Tikal on chicken buses, the experiences, the tourists from Australia and Germany, the fear and the self-reliance all make it so very worth it. I am excited to start following your blog :) 

  • http://twitter.com/vhaas3 victoria haas

    StumbleUpon was lovely enough to lead me to this today! First of all, Happy birthday! And happy traveling! Secondly, as I spend the month of July volunteering and traveling here in Guatemala, I am meeting people from everywhere!! Many of whom share similar life lessons. Though I am only nineteen and my parents are mildly freaking out about me traveling to Tikal on chicken buses, the experiences, the tourists from Australia and Germany, the fear and the self-reliance all make it so very worth it. I am excited to start following your blog :) 

  • Joseph Lemien

    “One of the most frequent questions I get asked as a long-term solo traveller is if I feel lonely. The short answer is no. The long answer would require an entire post in itself.”

    I would be interested in reading this post. I, too, am a traveler who makes my home wherever I happen to be. Great physical distances from close friends and lovers (and the emotional distance that is sometimes brings) is something that sometimes brings tears to my eyes. Of course I make new friends and lovers in new places, but I feel a great desire to be with the old ones as well. I would love to read about your strategies for coping with those feelings; people that are important to you that are left behind.

    Oh yeah: Happy Birthday, Benny! You made a GREAT list here. I have seen and loved the videos, and I agree with so much of what you have written here. I don’t know if I will still be living this kind of a life when I am 29, but your blog helped nudge me along and helped give me the encouragement to put my life on the route it is now, and I am loving it.

  • Joseph Lemien

    “One of the most frequent questions I get asked as a long-term solo traveller is if I feel lonely. The short answer is no. The long answer would require an entire post in itself.”

    I would be interested in reading this post. I, too, am a traveler who makes my home wherever I happen to be. Great physical distances from close friends and lovers (and the emotional distance that is sometimes brings) is something that sometimes brings tears to my eyes. Of course I make new friends and lovers in new places, but I feel a great desire to be with the old ones as well. I would love to read about your strategies for coping with those feelings; people that are important to you that are left behind.

    Oh yeah: Happy Birthday, Benny! You made a GREAT list here. I have seen and loved the videos, and I agree with so much of what you have written here. I don’t know if I will still be living this kind of a life when I am 29, but your blog helped nudge me along and helped give me the encouragement to put my life on the route it is now, and I am loving it.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Yes, I’ll get around to that post later too :)
      Glad to be nudging in the right direction :D

  • http://leakygrammar.com Gavin

    Cool post Benny, for some reason I was thinking this was gonna be a bit of a rehash of all that self-help stuff, which is fun to read but gets repetitive a bit.  But you really injected some of your personal experience into it which I liked a lot and nodded my head with you in agreement more than a few times!

    You really are on to something here, and following your blog has been a, well, I kinda wanna say an affirmational experience, in that I agree with everything you’re saying, (especially the sunscreen one, especially if you live near the equator like me) but most importantly I think you drive home the point that happiness is relational.  There’s nothing like traveling on your own to challenge you comfort levels and get you socializing with all the great people out there! Life’s a trip! Literally!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Gavin!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Gavin!

  • http://leakygrammar.com Gavin

    Cool post Benny, for some reason I was thinking this was gonna be a bit of a rehash of all that self-help stuff, which is fun to read but gets repetitive a bit.  But you really injected some of your personal experience into it which I liked a lot and nodded my head with you in agreement more than a few times!

    You really are on to something here, and following your blog has been a, well, I kinda wanna say an affirmational experience, in that I agree with everything you’re saying, (especially the sunscreen one, especially if you live near the equator like me) but most importantly I think you drive home the point that happiness is relational.  There’s nothing like traveling on your own to challenge you comfort levels and get you socializing with all the great people out there! Life’s a trip! Literally!

  • Dominick Regan

     Is maith
    liom an phost, d’fhoghlaim me Spáinnis an cúpla bliain anuas ach anois tá mé ag foghlaim nios mó Gaeilge. Tá mé as Ciarraí ach nil a lán gaeilge agam.  Tá mé i do gconaí i
    San Francisco ach tá mé i Montreal anocht. Tá me ag fhoghlaim roinnt Fraincis.
    Níl fhios agam Is feidir foglaim dhá ag an am ceanna. tá bealach amháin le
    fhail amach. Is maith liom an am a caitheamh ag foghlaim teangacha.  I like the post, i learned spanish a few years but now I”m learning more irish. I’m from Kerry but I don’t know much Irish. I live in San Francisco but I’m in Montreal tonight. I’m learning some French. I don’t know if I can learn 2 at once. There is a way to find out. I enjoy the time I spend learning languages. 

  • cori malin

    This is awesome and so true! I admire your ability to live nomadically, it’s very inspiring. When I “grow-up” I want to be well traveled and cultured from exploring endlessly! Happy Birthday!

  • cori malin

    This is awesome and so true! I admire your ability to live nomadically, it’s very inspiring. When I “grow-up” I want to be well traveled and cultured from exploring endlessly! Happy Birthday!

  • cori malin

    This is awesome and so true! I admire your ability to live nomadically, it’s very inspiring. When I “grow-up” I want to be well traveled and cultured from exploring endlessly! Happy Birthday!

  • Anonymous

    Great stuff Benny, loved reading this one…  I’m an Alan Watts fan too :)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Yeah the other videos and speeches are great!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Another commenter after you disagrees.
    But the sunscreen comment was actually in reference to the entire video under it.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    As said near the start home is wherever I lay my hat. It isn’t Ireland. I go back to Ireland to see family, but prefer to live in other places. So for now I don’t know when and where I’ll settle down.
    What I’d like to ultimately do is have a base and a home for 6 or more months of the year and still travel the rest of the time. This would be best of both worlds!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Have a look through the blog archives – and I even linked to a video of me signing within this post! (#24) I had a one month intensive mission to learn it in Austin this year. I’ll be back in the states soon to continue with it.

  • Adam Koncz

    Let me add one more. 
    “Never pass an opportunity of pissing, drinking and eating.”

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      That’s not getting added. But just “Never pass an opportunity” will do nicely ;)

  • Anonymous

    Great post. Thanks to google reader for recommend it =)
    Now i think i start read your blog.
    Happy Birthday from Russia , btw!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Great post. Thanks to google reader for recommend it =)
    Now i think i start read your blog.
    Happy Birthday from Russia , btw!

  • Anonymous

    Great post. Thanks to google reader for recommend it =)
    Now i think i start read your blog.
    Happy Birthday from Russia , btw!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    They do NOT sing happy birthday in English in France… Not unless it’s for English speakers!
    Yes, a friend brought a cake for me onto the boat party that I was attending.
    Best of luck with your French!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks John!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    If you’re too old to do it, then I’m too old to do it too, right? ;) It’s a bullshit excuse, toss it aside! Best of luck!

  • http://profiles.google.com/jon.shock Jonathan Shock

    I’ve been on the road now for six years, living in China, Spain and Germany and spending significant time in Korea and Japan. I wasn’t expecting that much when I clicked on the link here, but every single one of these are things that I’ve said myself – this is a powerful list and I have to admit to grinning a wide grin as I read through it – thank you for putting it down so succinctly!

    In terms of your point 12, I got rid of internet at home a couple of years ago and my life has been vastly enriched. My home is a place of peace and I control my environment. When I have the internet it controls me.

    Congratulations again and happy Birthday!

    Jon

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Yes, the title is familiar – other “[random number] I’ve learned” lists are over other blogs. But I had these things to share, and no other title or format would have been fitting. So I’m glad people are giving it a chance :)

      Great job on getting rid of Internet! All I can manage to do is cap my daily use – I use Internet for my livelihood, but as I said here, too much time online and it “controls me” too ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Yes, the title is familiar – other “[random number] I’ve learned” lists are over other blogs. But I had these things to share, and no other title or format would have been fitting. So I’m glad people are giving it a chance :)

      Great job on getting rid of Internet! All I can manage to do is cap my daily use – I use Internet for my livelihood, but as I said here, too much time online and it “controls me” too ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Yes, the title is familiar – other “[random number] I’ve learned” lists are over other blogs. But I had these things to share, and no other title or format would have been fitting. So I’m glad people are giving it a chance :)

      Great job on getting rid of Internet! All I can manage to do is cap my daily use – I use Internet for my livelihood, but as I said here, too much time online and it “controls me” too ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Yes, the title is familiar – other “[random number] I’ve learned” lists are over other blogs. But I had these things to share, and no other title or format would have been fitting. So I’m glad people are giving it a chance :)

      Great job on getting rid of Internet! All I can manage to do is cap my daily use – I use Internet for my livelihood, but as I said here, too much time online and it “controls me” too ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Patrick-Chambers/1020428871 Richard Patrick Chambers

    I have to say that this list, emulates pretty much why I love traveling so much. I found myself agreeing with everything you wrote and even wanting to shake you by the hand at having figured so much out that I’ve struggled to put into words. I spent about 3 years leaving Ireland and traveling around Europe at least 4 times a year and I have to agree that when you just get to know the people and don’t have any assumptions you meet the best people and learn so much about yourself.

    I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write this, I’ve really wanted to go back traveling, but not sure if I’d be able to, but you’ve reminded me of why I did it in the first place. 

    Richard

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Richard! I hope you enjoy your next wind of travels :)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Richard! I hope you enjoy your next wind of travels :)

  • Kristine Fernandez

    Hey Benny, your blog post came up on my “What’s Hot on Google Reader” feed! As someone who is an amateur/aspiring traveler/recent graduate, I find myself asking how people like you are able to just get up and go. And maybe this is a silly question, but it’s the one thing that really holds me back: How do you have supply yourself with enough money to get by for so long? I feel like I am a frugal person but little things add up after awhile. Anyway, thank you for your post. I enjoyed it thoroughly!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      That’s excellent! Now even Google Reader is treating me nicely :D Just checked it and it’s at 500 Google Reader “likes” just 2 hours after getting in there! Appreciate the heads up ;)

      To answer your question, you don’t need to be rich to travel the world: http://www.fluentin3months.com/do-you-need-to-be-rich-to-travel-the-world/ – my life is waaay less expensive than most fixed people I know. I don’t own or buy junk. That’s what you need money for. A plane ticket every few months and rent and food in cheaper countries off the tourist trail, and avoiding English-tailored versions, is ridiculously affordable.

      I didn’t save anything up, I just moved and figured it out when I got there. I’ve had dozens of completely different jobs. For the last year I’ve been trying and succeeding in earning from this website. You’ll see an explanation of how I learn languages quickly for sale here, although the vast majority of those reading the blog do it for free, since I provide lots of free content like this post. So even if a small minority decide to buy it that’s enough for me to currently cover my inexpensive lifestyle :)

      It also means my “job” can be to learn the language and try to inspire others to do so, by writing helpful articles. I’m glad this one is getting so popular on various social networking sites as this means I can reach so many new people and try to convince them that they can learn a language themselves :)

      Glad you enjoyed the article!

  • Kristine Fernandez

    Hey Benny, your blog post came up on my “What’s Hot on Google Reader” feed! As someone who is an amateur/aspiring traveler/recent graduate, I find myself asking how people like you are able to just get up and go. And maybe this is a silly question, but it’s the one thing that really holds me back: How do you have supply yourself with enough money to get by for so long? I feel like I am a frugal person but little things add up after awhile. Anyway, thank you for your post. I enjoyed it thoroughly!

  • Kristine Fernandez

    Hey Benny, your blog post came up on my “What’s Hot on Google Reader” feed! As someone who is an amateur/aspiring traveler/recent graduate, I find myself asking how people like you are able to just get up and go. And maybe this is a silly question, but it’s the one thing that really holds me back: How do you have supply yourself with enough money to get by for so long? I feel like I am a frugal person but little things add up after awhile. Anyway, thank you for your post. I enjoyed it thoroughly!

  • http://twitter.com/GotPassport J, A and M

    Wear Sunscreen video is my all time favorite. :-) 

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      It makes more and more sense as I listen to it again 12 years older than the first time I heard it.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      It makes more and more sense as I listen to it again 12 years older than the first time I heard it.

  • http://twitter.com/GotPassport J, A and M

    Wear Sunscreen video is my all time favorite. :-) 

  • http://twitter.com/GotPassport J, A and M

    Wear Sunscreen video is my all time favorite. :-) 

  • http://twitter.com/GotPassport J, A and M

    Wear Sunscreen video is my all time favorite. :-) 

  • N.Y.C.

    Thank you, Benny, for sharing your wonderful experience. I couldn’t agree more with every point you said except that I believe in Karma as in what goes around comes around, although people shouldn’t do good deed hoping for good return.
    You are a bit younger than me yet a LOT wiser. 
    Happy birthday, Benny!

  • N.Y.C.

    Thank you, Benny, for sharing your wonderful experience. I couldn’t agree more with every point you said except that I believe in Karma as in what goes around comes around, although people shouldn’t do good deed hoping for good return.
    You are a bit younger than me yet a LOT wiser. 
    Happy birthday, Benny!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      What goes around comes around for very logical reasons. Assholes get their comeuppance because people remember them, or their body language and insincerity is clear to strangers. As far as I’m concerned, no invisible forces are required for this. If you are a nice person, people will see that very clearly and treat you well because of it.
      If you read into things you can interpret them in any way you like. A positive optimistic person will see all the good in their day and believe karma is rewarding them. A pessimistic person could live exactly the same day but think it was terrible and he’s being punished. All explanations I’ve heard for karma come down to this selective story telling.
      There’s no harm in believing in it, especially if it encourages people to be good, but I prefer to be clear about how the world works.
      As said in the article, when I meet people in person I have no interest in converting them. But if someone asks my opinion, they’re going to hear it :)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      What goes around comes around for very logical reasons. Assholes get their comeuppance because people remember them, or their body language and insincerity is clear to strangers. As far as I’m concerned, no invisible forces are required for this. If you are a nice person, people will see that very clearly and treat you well because of it.
      If you read into things you can interpret them in any way you like. A positive optimistic person will see all the good in their day and believe karma is rewarding them. A pessimistic person could live exactly the same day but think it was terrible and he’s being punished. All explanations I’ve heard for karma come down to this selective story telling.
      There’s no harm in believing in it, especially if it encourages people to be good, but I prefer to be clear about how the world works.
      As said in the article, when I meet people in person I have no interest in converting them. But if someone asks my opinion, they’re going to hear it :)

  • Jonny Cahill

    I agree completed with everything you say, I am pretty broke but I have a roof over my head and I have food and water. I am happy I have friends, I play golf. I do everything I want to, if I enjoy it. I live my life for fun and happiness, you’re really not living if you don’t live for happiness.

    Also you say you’re the Irish polyglot, are you from Ireland? If so where in Ireland did you live?

  • http://www.facebook.com/matkinsyn Rebecca TvojaMatka Black

    Mna by zaujimalo ci si bol niekedy aj na Slovensku :) Naschval nepisem s diakritikou aby si to nemal take lahke s prekladacom od googlu :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks Meghan! Enjoy your 20s!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks Meghan! Enjoy your 20s!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Life is too short to keep putting off enjoying it. Have a great time :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Life is too short to keep putting off enjoying it. Have a great time :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Life is too short to keep putting off enjoying it. Have a great time :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    I never saved up money in advance. At best I arranged my *job* a few weeks in advance, but that was it.
    I had random jobs in the country and now earn from this website. You can find out more about my story on my About page!
    Money isn’t what stops people from travelling. It’s fear. Trust me, I need a LOT less money to do what I’m doing than the majority of the alternatives people face after graduation!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    I never saved up money in advance. At best I arranged my *job* a few weeks in advance, but that was it.
    I had random jobs in the country and now earn from this website. You can find out more about my story on my About page!
    Money isn’t what stops people from travelling. It’s fear. Trust me, I need a LOT less money to do what I’m doing than the majority of the alternatives people face after graduation!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    I never saved up money in advance. At best I arranged my *job* a few weeks in advance, but that was it.
    I had random jobs in the country and now earn from this website. You can find out more about my story on my About page!
    Money isn’t what stops people from travelling. It’s fear. Trust me, I need a LOT less money to do what I’m doing than the majority of the alternatives people face after graduation!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Please read my site’s About page to find out more about my work. My expenses are WAY less than most people’s in the first world, and this includes flights.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks for following :) Glad you enjoyed it :D

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    See my site’s About page.

  • Chelsea Cullen

    Thank you, Benny. You’ve just validated so much of my existence. :)

  • Chelsea Cullen

    Thank you, Benny. You’ve just validated so much of my existence. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/AgentAndo Andrew Sunderland

    Eloquent.  Simple.  Easily said.  Not easily lived.  A wonderful guide nonetheless.  Very difficult not to equate money and materialistic vices with security.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1127746066 Ola Chao

    Hi, I read your articule and felt so inspired I had to write something! I guess I can relate to most things you wrote about, mostly about how life and society (I guess) influence you. I’m 22 years old and I live in Chile, but not before living in two other countrys, so you could say I’m getting restless and would like to travel more, but just don’t know how to start. I would like to take your example and go see what else is out there, it seems to me that when you’re too long in someplace it’s more of the same. I don’t know, I guess I just read this in the right moment when too much thinking was taking over my sane mind.. Anyway, regards! I’ll read the other stuff you have.
    Adios, recordaré tus palabras (:

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=617947040 Jon De Guzman Binalay

    you moved me in most of  the lessons you learned!
    mabuhay ka!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=617947040 Jon De Guzman Binalay

    you moved me in most of  the lessons you learned!
    mabuhay ka!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=617947040 Jon De Guzman Binalay

    you moved me in most of  the lessons you learned!
    mabuhay ka!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=617947040 Jon De Guzman Binalay

    you moved me in most of  the lessons you learned!
    mabuhay ka!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=617947040 Jon De Guzman Binalay

    You moved me in most of the lessons you shared to us!
    Cheers and Mabuhay ka!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=617947040 Jon De Guzman Binalay

    You moved me in most of the lessons you shared to us!
    Cheers and Mabuhay ka!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=617947040 Jon De Guzman Binalay

    You moved me in most of the lessons you shared to us!
    Cheers and Mabuhay ka!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=617947040 Jon De Guzman Binalay

    You moved me in most of the lessons you shared to us!
    Cheers and Mabuhay ka!

  • http://www.travelnlass.com/ TravelnLass

    All excellent points – especially the one about “Dance and Sing”.  Seriously, don’t you have to wonder what the world would be like if all the politicians simply sang and danced each morning?

    That said.  I have a 30th for you to add (my own life mantra after six decades on the Planet):

    30. This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

  • http://www.travelnlass.com/ TravelnLass

    All excellent points – especially the one about “Dance and Sing”.  Seriously, don’t you have to wonder what the world would be like if all the politicians simply sang and danced each morning?

    That said.  I have a 30th for you to add (my own life mantra after six decades on the Planet):

    30. This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Excellent addition!

  • http://www.travelnlass.com/ TravelnLass

    All excellent points – especially the one about “Dance and Sing”.  Seriously, don’t you have to wonder what the world would be like if all the politicians simply sang and danced each morning?

    That said.  I have a 30th for you to add (my own life mantra after six decades on the Planet):

    30. This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

  • Anonymous

    This is awesome. I’m a traveler newbie myself (4 months last year and planning 3,5 months) this year and do what you are doing is just what I want to do with my life, but I have no idea how. When I realize how much it cost to live this place (Brazil) I just want to cry.

    I’ll read more of the site to see if I can find answers to my questions. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/momsterlaurie Laurie Mari Goldman

    Thanks for sharing the wisdom you’ve gained through your travels. Makes me want to renew my passport! Happy birthday!

  • http://www.facebook.com/momsterlaurie Laurie Mari Goldman

    Thanks for sharing the wisdom you’ve gained through your travels. Makes me want to renew my passport! Happy birthday!

  • http://www.facebook.com/momsterlaurie Laurie Mari Goldman

    Thanks for sharing the wisdom you’ve gained through your travels. Makes me want to renew my passport! Happy birthday!

  • http://www.facebook.com/momsterlaurie Laurie Mari Goldman

    Thanks for sharing the wisdom you’ve gained through your travels. Makes me want to renew my passport! Happy birthday!

  • http://travelerahoy.com Alouise

    Happy belated Birthday. I love this post. You’ve figured out a lot of things that can take people their whole lives to learn. I think number 29 is the one I’m just starting to figure out. 

  • http://twitter.com/lafeber Martijn Lafeber

    I’m going to read this post at least once every year. I travelled quite a bit myself as well, and recognize many things you mention here.

    You’re more than welcome to surf our couch!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks for the compliments :)

    Otherwise what you say about destiny is where it gets into pure semantics. You are in control of YOUR LIFE, and you can make sure it goes in the right direction. Whether you use another word for this or not is irrelevant. Please read this post – I was not “destined” for great things, I decided to steer my life towards them.

    Believing in destiny is a dangerous thing because that belief creates a negative destiny for far too many people. Some people don’t use the ‘d’ word – instead they say it’s their genes, or it “wasn’t meant to be”, or its part of god’s plan or whatever.

    Not believing in it lets you be more flexible in what you do with your life. NOTHING is written in stone and nothing is part of the universe’s plan if you can fight against some annoying hurdles well enough.

    If you decide to “read the signs” instead then you might just see a destiny that does nothing but limit you.

    • Piotr Buczak

      Some things ARE written in stone and there is nothing in this life you can do to change them. Best examples would be of physical nature. Personally, I consider “you can do anything you set your mind to” as the wishful thinking you rail against. You need to know your limitations to know what you CAN change in your life. Otherwise, you can set yourself up for disappointment.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    I don’t think travel is necessary to learn anything in this list (apart from those specific to travel like the everyone-speaks-English myth). But being open minded and meeting many people is :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks for reading :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks for reading :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks for reading :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks for reading :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks for reading :)

  • Ulo

    Bonan naskiĝtagon (iom malfrue bedaŭrinde!). Tute ŝategis vian afiŝon kiu, kiel kutime, tute plenplenas je pozitivaj kaj kuraĝigaj konsiloj; ĉiame post la legado mi sentas pli inspirige ol antaŭe!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Dankon :D

  • Rashmi

    Loved it to its every word! Got encouraged so much so that i created my account on couch surfing instantly :) 
    Keep travelling and stay good.
    Be in touch.
    Cheers!
    http://eccentricrashmi.blogspot.com/ this is where i write :)

  • Yasmin Selena

    I absolutely loved this piece.  Happy birthday! xx

  • Rahul

    Benny I promise to wear sun screen an make mistakes!
    Nice reading. Thanks!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Rahul buddy! Miss ya loads!

  • Seyuruk

    I WILL print out this writing and stick the papers on the walls of my room.

    Thank you very much from Turkey.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      You’re welcome… from Turkey :D

  • Kuna Rajandran

    I have traveled a few countries alone on a minimal budget and still had a wonderful time, so I can totally relate to your post.I agree with all your points, coz I feel the same. Happy birthday and keep moving! It’s a whole new world out there everyday =)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Kuna!

  • Alexisuy90

    Can i travel with you?.?? Wahhh envy :))

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Try it yourself and make other people envious :)

  • Kevin P. Buckley

    23 and 27 are my favorites and that is most likely due to the fact that I’ve tried to explain them to others. I just recently completed travel to each of the lower 48 (not in one continuous trip) and most of the miles were done alone. When I tell others about this, they all ask similar questions: “Weren’t you worried something would go wrong and no one would be able to help?” or “Wouldn’t it have been better to travel with someone?” My answer is always the same: No. People will always offer help when they can; people are always ready to meet new people and share their stories. I think something that really helped me see this was NOT traveling to tourist destinations. The small towns and cities have so much more to offer than typical vacation destinations. I’ve felt more like part of the community in many places by doing this. I will never stop. 

  • http://twitter.com/davebrook Dave B

    brilliant! Thanks!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/manoj.venkat92 Manoj Venkat

    Simply awesome!!

  • KS

    Great stuff… Shared it with a ton of people..

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Appreciate that!! :)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Appreciate that!! :)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Appreciate that!! :)

  • KS

    Great stuff… Shared it with a ton of people..

  • KS

    Great stuff… Shared it with a ton of people..

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks for the compliment :)

    I find with almost amazing consistency that the more money someone has (beyond survival money), the less happy they are. It’s a strange conundrum, but people *thinking* that money will solve their problems is actually a “happier” situation to be in than people getting that money and realising their life still sucks.

    The only way money can make you happier is if you use it wisely enough to enjoy something *with people*. Spreading the wealth leads to happiness, but that ultimately has nothing to do with the actual money but seeing your friends and family as being happy. Buying new shoes etc. just gives a temporary high.

