An introduction eh? Is that what you want? I suppose I can oblige. My name is Noah Gildersleeve. I used to be a musician, then a helpful techie (IT, support), and I’ve been testing software at dev shops for the past 4 years or so in Portland OR. I was all set to go career at my company. They want to move me into management, and I thought I was ready, but then an old friend of mine asked me a question that changed that.
“Do you want to come travel with me for a couple of years?”
That might sound like an insane question for some people reading this, or maybe not because you’re reading a travel blog (although I’m preparing it’s still a travel blog). It’s not that weird for my friends though. I was going to go traveling in the Philippines with another good friend of mine before I got this job two years ago. I was going to pick up something temporary, make some money and then go traveling with that money plus my tax return for the year. Apparently I’m better with computers than I am with taxes though because my tax return was about $4000 less than I thought it was going to be. Apparently you can’t get refunds on your SS or Medicare. Who knew? Everyone else knew it turned out, and now I do too. I took the job and wrote it off as a life lesson. I loved the job, and my co-workers. I got into a very comfortable rut. I am currently the head of my department, just a couple of people now, but we’re growing. I could really stay as long as I want, and I make plenty of money to do whatever I feel like within limits. This isn’t about bragging (unless it’s about my beard of which I am very proud, see photo); it’s about setting the stage for my decision. I said that I’d think about it. HA! You thought I was going to go in with gusto? That is somewhat my MO, but this friend of mine doesn’t take people changing their minds lightly and I didn’t want to commit without thinking about it. I crunched the number and said yes. Before I didn’t make enough money to travel (so I thought), but now I do. We decided to leave in a year.
Turns out I’m as impatient as my friend. Goals that far out aren’t really doable. They might be for some people, but not for me. It’s hard to make real sacrifices for a goal that out there and ethereal. He asked if I wanted to leave in September. That’s right, this September. That’s a goal I can work towards. I decided to chronicle this process, then write during my actual journey. The trip plan as it stands now is Portland OR -> Stockholm Sweden (2 weeks) -> Goa, India (six months) -> Kathmandu Nepal (2 months) -> Bangkok Thailand (5 months or whatever the visa works out to be) -> the rest of southeast Asia. it gets a little hazy after Thailand. We are going to hit Laos, Vietnam, Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, and a couple of other places then make our way back west through Europe.
A lot of the travel blogs I read sum up their process before they leave in around one article. That might be by design, and this might fail TERRIBLY, but I’m going to do it anyways.
This whole intro is a little more direct to the audience than I normally write, but there it is. It was meant to introduce me, Noah, to you, the reader.