Thoughts Travel Talk Vlog

5 Years of Total Freedom & World Travel


Today is a very special day for me, it’s September 4th… On this day in 2009, I left my office for the very last time. It was a Friday when I left and I remember walking out of my office for the last time with a million things rushing through my mind. Did I manage to leave everything in good order? Was this really happening? Am I now without a job? Did I really just leave everything I ever worked for in hopes of trading it for a little more? I remember almost ripping the steering wheel of my Mercedes on the way home when it finally it hit me at the first stoplight; I was in a most marvelously manic mood.

Fast forward five years and here I am in Gargano, Italy with a bunch of new and old friends drinking Prosecco and feeling quite positive about the present and the future. That said, this is a huge risk so people always ask me how they can do it and I tell them what I did. I also give caution because if my life was a stock, I’m only five years out; I might live until 135, yes? Having no real safety net keeps you on your toes and keeps you sharp, it’s not for everyone but security is not the meaning of my life, great opportunities will always be worth the risk.

I can’t believe how far this whole SHABL blog and my life have gone though. I was a gent in a sleepy capital city where security was considered the holy grail and I trade it all for a tightrope on a cloudy day into the unknown. The cool part is once you cross that tightrope you find all sorts of other interesting characters who made the plunge as well. I’ve made so many friends I can’t even dare count and had so many once in a lifetime opportunities, it’s like I’ve had the pleasure of living hundreds of lives already and I’m only 34. Have you ever asked yourself “Should I quit my job to travel?”

I can’t imagine where my life would be if I hadn’t made this move and I can’t imagine my life without travel. If you’re seriously passionate about something, you really need to go for it. They say you can’t fail if you do what you love and you can’t. Sure you might not make ends meet and it won’t work out but at least you’ll know. That said, I think lots of people just go for things at 80%; if you’re making a big move like this, a move which pivots on passion, you need to give 100% all the time or it’s back to the cubicle you go.


Speaking of cubicles… Being free and the master of your own domain (like this one) to some extent or another is like being a dog without a leash. What’s bad is that if you don’t make it stick and you go back to that cubicle cage, you’ll surely die. You’ve been a dog without a leash who has traveled the world and tasted the treats from thousands of streets, how do you go back after this? You don’t, you move forward confidently and that’s exactly what I plan on doing.

I’d like to thank ALL OF YOU who have helped make this blog what it is today. If it wasn’t for you, I’d just be some gent working on websites or something in some random location and that wouldn’t bring happiness to a man with my chemical makeup. I always talk about bases but one base is MORE THAN ENOUGH for me. I’ve found recently that travel is what inspires me and it’s not about traveling less, just differently.

Something else I find really cool is that from today on, I’ll officially have been running this blog and traveling for most of my adult life. I had my old job for roughly five years before I quit and now I’ve been free for five years. What does the future hold? I have no idea but I believe that you make your own future and I intend to continue working hard towards whatever it is that I’m becoming. What else is there to do with one’s life? Topic of work, thanks to my old boss who was the best mentor I ever could have had in my early years.

In closing though, I want to share with you something I’ve learned.  What I’ve learned is that if you look around yourself, it’s almost always you. Never blame others or circumstances for where you are today because all of our reality is basically a reflection of the thoughts and beliefs you have inside yourself. You don’t need to travel to change your life, chances are you’ll just start a similar life wherever you land. If you want to change your life, you have to change your mind.

I’d go on but dinner is in 10 minutes, the food in Italy is delicious but you already knew that…

I’m excited for the next five years, thanks again for reading!

Tips hat,

P.S: Thanks to all my friends I’ve met along the way, you guys are what make travel what it is.

P.P.S: Above is first photo of me after I took the one way to Vancouver for a friend’s wedding…

43 thoughts on “5 Years of Total Freedom & World Travel

  1. Congrats man … with you being my chief mentor, it’s been an honor to be with you on your journey since we met four years ago online, then in person back in Calgary about 1 1/2 years ago. Looking forward to what the future holds for you man … just thinking about it is inspiring!