    Everyone thinks they need more money. Apart from a bit to stay secure and make sure you have food for next week, or basic security, more money just turns people into superficial shoppers who don’t realise the worth of all they have. Sorry but more is NOT always better. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/Patssay Sayali Patwardhan

    Lovely post!! Although (maybe)  it might not be necessary to travel to get all these revelations , I am inclined to think that traveling does add a deeper dimension to our outlook to life! I love the fact that you have traveled so much!!! and can speak soooo many languages!! Looking forward to something similar in my life!! Cheers and good luck! :)

  • http://twitter.com/Patssay Sayali Patwardhan

    Lovely post!! Although (maybe)  it might not be necessary to travel to get all these revelations , I am inclined to think that traveling does add a deeper dimension to our outlook to life! I love the fact that you have traveled so much!!! and can speak soooo many languages!! Looking forward to something similar in my life!! Cheers and good luck! :)

  • http://twitter.com/Patssay Sayali Patwardhan

    Lovely post!! Although (maybe)  it might not be necessary to travel to get all these revelations , I am inclined to think that traveling does add a deeper dimension to our outlook to life! I love the fact that you have traveled so much!!! and can speak soooo many languages!! Looking forward to something similar in my life!! Cheers and good luck! :)

  • http://twitter.com/eurotravelista Debbie Beardsley

    I believe this is my first time reading your blog and I have to say, for a 29 year old you are wiser than your age!  You said so much in this post that I am going to have to reread it to digest it all.  Then I will be going through your archives. 

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Debbie! I hope you enjoy the archives!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Debbie! I hope you enjoy the archives!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Debbie! I hope you enjoy the archives!

  • http://twitter.com/LYFTterry Terry Coniglio

    Love this post and it hit me on a day when I was longing for the open road again and a new place!  Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/LYFTterry Terry Coniglio

    Love this post and it hit me on a day when I was longing for the open road again and a new place!  Thank you!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks so much Jackie! :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks so much Jackie! :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks so much Jackie! :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    That’s the spirit! No more wishing, more doing :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    That’s the spirit! No more wishing, more doing :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    That’s the spirit! No more wishing, more doing :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    That’s the spirit! No more wishing, more doing :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Party.Jetset.GO Mickey Limon

    ikaw na! you you you already!

  • http://www.facebook.com/the.sin.of.lust Thomas Krempetz

    As an artist, I have a bizarre relationship with number 10 on your list.
    My art is the physical manifestation of my creativity, and thus (despite being material) is very important to me.
    There is no shame in enjoying having lots of things, and there is no shame in enjoying expensive things. The trick to remember is not allowing them to dictate your happiness.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      I own a computer and it’s very important to me for working, writing on this blog, editing videos etc. This computer is expensive so it can have the resources I need to run several programs at once.
      However, the “shame” comes in when you snowball this argument to justify buying everything. In my case my laptop is the only thing I own that costs more than a few hundred dollars. I don’t live without possessions, but as I said in #10, the less the better.
      You create your art, you don’t charge it to your visa. That’s the main issue I’m talking about here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/the.sin.of.lust Thomas Krempetz

    As an artist, I have a bizarre relationship with number 10 on your list.
    My art is the physical manifestation of my creativity, and thus (despite being material) is very important to me.
    There is no shame in enjoying having lots of things, and there is no shame in enjoying expensive things. The trick to remember is not allowing them to dictate your happiness.

  • pooja sharma

    Nice Article…agreed with all points….:)

  • http://www.tourabsurd.com Katrina

    Woot!  Viral!  Congrats, Benny.  Next time you make it back to Ireland, come down to Cork.  Tea is on me.  :)

  • http://www.tourabsurd.com Katrina

    Woot!  Viral!  Congrats, Benny.  Next time you make it back to Ireland, come down to Cork.  Tea is on me.  :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    For my list of jobs (and for answers to most questions people keep asking me in these comments :-P ) please see my site’s About page.
    And by presuming that I “just hook up” you are ignoring advice in #7 and making presumptions about someone with no information! I’ve never said that I do that so you can’t presume it.
    Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    For my list of jobs (and for answers to most questions people keep asking me in these comments :-P ) please see my site’s About page.
    And by presuming that I “just hook up” you are ignoring advice in #7 and making presumptions about someone with no information! I’ve never said that I do that so you can’t presume it.
    Thanks for reading!

  • http://dreamhousewebsolutions.net Louie R. Sison

    I so much love this article. I wish I could do the same as you did. thanks for the lessons because it’s worth reading it. Hope you enjoyed your travel.

  • Sami Jumppanen

    I have begun to see and understand many of the points on the list, just by keeping my eyes and ears open, in my “standard” daily life. Like, people are the same everywhere, and have been the same – this is not the times of “not in my youth!”. I believe the context changes (the “time”), not the people. In every new era we focus into new solutions and problems. I don’t need to prove your text right here – just wanted to say “largely agree” and THANKS!

  • http://twitter.com/VladimirPotter Vladimir Potter

    Thanks a lot Benny!!!

  • http://twitter.com/VladimirPotter Vladimir Potter

    Thanks a lot Benny!!!

  • http://twitter.com/VladimirPotter Vladimir Potter

    Thanks a lot Benny!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/markbbautista Mark Bautista

    I’m glad I stumbled upon this entry! I’m currently challenging myself in learning Korean and Japanese when I kick-off my Asia tour in Seoul this year!

    Keep up the posts Benny, you inspire people a lot with your posts. Hope you visit Manila again soon. :D

    Salamat!

  • http://www.facebook.com/markbbautista Mark Bautista

    I’m glad I stumbled upon this entry! I’m currently challenging myself in learning Korean and Japanese when I kick-off my Asia tour in Seoul this year!

    Keep up the posts Benny, you inspire people a lot with your posts. Hope you visit Manila again soon. :D

    Salamat!

  • http://www.facebook.com/basefook Vishal Pipraiya

    I quit my full time job last year to travel alone throughout my own country (India), which basically is many different countries in itself. It’s been more than a year now and I cannot put it in words how it has changed my life, my worldview and me as a person. I could relate to all your points though I am nowhere close to your 8.  Like you I love couchsurfing.com and think it is the best thing that happened to travellers. Not tourists. Travellers! Thank you for sharing. My Best Regards.
    Vishal Pipraiya

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Vishal :)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Vishal :)

  • http://twitter.com/Spokker Spokker

    For someone who is such a world traveller you appear to be a bit naive about how the world actually works.

    You write, “Your limitations are not set by who you know, where you were born, what genes you have, how much money you have, how old you are right now, what you did before or other things that you can claim are your stamp of failure for life.”

    You made money teaching English in other countries. Your ability to secure that kind of work was so doubt made extremely easier by the fact that English is in such high demand around the world. It is the international language of business, after all.

    It also helped that you are white and many of the people you met may have treated you kindly because they saw what they thought was a white tourist walking around with those tasty tourist dollars flying out of their ears.

    I have to wonder whether a Chinese world traveler would have similar success in Japan with their profound and deep racism toward outsiders. How would an Arab traveller fare trying to secure work fresh off the plane in America? Europe is not without its hatred of foreigners as well, and they too have many conservative types that dislike brown people going to their countries and looking for work. 

    You are a world traveller that sounds very conservative in the “just pick yourself up by your bootstraps” sort of way. There is no such thing as destiny but there are social constructs that can make it difficult for different kinds of people to pursue happiness, or even board a damn plane.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Spokker you broke #7 and presumed you know *everything* about me. I was an English teacher, but this was one of DOZENS of jobs I’ve had over the last decade. If you are white too (as in your avatar) please don’t give me your arrogant bullshit about having that advantage when you don’t even know what the other situation is like.

      It’s not your place to come in here with an Atlas complex to protect the world from white native English speakers like me.

      I have had MANY disadvantages that others don’t have, which you are not aware of, but I work despite them and find ways around them. The same way someone with no English would (and I meet a LOT of non-English speakers travelling) and the same way non-Caucasions would (and I meet a LOT of people of every skin colour also travelling).

      I wrote this article because there are too many people with your mindset in the world. Please get your head out of your ass.

      • http://twitter.com/Spokker Spokker

        You’re correct. I don’t know everything about you. You do not talk about whether or not you pay taxes to these nations and whether or not you are legal to work in every country you visit. But fewer people would ask that of you than, say, a Mexican in the United States.

        Your lesson learned is what many conservatives spout in my nation, “Why don’t those lazy people just get a job?” when referring to non-whites. I don’t know what they teach about the class system in Ireland, but it is very much a real force that can be impossible to get away from.

      • http://twitter.com/Spokker Spokker

        You’re correct. I don’t know everything about you. You do not talk about whether or not you pay taxes to these nations and whether or not you are legal to work in every country you visit. But fewer people would ask that of you than, say, a Mexican in the United States.

        Your lesson learned is what many conservatives spout in my nation, “Why don’t those lazy people just get a job?” when referring to non-whites. I don’t know what they teach about the class system in Ireland, but it is very much a real force that can be impossible to get away from.

      • http://twitter.com/Spokker Spokker

        You’re correct. I don’t know everything about you. You do not talk about whether or not you pay taxes to these nations and whether or not you are legal to work in every country you visit. But fewer people would ask that of you than, say, a Mexican in the United States.

        Your lesson learned is what many conservatives spout in my nation, “Why don’t those lazy people just get a job?” when referring to non-whites. I don’t know what they teach about the class system in Ireland, but it is very much a real force that can be impossible to get away from.

      • http://twitter.com/Spokker Spokker

        You’re correct. I don’t know everything about you. You do not talk about whether or not you pay taxes to these nations and whether or not you are legal to work in every country you visit. But fewer people would ask that of you than, say, a Mexican in the United States.

        Your lesson learned is what many conservatives spout in my nation, “Why don’t those lazy people just get a job?” when referring to non-whites. I don’t know what they teach about the class system in Ireland, but it is very much a real force that can be impossible to get away from.

    • http://twitter.com/Connerrrrr None of your busines

      Are you complaining because the owner of a blog about learning a language in three months isn’t a pessimist? Those are all challenges you must overcome, wouldn’t it be hard for someone seen as a “white tourist” as you say, to get a job in a foreign country? And yeah, there are things that can make things difficult for anybody, but never impossible. Or are you suggesting people should just be lazy and not do anything difficult or overcome any challenge.

  • http://twitter.com/Connerrrrr None of your busines

    I have to say, I love the blog and the tips and pointers. They’re inspiring, straight forward, honest and make a lot of sense. I, like you, had 5 years of formal education in a language (French, since I live in Canada) and it (like for most of my friends) got me nowhere. I thought I just sucked at languages, so I focused on math and science. Recently, I decided to go back and try and learn French, the write way. I found you blog and it’s been a great guide, but I’m having one small problem. I bought an old Berlitz phrasebook from a used bookstore yesterday and have been reading through it, as you suggested. I’m just a little anxious about how I can tell I’m making progress. I feel like I’m not retaining the phrases, beyond the basics I already partially knew. Are there any clear indicators that your learning or “doing it right”. And it seems like there’s a lot to remember in the phrasebooks, do I cut some out, or go through it all?

    Merci pour le blog, c’est fantastique!
    -Conner

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Best way to scope your progress is to do it with people. Just holding on to books you’ll never be able to feel yourself move forward, or will feel something but it won’t be so relevant in the real world.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Best way to scope your progress is to do it with people. Just holding on to books you’ll never be able to feel yourself move forward, or will feel something but it won’t be so relevant in the real world.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Best way to scope your progress is to do it with people. Just holding on to books you’ll never be able to feel yourself move forward, or will feel something but it won’t be so relevant in the real world.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Best way to scope your progress is to do it with people. Just holding on to books you’ll never be able to feel yourself move forward, or will feel something but it won’t be so relevant in the real world.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Best way to scope your progress is to do it with people. Just holding on to books you’ll never be able to feel yourself move forward, or will feel something but it won’t be so relevant in the real world.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Best way to scope your progress is to do it with people. Just holding on to books you’ll never be able to feel yourself move forward, or will feel something but it won’t be so relevant in the real world.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Best way to scope your progress is to do it with people. Just holding on to books you’ll never be able to feel yourself move forward, or will feel something but it won’t be so relevant in the real world.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Best way to scope your progress is to do it with people. Just holding on to books you’ll never be able to feel yourself move forward, or will feel something but it won’t be so relevant in the real world.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Merciiii :) J’ai trouvé ta leçon trop belle :D

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    2.5 years!! He isn’t following in MY footsteps – I see my mother by video Skype once a week and visit her *at least* twice a year. I’ll be back home in a month and then again for Christmas. One of the many lessons I didn’t include in this list is the importance of not losing your ties with home! ;)
    Otherwise I’m sure he’s doing a great job!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    2.5 years!! He isn’t following in MY footsteps – I see my mother by video Skype once a week and visit her *at least* twice a year. I’ll be back home in a month and then again for Christmas. One of the many lessons I didn’t include in this list is the importance of not losing your ties with home! ;)
    Otherwise I’m sure he’s doing a great job!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    2.5 years!! He isn’t following in MY footsteps – I see my mother by video Skype once a week and visit her *at least* twice a year. I’ll be back home in a month and then again for Christmas. One of the many lessons I didn’t include in this list is the importance of not losing your ties with home! ;)
    Otherwise I’m sure he’s doing a great job!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Pleeeeease read the end of the post with the links. I’ve added it in because so many people keep asking me this! :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Pleeeeease read the end of the post with the links. I’ve added it in because so many people keep asking me this! :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Pleeeeease read the end of the post with the links. I’ve added it in because so many people keep asking me this! :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    I don’t have a driving license (although it’s not for lack of trying :-P ). In North America not having one is as annoying as hell, but in other places many people don’t have cars so the culture works with that.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    I don’t have a driving license (although it’s not for lack of trying :-P ). In North America not having one is as annoying as hell, but in other places many people don’t have cars so the culture works with that.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    I don’t have a driving license (although it’s not for lack of trying :-P ). In North America not having one is as annoying as hell, but in other places many people don’t have cars so the culture works with that.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    aww thanks!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    aww thanks!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    aww thanks!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    aww thanks!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    aww thanks!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Small world! Thanks :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Small world! Thanks :)

  • http://twitter.com/onceatraveler Turner Wright

    Your last point sounds like something from Helen Keller: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.”

    In any case, some very astute observations. All of them resonated with me, but I need to keep reminding myself of #3 whenever I’m tempted to go into a casino or just expect something to crop up.

  • Shivani Rao

    great article!

  • Shivani Rao

    great article!

  • Raveena Joseph

    Stuff you’ve written about is what we already know but never actually follow because well, we’ve been conditioned to do what the next guy does. I especially agree with what you said about possessions, nothing fixes me down like they do. 

  • Raveena Joseph

    Stuff you’ve written about is what we already know but never actually follow because well, we’ve been conditioned to do what the next guy does. I especially agree with what you said about possessions, nothing fixes me down like they do. 

  • Raveena Joseph

    Stuff you’ve written about is what we already know but never actually follow because well, we’ve been conditioned to do what the next guy does. I especially agree with what you said about possessions, nothing fixes me down like they do. 

  • Raveena Joseph

    Stuff you’ve written about is what we already know but never actually follow because well, we’ve been conditioned to do what the next guy does. I especially agree with what you said about possessions, nothing fixes me down like they do. 

  • http://tinatangos.wordpress.com/ Tina

    Happy birthday and happy Travelversary!  :-)

    It was a pleasure to meet you on two of your stops – once in Perugia and once in Buenos Aires. 
    Perhaps we will cross paths again!
    Cheers from Italy,

    Tina

  • http://tinatangos.wordpress.com/ Tina

    Happy birthday and happy Travelversary!  :-)

    It was a pleasure to meet you on two of your stops – once in Perugia and once in Buenos Aires. 
    Perhaps we will cross paths again!
    Cheers from Italy,

    Tina

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Yes, I hope so!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Yes, I hope so!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    I meet many Americans travelling who have student loans that they are paying off too.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    I meet many Americans travelling who have student loans that they are paying off too.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks for sharing :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Go to manvsdebt.com – he travelled the world on a debt from student loans and has lots of excellent tips ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508893098 Huey Ly

    This blog post is full of win!  I’m gonna make all my Facebook friends read it :)

    I’ve only started my travels a couple of months ago.  Finally had the courage to quit my job, paid off my debts, stash all my stuff at my sister’s, and embarked on a “language learning” journey that should last the next few years (or until I run out of money).  I wish I had the courage to start this sooner (I’m 33).  Can’t believe you did it when you’re 21, that takes balls man.But reading this blog and the comments from your community was inspirational.  It is comforting to know that there are other travelers out there with the same passion.  Keep up your awesome posts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ketalmaster Ketal Mster

    very thoughtful and encouraging..people are same everywhere and are looking for same things…so its not about staying ahead of the curve but on it and explore it .  happy b”day..(delayed)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Don’t dismiss what I’ve learned in meeting people from all around the world of many classes and backgrounds and I won’t dismiss what you’ve learned from raising a child.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks Jaymer!

  • Opus Talis

    Benny, just wanted to express my gratitude for inspiring me by just being who you are. Most profound things are simply and you have nailed your life lessons.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Maryna! If you read around my blog you’ll see I was in Vancouver just over a month ago :)

  • Opus Talis

    Benny, just wanted to express my gratitude for inspiring me by just being who you are. Most profound things are simply and you have nailed your life lessons.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elianasanchezvelez Eliana Marilín Sánchez Vélez

    I liked it so much! it deserves to be shared with many people! I will post it as a note in my FB account and of course providing the copyright (:

    Thanks so much for sharing (:

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thank YOU for sharing it ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thank YOU for sharing it ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    I worked in each place that I travelled in.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    1. Please read the links about this!! People don’t seem to be reading the whole article so I’ve moved that “Edit” from immediately after point 29 to the top before the life lessons to stop people from asking me a question I’ve already answered.
    2. Please read any other post but this one; most of the website makes my language learning strategy clear. A brief summary is in this video, and much more details are in my book.
    3. Once again these are covered in many blog posts, but you would have to be specific. I have tips for finding accommodation, making friends, learning the language, getting cheap flights etc.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    1. Please read the links about this!! People don’t seem to be reading the whole article so I’ve moved that “Edit” from immediately after point 29 to the top before the life lessons to stop people from asking me a question I’ve already answered.
    2. Please read any other post but this one; most of the website makes my language learning strategy clear. A brief summary is in this video, and much more details are in my book.
    3. Once again these are covered in many blog posts, but you would have to be specific. I have tips for finding accommodation, making friends, learning the language, getting cheap flights etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffj5151 Jeff Smith

    how did you afford this travel?

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      From now on I’m deleting comments like this who miss the very clear message I have put at the start of the article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffj5151 Jeff Smith

    how did you afford this travel?

  • Pål Løvhaugen

    Tusen takk! 
    Det var veldig godt å bli minnet på dette akkurat nå, i en hektisk overgang til noe helt ukjent. Snart ferdig med 22 (av 29 år) tilbragt på skoler og universiteter, og har funnet og mistet mange av rådene på veien. På tide å finne de igjen!

  • Pål Løvhaugen

    Tusen takk! 
    Det var veldig godt å bli minnet på dette akkurat nå, i en hektisk overgang til noe helt ukjent. Snart ferdig med 22 (av 29 år) tilbragt på skoler og universiteter, og har funnet og mistet mange av rådene på veien. På tide å finne de igjen!

  • Dv369leigh

    Very refreshing and insightful!  Enjoyed reading 29 life lessons very much.  Happy Belated Birthday!

  • Namendra Belhe

    wow!!

  • Mohan Bastian

    Agreed with all ur points. :) it’s really nice to read ur article

  • http://www.seo-translator.com SEO Translator

    To #19: One of my former bosses (a very wise man) told me once: “The only guys that never make mistakes are only those that do not do anything!”

  • http://www.seo-translator.com SEO Translator

    To #19: One of my former bosses (a very wise man) told me once: “The only guys that never make mistakes are only those that do not do anything!”

  • http://howlearnspanish.com/ Andrew

    Superb :)

    Have you heard of the term coined by Tim Ferriss, “the deferred life plan”, used to describe what most people do where they defer their happiness in order to ‘progress’ now, usually deferring it until they’re 60 or something when they think they’ll finally “get their reward”?  Just thought you might like that term, I think it’s a superb description of the situation.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  • http://howlearnspanish.com/ Andrew

    Superb :)

    Have you heard of the term coined by Tim Ferriss, “the deferred life plan”, used to describe what most people do where they defer their happiness in order to ‘progress’ now, usually deferring it until they’re 60 or something when they think they’ll finally “get their reward”?  Just thought you might like that term, I think it’s a superb description of the situation.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  • http://howlearnspanish.com/ Andrew

    Superb :)

    Have you heard of the term coined by Tim Ferriss, “the deferred life plan”, used to describe what most people do where they defer their happiness in order to ‘progress’ now, usually deferring it until they’re 60 or something when they think they’ll finally “get their reward”?  Just thought you might like that term, I think it’s a superb description of the situation.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  • http://www.facebook.com/tommaso.sanguigni Tommaso Sanguigni

    Ciao,
    Ti faccio i complimenti per l’articolo. Ho trovato queste poche righe veramente ispiratrici. Spero un giorno di avere la forza di volontà di staccarmi dalla ‘dipendenza’ della quotidianità per cominciare a vivere realmente.
    Buona fortuna e non dimenticare di aggiornarci.

  • Chandra

    I found your site through “Daily Good” via a friend sharing it on facebook. I have shared it with my friends in turn and I’m sure many of them will do the same. Your words seem to touch so many people and I think that is almost more amazing than all that travelling you have done. I hope you keep inspiring people for many more years, good luck!

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks for sharing – great quote from Mark Twain ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks for sharing – great quote from Mark Twain ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks for sharing – great quote from Mark Twain ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks for sharing – great quote from Mark Twain ;)

  • Chandra

    I found your site through “Daily Good” via a friend sharing it on facebook. I have shared it with my friends in turn and I’m sure many of them will do the same. Your words seem to touch so many people and I think that is almost more amazing than all that travelling you have done. I hope you keep inspiring people for many more years, good luck!

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

  • Chandra

    I found your site through “Daily Good” via a friend sharing it on facebook. I have shared it with my friends in turn and I’m sure many of them will do the same. Your words seem to touch so many people and I think that is almost more amazing than all that travelling you have done. I hope you keep inspiring people for many more years, good luck!

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

  • Chandra

    I found your site through “Daily Good” via a friend sharing it on facebook. I have shared it with my friends in turn and I’m sure many of them will do the same. Your words seem to touch so many people and I think that is almost more amazing than all that travelling you have done. I hope you keep inspiring people for many more years, good luck!

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

  • RJ

    a really great and inspiring post! having travelled for several months, i totally agree with many of the points you mentioned and many of the others are some things i constantly have to remind myself about. really great read, well done :)

  • RJ

    a really great and inspiring post! having travelled for several months, i totally agree with many of the points you mentioned and many of the others are some things i constantly have to remind myself about. really great read, well done :)

  • RJ

    a really great and inspiring post! having travelled for several months, i totally agree with many of the points you mentioned and many of the others are some things i constantly have to remind myself about. really great read, well done :)

  • RJ

    a really great and inspiring post! having travelled for several months, i totally agree with many of the points you mentioned and many of the others are some things i constantly have to remind myself about. really great read, well done :)

  • http://twitter.com/JustNelse Nelson Lee

    Your words are an inspiration.  I am very interested in speaking with you further.  I will make all attempts to contact you either through twitter or facebook.  I read all of your lessons and they touched a part of me that makes sense.  I value those lessons you learned.  Thanks!

    Nelson

  • http://twitter.com/JustNelse Nelson Lee

    Your words are such an inspiration!!!!  Please let me contact you!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      http://www.fluentin3months.com/skype-me/ to talk to me one-on-one as soon as you like, or click the email symbol to message me, but it could be a while before I reply.
      Glad you enjoyed the article!

  • http://www.facebook.com/hobba74 Joshua Hobbs

    You’re still going to die.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      And the award for pointing out the most obvious and totally irrelevant goes to….

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    See what I do with a towel in this video: http://www.fluentin3months.com/over-40kg-on-low-cost-carriers/ ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    See what I do with a towel in this video: http://www.fluentin3months.com/over-40kg-on-low-cost-carriers/ ;)

  • tim m

    Comment about “11. TV is the greatest black hole of time available to mankind”

    TV isn’t the Great Satan you make it out to be. It depends on how you use TV. If you use TV just to waste time, yes it is horrible. However, you can use TV very efficiently for language learning.

    Take the case of Dutch/Flemish/Scandinavian viewers of TV … much of their TV are horrible cheap shows from the US but their TV isn’t dubbed, rather just subtitled. Watching rubbish/trash USA TV has helped to make these people in these countries fluent English speakers.

    In my case, I use a Swiss VPN to use zattoo.com to watch German, French and sometimes Spanish TV. In this case, TV can be used as a very useful tool for language learning. I never watch Anglophone TV, that’s too much a waste of time for me.  

