Funnily enough though, I didn’t always feel like this. For a few years after returning home from my travels, I questioned whether I had made the right decision. I saw friends around me who had gone to and graduated from university. Others were concentrating on furthering their careers. All while I was off travelling around Europe, not studying and definitely not thinking about my professional or financial future.
But as my 20s gave way to my 30s, my perspective on my five years of travel changed. I realise that what I may have missed out on in terms of tangible results (a degree, a solid job), I more than made up for in so many other areas in what I guess could broadly be called, humanistic or life lessons. Just because they’re unable to be “seen”, doesn’t however make them any less real, or their effects on me any less important.
And that I think is ultimately the most amazing aspect of travelling. It’s not just about meeting new people. seeing new places or having fun experiences. It’s the cumulative effect of all these things shaping, defining and in many ways, redefining the very essence of who you are.
I can now look back, almost two decades later, on my travels as one of the best things I ever did. Someone who is currently exploring the world for the first time is Vincent. At the age of 20, Vincent is embarking on what I hope for him, will be one of the most amazing experiences of his life. Here’s a clip of Vincent that’s going viral at the moment, explaining in his own words, what he’s doing –
I recently had the opportunity to check in with Vincent, find out where he’s up to in his travels and see what he has planned for the future. Here’s our chat:
Little Gay Blog – What made you decide to start travelling in the first place?
Vincent – As a youth, I was a very adventurous little boy. I was infatuated with exploration and the most memorable experiences in my twenty years of living were made miles away from home.
I fulfilled this desire with day trips to unknown places, but I yearned for longer, farther and more extraordinary endeavours. Some light research on the internet led to the discovery of others who spent their whole life traveling!
I formed a game plan, packed the essentials, dropped everything and left Connecticut to conform to the nomadic lifestyle; I have never been happier.
How long have been travelling for and where have you visited so far?
Five months. In this short amount of time I’ve seen 18 states and even spent some time in Toronto, Canada.
I ended up in the South Florida for two months, spent two weeks in the Chicago area, slept in my car on a parking garage in Savannah Georgia, hiked all over North Carolina, saw the fourth of July in Nashville Tennessee, and so much more! This is only just the beginning!
How long do you plan on travelling for and where would you like to visit?
I left home with no plan, no restriction and no limits. I plan to travel as long as life allows me to, unless an opportunity is too good to pass up in a specific location. I intend to visit as many states, countries, continents, islands and see as many breathtaking views as I can!
A must-see on my list is a tour of the pyramids in Egypt.
Are you completely ‘out’ in your travels? Have you ever had an experience where you’ve been made to feel uncomfortable about being gay, or have had to hide the fact that you are gay?
I am completely out everywhere I go. Thus far, there has only been some locations down in the southern states of the U.S. where I did not feel comfortable showing affection to my boyfriend. Also, he is in the music industry and there is homophobic tendencies within this field of work, we had to be “on the low” around a few clients.
How did you meet your boyfriend Sellah?
Ahh, good ole’ Florida. Sellah and I happened to be four miles away in that enormous state. We met up, he told me what he was doing, I told him what I was doing, and it was the birth of this beautiful free-spirited relationship we have today.
Since you met your boyfriend, you’ve become involved in his ‘I Am Sellah project’. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Of course! It’s an ongoing nine year project that involves modelling, photography, entertainment with the current focus on music.
The entertainment industry can be a very dark place if approached the wrong way. Sellah’s motive is to bring positive light to it. I can best describe him as a big brother, a mentor, and a lover; not just to me, to everyone!
Sellah is now trying to channel these same emotions through his voice and his new five-song EP is almost complete! He has made significant progress; I believe in his potential, his intent and his success. You can listen to his older music here and look out for the new single “Right Now”. Its great!
What’s one totally random, unexpected life lesson that you’ve picked up in your travels so far?
You learn so much when you travel, but most importantly, I would have never found true happiness in my life if I wasn’t completely honest with everyone.
Thanks to Sellah’s advice, I recently cleared up lies with the ones I love back home and I feel even more free than when I first left! I even made a video about it! (You can check it out here).
A nomadic lifestyle means you can’t acquire as many possessions as when you’re living at home. What are 3 items that you will always find room for in your luggage?
Deodorant, my GoPro and my laptop.
Travelling can be expensive. Have you picked up any tips on keeping travel costs affordable?
The best tips are: No more Cheesecake Factory, you may not have warm bed to sleep in every night and accept you’ve traded certain amenities for experiences.
Never buy water, go to a fast food joint and get a free cup (maybe $2 lunch while you’re there too). Pack non-perishable canned goods (tuna, canned chicken, etc) and a loaf of bread. The grocery store will be your best friend and sandwiches on the road will never taste so good.
And lastly, what advice would you give to anyone who would love to travel, but finds the idea too scary or daunting?
Get out there and just do it!
Listen, when I was two states away from Connecticut driving through New Jersey the reality of leaving finally settled in. Although for a moment I was terrified, it was also the most exhilarating feeling in the world.
You will learn so much, see so much, get a taste of the diversity among our society and an unconventional view of this thing we call life. I am not the only one out here doing this, I can name a handful of people living nomadic – you can too!
Don’t be someone who lives with regrets, be someone with an amazing story to tell.