Vagabonding Case Study: Travel Freak: Jeremy Foster

Jeremy Foster-Travel Freak

Jeremy Foster

Age: 28

Hometown: Boston, Ma

Quote: “In the cathedral of the wild, the most beautiful parts of ourselves are reflected back at us.” -Boyd Varty


How long were you on the road?

I’ve been traveling nomadically for almost four years, now. I left Boston in April, 2010 with a one way ticket to Australia. I haven’t had a permanent home since.


Where did you go?

I went to to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and now I’m exploring my home country!


What was your job or source of travel funding for this journey?

Aside from running my website, I used bartending to support my travels. I started working in nightclubs, then beach front bars, and now I travel around, working in the best cocktail bars I can find. I’ve developed a career that I love while I’ve been traveling, something I wouldn’t have fallen into otherwise! For the full story: How Traveling the World Has Bettered My Career: The Story of a Professional Cocktail Bartender


Did you work or volunteer on the road?

I travel slowly, often working in a bar for 3-6 months, then traveling for 3-4, and then repeating the process! It gives me a chance to rebuild travel funds and, at the same time, get to know the local community. It’s the best way to really see a new place. 


Of all the places you visited, which was your favorite?

That is such a difficult question! China is probably my favorite place, simply because it’s so incredibly different. I couldn’t appreciate it at the time, but now that I’ve left, I find that my experience there has had the biggest impact on me, in comparison to everywhere else I’ve been.


Was there a place that was your least favorite, or most disappointing, or most challenging?

China was definitely the most challenging, but that’s why I have such a strong appreciation for the place. I was very disappointed with Thailand, to be honest, because the tourist trail is so incredibly well-trodden, it’s hard to find bits of the authentic country anymore. You have to look very, very hard.


Which travel gear proved most useful?  Least useful?

I’m kind of a purist. I don’t need all kinds of crazy travel gear. I set out with my basics, and I power through it. Why plan everything, and have gear to solve every problem? That, inherently, defeats the whole purpose of exploration! I like the unplanned variation of travel.


What are the rewards of the vagabonding lifestyle?

I could probably write an award-winning best seller on this topic (maybe I should!). I have learned to accept the world, and to let the world accept me. I have created intense connections with people all over the world, and have developed a mindset in which I am free, something which I think many people back home are missing. The American culture doesn’t allow people to live slowly and to live richly. I have lived fast, lived slow, lived richly and lived poorly. My life experience expands across the board. I have done so many things I never thought I would, and I have realized that the world is full of possibilities and opportunities.


What are the challenges and sacrifices of the vagabonding lifestyle?

It’s a lonely path. And I’m actually okay with that. Oftentimes friendships, relationships and personal connections simply don’t last, because we have a mission to move, and we all tend to move down our own road.


What lessons did you learn on the road?

I learned that there is no point in sweating the small stuff. Things happen, and they are neither good nor bad. They simply are, and it’s how you react or treat a situation that makes it good or bad. I learned how to be positive and how to stay positive, because, really, the alternative just plain sucks. I recently wrote on this topic exactly: How Four Years of Perpetual Travel Will Change You


How did your personal definition of vagabonding develop over the course of the trip?

I never considered myself a vagabond. I was simply a guy on my journey, traveling through the world. The more places I went, though, the more I realized that I was a vagabond. Not because I was traveling without a home, but because I’ve made so many of them along the way. I’ve left a piece of myself in every town that I’ve been to. That, to me, makes a vagabond.


If there was one thing you could have told yourself before the trip, what would it be?

You don’t have a clue what you’re in for.”


Any advice or tips for someone hoping to embark on a similar adventure?

Have no expectations. Go with the flow, say “yes” to everyone, and try lots of the local dishes. Don’t be afraid of street food. Culture and food are deeply intertwined. You’ll learn a lot about a place just by dining with the people.


When and where do you think youll take your next long-term journey?

South America will likely be my next journey. I want to buy a one way ticket and just see what happens. The adventure is always better that way 🙂

Read more about Jeremy on his blog, Travel Freak, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter

Website: Travel Freak Twitter: @travelfreak_

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Posted by | Comments Off on Vagabonding Case Study: Travel Freak: Jeremy Foster  | May 23, 2014
Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

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