  • tim m

    Comment about “11. TV is the greatest black hole of time available to mankind”

    TV isn’t the Great Satan you make it out to be. It depends on how you use TV. If you use TV just to waste time, yes it is horrible. However, you can use TV very efficiently for language learning.

    Take the case of Dutch/Flemish/Scandinavian viewers of TV … much of their TV are horrible cheap shows from the US but their TV isn’t dubbed, rather just subtitled. Watching rubbish/trash USA TV has helped to make these people in these countries fluent English speakers.

    In my case, I use a Swiss VPN to use zattoo.com to watch German, French and sometimes Spanish TV. In this case, TV can be used as a very useful tool for language learning. I never watch Anglophone TV, that’s too much a waste of time for me.  

  • tim m

    Comment about “11. TV is the greatest black hole of time available to mankind”

    TV isn’t the Great Satan you make it out to be. It depends on how you use TV. If you use TV just to waste time, yes it is horrible. However, you can use TV very efficiently for language learning.

    Take the case of Dutch/Flemish/Scandinavian viewers of TV … much of their TV are horrible cheap shows from the US but their TV isn’t dubbed, rather just subtitled. Watching rubbish/trash USA TV has helped to make these people in these countries fluent English speakers.

    In my case, I use a Swiss VPN to use zattoo.com to watch German, French and sometimes Spanish TV. In this case, TV can be used as a very useful tool for language learning. I never watch Anglophone TV, that’s too much a waste of time for me.  

  • tim m

    Comment about “11. TV is the greatest black hole of time available to mankind”

    TV isn’t the Great Satan you make it out to be. It depends on how you use TV. If you use TV just to waste time, yes it is horrible. However, you can use TV very efficiently for language learning.

    Take the case of Dutch/Flemish/Scandinavian viewers of TV … much of their TV are horrible cheap shows from the US but their TV isn’t dubbed, rather just subtitled. Watching rubbish/trash USA TV has helped to make these people in these countries fluent English speakers.

    In my case, I use a Swiss VPN to use zattoo.com to watch German, French and sometimes Spanish TV. In this case, TV can be used as a very useful tool for language learning. I never watch Anglophone TV, that’s too much a waste of time for me.  

  • http://www.kieranmcgrady.com Kieran McGrady

    Great post, really enjoyed reading it. I’m from Ireland, turning 21 next month, and planning on starting travelling shortly after. Hopefully I can keep it going for 8 years like you :)

  • Miki Kuusi

    Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    One of the greatest post of all time! I mean it. I  just got a shrill down my back reading this post. 

    I have a very similar believes in terms of living the life and you aren’t younger than me much when you started traveling. This really inspire and encourage me to do the same!

    Thanks for this great post! 

  • http://twitter.com/AMARENDRA Amarendra Kumar

    Franky I didn’t read the lines in b/w, could have if they were shorter or the list itself, but loved the headings so much that I tweeted and facebooked it.

  • http://twitter.com/dannialyssa Danielle Aronow

    Couldn’t agree more with this guy!

  • http://twitter.com/dannialyssa Danielle Aronow

    Couldn’t agree more with this guy!

  • http://twitter.com/dannialyssa Danielle Aronow

    Couldn’t agree more with this guy!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing this. I couldn’t agree with you more. Especially with your point about possessions owning us and people becoming obsessed with aiming for something that might never happen. Life isn’t about working towards a goal to be happy or acquiring more and more stuff. It’s about living for the moment and enjoying the little things without getting caught up in the things that don’t matter. Easier said than done because I’m sure many of us get lost along the way – hence the many ‘mid-life crises’ that people suffer.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing this. I couldn’t agree with you more. Especially with your point about possessions owning us and people becoming obsessed with aiming for something that might never happen. Life isn’t about working towards a goal to be happy or acquiring more and more stuff. It’s about living for the moment and enjoying the little things without getting caught up in the things that don’t matter. Easier said than done because I’m sure many of us get lost along the way – hence the many ‘mid-life crises’ that people suffer.

  • Srinivas Iyer

    Brilliant… I did stumble upon but probably what I needed at this time.. rather any time of the life.. 

  • Srinivas Iyer

    Brilliant… I did stumble upon but probably what I needed at this time.. rather any time of the life.. 

  • Srinivas Iyer

    Brilliant… I did stumble upon but probably what I needed at this time.. rather any time of the life.. 

  • Srinivas Iyer

    Brilliant… I did stumble upon but probably what I needed at this time.. rather any time of the life.. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000289198227 Mita Baxi

    hearty wishes on your 8th travelversary :) reading ur article reminds me of – “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to
    find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more
    about the world.”
    congrats for following your heart not many ppl can draw guts n follow thr passions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000289198227 Mita Baxi

    hearty wishes on your 8th travelversary :) reading ur article reminds me of – “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to
    find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more
    about the world.”
    congrats for following your heart not many ppl can draw guts n follow thr passions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000289198227 Mita Baxi

    hearty wishes on your 8th travelversary :) reading ur article reminds me of – “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to
    find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more
    about the world.”
    congrats for following your heart not many ppl can draw guts n follow thr passions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Seung-Jae-Shin/742635960 Seung Jae Shin

    I totally agree with #2. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Seung-Jae-Shin/742635960 Seung Jae Shin

    I totally agree with #2. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Seung-Jae-Shin/742635960 Seung Jae Shin

    The reason why…is probably because I have lived all of my life getting that message “for the future” drilled into my ear and then branded on my brain. Its only recently that I have started doubting it…and that doubt really nags me and makes me feel unsure about what I thought to be the best choice for my life. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Seung-Jae-Shin/742635960 Seung Jae Shin

    The reason why…is probably because I have lived all of my life getting that message “for the future” drilled into my ear and then branded on my brain. Its only recently that I have started doubting it…and that doubt really nags me and makes me feel unsure about what I thought to be the best choice for my life. 

  • http://twitter.com/chrisco Chris Comella

    Great lessons. Can’t believe you had to travel 8 years to learn them, though :)

  • http://twitter.com/chrisco Chris Comella

    Great lessons. Can’t believe you had to travel 8 years to learn them, though :)

  • http://twitter.com/KCharlier Katherine P Charlier

    Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to share this with my friends. I have been traveling for 1.5 years and already can agree with so much of what you have written about here through my experiences. Looking forward to keeping up with your posts.

  • Ivana Senic

    wow :)) amazing and true…keep enjoing your travels all the best to you from Serbia :))

  • Arturo Garza

    Congratulations on your bday, on your traveling, and on your words. I strongly agree that the only way to become wiser is to learn form others. Be open, listen, and share! Thanks for the post…

  • Ruprekha Brahmachari

    Hi.
    I really loved reading this post. I have been studying in Germany for a short time, and while traveling across different countries in Europe, meeting different people, observing them, I found the same things as mentioned by you. From making new friends in a COMPLETELY new place to trying to learn different languages by reading up sign boards and trying to make sense of what people are talking about, it has been an incredible time for me! 

    Even though I knew most of the points in the post, sometimes it sinks in better if someone points it out to you. Thank you so much for the post..! :)

  • Ruprekha Brahmachari

    Hi.
    I really loved reading this post. I have been studying in Germany for a short time, and while traveling across different countries in Europe, meeting different people, observing them, I found the same things as mentioned by you. From making new friends in a COMPLETELY new place to trying to learn different languages by reading up sign boards and trying to make sense of what people are talking about, it has been an incredible time for me! 

    Even though I knew most of the points in the post, sometimes it sinks in better if someone points it out to you. Thank you so much for the post..! :)

  • Ruprekha Brahmachari

    Hi.
    I really loved reading this post. I have been studying in Germany for a short time, and while traveling across different countries in Europe, meeting different people, observing them, I found the same things as mentioned by you. From making new friends in a COMPLETELY new place to trying to learn different languages by reading up sign boards and trying to make sense of what people are talking about, it has been an incredible time for me! 

    Even though I knew most of the points in the post, sometimes it sinks in better if someone points it out to you. Thank you so much for the post..! :)

  • Bharat Kumar

    Now I know you dont like watching tv neither do I… but watch “In to the wild” movie bcoz I am watching it after reading ur post :P :D

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Yes I saw it – nice movie but unlike him I prefer to be surrounded by people and call my family much more regularly ;)

  • Bharat Kumar

    Now I know you dont like watching tv neither do I… but watch “In to the wild” movie bcoz I am watching it after reading ur post :P :D

  • Bharat Kumar

    Now I know you dont like watching tv neither do I… but watch “In to the wild” movie bcoz I am watching it after reading ur post :P :D

  • Anon

    26 really hit me. Thanks.

  • Anon

    26 really hit me. Thanks.

  • Anon

    26 really hit me. Thanks.

  • Anon

    26 really hit me. Thanks.

  • Anon

    26 really hit me. Thanks.

  • Anon

    26 really hit me. Thanks.

  • Anon

    26 really hit me. Thanks.

  • Anon

    26 really hit me. Thanks.

  • Niklas

    I get the feeling that these are the lessons of how someone that travelled for 8 years wants the world to be like, not what it is actually like.

    Most of these lessons have nothing to do with travelling. Instead, they re-inforce a view of the world that some people have.

  • Niklas

    I get the feeling that these are the lessons of how someone that travelled for 8 years wants the world to be like, not what it is actually like.

    Most of these lessons have nothing to do with travelling. Instead, they re-inforce a view of the world that some people have.

  • Niklas

    I get the feeling that these are the lessons of how someone that travelled for 8 years wants the world to be like, not what it is actually like.

    Most of these lessons have nothing to do with travelling. Instead, they re-inforce a view of the world that some people have.

  • Niklas

    I get the feeling that these are the lessons of how someone that travelled for 8 years wants the world to be like, not what it is actually like.

    Most of these lessons have nothing to do with travelling. Instead, they re-inforce a view of the world that some people have.

  • Niklas

    I get the feeling that these are the lessons of how someone that travelled for 8 years wants the world to be like, not what it is actually like.

    Most of these lessons have nothing to do with travelling. Instead, they re-inforce a view of the world that some people have.

  • Niklas

    I get the feeling that these are the lessons of how someone that travelled for 8 years wants the world to be like, not what it is actually like.

    Most of these lessons have nothing to do with travelling. Instead, they re-inforce a view of the world that some people have.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Weekly gatherings with other people are precisely the kind of thing I said in the post – please read beyond the bullet point part.

  • http://theshootingstar.wordpress.com/ Shivya

    Wow, an extremely inspiring post!  I hope I can find the courage to set out for good someday, on the road that I’m deliriously in love with. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Anonymous

    Valeu por compartilhar seus pontos. É ótimo ler e perceber que existem pessoas com percepções extremamente próximas a suas.
    Em 2009, enquanto morei na Irlanda, tive a oportunidade de conhecer diversos países e viajar aquilo que sempre sonhei. Agora, mesmo de volta ao Brasil, tenho programado voltar ao mundo.
    Sou seu fã. Well done man!

    (as u’r fluent in portuguese, will have no troubles :-p )

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Obrigado – vou voltar ao Brasil quando puder!! O eu meu país favorito – tô com tantas saudades! :)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Obrigado – vou voltar ao Brasil quando puder!! O eu meu país favorito – tô com tantas saudades! :)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Obrigado – vou voltar ao Brasil quando puder!! O eu meu país favorito – tô com tantas saudades! :)

  • Anonymous

    Valeu por compartilhar seus pontos. É ótimo ler e perceber que existem pessoas com percepções extremamente próximas a suas.
    Em 2009, enquanto morei na Irlanda, tive a oportunidade de conhecer diversos países e viajar aquilo que sempre sonhei. Agora, mesmo de volta ao Brasil, tenho programado voltar ao mundo.
    Sou seu fã. Well done man!

    (as u’r fluent in portuguese, will have no troubles :-p )

  • http://twitter.com/tsuna_shuhei しゅう

    Awesome! 

  • http://twitter.com/CGouthe Christina ♔ Gouthro

    Wunderbar!

  • http://twitter.com/CGouthe Christina ♔ Gouthro

    Wunderbar!

  • http://twitter.com/CGouthe Christina ♔ Gouthro

    Wunderbar!

  • Suzanne Warwick

    Your words truly stimulated my thinking and inspired me to revisit how I live my life. I’m also a new mother so how I behave will affect my daughter. I intend to teach and show her the approaches mentioned above for I need the practice myself. 

  • Nico Saeba

    I just discovered your website today and your method reminds me alot the
    one I’ve readed back when I start to learn Japanese : all japanese all
    the time.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      I’ve interviewed Khatzumoto and even guest posted on his blog ;)

  • Nico Saeba

    I just discovered your website today and your method reminds me alot the
    one I’ve readed back when I start to learn Japanese : all japanese all
    the time.

  • http://www.learningstartup.org Leonardo Zangrando

    Great post! Thank you Benny!
    Grazie, gracias, obrigado, danke, dankjewel, merci, hvala lepa, tusend tak, takk sa mikket, ekfaristò, amasagenallo!

  • http://www.learningstartup.org Leonardo Zangrando

    Great post! Thank you Benny!
    That’s the 29 how-to’s of 21st Century.
    Grazie, gracias, obrigado, danke, dankjewel, merci, hvala lepa, tusend tak, takk sa mikket, ekfaristò, amasagenallo!

  • Zhenya18

    Well said!  A passionate traveller myself, I try to teach the joys of traveling to my high school students.  While books and learning are great, I agree that true lessons of life have come from the people and experiences on the road.  My students make fun of me, but I still keep written travel journals with stubs, notes, recipes, names, addresses, and midnight thoughts.  Thanks for a great list!  I hope to share it with the kids to start the new school year in August.  Cheers, s dnyem rozhdenia, and thanks! – Zhenya

  • Quiark

    Great summary of life, you are a very wise man. I recently started to try to live a more open and full life, it comes slowly, but I guess I’m getting better. I’m glad for all other people who improve their lives thanks to this article

  • Vivekdujari

    Love #28 & #29

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Please read the about me page, as I requested at the start for people with questions like that and you’ll see an example list of some jobs I had.
    In Europe I can work legally wherever I like as an EU citizen, but I have otherwise applied for a working visa (such as for the states).

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    For people who think it’s impossible to travel and budget with children:
    http://almostfearless.com/
    http://soultravelers3.com/

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    For people who think it’s impossible to travel and budget with children:
    http://almostfearless.com/
    http://soultravelers3.com/

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    For people who think it’s impossible to travel and budget with children:
    http://almostfearless.com/
    http://soultravelers3.com/

    • http://www.soultravelers3.com soultravelers3

      Thanks Benny and sending belated birthday greetings from Barcelona! Yes one certainly CAN do this with kids as we prove, now going on our 6th year with a school age child…to 43 countries on 5 continents on just $23 a day per person. 

      We are monolinguals raising a fluent-as-a -native trilingual/triliterate in Mandarin/Spanish/English and she speaks bits of many other languages. 

      Did you see Billionaire Jim Rogers in Newsweek today showing how very important it is to raise our kids today as global citizens? http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/17/american-kids-immersed-in-chinese-asian-education.html?obref=obinsite

      Luckily one doesn’t have to be rich to live a rich life. I agree with all your points Benny!No, @408c515e4bf771652ce7ec0eb66a686f:disqus   they absolutely would NOT be better off in boarding school as one of the great things about a travel lifestyle as a family is TIME… LOTS of it to bond. 

      If you wonder HOW to keep a stable life for kids as we have done while traveling, check out 

      http://www.soultravelers3.com/2011/02/kids-friends-travel-on-the-ultimate-family-adventure.html

      We also have a series on how to raise a multi-lingual child on how we did it. 

      It’s a total myth that a travel life can not be done as a family and one doesn’t have to be a billionaire to give one’s child these great advantages. There have been families with 8 kids who did it and we inspired a single mom of 5 adopted mixed race kids who is doing it now and having a ball. 

      We even manage to carry a piano and violin as we roam the world. ;)  If there is a will, there is a way!!

    • http://www.soultravelers3.com soultravelers3

      Thanks Benny and sending belated birthday greetings from Barcelona! Yes one certainly CAN do this with kids as we prove, now going on our 6th year with a school age child…to 43 countries on 5 continents on just $23 a day per person. 

      We are monolinguals raising a fluent-as-a -native trilingual/triliterate in Mandarin/Spanish/English and she speaks bits of many other languages. 

      Did you see Billionaire Jim Rogers in Newsweek today showing how very important it is to raise our kids today as global citizens? http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/17/american-kids-immersed-in-chinese-asian-education.html?obref=obinsite

      Luckily one doesn’t have to be rich to live a rich life. I agree with all your points Benny!No, @408c515e4bf771652ce7ec0eb66a686f:disqus   they absolutely would NOT be better off in boarding school as one of the great things about a travel lifestyle as a family is TIME… LOTS of it to bond. 

      If you wonder HOW to keep a stable life for kids as we have done while traveling, check out 

      http://www.soultravelers3.com/2011/02/kids-friends-travel-on-the-ultimate-family-adventure.html

      We also have a series on how to raise a multi-lingual child on how we did it. 

      It’s a total myth that a travel life can not be done as a family and one doesn’t have to be a billionaire to give one’s child these great advantages. There have been families with 8 kids who did it and we inspired a single mom of 5 adopted mixed race kids who is doing it now and having a ball. 

      We even manage to carry a piano and violin as we roam the world. ;)  If there is a will, there is a way!!

    • http://www.soultravelers3.com soultravelers3

      Thanks Benny and sending belated birthday greetings from Barcelona! Yes one certainly CAN do this with kids as we prove, now going on our 6th year with a school age child…to 43 countries on 5 continents on just $23 a day per person. 

      We are monolinguals raising a fluent-as-a -native trilingual/triliterate in Mandarin/Spanish/English and she speaks bits of many other languages. 

      Did you see Billionaire Jim Rogers in Newsweek today showing how very important it is to raise our kids today as global citizens? http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/17/american-kids-immersed-in-chinese-asian-education.html?obref=obinsite

      Luckily one doesn’t have to be rich to live a rich life. I agree with all your points Benny!No, @408c515e4bf771652ce7ec0eb66a686f:disqus   they absolutely would NOT be better off in boarding school as one of the great things about a travel lifestyle as a family is TIME… LOTS of it to bond. 

      If you wonder HOW to keep a stable life for kids as we have done while traveling, check out 

      http://www.soultravelers3.com/2011/02/kids-friends-travel-on-the-ultimate-family-adventure.html

      We also have a series on how to raise a multi-lingual child on how we did it. 

      It’s a total myth that a travel life can not be done as a family and one doesn’t have to be a billionaire to give one’s child these great advantages. There have been families with 8 kids who did it and we inspired a single mom of 5 adopted mixed race kids who is doing it now and having a ball. 

      We even manage to carry a piano and violin as we roam the world. ;)  If there is a will, there is a way!!

      • Rich

        All good. I agree . If you want personal growth you gotta step out, open up, be vonularable, be yourself, be brave, be in the moment, stop judging, start participating, take action. Less talking more doing.
        Thanks.
        Happy Birthday!!!

    • http://www.soultravelers3.com soultravelers3

      Thanks Benny and sending belated birthday greetings from Barcelona! Yes one certainly CAN do this with kids as we prove, now going on our 6th year with a school age child…to 43 countries on 5 continents on just $23 a day per person. 

      We are monolinguals raising a fluent-as-a -native trilingual/triliterate in Mandarin/Spanish/English and she speaks bits of many other languages. 

      Did you see Billionaire Jim Rogers in Newsweek today showing how very important it is to raise our kids today as global citizens? http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/17/american-kids-immersed-in-chinese-asian-education.html?obref=obinsite

      Luckily one doesn’t have to be rich to live a rich life. I agree with all your points Benny!No, @408c515e4bf771652ce7ec0eb66a686f:disqus   they absolutely would NOT be better off in boarding school as one of the great things about a travel lifestyle as a family is TIME… LOTS of it to bond. 

      If you wonder HOW to keep a stable life for kids as we have done while traveling, check out 

      http://www.soultravelers3.com/2011/02/kids-friends-travel-on-the-ultimate-family-adventure.html

      We also have a series on how to raise a multi-lingual child on how we did it. 

      It’s a total myth that a travel life can not be done as a family and one doesn’t have to be a billionaire to give one’s child these great advantages. There have been families with 8 kids who did it and we inspired a single mom of 5 adopted mixed race kids who is doing it now and having a ball. 

      We even manage to carry a piano and violin as we roam the world. ;)  If there is a will, there is a way!!

    • http://www.soultravelers3.com soultravelers3

      Thanks Benny and sending belated birthday greetings from Barcelona! Yes one certainly CAN do this with kids as we prove, now going on our 6th year with a school age child…to 43 countries on 5 continents on just $23 a day per person. 

      We are monolinguals raising a fluent-as-a -native trilingual/triliterate in Mandarin/Spanish/English and she speaks bits of many other languages. 

      Did you see Billionaire Jim Rogers in Newsweek today showing how very important it is to raise our kids today as global citizens? http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/17/american-kids-immersed-in-chinese-asian-education.html?obref=obinsite

      Luckily one doesn’t have to be rich to live a rich life. I agree with all your points Benny!No, @408c515e4bf771652ce7ec0eb66a686f:disqus   they absolutely would NOT be better off in boarding school as one of the great things about a travel lifestyle as a family is TIME… LOTS of it to bond. 

      If you wonder HOW to keep a stable life for kids as we have done while traveling, check out 

      http://www.soultravelers3.com/2011/02/kids-friends-travel-on-the-ultimate-family-adventure.html

      We also have a series on how to raise a multi-lingual child on how we did it. 

      It’s a total myth that a travel life can not be done as a family and one doesn’t have to be a billionaire to give one’s child these great advantages. There have been families with 8 kids who did it and we inspired a single mom of 5 adopted mixed race kids who is doing it now and having a ball. 

      We even manage to carry a piano and violin as we roam the world. ;)  If there is a will, there is a way!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002652218074 Mar Sea

      Well I have a little girl and choose not to travel constantly, but I love what it’s been said here.  I feel it’s more about the message and Benny’s impressions, and that the whole world-travelling thing is accesory (one of the ways to get to the point, but not the point itself). Good article!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Please look around the site and you’ll see how I practice languages everywhere. This is my most effective technique and I have indeed been speaking French in Istanbul thanks to it: http://www.fluentin3months.com/social-search/

    Glad you feel happy with all the god stuff, but yes this isn’t a religious forum. To be totally frank I find it very amusing that you think there is scientific evidence in favour of Christianity. Would that be the zombie reawakening after 3 days, talking snake, spontaneous human salt transformation, non-insect water-walking or water to blood alchemy?

    I’m an atheist coming from a very Christian background, who has studied science academically for many years after believing in whatever for about the same number of years. All arguments I’ve heard for any religion tend to use a very loose definition of “science” that involves anecdotes rather than double blind tests and repeatable observations.

    As I said in this post, everyone should be entitled to their beliefs and I generally never argue with believers, but I do find it insulting to the scientific method when people water down its use and exaggerate what counts as scientific.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Please look around the site and you’ll see how I practice languages everywhere. This is my most effective technique and I have indeed been speaking French in Istanbul thanks to it: http://www.fluentin3months.com/social-search/

    Glad you feel happy with all the god stuff, but yes this isn’t a religious forum. To be totally frank I find it very amusing that you think there is scientific evidence in favour of Christianity. Would that be the zombie reawakening after 3 days, talking snake, spontaneous human salt transformation, non-insect water-walking or water to blood alchemy?

    I’m an atheist coming from a very Christian background, who has studied science academically for many years after believing in whatever for about the same number of years. All arguments I’ve heard for any religion tend to use a very loose definition of “science” that involves anecdotes rather than double blind tests and repeatable observations.

    As I said in this post, everyone should be entitled to their beliefs and I generally never argue with believers, but I do find it insulting to the scientific method when people water down its use and exaggerate what counts as scientific.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Please look around the site and you’ll see how I practice languages everywhere. This is my most effective technique and I have indeed been speaking French in Istanbul thanks to it: http://www.fluentin3months.com/social-search/

    Glad you feel happy with all the god stuff, but yes this isn’t a religious forum. To be totally frank I find it very amusing that you think there is scientific evidence in favour of Christianity. Would that be the zombie reawakening after 3 days, talking snake, spontaneous human salt transformation, non-insect water-walking or water to blood alchemy?

    I’m an atheist coming from a very Christian background, who has studied science academically for many years after believing in whatever for about the same number of years. All arguments I’ve heard for any religion tend to use a very loose definition of “science” that involves anecdotes rather than double blind tests and repeatable observations.