    1. Thank you, good sir.

      It’s been a real pleasure getting to know you as well and watch your journey unfold. I hope you’re having an amazing time in Mexico and loading up on that delicious food. Safe travels!

  2. What an inspiring post. Congratulations on five years of freedom. I can totally relate to you five years ago as I just did the same thing about a month ago. I really look forward to the future and I know that even though I might go back home one day or am not happy with what I am doing, I know that I had to try it. It just feels so right and I hope that it will fulfill me in the future. Happy travels and have great new five years 🙂

  3. Rob Congrats! You left a year a year before me in 2010 I can attest to the fact, once you unleash the dog he will never go back, my earnings dropped to a pittance 2 years in, I thought about going back a few times, surviving here with very little always wins.

    1. You got it, doing what you love and being time rich beats doing something strictly for the money and being a time debtor. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Congratulations! This is really very inspiring for me. And it’s quite funny that you say you are 5 years on the road now. On the other end (parallel life) – i just “celebrated” 5 years of work at the same company. AND ABOUT TO TAKE THE LEAP To the other side (where you’ve been for 5 years) 🙂

  5. Congratulations on five years! This is a great post and very inspiring. I’m 9 months away from freedom and it’s all I think about.

    1. Well done and try and get everything in order regardless of how busy you are. Once you break free, I guarantee you you’ll be one busy character! Congrats on making the move and good luck!

  6. CONGRATULATIONS! Huge milestone!

    My own date is September 14. It will be four years. And I didn’t realize until reading your post that for me, four years plus a month and a half will be my own “I’ve done this more than half my adult life” moment. Wow.

    Thinking of dropping by Little Corn this March. Hopefully you’ll still be around then!

    1. Thanks and you’re not far behind, it’s crazy to think this is basically what you’ve done most of your life; also really cool as the industry is really maturing as well.

      I should definitely be there and looking forward to it!

  7. I thoroughly enjoy following your trips and getting your insight and honest and candid opinions of a true slice of life from around the world. Congrats and thanks for sharing! Julie

    1. I’ve run this blog and done all sorts of things that have stemmed from it. Starting this blog really did change my life.

  8. Hey Rob,

    Felicidades! I’ve so enjoyed following you around the world and look forward to all of your adventures and just plain days at “home”, wherever that may be at the moment. The discoveries, the not so good times – broken bones, malaria, rabies, exhaustion, and the engagement with your readers have made this a must-stop and read diversion to otherwise, crazy expat days.

    Your photos are captivating now and make the words come to life.

    Buen Viaje! And I look forward to the next 5 years!

    1. Thanks Fran, you’ve been around since the start and appreciate your insights from time to time. I’m glad you still enjoy reading SHABL as here is much much more in the works!

  9. So happy for you Rob… I’m in the same situation as you, but back in the 2009! I haven’t taken yet that courageous step of leaving my office, so guys like you truly inspire me 🙂

  10. Hi Rob
    You are truly a free spirit Your post has kinda inspired me to do lot of things that I love and one of them is traveling. All the best for your further journey

  11. Rob,
    Felicitations from sunny Florida… It was pretty clear when I brought you in from the airport to Sawgrass that you had found something that so few of us think about much less pursue and find!! Congrats on five years of changing your mind and finding your passion. I too am unlikely to ever return to cubeland, seeing too much pie on the beach at sunrise in my future!! Hopefully our physical paths cross again so we might share again some joie de vivre…

    1. Ward!!

      So good to hear from you and I hope you’re doing amazing. I’m writing this from London right now and with a big smile on my face. Thanks for the kind words and I too hope we can cross paths again as it’s nice to spend time with others who do what they love and love what they do.

      Keep enjoying that pie, good sir!

  12. This blog is awesome! I recently started blogging about travel & lifestyle as well.
    You’re such an ass-kicking inspiration! 🙂

    Nice greetings!

    Sarah from Germany

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