    As I said in this post, everyone should be entitled to their beliefs and I generally never argue with believers, but I do find it insulting to the scientific method when people water down its use and exaggerate what counts as scientific.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    No pasa nada – digamos que todo el mes es mi cumple :-P

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    No pasa nada – digamos que todo el mes es mi cumple :-P

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    No pasa nada – digamos que todo el mes es mi cumple :-P

  • Damodar Shenoy

    I always dream of being a traveller, but never had the guts to live my current job and go all out to live my dream. 

    I loved your post, got completely motivated and now I have one request – Can you help me by writing a post or replying back on how your journey started and how you tackled some initial problems faced?

    Thanks
    Dams.

  • http://www.shorttraveltips.com Vi @ Travel Tips

    May be more money won’t make you happier but it makes your life much easier.

  • http://www.shorttraveltips.com Vi @ Travel Tips

    May be more money won’t make you happier but it makes your life much easier.

  • http://www.shorttraveltips.com Vi @ Travel Tips

    May be more money won’t make you happier but it makes your life much easier.

  • J. Michael Rivera

    Fantastic wisdom from real-world experience. Thanks so much for this inspiring read, Benny.

  • J. Michael Rivera

    Fantastic wisdom from real-world experience. Thanks so much for this inspiring read, Benny.

  • Jaana Wessman

    <3 Thanks for sharing.

  • Jaana Wessman

    <3 Thanks for sharing.

  • Jaana Wessman

    <3 Thanks for sharing.

  • Jaana Wessman

    <3 Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jillsjohnston Jill Stepp Johnston

    You make some EXCELLENT points! Best wishes for your continued exploration and the resultant friendships you’ll make!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jillsjohnston Jill Stepp Johnston

    You make some EXCELLENT points! Best wishes for your continued exploration and the resultant friendships you’ll make!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jillsjohnston Jill Stepp Johnston

    You make some EXCELLENT points! Best wishes for your continued exploration and the resultant friendships you’ll make!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jillsjohnston Jill Stepp Johnston

    You make some EXCELLENT points! Best wishes for your continued exploration and the resultant friendships you’ll make!

  • Melanie Dubois

    Bonjour Benny,

    Je n’ai pas vu de messages en français alors en voici un. :)

    Félicitations pour l’article, j’ai adoré! Je suis d’accord avec tous les points et je vois avec les commentaires que les gens accordent beaucoup d’importance à l’argent. Permets-moi de traduire ton point #9 par la fameuse citation: “L’argent ne fait pas le bonheur”. Je crois qu’en général les gens ne réalisent pas ce qu’ils ont déjà sans avoir d’argent de plus.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Merci Melanie :) Exactement !!

  • Melanie Dubois

    Bonjour Benny,

    Je n’ai pas vu de messages en français alors en voici un. :)

    Félicitations pour l’article, j’ai adoré! Je suis d’accord avec tous les points et je vois avec les commentaires que les gens accordent beaucoup d’importance à l’argent. Permets-moi de traduire ton point #9 par la fameuse citation: “L’argent ne fait pas le bonheur”. Je crois qu’en général les gens ne réalisent pas ce qu’ils ont déjà sans avoir d’argent de plus.

  • Melanie Dubois

    Bonjour Benny,

    Je n’ai pas vu de messages en français alors en voici un. :)

    Félicitations pour l’article, j’ai adoré! Je suis d’accord avec tous les points et je vois avec les commentaires que les gens accordent beaucoup d’importance à l’argent. Permets-moi de traduire ton point #9 par la fameuse citation: “L’argent ne fait pas le bonheur”. Je crois qu’en général les gens ne réalisent pas ce qu’ils ont déjà sans avoir d’argent de plus.

  • Melanie Dubois

    Bonjour Benny,

    Je n’ai pas vu de messages en français alors en voici un. :)

    Félicitations pour l’article, j’ai adoré! Je suis d’accord avec tous les points et je vois avec les commentaires que les gens accordent beaucoup d’importance à l’argent. Permets-moi de traduire ton point #9 par la fameuse citation: “L’argent ne fait pas le bonheur”. Je crois qu’en général les gens ne réalisent pas ce qu’ils ont déjà sans avoir d’argent de plus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515633664 Ojaswi Jain

    With your experiences and this beautiful piece of writing, You’ve
    brought us the very essence of Life. I simply loved it.  I truly concur
    with the point about learning other languages. It definitely draws you
    closer to the local mentality and to the core of their culture.
    Traveling is not only about visiting new places, public spots and
    getting your photographs clicked; it is very much about seeking harmony
    and peace in a completely new environment and inculcating the novel encounters as life time experiences :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515633664 Ojaswi Jain

    With your experiences and this beautiful piece of writing, You’ve
    brought us the very essence of Life. I simply loved it.  I truly concur
    with the point about learning other languages. It definitely draws you
    closer to the local mentality and to the core of their culture.
    Traveling is not only about visiting new places, public spots and
    getting your photographs clicked; it is very much about seeking harmony
    and peace in a completely new environment and inculcating the novel encounters as life time experiences :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bboptulsa Bryan B-bop Ward

    This was worth my time that I took to read it, Funny as it may seem getting a gist of just 29 reasons inspires me enough to share your experience with those I care about. I find myself being the dancing monkey and take what you have said to heart. As far as loneliness goes in the context of a “partner” for life, I can say only you know if that’s what fills a hole or need in your own life.  I hope that you will be amazed to know that now all of us care about you and your well being as a fellow human on this planet. I personally feel that your existence and sharing thoughts represent what I want in life too. Happy Birthday Irishman, Safe Journeys. Tulsa Oklahoma.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bboptulsa Bryan B-bop Ward

    This was worth my time that I took to read it, Funny as it may seem getting a gist of just 29 reasons inspires me enough to share your experience with those I care about. I find myself being the dancing monkey and take what you have said to heart. As far as loneliness goes in the context of a “partner” for life, I can say only you know if that’s what fills a hole or need in your own life.  I hope that you will be amazed to know that now all of us care about you and your well being as a fellow human on this planet. I personally feel that your existence and sharing thoughts represent what I want in life too. Happy Birthday Irishman, Safe Journeys. Tulsa Oklahoma.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bboptulsa Bryan B-bop Ward

    This was worth my time that I took to read it, Funny as it may seem getting a gist of just 29 reasons inspires me enough to share your experience with those I care about. I find myself being the dancing monkey and take what you have said to heart. As far as loneliness goes in the context of a “partner” for life, I can say only you know if that’s what fills a hole or need in your own life.  I hope that you will be amazed to know that now all of us care about you and your well being as a fellow human on this planet. I personally feel that your existence and sharing thoughts represent what I want in life too. Happy Birthday Irishman, Safe Journeys. Tulsa Oklahoma.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bboptulsa Bryan B-bop Ward

    This was worth my time that I took to read it, Funny as it may seem getting a gist of just 29 reasons inspires me enough to share your experience with those I care about. I find myself being the dancing monkey and take what you have said to heart. As far as loneliness goes in the context of a “partner” for life, I can say only you know if that’s what fills a hole or need in your own life.  I hope that you will be amazed to know that now all of us care about you and your well being as a fellow human on this planet. I personally feel that your existence and sharing thoughts represent what I want in life too. Happy Birthday Irishman, Safe Journeys. Tulsa Oklahoma.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bboptulsa Bryan B-bop Ward

    This was worth my time that I took to read it, Funny as it may seem getting a gist of just 29 reasons inspires me enough to share your experience with those I care about. I find myself being the dancing monkey and take what you have said to heart. As far as loneliness goes in the context of a “partner” for life, I can say only you know if that’s what fills a hole or need in your own life.  I hope that you will be amazed to know that now all of us care about you and your well being as a fellow human on this planet. I personally feel that your existence and sharing thoughts represent what I want in life too. Happy Birthday Irishman, Safe Journeys. Tulsa Oklahoma.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/vijairam Vijairam Parasuraman

    Dude, i love this! Keep writing more. You remind me of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. He did the same thing too. “Discovering Earth”, although stopping with just South America. So, where and all have you traveled? Can you post your pics too? BTW, advance happy birthday wishes. Iniya pirantha naal nalvaazhthukkal (I speak Tamil. One of the oldest languages in the world, in the ilk of Greek and Latin) :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/vijairam Vijairam Parasuraman

    Dude, i love this! Keep writing more. You remind me of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. He did the same thing too. “Discovering Earth”, although stopping with just South America. So, where and all have you traveled? Can you post your pics too? BTW, advance happy birthday wishes. Iniya pirantha naal nalvaazhthukkal (I speak Tamil. One of the oldest languages in the world, in the ilk of Greek and Latin) :)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Hi Vijairam! I loved seeing Motorcycle Diaries to get a glimpse into the beginnings of Che’s influences on the world.
      You can see most of my travel pics on my flickr account, which is linked to in my About page ;)

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Hi Vijairam! I loved seeing Motorcycle Diaries to get a glimpse into the beginnings of Che’s influences on the world.
      You can see most of my travel pics on my flickr account, which is linked to in my About page ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/vijairam Vijairam Parasuraman

    Dude, i love this! Keep writing more. You remind me of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. He did the same thing too. “Discovering Earth”, although stopping with just South America. So, where and all have you traveled? Can you post your pics too? BTW, advance happy birthday wishes. Iniya pirantha naal nalvaazhthukkal (I speak Tamil. One of the oldest languages in the world, in the ilk of Greek and Latin) :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/vijairam Vijairam Parasuraman

    Dude, i love this! Keep writing more. You remind me of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. He did the same thing too. “Discovering Earth”, although stopping with just South America. So, where and all have you traveled? Can you post your pics too? BTW, advance happy birthday wishes. Iniya pirantha naal nalvaazhthukkal (I speak Tamil. One of the oldest languages in the world, in the ilk of Greek and Latin) :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/vijairam Vijairam Parasuraman

    Dude, i love this! Keep writing more. You remind me of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. He did the same thing too. “Discovering Earth”, although stopping with just South America. So, where and all have you traveled? Can you post your pics too? BTW, advance happy birthday wishes. Iniya pirantha naal nalvaazhthukkal (I speak Tamil. One of the oldest languages in the world, in the ilk of Greek and Latin) :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    I see my parents every week on Skype and have 4 siblings – my parents are still not elderly so they don’t “need” me. My greatest “responsibility” to my parents is to take what they gave me and turn it into a worthwhile life, as I am trying to do ;)
    I’ll also be home in a few weeks and will see them in person.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Keep your chin up and you’ll build the ship yourself ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=851375320 Tianna Morison

    loved this! so true. i always fall in the trap of feeling like i “need” random things to keep up with my friends, be happy and all of that. and i scold myself daily for it. i did go to japan randomly when i was 21 for a year with no knowledge of the language, and mainly hung out with locals there and it was great. i planned more trips and never followed through, instead starting a family. it was the right move for me but i really admire what you’re doing. great article. :) and happy birthday!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=851375320 Tianna Morison

    loved this! so true. i always fall in the trap of feeling like i “need” random things to keep up with my friends, be happy and all of that. and i scold myself daily for it. i did go to japan randomly when i was 21 for a year with no knowledge of the language, and mainly hung out with locals there and it was great. i planned more trips and never followed through, instead starting a family. it was the right move for me but i really admire what you’re doing. great article. :) and happy birthday!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=851375320 Tianna Morison

    loved this! so true. i always fall in the trap of feeling like i “need” random things to keep up with my friends, be happy and all of that. and i scold myself daily for it. i did go to japan randomly when i was 21 for a year with no knowledge of the language, and mainly hung out with locals there and it was great. i planned more trips and never followed through, instead starting a family. it was the right move for me but i really admire what you’re doing. great article. :) and happy birthday!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=851375320 Tianna Morison

    loved this! so true. i always fall in the trap of feeling like i “need” random things to keep up with my friends, be happy and all of that. and i scold myself daily for it. i did go to japan randomly when i was 21 for a year with no knowledge of the language, and mainly hung out with locals there and it was great. i planned more trips and never followed through, instead starting a family. it was the right move for me but i really admire what you’re doing. great article. :) and happy birthday!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Make new friends and stay in touch with family ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=613208409 Jeffrey Pelletier

    fantastic post.  The funniest part for me in trying to live as freely as you have is that it is just so SHOCKING to people.  I’m amazed at how incredibly uncomfortable it makes people when you tell them that you travel for more than 3 weeks a year.  There’s really no magic to it but somehow people feel trapped.  I hope this post inspires more people to live the life they want and not just the life that they think they have to have.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      The 3 weeks thing is much more with Americans. Many other cultures are used to the idea of sabbatical or gab years.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      The 3 weeks thing is much more with Americans. Many other cultures are used to the idea of sabbatical or gab years.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      The 3 weeks thing is much more with Americans. Many other cultures are used to the idea of sabbatical or gab years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=613208409 Jeffrey Pelletier

    fantastic post.  The funniest part for me in trying to live as freely as you have is that it is just so SHOCKING to people.  I’m amazed at how incredibly uncomfortable it makes people when you tell them that you travel for more than 3 weeks a year.  There’s really no magic to it but somehow people feel trapped.  I hope this post inspires more people to live the life they want and not just the life that they think they have to have.

  • Daniel Hernandez

    Me encanta tu post. La verdad dices cosas muy ciertas que muchos ya las sabemos, pero tratamos de no pensar en ellas para seguir con nuestra “vida lineal”. 

    Te escribo desde Colombia. Cualquier día que quieras visitar este hermoso país me dices!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Thanks so much for sharing this like that!! :)

  • The Social Traveler .

    Word.

  • http://www.budgettraveladventures.com/ Jeremy Branham

    Quite honestly, one of the most inspirational posts I have read.  Benny, you live life – you don’t overanalyze it, live too much in your own world, but surround yourself with people, listen, and observe.  These lessons show you are wise beyond your years and I’ve been challenged to re-evaluate how I live my life.  Honestly, this is a post I should ready every day.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Jeremy!!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

      Thanks Jeremy!!

  • http://www.budgettraveladventures.com/ Jeremy Branham

    Quite honestly, one of the most inspirational posts I have read.  Benny, you live life – you don’t overanalyze it, live too much in your own world, but surround yourself with people, listen, and observe.  These lessons show you are wise beyond your years and I’ve been challenged to re-evaluate how I live my life.  Honestly, this is a post I should ready every day.

  • http://www.budgettraveladventures.com/ Jeremy Branham

    Quite honestly, one of the most inspirational posts I have read.  Benny, you live life – you don’t overanalyze it, live too much in your own world, but surround yourself with people, listen, and observe.  These lessons show you are wise beyond your years and I’ve been challenged to re-evaluate how I live my life.  Honestly, this is a post I should ready every day.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    The miracles in the bible were not written by first-hand witnesses. Witness testimony breaks down here. See this video for further explanations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKAHoYCWXF8

    I don’t think it was done maliciously, but stories get embellished, it’s human nature. Note that I genuinely believe a person called Jesus would have existed, and he was likely a very good man (as many philosophers before him who have no religious associations would have been). I don’t doubt his existence, I just doubt the miracles based on Chinese-whisper accounts going down at least two generations, that finally got written down by people who weren’t there. The old testament would have had MUCH more of this.

    Accounts of the American civil war can’t compare to this; many eye witnesses would have provided their direct reports and they could be compared to one another to see what likely happened.

    Nobody witnessed the big bang, but that’s what all of science is about: observation based on the facts available to us. Nobody has ever “witnessed” many medical wonders that work on the cellular level, but we know they happen based on logical observation. Nobody has also ever seen a DNA helix, but we don’t need faith to know it’s there – there is an indirect observational way of showing it.

    The big bang is based on observations of all stars moving away from us, which anyone can observe using the right equipment, therefore they must have all been much closer at some stage in the past. It makes sense. It’s the most likely outcome based on the facts.

    You can’t compare that to me expecting to believe the impossible stories in the bible because an eye witness told his son a story and that son/friend/disciple added some information until it finally gets written down? This is no way to understand how the world works.

    As for the books you mentioned, this Amazon review from a Christian is very telling: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3VAIJTJI5PNB0/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt#R3VAIJTJI5PNB0

    I’m sorry you were having a bad time 6 years ago and I’m glad you are happy now. If you get meaning in life from religion, then I don’t want to change that – but when people bring arguments directly to me, I will reply to state some logic and will state my opinion and my understanding of the facts unapologetically.

    Normally I simply let religious comments go by, but you saying that science backs up bible stories is something that I found needed replying. I have no interest in converting you, as stated in this thread, but that doesn’t mean that I will defend why I’m very confident in my position if argued with.

    Thanks for the reply, but I think it’s best we just agree to disagree ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeborahJHuber Deborah Huber

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Nah, I meet a lot of people who have taught me many things about how to appreciate life :) This article was inspired by meeting them rather than reflections I made from locking myself away and pondering all day ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Nah, I meet a lot of people who have taught me many things about how to appreciate life :) This article was inspired by meeting them rather than reflections I made from locking myself away and pondering all day ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    Nah, I meet a lot of people who have taught me many things about how to appreciate life :) This article was inspired by meeting them rather than reflections I made from locking myself away and pondering all day ;)

  • Anonymous

    Great advice from one so young!  I intend to share this!  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1447006573 Lou SimoneQuasar

    your family’s journey is an inspiration to me. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1447006573 Lou SimoneQuasar

    You have the life I have been dreaming of. I agree with all that you’ve shared here and thanks for posting the videos. Keep on being an inspiration to all. 

  • Anonymous

    thanks for your advice, I really enjoyed it and shared with my friends!

  • Anonymous

    thanks for your advice, I really enjoyed it and shared with my friends!

  • http://twitter.com/Aravind_SA S.Aravind

    Thank you is an understatement. No amount of talks from my parents or dear ones has had the impact that I had with these 29 lessons. I promise to take a print out, pin it up on my wall and bang my head next to it every single day. Out of sheer guilt and waywardness.  Pretty soon though, I’d end up having a hole in the wall but my heart would be content once I put these lessons to practice. Then I’d take the very same paper from my wall and pin it up over the hole. Won’t be surprised if I smiled then to say Thank you (an understatement).

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Over 200,000 visitors :) Still growing steadily!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Over 200,000 visitors :) Still growing steadily!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Gracias parce ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Gracias parce ;)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Please read around the site and you’ll see me answer those questions.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Please read around the site and you’ll see me answer those questions.

  • Luciano V.

    so, listen. i am 35 and my ass has been around. every word this kid wrote, i endorse personally. i personally make more money than him and posses more things, but have no real attachments to them, and i spend most of my money almost immediately… i keep living now and not for tomorrow, and i am happy, i sing. 

  • Luciano V.

    so, listen. i am 35 and my ass has been around. every word this kid wrote, i endorse personally. i personally make more money than him and posses more things, but have no real attachments to them, and i spend most of my money almost immediately… i keep living now and not for tomorrow, and i am happy, i sing. 

  • João Carreiras

    Hi. I really enjoyed reading this post and would like to, in my own way (aka travelling by bicycle maybe), to follow this kind of lifestyle. Maybe for 5 or 6 years, don’t know… However, what can you do when your whole family prevents you from doing it? I’m even afraid to bring up the subject, because I’m 100% sure of the answer. Do you have any advice you can give me? 
    Also, your portuguese flag is from Brazil! What about Portugal? =p

    Greetings from Lisbon

  • Thomas Rippel

    I grew up travelling a lot and lived in 6 different countries on 4 continents. 
    I just want to express my strong agreement with Leemorris. Kids need time to plant their roots and create stable friendships and relationships. Let them explore the world later once they have formed an identity and con put the world into context.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sediab Sedia Bonsu

    AMAZING blog! soooo sooo refreshing!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    There are a LOT of solo female travellers, many of whom blog too. I’ll be writing a post soon linking to a few of them. You have to take other considerations into account, but hiding at home is no solution. For the moment, please watch the inspiring stories of two young girls I interviewed who moved to the Netherlands alone, one from Colombia: http://fi3m.com/aupair

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    There are a LOT of solo female travellers, many of whom blog too. I’ll be writing a post soon linking to a few of them. You have to take other considerations into account, but hiding at home is no solution. For the moment, please watch the inspiring stories of two young girls I interviewed who moved to the Netherlands alone, one from Colombia: http://fi3m.com/aupair

  • http://www.soultravelers3.com soultravelers3

    I hear ya Leemorris2 and Thomas and a travel lifestyle is not for every kid or family. You certainly have a right to raise your kid as you see fit. BUT please remember that today’s  free digital nomad is TOTALLY different than your upbringing and all the possible problems can be easily solved. That’s why I left the link above and you might want to read my post, “Can location independent kids have friends” to see where you are mistaken about OUR particular life.

    http://www.soultravelers3.com/2010/05/globe-trotting-location-independent-kids-friends-perpetual-travelers-tck-long-term-family-travel-.html

    I too grew up with much moving, usually every 6 months due to my dad’s job and I LOVED it, thrived on it and think it was the best thing that ever happened to me, as did my 3 siblings. I have talked to MANY folks who grew up like that who agree. It’s not like an army brat or diplomat life…WE chose TOGETHER  when and where we go. WE are in control, not some job.

    Today I think there are easy ways around any possible restrictions. We don’t move away ever, we always keep returning to our “homes” and friends around the world. We continually reimmerse in between exploring new places. My daughter is thriving and she is lucky to have much more time with her parents that most kids get which is really what kids need…LOVE!

  • http://www.facebook.com/VaWaR Alvaro Cabrera Urrea

    A new inspiration for my life… In two weeks I’ll fly to US, my second experience like this, after reading this I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy every second and this will be one of many trips!!!

  • Cate

    I have 3 teenagers, the oldest leaving for college in a couple of weeks.  I’m going to have all three read this.  Thank you!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    PLEASE read the link I gave at the start of the article. I travel cheaply and I worked on location for my first years, and the last few years I work online. I *started* with no money, but I earn a living like anyone else, and I waste less money than many settled people so it isn’t expensive.

  • http://twitter.com/tianamayumi tiana mayumi

    I’m glad I stumbled upon this post.  :)  Nice reminder you’ve compiled here.  My spirits have been low lately so finding an article that closely resonates with my own life beliefs help me remember the person I worked so hard to become before my 9-5 (more like an 8-8) burned me out.  Thanks for sharing.  I’ll be back for more!

  • Masha

     This is exactly something I would love to experience. I wish I could do that, it would be such a great adventure! I’ve always loved different languages, and this has been one of my dreams for life.. But I’m stuck..I don’t know if I should do it- I will graduate high school soon, and my parents plan for me to go to a good university and they will pay for it…but the problem is, I don’t want to disrespect them or throw away all of that money they paid (we are not rich) by not having a stable career :/ and perhaps if I did go travel for 10 years or so after university, how would I be able to settle down again and get the career I wanted (I hope to major in Architecture and linguistics and minor in photography)? I don’t really have anyone to ask for advice on this, my parents will clearly have a biased point of view. so I am hoping that you can give me some advice, as you have much experience with life and are less biased :)
    Thanks.

  • Masha

     This is exactly something I would love to experience. I wish I could do that, it would be such a great adventure! I’ve always loved different languages, and this has been one of my dreams for life.. But I’m stuck..I don’t know if I should do it- I will graduate high school soon, and my parents plan for me to go to a good university and they will pay for it…but the problem is, I don’t want to disrespect them or throw away all of that money they paid (we are not rich) by not having a stable career :/ and perhaps if I did go travel for 10 years or so after university, how would I be able to settle down again and get the career I wanted (I hope to major in Architecture and linguistics and minor in photography)? I don’t really have anyone to ask for advice on this, my parents will clearly have a biased point of view. so I am hoping that you can give me some advice, as you have much experience with life and are less biased :)
    Thanks.

  • Ctorrents

    i love this. frankly your living my dream
    jsut one question what kind of jobs did you do to support yourself

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Please read my site’s about page.

  • Kyla Gallagher

    Inspired me to write my own list of things I’ve learned thus far, and things I haven’t learned yet. Thanks, and keep going :)

  • Orpheus327

    BRAVO, Sir, BRAVO! Kudos, gratitude and admiration for striking out and rejecting the commonalities of the tethered status so many of us live within! I, like yourself, relish and cherish the “best things in life”, mainly because they’re FREE, but more so because that’s what brings me the greatest happiness in my own life. I’m not rich monetarily, but I’m a millionaire in terms of my memories, my family, my friends, my experiences and my peace of mind through daily practices of the very ideology of which you speak here. Carry on, Maestro, for we shall not pass this way again. Our paths have intersected in this virtual world… May our paths cross again in the real world someday. And a Happy Belated Birthday to you…

  • Karthik D

    Was truly amazing. Always wonder why most of us
    dont realize this and lead a superficial life.. at times just to please
    others.. and at times not knowing the purpose of our very existence.
    Just took a print of this and stuck it on my cubicle…

  • Exit Paul

    你好 Benny, 我很喜欢你的写作。 有一天,我希望我们可以谈。。。
    保罗 从西班牙来

  • Gabriel

    You are really right. In all you say. I want to recomand you a book. It is called: Awarness, by Anthony de Mello. Read it – trust me, it worths one’s while.  All the best from Romania

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Take me out on a date first please! ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/gfuret Gabriel Furet

    Realmente me gusto tu post! Estoy de acuerdo contigo en cada una de las lecciones y espero conocer gente interesante como tu.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TinaTTan Tina Tan

    Hi,

          It’s nice to hear words of wisdom from someone who has gone around and seen the whole world for himself. However, the difference is knowing something, and being able to do it is great. If you are able to rememeber, and constantly motivate yourself to think, and do things like you said, then you have my respect. Or else, I’m glad to know I’m not alone.  There are minor things in which I disagree with you, but well, as you said in that article, we can’t all think the same.   Unlike you, I belive in thinking before every action, just because whilst being spontaeous had led me to do crazy things (i.e. hitchiking from the uk to germany), thinking also preventing me from doing impulsive things which might have ruined things. What I’d like to know, and ask, is how do you remind yourself to live that way everyday?

    Thanks

    Tina

  • http://www.facebook.com/TinaTTan Tina Tan

    Hi,

          It’s nice to hear words of wisdom from someone who has gone around and seen the whole world for himself. However, the difference is knowing something, and being able to do it is great. If you are able to rememeber, and constantly motivate yourself to think, and do things like you said, then you have my respect. Or else, I’m glad to know I’m not alone.  There are minor things in which I disagree with you, but well, as you said in that article, we can’t all think the same.   Unlike you, I belive in thinking before every action, just because whilst being spontaeous had led me to do crazy things (i.e. hitchiking from the uk to germany), thinking also preventing me from doing impulsive things which might have ruined things. What I’d like to know, and ask, is how do you remind yourself to live that way everyday?

    Thanks

    Tina

  • http://www.facebook.com/TinaTTan Tina Tan

    Hi,

          It’s nice to hear words of wisdom from someone who has gone around and seen the whole world for himself. However, the difference is knowing something, and being able to do it is great. If you are able to rememeber, and constantly motivate yourself to think, and do things like you said, then you have my respect. Or else, I’m glad to know I’m not alone.  There are minor things in which I disagree with you, but well, as you said in that article, we can’t all think the same.   Unlike you, I belive in thinking before every action, just because whilst being spontaeous had led me to do crazy things (i.e. hitchiking from the uk to germany), thinking also preventing me from doing impulsive things which might have ruined things. What I’d like to know, and ask, is how do you remind yourself to live that way everyday?

    Thanks

    Tina

  • http://www.facebook.com/channy.faii Channy Faii

    Thank you so much , I love your perspective.

  • http://www.facebook.com/channy.faii Channy Faii

    Thank you so much , I love your perspective.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leon.lototchi Leon Lototchi

    awesome. inspirational. hope you’ll drop by my house some day

  • http://www.facebook.com/leon.lototchi Leon Lototchi

    awesome. inspirational. hope you’ll drop by my house some day

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Both sides definitely mention how they earn money, please look at them more than superficially. And “unschooled” is NOT the same as home-schooled. Get your facts straight. Otherwise please ask all relevant questions to the authors of those sites.

    Also a “nice vacation” every year is an arrogant comparison to long-term travel. If you really need this explained to you, then you’ve missed the point completely.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    I don’t see what the problem is. If you do what you love, then you aren’t doing it to impress people.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    I don’t see what the problem is. If you do what you love, then you aren’t doing it to impress people.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    I don’t see what the problem is. If you do what you love, then you aren’t doing it to impress people.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Couchsurfing also has lots of meetings and details on parties in almost every country. Enter the group for the target city and see what’s going on ;)

    Have a safe trip!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Couchsurfing also has lots of meetings and details on parties in almost every country. Enter the group for the target city and see what’s going on ;)

    Have a safe trip!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Couchsurfing also has lots of meetings and details on parties in almost every country. Enter the group for the target city and see what’s going on ;)

    Have a safe trip!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Couchsurfing also has lots of meetings and details on parties in almost every country. Enter the group for the target city and see what’s going on ;)

    Have a safe trip!

  • Catherine Adams

    I love this post! I want to share it with everyone I care about. :D

  • Catherine Adams

    I love this post! I want to share it with everyone I care about. :D

  • Catherine Adams

    I love this post! I want to share it with everyone I care about. :D

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    If people don’t want to travel, that’s fine, but saying it’s necessary for anything you listed is just silly.

    I have worked a lot in my travels. I was an engineer in Paris for example, “creating” technology for people. You don’t need to be fixed in one place to be able to create, and some of the world’s best inventors were also travellers.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    If people don’t want to travel, that’s fine, but saying it’s necessary for anything you listed is just silly.

    I have worked a lot in my travels. I was an engineer in Paris for example, “creating” technology for people. You don’t need to be fixed in one place to be able to create, and some of the world’s best inventors were also travellers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/solange.laranjeira Solange Laranjeira

    I’ve seen the Wear Sunscreen video before and found it absolutely amazing. I actually cry everytime I watch it. Your tips are now something I’ll read more than once in different moments of my life just to remind me what really matters. Loved every bit of it. I haven’t lived or traveled as much as you but I hope I can understand it all from experience some day.

     By the way, “The universe owes you nothing, you owe it to yourself to be the master of where your life ends up.” is my new favorite quotation.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Thanks :)

  • Lucy Yu

    Thank you for an excellent post, your attitude is a great inspiration for the travel I am planning to embark on! All best! :) 

  • Lucy Yu

    Thank you for an excellent post, your attitude is a great inspiration for the travel I am planning to embark on! All best! :) 

  • Nikhil Moyal

    Loved every bit of what u wrote!! All facts… no BS :)

  • Ashley Lindsay

    This was quite an interesting read! Even though I don’t necessarily agree with everything you have written, I respect you for the perspective you have given me. As for some of the comments I have sifted through – I believe a healthy dose of a rooted home and traveling will surely provide a happier and more fulfilled life for a child. I have lived all 20 of my years in Illinois, in a community where everything is similar and familiar. Last year I took my first road trip to the east coast and it changed my life. I saw the ocean, ate sushi, drove through mountains, met culturally different people – all for the first time. I couldn’t believe the things I observed. This one week-long trip nearly gave me a heart-attack from everything I absorbed. Needless to say, I’m saving up for another one! I’m thinking west coast this time ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sazzad-Zahid/787673342 Sazzad Zahid

    BUT man…………………..do u ve any idea that many a time we r helpless in so many ways, esp in so called 3rd world countries…when we r stuck, helplessly, cant move, even our greatest efforts fail FOR THE ALIEN POLITICIANS………who only busy to lead their lives…they take our decisions…all are bullshits…………look at horn of africa………what efforts are left for them………………u ve given vry selfish ideas of isolated thoughts…….applicable for ppl of certain standard and onward….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7948113 Jimmie Collins

    I absolutely love this list. I also thought I knew everything and had my life all planned out until I was 23 and decided to leave behind all my plans and teach English in Taiwan. Now I’m teaching English in Prague. Next I’m planning to go to the UAE. You’re so right, I have learned more about myself in these 2.5 years of living abroad. In learning about myself I’ve simply learned about life. I’ll be sharing this post on my blog with a few of my thoughts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=7948113 Jimmie Collins

    I absolutely love this list. I also thought I knew everything and had my life all planned out until I was 23 and decided to leave behind all my plans and teach English in Taiwan. Now I’m teaching English in Prague. Next I’m planning to go to the UAE. You’re so right, I have learned more about myself in these 2.5 years of living abroad. In learning about myself I’ve simply learned about life. I’ll be sharing this post on my blog with a few of my thoughts!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    I buy my flights 1-2 months ahead myself. Is some paper work and a little advance planning some kind of excuse? Just because it’s harder for you than for someone from particular other countries doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Sure! I’m replying to you from my homeland right now :) (Travelling tomorrow though)

  • Anonymous

    This a pretty good guide for stay-at-homes too. I would add, “you only live for a moment, and that moment is always now.”  Plus “Humor is universal, jokes, not so much”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucy-Campos/100000212795784 Lucy Campos

    Wow. Esse texto foi um soco no estomago. Quando morei nos EUA por 8 meses fiz amizades que nunca imaginei e é engraçado como até hoje me sinto mais próxima daquelas pessoas do que dos meus amigos aqui do Brasil…

    Concordo muito quando você diz que nem todo brasileiro gosta de futebol e samba, eu sou assim… :)

  • http://twitter.com/freddiejohnson1 Freddie Johnson

    A great mantra for how to live your life.

  • http://twitter.com/freddiejohnson1 Freddie Johnson

    A great mantra for how to live your life.

  • http://twitter.com/Shuttur Shuttur

    Awesome article.. you should really post all of your amazing images from your trips to http://shuttur.com

  • Apoorv Agrawal

    Hi Benny, I traveled to 13 countries last year while in 2nd year of college. It was a lot of learning and mistakes. I traveled cheap. Having been through that I quite relate to what you’ve written and strongly feel that “language is the one best souvenir, one can get out of a country”

    Glad to read this. 

    Thanks

  • Apoorv Agrawal

    Hi Benny, I traveled to 13 countries last year while in 2nd year of college. It was a lot of learning and mistakes. I traveled cheap. Having been through that I quite relate to what you’ve written and strongly feel that “language is the one best souvenir, one can get out of a country”

    Glad to read this. 

    Thanks

  • Apoorv Agrawal

    Hi Benny, I traveled to 13 countries last year while in 2nd year of college. It was a lot of learning and mistakes. I traveled cheap. Having been through that I quite relate to what you’ve written and strongly feel that “language is the one best souvenir, one can get out of a country”

    Glad to read this. 

    Thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kat-Weyh/518033272 Kat Weyh

    Awesome post!! Just checked out couchSurfing and can’t wait to get started on that!!!  Will continue following you!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Enjoy Couchsurfing! The site has hugely enhanced my life over the last years!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=26720478 Devansh Chowdhary

    Wow!.. this is exactly the type of guidance people miss out on!,,, rarely come across such good easy to enrich life statements.. You rock.. I wish you a very long happy and fulfilling life ahead.. please keep adding to these or editing. You are an inspiration !

  • http://theshootingstar.wordpress.com/ Shivya

    Love your post! I linked it to my blog to share travel inspiration :) 
    http://theshootingstar.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/travel-inspiration/

  • Anonymous

    Hello my
    name is Amalie E. Ourø Jensen and I am from Denmark.
     I found this website from Stumble Upon
    and I just got captivated by your lessons.
    I can feel the truth in them when I read them.
    I hope to once travel the world, like you have done, but right now I have no
    thing as a plan, and maybe I just should follow your advice and keep it like
    that.
    Sorry if my English is not complete, it could be fun writing to you in Danish (our
    language in Denmark), but it would surprise me a great deal if you could
    understand it. :)
    You made my evening more delightful, and I especially liked the videos you have
    posted. They are both humoristic and clever.
    I hope by posting this note, to make your evening or day more delightful, wherever
    you might be.
    Even a smile would satisfy me.
    Luck in the future from Denmark, or as we say ~ Held og lykke.

  • Anonymous

    Hello my
    name is Amalie E. Ourø Jensen and I am from Denmark.
     I found this website from Stumble Upon
    and I just got captivated by your lessons.
    I can feel the truth in them when I read them.
    I hope to once travel the world, like you have done, but right now I have no
    thing as a plan, and maybe I just should follow your advice and keep it like
    that.
    Sorry if my English is not complete, it could be fun writing to you in Danish (our
    language in Denmark), but it would surprise me a great deal if you could
    understand it. :)
    You made my evening more delightful, and I especially liked the videos you have
    posted. They are both humoristic and clever.
    I hope by posting this note, to make your evening or day more delightful, wherever
    you might be.
    Even a smile would satisfy me.
    Luck in the future from Denmark, or as we say ~ Held og lykke.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MNBGNKGPGJ7QJBYXJBGHML2U2Y Paige

    This is amazing.  It really does make me appreciate a lot more, and I want to go out and see the world now. Can you please write a book or something?! MANY people would really love to read it.. I know I would for sure.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MNBGNKGPGJ7QJBYXJBGHML2U2Y Paige

    This is amazing.  It really does make me appreciate a lot more, and I want to go out and see the world now. Can you please write a book or something?! MANY people would really love to read it.. I know I would for sure.

  • http://twitter.com/anto_789 antonieta carrion

    29 life lessons learned in travelling the world for 8 years straight

  • http://twitter.com/anto_789 antonieta carrion

    29 life lessons learned in travelling the world for 8 years straight

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    This isn’t about enjoying yourself. I know for a fact that people who travel in groups very likely have way more fun than me – but partying with your college friends is not why I travel. You miss out on a cultural experience if you are not forced to make local friends beyond those who speak English.

    Travelling with other travellers, even of other cultures, still means you see the local place through the eyes of a traveller, and you have no motivation to meet new people beyond a superficial hi. That is what *I* think is a shame.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Please read the links in the introduction and look around the site.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Please read the links in the introduction and look around the site.

  • Heather Hieshetter

    I really appreciated your posting that life and music video (done by the Southpark guys!), and it just so happens that a friend and I were chatting (via facebook) about that very concept. I’m posting your wonderful entry on facebook, and have “liked” the page I stumbled upon…I’m also going to cut back on my tv watching, and watch shows with more people, like at a tv watching party, but not too often! Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Anne Erdmann

    GREAT READ and such an inspiration!!! Thank you for sharing and all the best!

    Came across your Blog via StumbleUpon btw.

  • http://twitter.com/nearafar Natalie T.

    So wise!  It’s interesting to see how people travel today – we’re all behind our laptops. It was especially alarming when I was at a hostel but once that’s taken away and I really talk to people and find out what their world is about, it makes my day that much brighter. Kudos for such a deep post. 

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Saying that “I personally don’t believe” is the most sugar coated way I can phrase “it’s bullshit and you must be crazy to believe it”. I know they are not true, but to be technically more accurate I’ll say that I’m “skeptical”. I didn’t want to turn this article into an epistemological debate, so I kept my wording political.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    You must be talking about different schools to me. Most schools I know of are there to teach you facts, and have a maximum of one course once a week about social values, if at all.

    Also, my education has contributed way less to my ability to be a writer than you would claim. I have learned to improve my spelling from spell check, not angry teachers. I’ve improved my style from observing other bloggers I respect (all in the last decade), and I’ve learned to write like I do all in the last two years since I started blogging. Before this I would never have considered writing anything.

    So no, I will not reconsider. School has its place but in most cases it would be better redesigned. I learned the most important things in the world by interacting with human beings, not following instructions blindly.

    Also, there is a major difference between “no education” and not attending university or finishing high school, or finding alternative education. No need to go overboard and imply something I never said in the article.

  • Caitlin

    This is so great. I love stories like this and read them over and over again and pretty much cling to them to get me through the monotony of my every day. I just wish I had the courage to take a stand and tell the world no to be able to tell life yes! 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H5HEMKJZZEHT4RFHHBTK6JCU6A Athreya

    Your post is inspirational. Thank you. Come to India Benny, you will learn a lot more.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Please read the links I gave to see how I cover my expenses. Also manvsdebt.com is good to follow a man paying off student loans while travelling.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a freshman in college and you’ve lived my dream. I’m so happy that stumble upon took me here. Thanks for the website. It’s an inspiration.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BKHXE5HCAHHTVFPTHTEQCJZEU4 Sandy

    I’m so jealous of you! I’m just 14 in a town with zero diversity, I’ve been to some amazing places and wish to see the rest of the world.  This is amazing and i’ll be sure to use these tips when traveling on an empty pocket =). Thanks

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    I’m amazed that after reading this you really think a 9-to-5 job is the only way to end such experience. I now work independently and plan to do so even when I settle. It is very unlikely I’ll go back to a 9-to-5 life – there are other, better ways to work.

  • Kyle Gardiner

    Hey dude,

    The longest I’ve ever been on the road backpacking is 6 weeks, but the profundity of 10-13 really hit me during that time (which is not to say everything else you listed isn’t invaluable as well). Keep on living the dream.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmichaelh2 J Michael Harrison

    Good job.  I enjoyed your list.  I have a couple, and I hope I’m not too redundant: When you are not trying to impress others, you are signalling that you don’t need their approval.  The next step is to be thinking more about others’ needs and happiness than your own, and that will bring love into your life. Insecurity creates most human problems, and life is a constant struggle to overcome uncertainty.  But if joy is your purpose in life, then you will find it. 

  • Saki Galaxidis

    I don’t believe everyone is destined for failure, but rather, success. I believe in destiny, but I also believe that you have some control over it. I agree with what you say about putting effort in, rather than sitting and waiting for something to happen. Believing in destiny shouldn’t stop you from achieving your goals – unless you don’t act upon it. If you know you’re destined for something, you STILL have to act – because you’re not going to get what you want just sitting and believing “I’m destined for success anyway, I don’t have to do anything”.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      In my opinion “destiny” gets watered down to be nothing more than a word if you are doing all the work yourself. It’s YOU doing the work, not something in the ether. If something were truly your destiny then you’d get it no matter how lazy you were, which is obviously ludicrous.

      But you are right that “believing” in destiny doesn’t stop you from achieving a lot. But it’s still used by too many as an excuse for why they CAN’T do anything.

      • Saki Galaxidis

        Well at one point in my life I really wanted to be an actor. That didn’t work out for me at all, because I wasn’t social and confident enough. At that point I believed I just wasn’t destined to be an actor, so I went elsewhere, ultimately finding myself a travel path, which right now I have no regrets over. I’m happy travelling the world and I’d rather do that than be an actor. I guessed that the universe revealed to me that travelling is indeed the better option for me – it’s what’s making me a happy person and it’s shaped me into who I am. I’d like to believe that I was destined for travelling.

        I think we would get along really well, I’ve got a lot of stories to share with you about how I achieved my dreams of getting to travel around the world. My mindset is a lot like yours, and I believe we should talk some time and get to learn more from eachothers perspectives! I’m 21 years old and I’ve been to 31 countries on my own, and I actually want to do what you do; travel for many years straight without having to go back home. I hope you can offer me some advice to help me avoid working 9 to 5 jobs, I really don’t like that kind of lifestyle. Although in order to do what I wanted, I had to work at Dominos Pizza as a delivery driver. I really don’t want to go back there though, as it is an awful job. I hope I can do something like you where I don’t have to be home to earn an income. I’m trying to make my own site as well, like you have done, so if you have any tips I’d appreciate it. Hope I can get to talk to you!

  • http://thelatestarter.com/ Eden Doidge

    Wow, what a great post and a great site Benny. I work in the tourism industry and meet lots of interesting people and I think I’m cultured haha. You, my friend are cultured. The experiences you have had and the people you have met most definitely would have changed you in a profoundly positive way. I really liked the lessons Benny. Many spiritual lessons there. Awesome man!

  • http://twitter.com/TrackingTeeny Christine Perez

    What an awesome post.  I absolutely LOVE it!!!!!!!!  I look forward to checking out more.  If you ever need a travel buddy…I know someone who is proficient in such things. 

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Thanks – hopefully our travel paths will cross some day :)

  • Erica Odum

    I’m loving your blog!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=26706829 Jaelei Chong Yang

    I needed this!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis
  • http://www.facebook.com/gordon.landsmann Gordon Landsmann

    Awesome, I also had dreams and decided to pursue them, I’m glad you put yours into words to share with others:)
    cheers gord
    crystalcures4u

  • http://www.facebook.com/gordon.landsmann Gordon Landsmann

    Awesome, I also had dreams and decided to pursue them, I’m glad you put yours into words to share with others:)
    cheers gord
    crystalcures4u

  • Noodle3

    hey benny it’s Deity not diety ;) sorry for smartassing but i thought you might want your articles to be correct. all the best, maria

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      This post has been read almost a half a million times and you are the first person to have pointed that out. Good work ;) I’ve corrected it.

  • Rajat Srivastava

    Splendid article based on a marvelous experience! All glories to your spirit attitude and the wisdom that you have thus gained;
    Agreed to almost all points, sharing with everyone I know and is important to me. Only one contradiction, Point # 7.
    7. Nobody has it all figured out
    :) I am pursuing study of historical literature, which provides details and answers to each and every question once can possibly have. What is remarkable is, they are so very detailed, that once you have developed initial faith around it, you are convinced beyond doubts that this could not be an extrapolated imaginations or unverifiable dream versions of looking at world differently, but actually start realizing that yes this is how world actually is.
    I have been studying about concepts of life (all life forms), god, time, nature-world as we know and beyond it and yes! Karma – Hindu scripture Bhagavat Gita
    Also, seeking Christianity, Reading Bible frequently, I am also amazed at the striking similarities between all religions – when it comes to answering questions about life that we are curious about.
    Drop me a mail or continue conversation here, if you liked anything I told, or if you wish shoot questions – “To have it all figured out” :-)

    Thanks for the outstanding article again.
    All glories to it and you!

    adaptive.rajat@gmail.com

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      You seem to have missed the part of the article where I said I don’t believe in fairies and sky wizards. You are far from having it all figured out!

  • Brandon Williamson

    how does one go about finding a party online?

  • Brandon Williamson

    how does one go about finding a party online?

  • Brandon Williamson

    how does one go about finding a party online?

  • http://pgiuliav.wordpress.com/ Giulia

    This is great! It is the first post I read and I love it. I agree with most things you say, even though sometimes I get myself thinking if they are actually “practical.” One example: I always thought that making mistakes is essential to life and that everyone has their time of doing things… however, after graduating from college and trying to explore the world … I keep wondering if ” at the end” I will regret… if I shouldn’t just get a job back home and forget all of my idealist visions… 

    Sorry, my comment is complicated. 

    I just wanted to say that I like your thoughts ;-)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Cool. If I pass through your town or you pass through mine, I’ll invite you out for a coffee!

  • Mujahid

    i haven’t even read the whole content of each of your guidelines… But i can still say that most of them are so true!!

    I am your fan man!!

    Good luck!

    Mujahid

  • Pierre (France-Asie)

    I get it mate,

    I’m myself a traveller for many years (started in 2005) and i come globally to the same conclusion. It’s quite hard for me because it’s the first time i stay for a year in my country, getting a flat, seing the same things everyday…
    The thing i love when travelling is waking up in the morning with a big smile because u know the day u’r gonna live will be rich of new experiences, good or bad, whatever.

    C u one day somewhere…

  • Camille Concepcion

    Great post. I have lived in 4 different countries in 20 years, and I travel to many more for vacation whenever I can. Truly gives you enlightenment and allows you to get along with anyone (although unfortunately not everyone really gets you completely).  I also really enjoyed reading Third Culture Kids (which is what I am!) — you should check it out :) http://www.tckworld.com 

  • shyrgil asuncion

    These are great information, I was glad I happen to stop by on your blog. My research is almost done, thanks for sharing this. FREE STUFF

  • http://www.desarmer.tumblr.com Jun

    This was an extremely enjoyable read. I’ve recently discovered my wanderlust and even from my little bits of travel agree entirely with your thoughts. Thank you for sharing! 

  • Jonny Miller

    Really love this post. Inspiring stuff!!! If you’re interested in spontaneous travel check out this crowdfunding project for an awesome iphone app that randomly picks last minute cheap flights!!

    http://www.pleasefund.us/projects/alakazam-iphone-app

  • http://travellingangel.wordpress.com/ novangely

    Love this article. will be very useful for me when I am on solo travelling. thanks for sharing.

  • Deepak Sharma

    नमस्कार,आपका पोस्ट बहुत अच्हा है |

    india

  • Guest

    >Our kids are homeschooled – mostly by life’s lessons.

    I don’t want to sound too mean, but as a scientist this seems upsetting to me. Your children will not likely be scientists.

    • http://www.facebook.com/carol.thomas.77377 Carol Thomas

      Why do they need to be scientists? I am 44, just came back from a 4 month uni program in Africa.. to realize I am by far not a statistician.. I am a zoologist… those children will be more rounded then most.. which is a beautiful thing

    • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.dermody.7 Thomas Dermody

      I’ve learned most of everything I know about radio and electronics on my own through my fascination of antique radio, music, and audio. When I finally did go to school for it, I found that I had already learned most of it on my own. If there is desire, there is no reason why one cannot learn without school. The books and the internet are out there for your taking!

    • http://www.facebook.com/Bimbirimbongo Santiago Proaño

      does it really matter?? I mean if we need scientists there will be people like you that are gonna be it, so that would solve the problem, and if those kids want to be scientists I’m quite sure that their family will help them to be that, there are plenty of options for that, but all at it’s time… so what is the problem, I’m sure those kids will live a lot more than you and me together and that is something that will make their lives worth living….

    • Joe

      Science isn’t the benchmark of reality

  • http://twitter.com/joshrowell Josh Rowell

    A really interesting and influential post that can be taken on-board by anyone who can read.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Read the introduction and click the links please.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    I have Indian friends who travel and earn a living online. I’ve met them in many countries. “I can’t work while travelling too. I am from India” – there is no law that I’m aware of that prevents Indians from location independent living.

    Find a way if you are truly passionate about it. One thing is for sure; with a defeatist attitude you will never ever work while travelling, and that has nothing to do with being Indian or from any other country.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    I have Indian friends who travel and earn a living online. I’ve met them in many countries. “I can’t work while travelling too. I am from India” – there is no law that I’m aware of that prevents Indians from location independent living.

    Find a way if you are truly passionate about it. One thing is for sure; with a defeatist attitude you will never ever work while travelling, and that has nothing to do with being Indian or from any other country.

  • Emeric Teo

    Happy 29th dude, great post, great inspiration.

  • akemi mi

    olá, benny!
    descobri seu site por acaso, mas já o estou adorando! com certeza viajar pelo mundo é o sonho de muita gente (ainda é um dos meus), e a forma com que você compartilha suas experiências é realmente tocante.

    te agradeço por este maravilhoso post quase espiritual; me faz refletir a respeito de várias coisas importantes. muito obrigada!

    grande abraço,

    akemi.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Pode deixar! Obrigado pelo comentário!

  • Jocelyn Armour

    You are great! such good advise. i loved reading this article and am looking forward to reading the rest of them. well written and very thoughtful. gave you a thumbs up on stumble. thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/heartmydoggies Risa Light

    I like your great attitude. I felt that way once and truly MUST take control back again and realize that I still do have a life and it ‘can’ be so much better. Thank you  and all the best to you on all your great adventures, and advice ;)  ((HUGS))

  • http://twitter.com/heartmydoggies Risa Light

    I like your great attitude. I felt that way once and truly MUST take control back again and realize that I still do have a life and it ‘can’ be so much better. Thank you and all the best to you on all your great adventures, and advice ;) ((HUGS))

  • http://twitter.com/heartmydoggies Risa Light

    I like your great attitude. I felt that way once and truly MUST take control back again and realize that I still do have a life and it ‘can’ be so much better. Thank you and all the best to you on all your great adventures, and advice ;) ((HUGS))

  • http://vspages.com Durk

    You friggin rock dude, this list is so bang on, follow these rules and you’ll live an enriching life, great post friend.

  • Anonymous

    i agree with most of this. i primarily don’t agree with #4. other than that, i think you’re pretty much right. i do travel around a lot on a poor kid’s budget and i love it. people are people. you see what matters when you go somewhere completely opposite from you. what holds up will be what matters and people will only be interested in what they see shine with you, nothing more. as one of my favorite quotes says “what gives light must endure the burning”. also along with #6, i go by the quote “always preach the gospel of God, and when necessary, use words”

  • http://twitter.com/familyonbikes Nancy Sathre-Vogel

    Erika – there are many ways that families manage to support themselves while traveling.  We lived as expats for many years while teaching in international schools. That was great as it allowed our children to experience other cultures from within.

    For four years, however, we’ve traveled full-time on our bicycles. Our sons have now pedaled 27,000 miles through fifteen countries. It’s been a fabulous experience for all four of us. I’ve written about how we afford our travels here: http://familyonbikes.org/blog/2011/04/how-to-afford-long-term-family-travel/

    The thing to remember is that there are as many ways of managing to travel as there are families wanting to do it. There is no right and wrong way. It’s up to each person to think critically at their own situation and decide how to make it work for them.

    As for the schooling/homeschooling/unschooling/roadschooling, that is also unique to each family. Both me and my husband are long-time school teachers (41 years in the classroom between the two of us). We’ve learned a lot during those years of teaching and felt very comfortable knowing our children were learning more than they ever could have in the classroom.

    In addition to learning “school stuff” from our journey, they also learned lessons that will take them far beyond that. I’ve written a post about that as well: http://familyonbikes.org/blog/2011/01/life-lessons-from-a-bike-trip/

    If you are interested in traveling with your children, I would encourage you to check out other blogs from traveling families. It’s more doable than you might think!

  • Divya Subramanian

    Some points are valid, others are not. For instance, point 14 – I don’t agree anyone can learn languages. Why should it be any different from learning maths or science ? If we are willing to accept that some people don’t have the knack for maths/science, then why can’t we accept that some people don’t have the knack for languages. 

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      “If we are willing to accept that some people don’t have the knack for maths/science” – what absolute rubbish!

      I was a Mathematics teacher for many years, and when I took the time to explain something in terms the other person could understand I ALWAYS made sure they passed their exams and started to feel like they were good at Mathematics. There is no such thing as a binary system of having a knack or not. Those who seem terrible at anything, just need the right environment (or teacher) and they could learn it fine.

      Your assertion is false. I have just as much experience with Mathematics learners as I do with language learners. There is definitely no such thing as a knack or gene for foreign languages, in any practical way, even if some people seem to do incredibly well and you think all hope is lost for you.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    If you were on the road 24/7, when would you sleep?
    Only shops are open 24/7, people are not. There is indeed time for love. Nobody travels ALL the time.

  • Vitamine3

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your 29 life lessons… it’s so true! I like the way you think! Thanks for sharing us your experience! Now the next step is to put into practice…

  • http://twitter.com/xkarlydawnx Karly Dawn

    reading this post filled me with happiness and i appreciate your wisdom and the time you took to share it with us. thank you. i wish you all the best in your journey and cannot wait to read more from you! 

  • http://twitter.com/xkarlydawnx Karly Dawn

    reading this post filled me with happiness and i appreciate your wisdom and the time you took to share it with us. thank you. i wish you all the best in your journey and cannot wait to read more from you! 

  • http://jithesh.tel/ Jithesh Janardhanan

    This post helped me clear so many doubts I had in my mind about life and I’ll sure try to be more social. Living most part of my life in front of computer haven’t helped me much. Though I knew I need to get out, I was always reluctant. Not anymore. I’ll try to be social, listen to others, and may be help someone out of their cocoon and show them what life is. Thank you :)

  • Jihad Tawfiq

    Hello Benny!I discovered your blog one week ago and I really like it. 
    I was kind of surprised when I read “The Engineering Mentality for Language Learning” because I’m an IT engineer myself and I ‘ve learned arabic, berber, french, english, russian, serbian/croatian and spanish by basically adopting the same approach as you. 

    Well, concerning the travelling part, I guess I am more or less disappointed, being Moroccans, which means that just for a five days séjour in 10-miles far Spain, I have to wait two months at least to prepare papers, visa validation, describe a motive for travel and even set a bank guarantee of around 5000 euros, not to mention the disrespect and suspiscious looks while waiting in line for two days at the embassy.

    I would really like to start my own travelling experience, but it seems that my middle class North African identity doesn’t help at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allan-Ngo/553146527 Allan Ngo

    Only someone with so much experience could come up with such a list. 

    I like a lot of it Benny. One thing that got me the most that I haven’t seen much elsewhere is 

    #11 “TV is the greatest black hole of time available to mankind”

    I totally agree with this observation. I was a victim of this, I allowed it to be a time waster that delayed the most important things I should have done. It is subtle but the cost can be significant.

    It got me to a point of total frustration on why things aren’t moving in my life. And just idling time away for “relaxation” purposes is one of the major cause!

    Now, I barely watch tv except during lunch breaks which is about 1 hour max. The rest are doing things that matter and of course language practice. I almost forgot, I also watch tv to practice my Mandarin Chinese.

    Keep up the good work!

  • http://twitter.com/krista_redbox Krista Goon

    Hi Benny – you are an interesting fellow. I came by after reading about you in the Skritter blog (I’m a die-hard Skritterer). I like your honesty a lot. 

  • http://www.goradde.com Goradde

    mind-blowing.

  • Adrian Paradis

    Hi! I like your post very much! and I like your stile of life, I would like to travel in different countries and to live in each from one week to several months.
    May be we’ll meet somewere) I am sure you are a very best guide!:)

  • http://youronline.biz/ Jacko

    You are proving something with your life what does that mean to our future?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PJPRCZ4QT5VW5OPLJ3JPB426IE Harold The Great

    I am Turkish. Being a heavy web surfer made me consume every web page as quick as possible. I used to not read a text which is longer than a paragraph (100-200 words max). But thanks to Benny, I have read all the page down to here. This was my first time I spend nearly 2 hours on a something let’s say useful to read. It is very catchy at first what you have here. Even though it seems that I am older than you, recently I have started to understand that age does not matter but how you shaped your brain through experiences and empathy. I am an English learner who is trying to find some good ways to learn this language as early as possible. Any help would be appreciated.

    Anyway, it was a wonderful opportunity to see how you look into life from your window. Please keep up the good work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adutsu Radu Munteanu

    Amazing article. Thank you. I’m glad you got all this by 29. It took me a couple more years. If you want i can translate this into Russian and Romanian which are my native languages.
    Thank you again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adutsu Radu Munteanu

    I’ve read the about article. To learn Russian you don’t need to live in Moscow. ( Here is where you get controversial with yourself ) There are a lot of places within a Russian speaking community, that will let you live comfortable with 30 dollars ( USD ) a month. If you ever will plan this write me a message. And It will be my pleasure to help you. I’ll spare a room. And I’ll help you to learn the language. I’ve lived in 20 countries in the last 15 years. Speak about 20 languages. Not fluently, but I was never speechless.We might have things to discuss. 

  • http://www.esalesdata.com/email-list/jd-edward-users-list.php JD Edwards User Lists

    No one who achieves success does so without the help of others, 
     As we express our gratitude, we must never forget. 
     I experience this high and joyous moment not for myself alone but for those devotees.

  • John L

    Hey Benny I read your whole post and I need advice on how I should start traveling by the way I’m 15

  • John L

    tips for highschool teens? thanx

  • Nicholas Schneider

    Wow, your tipps are awesome. If you are still travelling and like to stay with locals check out me low-budget travelling website http://www.staydu.com 

  • Viajero

    Great stuff. I travelled the world for six years and had time to think over a lot of stuff – I agree with your insights and liked the way you’ve shared them. The first thing I did when I found a place to live when I got home was to donate the TV that came with the place to charity. TV is stupidity training.

  • Samshortis

    I absolutely love this blog and I’m saying that having read two posts. I thought I wandered around but man you really wander around!!! Also will have to have a look at the languages hacking. Have been far too lazy in that regard. Keep up the blog please!!

  • Ys Subi

    good map of life to follow. i follow honestly.

  • hopscotchtheglobe

    This is AWESOME.  Love it!

  • Noemie Bauduin

    I actually laughed and cried in the same time while reading these 29 life lessons…
    There’s only one word to describe it: PERFECT.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.techotalk.com/ Rohit kothari

    woww thats really great man 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=562734766 Stephanie T. Serres

    Thank you. Your
    article was the extra push i needed to sign up for a few weeks volunteering
    abroad in India. I still have a lot to do to get there but I know I will make
    it happen. Happy travels, friend!

    -Stephanie

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Fantastic stuff Stephanie! Have a great time :D

  • Jackson19

    I have one quick questions, Benny. What means did you have to travel the world for eight years? I would love to travel the world, but I’m not sure how to go about doing this. Not to sound crass, but are you rich as hell? If I wanted to travel the world, how should I do this? Thanks.

  • Michel1

    Internet is just as bad as TV, it makes you antisocial. It ruined my life I hate it!

  • http://twitter.com/trupz UrbanWanderer

    would love to know if you are ever in India :) 

  • Anirudh Tom

    Eye opener for me, and I like the line “Swallow your pride and apologize”.

  • http://howlearnspanish.com/ Andrew

    Well…I might win the lottery.  I mean, I might.

  • acoupletraveler

    Love this post. Completely agree with your points. My boyfriend and I are heading out on our backpacking trip through Europe and Asia this fall — can’t wait to get out of a meaninless 9-5 job and finally get to experience the world and interact with all different types of people. 

  • http://acoupletravelers.com/ acoupletravelers

    Love this post. Completely agree with your points. My boyfriend and I are heading out on our backpacking trip through Europe and Asia this fall — can’t wait to get out of a meaninless 9-5 job and finally get to experience the world and interact with all different types of people. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002911925184 Tuya Senff

    Wow, thank you for sharing this with the world. I love this, I enjoyed it very much and I agree with everything that you wrote. Keep it up and Good Luck!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lyana9 Lyana Mezentseva

    Thank you for this article. It made my day. Thare are a lot of things to think about. 

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    If you provide all links and credit to original, that should be cool!

  • http://www.facebook.com/josh.aldave Josh Aldave

     Great! I’ve learn a lot from this post. It definitely helps to someone like me who start traveling my own beautiful country Philippines! And soon the world!

  • YuddandiSivaSubramanyam

    excellent

  • Keith Aquino

    Thank you for making me discover about Alan Watts. I’ve been thinking a lot about what he’s teaching then I saw the video in your post. Thanks. :)

  • Espee P.

    wonderful post, Benny.

    I agree with most, if not all, of your points but the ones closest to my heart are points 21, 27 and 29. Reason for this is these are the lessons that have shown true since the first time I stepped out of my bubble, and since then have guided me in all of my adventures and life in general.

    If I may share a bit of my story, I’m from Philippines and I’ve only been traveling for a few months short of a year. In fact the countries I’ve been to can be counted with only two hands. So I’m still pretty new to this but it has become my passion. I started traveling by myself a few weeks before I turned 21 (current age). As a sheltered, wet behind the ears fresh graduate I hesitated a lot before I took the plunge. I had the same concerns and fears that a lot of people do: What if I get lost? Won’t I get lonely? Is it safe, specially for a girl traveling alone? But I am very glad and proud of myself for not letting my fears stop me, because throughout my travels I have experienced so many things that have enriched my life in a way that the younger me would not have thought possible. I have learned a lot and I’m very excited to learn a lot more.

    Again, wonderful post Benny. Thanks and enjoy your journey :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.s.heaney James Seamus Heaney

    thought this quote related quite nicely to lesson 5. hope you like it :)
    “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
    Aristotle

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    It seems you have applied your own advice, because you didn’t read my list. That was item 29 ;)

  • Josh

    Thank you for preserving a better way of living. Not travelling, because that’s fun but it’s not for everyone: you preserve the art of living happily. Keep it up and stick to what you’re doing – it’s fantastic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vinicius.n.ramos.1 Vinicius Nascimento Ramos

    Simply amazing! By the way…have you been to Brazil? or are in your plans Sao Paulo city? If yes, let me know to drink a beer with you or maybe offer a couch for some days!

    Um abraco!

  • http://twitter.com/FMNsocial Forget-Me-Not Social

    Hi Benny!
    Love this post! I had it open in a tab for a couple of weeks now because I wanted my non-travel-obsessed bf to read it with me, so maybe he could understand why I love travelling so much. I don’t know if it worked, but it certainly felt like a bit of justification in that I’m not alone – in my travelling desires!!

    One simple question that I have always thought was a reason not to travel so much – and I welcome anyone and everyone to comment on my ignorance here – but how do you retain any citizenship anywhere? Do you file taxes? How do you keep a passport valid if you’re always moving? How do you finally settle (if you choose to) ….. can you immigrate if you weren’t a resident of another country?

    I have always been one to ‘play by the rules’ but it does seem unfair if we are mandated to choose a country and stick to it!! Please enlighten me – please tell me there are much better and understanding ‘rules’ out there! (P.S. I’m a Canadian.)

    Thanks for the great read :)
    Laura

  • Alex

    What a bunch of generic platitudes as to be typically expected of a particular type of person and mindset. Ive traveled the world too mate, and I got some very different conclusions. But I didnt write them down like this, so Ill give you points on being pro-active. This list is low on the wisdom quotient, high on the high-mindedness. Heres a lesson for ya, free of charge: Traveling around opens your mind in a certain way and imparts a few pratical smarts, but doesnt really teach you very much as your impressions are totally superficial. Live in a few different countries for 5+ years, live, work and pay taxes there, and you will start to get an impression of what that place is really about. Otherwise you are just a serial tourist.

  • Nick Smith

    416 weeks! Wow that’s a long time…

    I love how these tips could be applied to any form of life (not just traveling). Great stuff.

  • Patoriveras

    This is an amazing post, I literrally try to live my life by following several of these points, and I also learned them while living abroad alone, since them i trully have become a better person and try to improve everyday.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.claire.lawrence Jessica Claire

    This is such a great article! I really enjoyed reading this. I am 23 and at a point in my life where I am dying to go overseas and travel and I mean spend a couple of years working my way around the globe. I am halfway through a university course however and there is a the pressure to finish my course as i ill be 25 in a couple of years. I get tired of the habitual lifestyle I get into while at uni and dream of packing up my things and going but there is always something holding me back. I dont want to leave doing this too late. Love your blog and shared it with my FB friends. Take Care.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sosinowo Seyi Osinowo

    Brilliant…..

  • Jack

    Incredibly interesting and well done. I enjoyed every moment I spent reading this. And this has encouraged and fueled my inspiration to leave with nothing and come home with everything.

  • Jay

    Happy Birthday and thanks for the advice ! I will try to follow it but if nothing else it will be up there for when I need it most

  • http://twitter.com/DTravelsRound Diana Edelman

    BEAUTIFUL POST. I love these lessons.

  • http://www.callbox.com.my/ Christine Steffensen

    In this circumstance, being in a different country might well allow you to meet, learn and challenge your preconceptions with people from a variety of backgrounds.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=535965714 Laura Vergara

    I really enjoy reading your posts, and I can really relate to you (may be because you have learned to relate with others so well)… I agree with most of what you have written here, and I am trying to change my life style, because I’ve felt trapped for so many years now (I’m only 25 though). I think many people might blame “destiny” for not doing better, others don’t really have a good excuse… but I believe that people like that(me) are afraid of the unknown. Have you heard the saying “más vale malo conocido que bueno por conocer”? I guess “el bueno por conocer” is good, but it’s scary; while the “malo conocido” just feels very safe.

  • Mohammed binshaihoun

    Thank u benny to open my mind :)
    Really after I finished reading ur story ,I’m planning to travel more than I’m now .
    I wish I can do like what u did .
    I feel sorry about my boring life comparing with yours Benny my life is nothing. But I’ll do my best to make my life much more enteresting .
    I’ll say it again thank u Benny for sharing ur list with us ,and showing ur absolutely wonderful experience ;) :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/raisakrapu Raisa Krapu

    Brilliant! If you ever travel in Finland, you are welcome to stop by :)

  • http://twitter.com/AndrooMahtin AndrooMahtin

    Come to Montreal!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jennifer-Avventura/100001838772186 Jennifer Avventura

    Questo post e fantastico! Grazie mille. Ho gia fatto un tweet.

  • guilty

    I’m going travelling in about 2 weeks time i haven’t really made any solid plans so far. Im so excited and so scared at the same time, i literally just came across this article randomly and any fear of being lonely has been lifted so thank you. I’m so grateful you took the time to share this. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ch.vp92 Jorge Chavez

    i have to admit I am really impressed! It’s really amazing the much you had learned during those 8 years. I am really considering ing doing that, but there is one thing that makes me think about it twice. I know I am young, I still have a lot to go trough and so on but right now I find myself in a really great and serious relationship. Long story short I would have to choose either relationship or traveling because of some circumstances. I was wondering, what you think about it? I really love what I have, but I also love traveling…

  • Torri

    May I ask why Americans are demonized?? I loved reading this but was put off by that particular message. Just as you state in this post about other cultures, there is both good and bad there and wouldn’t it be great if we could stop stereotyping “America” also?????

  • http://www.facebook.com/spring.wills Spring Wills

    I agree with you.
    I hitchhiking 11,000 miles, just came back.
    I spend 0. But I think money is God ‘s blessing .

  • http://www.facebook.com/spring.wills Spring Wills

    Great post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/spring.wills Spring Wills

    What I learned from my journey is trust and love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/spring.wills Spring Wills

    Benny, you have a place to sleep when you pass by Mendocino.
    Wecome my home. I Slept outside several times. I Understand all you said.
    You are a wise man. Truly blessed!

  • http://www.travelproject.com.au Peter Clay – Travel Project

    Great list, I couldn’t agree with you more! I especially agree with you that that (generally) everyone has the same wants and desires in life, no matter the languages that we speak or the way media may presume one countries peoples act differently over another.

  • Giovanna

    Fantastic article I’m thinking very seriously about doing this soon. I have always wanted to see the whole world and as much of G-d’s creation before I leave it. Thanks for sharing so candidly your extraordinary experience. Truly inspiring.

  • Name

    All your lessons is based on stories of persons.
    Story and person is mind.
    Where is the lesson about waking up from mind.
    forumpost1234abcd@hotmail.com

  • Name

    Hi.

  • Eva

    I wish I could live by this article, but sadly it does not apply to women. I am currently 24 swedish woman and have spend many years traveling all over the world.

    This is the sad truth I have discovered:

    As a woman you CANNOT just use couch surfing or travbuddy the same way a man can, because many men can’t be trusted. (believe me I know) and when these things happen it is not good to be traveling alone as a woman. I would actually go as far as saying MOST men meet up with you for other reasons than meeting new friends – I think for men it is mostly the other way around.

    That leads me to the “do you need money when you travel” question – and YES, women do. We cannot sleep on a strangers couch or on the street without the fear of being raped or worse (No matter which country you are in and how many vouchers a person has). I always bring emergency cash, a mobile phone and a pebberspray, as I have experienced bad things from traveling coin-less.

    Another issue is making friends as a woman. I have travelled a year with my girlfriend from home, she does not look “attractive” due to an illness she was born with, but she is the kindest person in the world. Sadly she has had a very hard time making friends on our travels – often ignored or laughed at when we went to pubs/bars/meet-ups etc. The feeling of being left out eventually caused her to return home early. She hardly made any friends the entire year because people are so superficial (even women prefer female friend who “look the part”). People have a tendency to be kind to men no matter how fat and ugly they look (I think people generally respect men more ) – Sadly the same does not apply to women. I ended up traveling on alone because of this.

    In many countries I have also experienced men who look down on women who travel alone – fx. parts of asia where people (also women) think a woman who travels without a man, is a whore. And it certainly doesn’t help that you maybe haven’t had a shower for a week and have no money.

    I wish the world were as free as you make it sound and we could all run free, experiencing the world without a penny and trust everyone on our path. The sad truth is it’s not – at least not from my experience.

    I am not saying this to deter women from experiencing the world, my most precious memories are from my travels and I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but I felt a need to share this as women should be more careful.

    Eva

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      I’ve met many brave solo travelling women who have done fine through Couchsurfing for years, especially after vetting to go to good references. Sorry if your experience has jaded your travels. There is no “sad truth”, only people’s different experiences, positive or negative.

      Frankly I find this comment incredibly cynical and narrow minded to say that “most men” are so evil. You would do well to not judge half of the entire planet so quickly. This attitude is precisely what causes sexism going the other way too.

      And your story of an unattractive women being ignored could just as easily happen to a guy. You really have no idea what it’s like and are just postulating “people have a tendency”. Your circumstantial and subjective experience proves no “truth”.

      I’m so glad the solo female travellers that I’ve met haven’t completely given up like you have. The world will never be “free” when you think you are always going to be a victim.

      Of course women should be careful, and more so than guys, but nothing else in your comment should be taken seriously as “truth”.

      Plenty of guys have complained to me that women have it EASIER than them when travelling, because people look at solo men much more cynically, and not accept their couchsurfing requests or be rude to them when they are just trying to be friendly. Either side can bitch and whine about how hard they have it. I can definitely guess that a 24 year old Swedish woman will have it much easier to make friends in any place in the world than a 30 year old Irish guy, and this makes my travels more stressful than yours. Poor me, right?

      You only see the negative aspects of travelling as a women, and not the positive ones. You have been blinded by cynicism.

      The “real truth” is that neither side can presume they know what the real truth is for the other, and shouldn’t complain that they have it universally harder, and make adjustments for how they perhaps do have it different.

      The lessons shared in this post are not gender specific.

  • Ailyn

    Well said. Thank you :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    You’re welcome and thanks for reading along :) More travel ponderings coming soon between language learning posts!

  • Diana

    Good on you ….I am travelling too and agree with you on all points.

  • aloneforlife

    Your limitations are not set by who you know, where you were born,
    what genes you have, how much money you have, how old you are right now,
    what you did before or other things that you can claim are your stamp
    of failure for life.

    If you are determined enough there is a shitload of opportunities in
    life that are totally achievable with minimal cash, regardless of who
    you are.”

    Bullshit. Be black and male for a Day and then tell me that what you were born does not affect you or your potential opportunities. You offer great advice for white people but it is totally irrelevant to someone who isn’t privileged. Also opportunities are given to those who are embraced. If you have no friends and are hated you will have zero opportunities. If you are criminalized and suspect for everything negative you will have no opportunities.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Please read the intro and follow the links. I already discussed this at the start of the post.

  • Alexander

    Hi,Benny!
    I don’t know how i found your article(Stumbleupon helps me xD ), but i’m glad to read it.
    I found a lot of USEFULL liferules for me(for everyone i think=) ) !!
    I’m only 21 now , but i have a dream in my future to travel as much as a can.
    Today I wake up and found myself in BIG depression. (Reasons are common : no work , no gf, parents are far away, and so on and so on…)
    But you make me smile , i found “second breath” to climb up further for achieving my “goals”!
    Thank you Benny!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Very glad to hear that Alexander! Get out there and enjoy life ;)

  • June Oh

    Hey Natsha,

    I’m currently preparing on a solo trip to Europe. It would be a short trip just to “test water”. I’m currently 22, so my parents are not that comfortable with me trying to travel alone as they feel it’s quite dangerous. Plus I have many friends who are telling me that it’s really dangerous to be alone, especially being a girl.

    After hearing all those comments, i’m kind of worried. But i think what i’ll do for now is just to research more and see how enjoy the world and yet protect myself at the same time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ciaojanice Janice Robinson

      Dont let fear get ahold of you, it will be the best experience in your life. Mohters always worry-try to not pay attention to it-just go. Do your research beforehand, so you make sensible decisions which are well thought out. The hostel system is great, and there is always good advice at the various ones…good luck and have a great time!

  • June Oh

    Hi Tammy,

    i’m really glad to hear that you allowed your daughter to travel on her own. But were you worried about allowing her to travel alone?

  • http://www.facebook.com/davidtorres.ethz David Torres

    Great post. one of the best things ive read on internet.

  • Lisa Huang

    This post is awesome! Please keep sharing your adventures with us. Quite inspirational.

  • Elizabeth

    I was wondering, what do you do when you go in another country to learn a language? Do you sleep in an hotel, someone house? How do you meet people, friends? How? :p

  • Hannah

    I absolutely loved this! I spent this past summer in Austria and I wish I seen this list beforehand, it hits so many great points. “Speaking a language from day one is the ‘secret’ to being able to learn it quicker and at any age.” Dead on

  • Jess

    Ar fheabhas ar fad! Bhain mé an-thaitneamh as..!

  • John Doyle

    My sister was killed in a car crash eight years ago. She traveled the world in much the same way you did. And she shared many of the same lessons with us Earth-bound souls. She would have enjoyed meeting you, I’m sure.

  • http://bbakeca.com/ BBakeca

    Great post…very inspiring!

  • fabrix82

    every single line of this blog seems to me like a mirror of my thoughts… I am glad I found it! and it’s always nice to find people that share the same joy of living! the pure happiness that is in traveling, in meeting new people, learning from them and from the world, always living with a huge smile on your face and thank god every morning for the amazing live he made for you! … I have troubles sometimes to share these feelings and to talk about it with people that didn’t experience, maybe asking if money will be sufficient to survive… naaa, talking or writing will never be enough, like watch into the wild and say that is amazing.. why? i don’t understand :)
    see you somewhere around the globe man! thanks for the blog, now I don’t have to write one, everything is already here :)

  • Martynas Stepukonis

    Whenever i feel down or feel like i’m losing direction in life.. I come here and read this Article :) Thank you, Benny.

  • carolynsh

    #1: Thank you.

    #2: Lesson #30; never assume you’re better than anyone else. You’re not.

  • tida

    I actually decided to travel without saving money too ( on 20Dec). Great to find your blog. But I still don’t have the idea how to travel across the countries without money

  • Daniel

    I’ve been traveling myself around North America for 8yrs. I was 18 yrs old when I started in 2004-2012. I’ve met many people, seen many things, and experienced plenty. This page is what I was looking for. I would love to connect with other people with experiences like me

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003334978429 Sarah Johnson

    I agree completely with number 2, I have the same conversations with people all the time, I also do a fair amount of traveling (although, only in the United States…) and people always say the same thing, “Man, I wish I could go with you!” So I offer, come on, lets go! I don’t understand why people would rather stay afraid of the unknown forever than go see for themselves. Thank you for posting this!

  • disqus_nWJUNTwsV7

    I travelled for three years – and it was the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ve always felt that I was truly LIVING when travelling because you have little opportunity for numbing routine to stealth into your life. You NEVER know what is going to happen that day – who you will meet – where you will end up. Sure – that happened in regular life. But only occasionally does something “surprising” or “fun” happen. But on the road? Every day.

    Your insights are spot on. Particularly 2, 10, 11, 12, 14 and 17.

    Today? I am married, with a mortgage, a cool job (a doc filmmaker – so I keep getting my travel fix periodically), worrying about cash for retirement, and daily fighting off the malaise of routine life. But I like to fantasize about going back the thatched hut on Dui beach in India. Life was simple, wondrous, and vibrant.

    Which brings me to the lesson missing on your list: You can’t go back.

    I’ve had the opportunity to revisit some of the places that held such wonderful memories for me. And more often than not – there is a mild sadness its not as one remembered. I’ve discovered you gain greater joy reconnecting with the people who shared your adventure at the time – than actually returning to the scene of the adventure.

    Facebook has been a blessing in this way.

  • Nicholas Ballowe

    Hey man, how did you start all of this? Did you write about your experience and how everything played out? I’m wondering because I really connected to this article.

  • ALEX CARDELLIUS

    I agree, life is short. If you have what it takes to travel and challenge yourself, more power too you! I have done the same thing. I have never felt so alive and whole. Compared to a confined area back home where people only know what they watch on TV. Who would of thought. I have explored Asia. Now Europe here I come…. Later will be Africa or Central and South Americas.

  • ALEX CARDELLIUS

    I agree, life is short. If you have what it takes to travel and challenge yourself, more power too you! I have done the same thing. I have never felt so alive and whole. Compared to a confined area back home where people only know what they watch on TV. Who would of thought. I have explored Asia. Now Europe here I come…. Later will be Africa or Central and South Americas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carol.thomas.77377 Carol Thomas

    Then maybe you have never traveled yourself.. or you aren’t truly understanding

  • Kai

    Firstly amazing article. I’m a mixed Japanese-Australian (lived 8 years in each county) and I’ve been studying my degree for 3 years in Malaysia, I graduate near my 20th birthday. I’ve always knew I wanted to travel in my life. But nearing my Independence (graduation) in 6 months, thoughts of fear when faced with the reality of being a ‘full-time traveler’ started to sneak doubts in to my mind. After reading your article I feel that what I decide in the near future will dramatically shape the person I will be in my 30’s, and I want that person to have had experienced life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/poiewfhfwjebnclwadkjksjrlvakrfhjafdshuicvhnfjbajhg Wat Cha

    i planned to travel to auckland…but cancelled cause im not used to travel alone and always lost all the time…

  • Luis Espinoza

    Incredible lessons. I really enjoyed them a lot. Greetings from Buenos Aires – Argentina. _Luis

  • http://www.facebook.com/rosshj Ross Howard-Jones

    Thank you for this blog post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tour.rockstein Tour Matri

    For people that don’t have a trust fund and can’t travel for 8 straight years, just work at hotel and F@ck this guy

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andreas-Nettmayer/100002154897707 Andreas Nettmayer

    My problem with consumption is that I can’t tell what will make me more productive and what won’t. Take computers and internet. I can’t tell if I should upgrade to a light protable tablet or stick with the clunker laptop. Then, if I upgrade, do I go high end or just a modest upgrade? I’m not obsessed with possessions: I just want what will improve what I do, which like everyone else involves the internet and computers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Winter/100001134840602 Alan Winter

    Particularly love #11. Turn off your TV, it’s lying to you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bimbirimbongo Santiago Proaño

    thank you, I’m afraid and I don’t know exactly what to do now … but I’ll try… thank you very much…

  • Chris Jeffery

    These are all gems of wisdom, and I’ve said most of them myself in very similar words.

    You don’t need to go hopping around the planet for the best part of a decade to learn this stuff, you just need to open your fucking eyes and explore the world and people around you. This can be accomplished 5 minutes down the road from your house.

    That said, traveling can kick start the process by throwing yourself into situations that make you think and reconsider your philosophies, it’s an experience I’d recommend to anyone.

  • Michelle M

    I have so many questions and am so eager to start traveling and seeing the world, maybe too much so. I want to be as prepared as absolutely necessary and then just do it, I am trying not to think too much into the situation and make things more complicated than they actually are (Something I am good at but trying to change). Its not so much getting to my first destination that I am worried about but continuing my travels. Where/how am I to continue preparing for the next place to go (Find a way there), where I will stay (How am I to get online to go visit/contact others on CouchSurfing, HospitalityClub, GlobalFreeloaders, etc.) or just camping, keeping a pack for small emergencies (What if I get robbed – and all the other horror stories of people traveling to far off places, especially young women going alone), or keeping in touch in touch with family (I should have a cell phone paid for by family but are there other options)? I will be the first to say I haven’t got the slightest clue on where to start/how to plan and when to get up and go, I have grown up in a poor and sheltered family life (22 year old female, Just graduated with my first degree and planning to go back for another in healthcare and possibly use this to travel and still have work. Figuring out if I want to get a degree and then go or vice versa, figuring out the most reasonable and smart plan). I know the last bit is all me but I feel like if I was better informed I would be able to make that decision for myself, maybe not easily but with more information. I have searched the internet for stories, tips, and spoke to many friends and family members about their travels. Problem is most of the people I have personally talked to have simply just taken a vacation or backpacked that they or their parents paid for and come back soon after (Not broke might I add). I don’t mind taking it slow and getting a job in each place I visit, actually, that is what I really want to do! Should I just keep asking around? What do you think? Any advice? Thank you so much!

    • Michelle M

      Sorry for the length, my excitement gets the best of me and I try to spit it all out, even after all of that I could still go on…

      • Michelle M

        Also, being in the United States I was thinking it would be best to travel around here in a more similar style that I would be using out of the states to get the hang of it! There is still much I want to and have not seen here still but I am interested in prepping myself to branch out after some more travels here and build up. I figured that may be the best way to go.

  • Dominique R

    Hey! I loved your blog. I just got back from traveling 8 months around South America and now am trying to save up by babysitting, waitressing, etc as I study this semester to fund my next trip to Brazil. My last month, in Bolivia I worked bartending in a hostel in exchange for free room and board and I have been thinking about doing the same in Brazil….. but this time, for 4 months. I am wondering if you have any pointers, as I have very very limited funds. Any suggestions on traveling cheaper, couchsurfing tips, how to get jobs, WHERE to get jobs, etc.?! Thank you!!! I look forward to hearing back from you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/LAURENM.LOMBARDO Lauren Lombardo

    this is my exact words to people- taught myself how to operate to my own drum..self published a book, on to the next..taught myself italian, lived there…going back to run painting workshops…booking a book tour…i have what in my bank account ?? haha ehem….now…but im not thinking about that …get happy get out there get excited! see how far that takes you.

  • Aundria McMillan Humphrey

    It is 2013, so possibly a very long time since you posted this list, which in my opinion everyone would benefit from reading. I, too, am a solo traveler and agree with so much of you’ve said here. Much to reflect on and to pass on…thank you. By the way, I like your singing! I’m learning Spanish and will add singing to my “bag of tricks” (D:)

  • Tony Brand

    “Everyone just wants validation, love, security, enjoyment and hopes for a better future.” – you

    Thank you for the blog-post and the quote I cited above. As the aggregator of the entire world through the eyes of wherever I am, the quote from a world-traveler can expand what resistance can exist in cities full of brooding and apathy and discordance; there’s so much more than that.

    I have some practical questions: how much do you travel with, that is to state, how do you maximize your minimums? Do you tend to find a fixer beforehand, or do you immerse yourself in a travel-centric establishment? How do you plan and prepare for years of travel, or how do you predict the allowances for expenses?

    As a near-homeless man, I find your world-perspective refreshing and hopeful. The wayfarer can find solace whilst creating independent memories; the rooted long for a home that can accept significance in their terms.

    Thanks.

  • savannah armstrong

    I have felt and experienced alot of what you are saying in this but today I seemed to forget so much of what I have learned and felt in my life. I have to tell you today of all days I needed a little reminder. So thank you for keeping it so raw and real. Its good for the heart! Keep on keepin on my fellow gypsie soul!

  • LA

    You forgot the last but perhaps most important dictum: “Don’t try to impose you’re ideas and beliefs on other people”. This last point also paradoxically contradicts most of what you profess.

    Be free, my friend.

  • renzey hodge

    Thank you for this post:| it inspires me a lot, and that video you posted “everybody;s free to wear sunscreen”, thats awesome and true….i’m gonna change how i live my life now, well, little by little:) Always “ingat” (take care):)

  • Mr Gubrz

    i really wish i could stop “open in new tab”‘ing all over your site… ill never get to sleep :(

  • EK

    This is an excellent article! I have been on the road for 5 years now since 2008, mostly in Europe by myself and I can absolutely concur with all your points above. Experience is the best form of educating oneself. Thanks again for this!

  • Joy Chrysyl

    I found your site by googling “I don’t know anyone who travels like I do.” This was exactly the kind of experience I wanted to read about. You’ve also made me think about getting to know the local languages as I move about.

  • http://twitter.com/JuneMvc June Carmody

    Fantastic article. Everyone should read this. Well done :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/authortimothyjamesdean Timothy Dean

    Wonderful story, and perceptive observations. I just posted a link to our page on Facebook – “Worlders – A Tribe of Wanderers.” Benny – please feel invited to post links there to any travel-related thing you write.

  • Kaila

    I know you wrote this a couple years ago I hope you respond to this. I am a sophomore in college and I have felt completely empty and alone throughout the entire process, even with many loving friends and family. I’ve always had an itch to leave and travel the world, learn new languages and never truly settle down anywhere. I was wondering what gave you the courage to do this. I feel bad considering this because I don’t want to leave my friends and family behind. Even when I’ve talked to them about it they say I can’t just pack up and leave, I have too much to lose here. And my friends tell me I can’t run away from my problems, which isn’t why I want to do this. I don’t have a lot of money and I haven’t even finished school yet, but I know it’s a waste of my time. I don’t even know what I want to pursue. You’re advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ciaojanice Janice Robinson

      As a mom i would say finish high school. But if you are so unhappy, go for it as long as you have earned some money to make it without being stuck in a foreign country with no financial support. its traditional for kids to backpack around europe and you would get a better education than the typical high school provides-but unless you have no desire to have a profession in your future you will need a H S diploma and a college degree in some sort of specialty….that said, you could take a couple of years off and see how it goes. i was unable to do this as i became a mom early-took me many years to follow my lust for travel. now i have a house in sardinia and i am retiring to live there full time. of course i can travel from there to many places…and i intend to! good luck with whatever you decide.

  • Toby

    I disagree with your statement on possessions. I, for one, don’t want new things so I can be validated by others or so I can impress others, I want them because I enjoy them and they fulfil my desires for entertainment and fun.

  • Maximuz

    Hello, I just found your blog. You are preaching to the quire when it comes to TV. You know what is worse? People want to talk about it all the time, so you feel pressured to watch something, just to be ‘in!’

  • Guest

    I want to travel, but I don’t know how to go about researching where to go first. Where’s a place that you’ve traveled to that you highly recommend someone exploring/visiting to?

  • Prashant Dobhal

    Awesome post.. pure facts but in the present day scenario people just forget them. Present time almost all of us follow a simple policy, work hard for a few years, then enjoy, but as expected the timeline stretches alot longer (maybe 40-50’ish), by then you end up with a lot of responsibilities or just the age factor that limits you from the long planned enjoyment.

    I usually spend weekend travelling places, enjoying nature, new friends, new food, culture.
    Escaping the crowd, the concrete jungle and of-course the work life gives me the much needed peace of mind, mental satisfaction to continue the next week.

  • http://twitter.com/tmfcarpediem Thomas Fletcher

    Where do you find parties online Benny?

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      meetup.com and couchsurfing are pretty good. Otherwise if you make enough friends in the city on Facebook, or check in to enough places, things those people attend, or events at those places can be seen in your “Events” stream.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robertgarrigos Robert Garrigos

    Hola Benny,

    No sé si parles català, però estic segur que un dia o altre ho faràs. M’ha agradat molt aquesta entrada de blog. Hi estic molt d’acord, en totes aquestes lliçons, sobretot en la darrera, que crec que és la més important: podem llegir molt sobre com creuar una porta, però només sabrem què és quan ho haguem fet. Moltes gràcies per compartir-les!

    BTW, I could have used English for this comment, but I thought you would like to start learning catalan. ;-)

    Robert

  • Clare Robinson

    Spending six months in Brazil, and these lessons have had a great impact here!

  • The Famous Ashley Grant

    I’m so grateful for this post. It is exactly what I needed to read at the exact moment I needed to read it. I often fantasize about getting rid of all my worldly possessions and just hitting the road with my laptop, my camera and the clothes on my back and traveling the globe documenting things I see and do and experience and this post makes me more confident about that fantasy becoming a reality. Good for you!!! Keep up the travel and have as much fun as possible!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/geraldine.kentbaca Geraldine Kent Baca

    Hi benny,I assume you are irish. I moved from cork in 1993,
    no I live in New Mexico, after living in Boston for 10 years. I don’t know any Irish people in New Mexico, I live miles away from Cork, I see my family and my father every few years, last time was in 2009, it’s hard being away, I married a my husband from Albuquerque, we have 3 boys.3,5 and almost 7.. I really enjoyed your Post.
    my mother died in 2003 from a heart attack, I miss her alot alot she was the main reason I used to visit Ireland

  • ashleigh

    This is just great. I want to travel and I want to travel now. The thing is I only have $1,500 to my name. I’m 21 and ready to see what the world is about! To immerse myself in different cultures. This is a burning desire. I need to feed it. give me advise

  • Mary

    I loved your post! I’m a 19 year old college student in the U.S. and once I graduate I want to travel the world. Correction. I NEED to travel the world. I need to get out of here for awhile before its too late. I need to experience things I haven’t experienced before, meet new people from all walks of life, and learn from different places. Its going to happen somehow, it just has to. I was just wondering if you could give me some advice about how you first saved up the money when you set off on your great adventure, and any other tips to help me in my planning for when I graduate.

    Thank you,
    Mary

  • http://www.facebook.com/wilhelm.blomberg Wilhelm Blomberg

    Hey Benny! This text has been the most inspirational text I’ve read in months! I’m studying contemporary dance, but really thinking about what I should do after graduating. I’m playing with the idea to start to travel as well since I think that is the closest one can come to what is to be learned in life. Warm regards from Zaandam!

  • Michael Murray

    im from Ireland an am gonnatravel the world iv got no worrys about money ill b 21 next yr an ill b finished college den ill b off i liked ur post an i understand it no point in staying in the one place wen the whole world is there for us to explore its one big adventure the world is urs and everything in it

  • Tessy

    I found Dr. Abu on the web when my finances were in real trouble. My husband had gambled away most of our savings, I had no job, and we were facing foreclosure. I needed a money spell from Dr. Abu, and quick. I can’t believe how understanding he was. After ordering the spell, I felt much more confident that things would turn out. Believe it or not, it did. I won $150,000.00 the following week, found a high paying job and my husband went into treatment for gambling addiction. We’re doing much better now and we get to keep the house. Thank you, Dr. Abu, for being there when my heart needed it the most. If you need help in any area of your life just contact this good man and he will help you at once. Contact him via: Ominighospelltemple@gmail.com and also reach him on Skype via: Dr.abu11

  • http://twitter.com/jonnyblair Jonny Blair

    Great site here Benny – I’m also an Irish traveller but I’m afraid I don’t quite have the desire to learn other languages as much as you!! Learning Spanish in South America was my only real experience of it. You have developed a real niche here, great stuff and I agree with most of your lessons learned from travel. Jonny

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=712146043 Christopher Allen

    Beautiful advice–if one can call advice beautiful. The world would be such a better place if we all lived with these thoughts in mind.

  • bijou2play

    My first love as a young girl was to travel, but that was postpone after becoming a single parent. Fast forward, I am 51, divorced recently, went through Sandy storm, ended up in a state I didn’t plan on living at now, but here I am, not to mention just suffered injury due to unforeseen accident, so I guess the sh_ _ has really hit the fan for me. The uncertainty my life has taken leaves me depressed, curious, in and out of different scenarios for my-self in mind every night before I sleep and also happy sometimes with my new found free time. I am a little bit limited physically but can still get around long as I’m careful, and limited financially. However I am at a cross road I feel will impact the rest of my days, I came across this site, and kept reading… I did finally get my passport during my divorce, in the back of my mind I guess I tucked away the possibilities of traveling at last. My confusion is, at my age, should I take what money I have, get a job, continue to save and live a “responsible” life? Or do I travel alone, undoubtedly will have to spend money while not have an income but to satisfy my thirst and curiosity I have had to travel, because I too agree on most if not all Benny has shared. I was born overseas, but as a little kid came to the states because of my parent’s decision to do so, though I consider the US my country, I do understand the points that are made here and feel traveling will enhance and possibly take me in another direction that would be more fulfilling than living the role of ” playing it safe, responsibly, pay bills, job, etc ” If I travel I know this will leave an impression of being flighty and irresponsible to some people, I’m more afraid of using my resources up on traveling then not having enough to settle down once I find a place to live, I would like to live abroad somewhere… I have no one to talk to because they will judge and not support. It’s a big world out there, and for once, I don’t know where would be best to start alone. Thanks for reading all this, it’s nice to get it out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ciaojanice Janice Robinson

      I say good for you that you still have the courage you need to set a goal for the future. Lots of bumps in the road…I am also a single mom, had a husband dependent on alcohol, and finally separated, divorced…long ago. My 2 great kids are grown and have their own great kids…and last week i retired after 30 yrs in one job. It has been a long road for me too, insecurities aside I retired with anxiety but I do have a house which will eventually sell so i can pay the mortgage off and which paid for the restoration of my house here in Italy. Lots of friends worried for me, me too, but i had the blessings of my financial planner so my fear was not so strong. I think you need to clarify what you want to DO, not jsut travel-what do you want to FIND (yourself? a place?)…if you were in your 30s or even 40s you could jsut drop everything and GO SOMEWHERE. You will FIND things you dont expect…it’s not a simple thing. I have to say i lust for things now like my kids/grandchildren coming to visit, sharing my life here with friends, painting without noticing what time or day it is…your desires will fit you. You have the desire, but you may feel more secure having some sort of work to pull you through any tight spots. the last thing you need as a female traveling alone (believe me i nearly always do) is NO FUNDS. try to find something you can do without planting yourself in one place unless its a place you really want. Flexibility is a gift. Millions of places out there waiting…. : )

  • bijou2play

    bijou2play • 38 minutes ago

    My first love as a young girl was to travel, but that was postpone after becoming a single parent. Fast forward, I am 51, divorced recently, went through Sandy storm, ended up in a state I didn’t plan on living at now, but here I am, not to mention just suffered injury due to unforeseen accident, so I guess the sh_ _ has really hit the fan for me. The uncertainty my life has taken leaves me depressed, curious, in and out of different scenarios for my-self in mind every night before I sleep and also happy sometimes with my new found free time. I am a little bit limited physically but can still get around long as I’m careful, and limited financially. However I am at a cross road I feel will impact the rest of my days, I came across this site, and kept reading… I did finally get my passport during my divorce, in the back of my mind I guess I tucked away the possibilities of traveling at last. My confusion is, at my age, should I take what money I have, get a job, continue to save and live a “responsible” life? Or do I travel alone, undoubtedly will have to spend money while not have an income but to satisfy my thirst and curiosity I have had to travel, because I too agree on most if not all Benny has shared. I was born overseas, but as a little kid came to the states because of my parent’s decision to do so, though I consider the US my country, I do understand the points that are made here and feel traveling will enhance and possibly take me in another direction that would be more fulfilling than living the role of ” playing it safe, responsibly, pay bills, job, etc ” If I travel I know this will leave an impression of being flighty and irresponsible to some people, I’m more afraid of using my resources up on traveling then not having enough to settle down once I find a place to live, I would like to live abroad somewhere… I have no one to talk to because they will judge and not support. It’s a big world out there, and for once, I don’t know where would be best to start alone. Thanks for reading all this, it’s nice to get it out.

  • Ted

    Reading or hearing the thoughts of a kindred spirit is exceptionally validating (as you well know). I’m proud of and inspired by what you’ve learned and shared. Thank you.

  • Steve Anthony

    ..I stumbled on this

  • seth

    So where do you sleep? You mentioned you slept outdoors only once and hated it? I spent 6 years on the road, spent a lot of time on the street or in fields, on beaches etc when i first got to new countries and was out of work. Thinking of going off again in the next few days, no direction, 20 euros and just see what happens, however this time i have no tent. I know there’s couchsurfers but i dont really want to use internet for a while, any advice?*

  • http://twitter.com/chikoyshi Chikoy Shi

    Thumbs up Benny! This was a very good stumble in Stumbleupon. You’re inspiring others so keep it up. :)

  • Jamie

    This blog is just so awesome. Really nice 29 life lesson list. I just started crying as i read it, it is so true. You don’t need fancy items to be happy in life.

    I,m 21 now and starting up my travelling “career” :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/popandgo.knickers.5 PopandGo Knickers

    Happy travelversary!

  • http://www.facebook.com/katya.fedyunina Katya Fedyunina

    Hi! What you wrote is amazing! I always joked that couchsurfing philosophy was like a religion to me, this post might be something like a bible. It expresses everything I thought, even if didn’t realize it before and it is so inspiring for travelling, language learning, living and experiencing life, cultures, discovering new places and characters. Thank you!

  • Abe

    Inspiring article! can’t agree more with you on every single point you mentioned. Spot on, I would love to do the same thing as you, travel the world…I am working on it, at least my goal is to travel 3 or 4 times a year; to a new place I have not been to everytime…I also love learning new langauges. Amazing article :) I admire the way you see life and live it to the fullest

  • Vincent

    This is a wonderful blog post. One of the best I have ever read. Truly remarkable.

  • http://www.innataliesshoes.wordpress.com/ Natalie @ In Natalie’s Shoes

    First of all, happy belated birthday!

    Secondly, thank you for an inspiring post! I love to travel, but often get sucked up in flash sales (severely reducing my spending money and adding to all the crap I own), busy work, and often stand in my own way when it comes to doing what I want to do! This is a great reminder to keep oneself in check and make things happen.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ciaojanice Janice Robinson

      Natalie, oh that i could go back 40 yrs and not have bought all the stuff i didnt need! Have so many places more pleasurable to put that money now! I have my hosue in the US on the market, bought a rustico in Italy and now i am planted, but planted close enough to destinations i always wanted to see…so at least you are aware of this now!

  • Rhami

    Hi Benny,

    How do you find people to hangout with once you’re in a foreign country?

  • Jodi

    Dr. Abu is totally top notch. I would never trust anyone else with my problems. He is completely reliable and compassionate and his money spells are truly some kind of powerful magic. Dr. Abu has definitely gotten me through some really tough times and the Successful Money Spell resolved all difficulties. I will never have to worry about money ever again. Thank you again. Get to know him via his email address: Ominighospelltemple@gmail.com

  • Mia

    For quite some time, I’ve been researching on places to visit when I’m older. What are your top 10 must visit landmarks? :) This is great by the way!

  • Ashlee Moniqe Lopez

    I definitely agree. Sleeping on the streets can be hard. I had to a couple times when I was traveling. Your appreciation for a bed definitely increases. Same with food as well.

  • Chas

    Thank you. :)

  • David Blu

    True wisdom.

  • DrZedVonAwesum

    Hey benny, reading your blog and this post have allowed me to realize that there is not just one way to live life, of course this is something i knew but its more reaffirmed for sure. Im 27 now and after finishing school i decided to pay off all my debt, now that’s done, i am once again searching for that next goal and right there i realize this fallacy you speak of. I agree with everything you have said so far but not sure how it all works if i want to have kids and a family, cant do the 9-5 life but would want the best for them when i do have them… just my 2 cents.

    • Rosie

      Not that I speak from experience, but I think it works because you’d meet someone along the way who wants the same things from life. You’d then raise your children with these values. Benny said that we all want the same things on a basic level. It’d just be your job to provide it to your family. It may not be the easiest way to go about it, but there’s not just one way to live life, is there?

  • pooranspress

    Amazing.. I am jealous now :) How did you pay for your trip.. enlighten me.. I want to start :)

  • Poongodi A Sakthivel

    I loved all the lessons and surprising that I agree to them all!!! Though I haven’t traveled as much but yes I do have such a lesson defined for myself too! It’s very enriching to read my own mind written by someone else! :) Very well put forth!

  • Nitin Kashyap

    Superb stuff! If you happen to be in the southern part of India any time, would love to meet up!!

  • Santosh Nagendra

    Amazing Benny . Your are living a life which is a dream for many. You come across as a very interesting and intriguing person . Your are truly a master of your destiny, Would love to follow your blogs and keep in touch.

  • Andrew

    Thanks so much! Your writing was courageous, wise, and challenging to the reader. Good job, buddy!

  • Tomos Burton

    I can see that the world would be boring if we all agreed. I’ve met someone else[he was a surfer so I guess he had a similar outlook] who said the same thing about TV. Personally I think TV has it’s good and bad programmes,just like there’s good and bad in anything. There are actually quite a few sites with live streaming TV channels from around the world. So in worldwide terms there’s always something on.

  • Chris

    hey man, I have just returned from studying abroad in Granada, Spain, and I cannot agree with this more! Very good job!

  • olivia

    This has completely inspired me to get my shit together. All I do is plan for tomorrow. Thank you.

  • Caty_cat16

    I think what you’re doing is really cool! Your look out on life is amazing & I feel very inspired after looking at this. :)

  • George Hess

    Wise beyond your years.

  • YuddandiSivaSubramanyam

    excellent

  • Ravinder Singh

    Love each and every points you have written plus two videos. 2nd video i had been searching long to see and hear, something like that. I am sure my life has passed by and I never ever sang and danced. But i wish to do now I don’t know how but still I want to.

  • stacybel

    what a load of crap!!

  • Rosie

    I’m leaving in September for an I-don’t-know-how-long backpacking trip across the globe. There’s no telling when I’ll be home or where I’ll wind up and that’s one of the most exciting prospects I’ve ever considered.

    I came across this post while looking for tips on traveling alone as I’m a 23 year old American girl and I don’t have a f**king clue what I’m doing. Thanks for reminding me that I’ll figure it out. I’ll survive; that’s just human nature.

  • http://thehikehouse.com/ TheHikeHouse

    I agree! When you travel the world, you expose yourself to all aspects
    of living. You experience different cultures different from yours. It
    actually doesn’t teach you. It makes you realize, and that way,
    education is best attained. No one actually learned by having someone
    teach them, after all. It’s always the experience that teaches us the
    greatest lessons. Traveling around the world does that.

  • Yumna Fatima

    You Are Awesome.. Just It

  • Dani Darudana

    I totally enjoy ready this and I am passing it through my son, I am sure he’ll love this and will hove lots to relate. Thank you thank you so much, I am sixty (female) enjoying my life and still have lots to do and to achieve.

  • Ashley Sabens

    I agree with everything posted. I am a 23 year old Mother of one and recently a foster parent to my two little nephews. My life is very defined. I live in a home that my boyfriend (parent to my daughter) and I own, I stay home with three kids every day of my life other than certain daycare days (which are 3 days of 7 every week) My boyfriend works full time. I love everything about my life at home but I hate it more than anything at the same time. I care about people, I love people, when you give people a chance without judgment, bias or stereotype it gives you knowledge that the world isn’t as terrible as it seems. I feel like because we try to give our family everything that it “needs” we in the end are unhappy because there is never a reward for it. It is meaningless to put our happiness into never really achieving happy. I mean seriously look around Kindles in Elementary school libraries? Really! I learned everything I know by being adventurous. I am not a materialistic person. But at the same time because I have rooted my life I feel the need to be an acceptable part of society……this makes me feel like I am being untrue to myself and I am in reality being selfish by not acting on my urge to give it all up, take three kids sell everything and work it all out. I can survive it. To be able to explore the world, with people that you love and that will love you back no matter what you do. Of course it’s not going to be easy. But it’s possible to do. I wish I could do this. My fear is of letting go of everything I spent my life creating for myself because it was what society taught me to do. Now that I am older I can look back at what I’ve seen and experienced and it makes me think about what I really want my life to be like and more importantly how I want my child (children) to grow up. If I stay here, I am only making them see what they are limited to seeing and hearing. I feel like they should be able to decide who they are going to be. They should have a right to become the person that they are supposed to be by making their own judgements. I want my daughter to be able to decide on her own, without the media or anything else she is exposed to at the expense of technology. Not only that what are we supposed to do when our technology fails? No one will be able to survive! I want to be more self reliant. I want to be able to survive with kids, possibly on my own travelling the world……I just need to let go of my things!

    • ciaojanice

      At your age you have plenty of time for living your dream life…i started a lot later on my quest…but i am so happy with my life now…after the kids grew up and had their own lives…all you need is some courage and from your post i say you’ve got it! Best of luck.

  • Jenny Stark

    Great post! Very insightful. We have spent a lot of our lives travelling, including the last 2 years. We have come to many of the same conclusions.

  • Nasri Wahid

    I’m from Singapore and I love to travel and have been to a few countries when
    i was still schooling. This was exactly what i did, part time jobs, cut
    expenses, save up, travel. But what happen after that? I’m back to Square One
    again. What a cycle.

    I broke that Vicious Cycle and now Time and Money is not going to be an
    issue for me. Time and Money are the main reasons that most people don’t Travel
    and what they do is Complain. If you keep Complaining and not looking for a
    Solution, you will end up hearing yourself Complaining for the Rest Of Your
    Life. I found my Solution!

    I found a Platform that allows me to have both (Time and Money), allowing me
    to create

    Fun, Freedom and Fulfillment in my life, Making a Living, Living. I was

    Open to the Idea and Step Out of my Comfort Zone that now my friends and I

    are heading to Zakynthos,Greece this October! So excited!

    We are expanding this concept throughout the entire Asia that originated
    from US and we are looking for Leaders, Pioneers and Visionaries. If you are
    serious about having More Fun, and Travelling a lot more, I would love to have
    you on board! Drop me an email @ md.nasri.wahid@gmail.com or add me up on
    facebook. I can share with you more as we go! Cheers! :)))))))

  • Barry

    I am gay and my lover of 5 years just left me one day. I was devastated. I found out that he was stolen from me, by my so called best friend. He told my lover so many lies about me… I could not eat nor function for months, until one of my coworkers gave me this email: Ancientfathersandmothers@gmail.com. So I contacted Dr. Lee ordering a love spell for my case, told him my story. He cast the spell for me 2days later, jack and his partner broke up. He came to my job, apologized to me and begged me to give him another chance!I was stunned! THIS SPELL DID REALLY WORK. I do not know how to thank you! Dr. Lee of Ancientfathersandmothers@gmail.com

  • Andi

    #11 – Fabulous! I completely, totally and utterly agree.

  • Screek

    I have a ½ year backpacking trip planned (planned as in 1-way flight ticket)
    I just finished reading this amazing post of yours, first thing i’m gonna do when i get home is to quit my apartment and everything for when i am going to travel for as long as i want after the 2’nd sep, thank you so much for this post!!!

  • Julianne

    I totally agree with everything you’ve said. In relation to “Possessions Own You” I took out a mortgage on a house at 36 in a small town hours away from family members. At the time I had secured a decent job and felt this was the best thing to do. I also panicked at the time about rising house costs and the fear of no security as I got older. I also wanted to be like everyone else and do what I thought people would approve of. Prior to this I had never lived anywhere longer than two years and had spent most of my time after college working abroad. I took this freedom totally for granted. Fast forward ten years and my house has dropped in value by 65% so I cannot sell it due to massive negative equity. I work primarily to pay this mortgage. Since I bought it I have become more and more depressed over the years and with depression comes low self esteem, fear, helplessness, lack of confidence which are paralyzing.

  • Tazeen Syeda

    Hey Benny…
    Wonderful blog… After spending 32 years of my life thinking and hoping that i will find my happiness after i m done with my duties, I realized what a huge mistake my thinking had been. For past one year I have learned to live in the moment and appreciate life as it is. Today reading your blog was another reminder to me of my life lessons.

    Thank you

  • Molly

    love this post. I agree with most your points as well minus the one about nothing holds you back but yourself. If you’re a female in Iran or Iraq, there is an awful LOT of holding back going on. Happiness is not easy to achieve in those circumstances. In speaking to females from oppressive middle eastern countries who somehow managed to get out and away, they all say the same thing about the pervasive hopelessness for most girls and women. While some manage to gain freedom, most don’t and it has to do with their oppressive surroundings and lack of knowledge. However, for a westernized individual fortunate enough to be born free or somewhat free, you’re spot on. There is no excuse for not doing or at least working toward doing what you want to do. I’m much happier today than I was 10 years ago because I realize, happiness is also a choice we sometimes must make daily, despite circumstances. Circumstances always change, by default or design, things never stay the same.

  • Nicholas Hewlett

    Hi , Ben.
    Wherever you are?
    Just read all 29 pages and watched the videos. Really strange, about an hour earlier i tried to watch sunscreen on torch music, they had never heard of baz luhrman”s music or sunscreen , so i informed them.
    Anyway, i can”t quite remember even though it was an hour ago how i found your page /travels and sunscreen and all, just seems weird.
    I am 52 and still have the thoughts and feelings you have described not literally but close and i am sitting pressing keys on a laptop, What to do? Iwill leave it like that , i have posted your 29 reasons because it is very good and i would like others to see it. I also joined “TED” two days ago, wierd, good word.
    Take it easy out there!
    Nick Hewlett.

  • BakoymaTravels

    “At the end of the day, time with good friends is free, but can make you feel like the richest person alive.”

    Too true.

    Do you find it easy to replenish your purse on the go? This is my main worry for long term travel…

    Just stumbled across your site now and it’s saved to favourites. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  • Adm Gen Amy Aladeen-Thompson

    Great info and advice. I’m about to embark on a similar path. Your thoughtful insight is much appreciated.

  • http://www.bartleyridgecondo-sg.com/ Bartley Ridge

    This awesome blog is no doubt educating and besides factual. I have picked up a lot of handy stuff out of it. I’d love to visit it again and again. Thanks a bunch!

  • Alicia Peralta

    I loved this. I really enjoyed this truly inspiring video. Cheers to you!

  • Maxim

    Very cool stuff, I wonder where so much wisdom come from? I guess it is inside of everybody waiting to express itself. You need only to cough up the courage to do so.

  • Raj Kaur Gill

    When was this life-lessons post made? I’d like to reference you in a presentation, if possible. Thank you.

  • Daniel Vladu

    I read about you in $100 Startup a few moths back, but never came across your site. But recently I have been studying new languages and I came across your site by accident when I was searching language learning software. I am really glad I did.

    After graduating college I found myself feeling empty. I was done with years of schooling and I didn’t know what to do next. What actually resonated with me was the idea of leaving home. So I found a job in Arizona and just left NYC. It was the best decision I have ever made. Since then I have moved around a bunch in the USA not wanting to stay anywhere too long. I loved meeting new people and seeing new places. It made me feel alive. But since just finishing a job in Seattle I have come to a bit of a wall.

    My desire is to leave the country and just make my way along just as you have, but fear has been holding me back. I think about money, where I would stay, what my family would think (they already think I am a bum with no direction in life) and it’s been paralyzing me. I get caught up in all these details that in the end nothing is decided. It brings me down.

    But reading your posts and seeing how you did it all has really inspired me. You’re living the life that I want to live. I have no excuses. If I want to do it I will find a way just like you did. So I am getting rid of all the crap I don’t need, seeing my family for the holidays and then I am out of this country and hopefully won’t return for a long while. Thank you for sharing your story. You are an amazing person. Wish me luck! Cheers!

  • Karlin Davis

    You’ve made my heart sing with this article! In 40 days I’m about to embark on my first solo trip outside of the United States. I couldn’t be more excited (even if it IS an English-speaking country). I hope that my next 8 years can be as rewarding and exploratory as your 8 years after graduation! Thank you for your great insights. I can’t wait to read more articles on your blog!

  • Joe

    Point 29 says it all.

  • Winnie

    I agree with you 100% on all of your points! it’s great to have stumbled upon your blog. Great advise. Very inspiring. Keep doing what you’re doing =)

  • Fanua

    Most of this is what i feel but couldn´t put in words. I have not been to many places in the world but moved from Germany to Fiji when I was 13 (Have u been there?). That changed my view on many things just like you mentioned above. I often feel like a hermit crab carrying my home around rather than living in one. To adapt to Fiji was really difficult at first especially in that age. So i spent a lot of time alone at first and actually learned to be myself. I now have lots of friends scattered around the world and moving back to Germany made me realize how many people are so absorbed by their surroundings and do not have the strenght to set themselves free and face themselves. Even though people in Fiji now call me local and i can speak their languages etc I do not feel Fijian, nor do I feel German. I feel like everyone should feel; like a citizen of the world. Immersing in another culture completely also grows the respect you have for people and the awareness with which you live your life.

    • Vanja Orlić

      love this! and I also believe that we truly are citizens of the world :)

  • Fanua

    I agree with you. My family moved from Germany to Fiji when I was 13. And yes Fiji is a paradise and I loveeeee it now but puberty is tough enough and needing to adapt to a new country with a new language and a new culture was oh so tough! I would never want to put my children through this. It did open my mind enormously but i literally have scars now… :)

  • Holly

    this is pretty depressing, its nice to believe in things like a destiny or a better future but the rest i love! “People are not alone in being alone” Wise words! LOVE THE BLOG

  • Konner Thideman

    Absolutely amazing and inspiring post. Thanks for the tips Benny. I was living for all the wrong reasons until i read this

  • robin eifert

    AMAZING. This made me smile (:

  • Dylan

    1000!

  • Cal

    i’m very happy to read that number one in your list because it’s also my number one when i’m asked about my own travelling. i first heard it from a local who approached me while i was walking by myself along the Zurich lake. since then, it’s become my ‘standard’ reply. i enjoyed reading this article, am still trying to understand number 27, and also have personal feelings with numbers 28 and 29.

  • Ioana Bodea

    I aprreciated very much your advices and i hope someday i will able to folow some of them.I am from Romania and i think you have a wonderful life.iI wish you all the best!

  • Karan Kumar

    This is soo beautiful ! Mr. Lewis,i can soo feel the words of yours in this post ! RESPECT!

  • depressed

    wait till everyone around you dies then tell me how you feel about life

  • Steph

    I was having a bad day today, I get depressed sometimes. I have read this and it has motivated me :) Just need to kick myself up the bottom! Thank you.

  • Peters Walter

    I never believed in Spells or Magics until I meant this special spell caster called DR OKORO.The woman i wanted to marry left me 2 months to our weeding ceremony and my life was upside down.she was with me for 9 years and i really love her so much..she left me for another man with no reasons..when i called her she never picked up my calls and she don’t want to see me around her…so,when i told the man what happened.he helped me to do some readings,and after the readings he made me to realize that the other man has done some spells over my wife and that is the reason why she left me..he told me he will help me to cast a spell to bring her back.At first i was skeptical but i just gave it a try…In 3 days,she called me herself and came to me apologizing..I cant believe, she can ever come back to me again but now i am happy she’s back and we are married now and we live as a happy family..Am posting this to this forum if anyone needs the Dr Okoro help.Can contact him through this email: (Drokorotemple@gmail.com)

  • Prasad Wadkar

    your thoughts are very good those really encourage me and your view to look the world is also good keep it up sir and thaks so much

  • Dayana

    I love your post! I am 22 years old and something deep deep in my heart tells me this is what I want for my life. Making the first step is so difficult. How do I set myself free? Where did you start?

  • Stock Kevin

    This post makes me want to find a job that lets me allow to travel.

  • SBOT

    What do you do about health travel insurance ?
    and rules and regs regarding getting visas FROM your own country?
    is it worth planning a route and time scale or just going with the flow ?

  • Kelly Rogers

    True. Being honest is always good. And saying that we don’t know the answer to questions or topics is refreshing to hear. It will give a chance to the participants in the conversation to also speak up. Just my two cents… :)

  • Angel Watson

    An inspiring and a real post..loved every word of it..

  • Mitsu Fortunat

    Waouh j’ai adoré ce que tu as écris ! J’ai appris beaucoup de chose. ça m’aide beaucoup car je compte faire un voyage autour du monde… Merci beaucoup pour cette article !

  • WANDERER

    Dude, it was pleasure reading your blog. Thanks for sharing the knowledge and blessings on your success.

  • mike

    WOW!! just amazing thoughts… Thanks for sharing… Really if we opens up our mind to see towards the worlds through different lenses… World will look fantastic…

  • http://limereviews.blogspot.com/ Mette

    Hey there, you may just have changed my life. In a way. A little bit at least. I’ve been slightly obsessed with films and film art for a few years now and along with that, my life has become much more social and happy. I feel like I’m at the happiest point of my life so far. I’m almost done with high school and will start a year as an au pair in Alaska in summer. But I want some things to change, or maybe it is because of this new start. I think I want to sell all of my DVDs and books except for ones with special memories and also sell the clothes I don’t really need. It’s like there’s too much stuff in my life. Stuff I really don’t need and that is just not important to me and will keep my from changing things. That’s not to say I won’t go to university or anything but I don’t just want it to be a mindless thing that I do because everyone else does. I also have a personal blog about movies which I just decided for sure that I’ll close when I leave for Alaska. I will never stop loving movies but I think they have been a substitute for other pleasures sometimes.
    Anyway, I don’t want to bore you with this, just know that your article induced a spark or was the last straw or whatever. Keep the work up!

  • Hazel V. Ligutom

    A very very exellent read

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  • Matilda Akinsuyi

    amazingggg

  • Ellie

    This has inspired me so much and I am only 17, wishing to do and feel how you do:)

    • http://fluentin3months.com/ Brandon Rivington

      That’s great! Thanks for reading!

      –Brandon, the Fi3M Language Encourager

  • Dan

    My wife and I sold everything and left the US about 5 years ago. We lived in Abu Dhabi for 4 years and the last year in Doha. We have plans to make our way to Turkey in two years and slowly work our way west to England (15 year plan). We love ancient ruins and have travelled to over 60 countries now viewing hundreds of ancient sites. The best way to do so, is when time is not a problem. We have picked up Arabic, Malayallam, some Turkish, Greek, and Italian. I lived in Spain when I was a kid and Spanish comes in handy every once in a while. A major goal is to stop in Sicily and live there awhile, it is my family old country and I can’t wait to see Sciacca, our town in Sicily. We are going there for a two week trip in October, Germany in a couple of weeks, and Turkey in between. We love to use the public transportation, trains, buses, ferries, air, whatever. The ground transportation ends up being a great way to meet the locals. The local experience makes all the difference, how many people have been welcomed into an Emirati majlis, Omani bedouin tent camp, camel beauty contest, midnight sand dune bashing, snokeling with reef sharks, breaking open ugly fruit and dancing with local Omani women (my wife), or for that matter the mans wedding celebration, eating camel, I could go on and on. But let me just say, by not owning anything in the US, we have the freedom and means to make a life overseas. I think owning a home in the US would preclude us from this possibility.

    • http://fluentin3months.com/ Brandon Rivington

      That’s some great insight! It’s also really motivating for everyone (like me) who would like to travel indefinitely abroad. I feel like many Americans feel like we are unable to travel due to some weird reason. Great work!

      –Brandon, the Fi3M Language Encourager

  • http://www.kerrilowe.com Kerri

    I really enjoyed this post and the insight from all the comments below. Interesting discussions around kids and traveling! My mom moved a lot as a kid (just around the US) and kept us in one spot so we wouldn’t have to go through that. On the other hand, I am less well-traveled than most people I know and in some ways am getting over a fear of traveling. I’m glad I didn’t have to change schools a million times, but I wish my family would have been able to travel internationally once I was a little older so I could see the possibilities.

    If anyone wants to share some of their own lessons learned in life, StoryShelter is collecting responses to that question here: http://www.purposefairy.com/3339/15-powerful-lessons-ive-learned-from-life/

  • 이라인

    Hi I’m Rain,

    I had just turned 20 and I wanted to start travelling. How do I start & where can I start? What do I do coz I’ve got no idea about this at all. I just got the feel and permission from my family. I wanted to travel the world bcoz I had just learnt that there are 2 things we can’t stop in this world; love and a free spirit. Please guide me ~~~

  • Walter Gillies

    Great post! point 3,”you will never win lottery, be practical”…well…some people win.

    At least, my experience, making more money than winning a small lottery while traveling to 3 or 4 countries, each month, for the last 10 years, shows this is possible. Not that I would recommend it to anyone; all the time zone changes are tiring and make ones hair grey.

  • T.blayney

    I never really considered the idea of traveling until I read this list. You really put a lot of things into perspective for me. I’ve realized now that life is too short and you’ve got to take advantage of this world while we still can. Your travels have given me so much motivation to start travelling next year it’s unbelievable. I am going into my 2nd year of university but they only teach us a fraction of what it really means to live our lives. I’m hoping travelling will really put me out of my comfort zone as I am one of those people who really abuse a lazy lifestyle and waste away doing nothing more often than not. I see this post is 3 years old, but it still helps me out a great deal. It’s nice to know that some people have the right view of what it truly means to live!

  • akcworld

    Nice post for the humankind for LIVE long & stay HEALTHY as a knowledge of traveler.