70+ Entries and 60,000 Words: Nepal One Year On

Wow. Today is Feb. 25, 2017 (ed. note: this piece got pushed a week b/c I wanted to publish my Iceland essay, ‘Travel in the Age of Trump). Exactly one year since I was left alone and heartbroken in the Hong Kong airport. I won’t lie, it was a painful anniversary for me, personally. I’ve been writing the story of my subsequent travels in Nepal for more than six months now—much, much longer than I spent in the country, in real time.
In that time, I’ve seen the audience on thisisyouth explode— and I can’t thank you all enough for that. It’s a huge motivation for myself to keep writing when I know there are people reading it.

To be honest, if I hadn’t taken the step of publishing these entries, I would have given up on the story long ago.

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Why I Share Embarrassing Stories

Yesterday, I posted a story about shitting myself in Nepal. I’ve had this story in my back pocket for about a year now. It’s not the most flattering story, to be honest. I’ve never written about it. If you’re good friends with me, maybe you’ve heard it over a few beers.

The last time I remember telling this story, it was election day. I was in Budapest, drunk out of my mind. I told it to my climbing partner, a man I’ve known a long time and have a deep bond of trust with, and a person I’d just met that night at the hostel. “Maybe you don’t share that one on your blog,” my friend said when I finished the story, and the laughter had abated. “See, that’s the sort of stuff I love to hear!” the other guy said. “I don’t fucking care if you went to this city and drank these beers and took these pictures. That’s not real. Stories like that are what I want to hear when people tell travel stories.”

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2016 in Places

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What a long, strange year it’s been.

This was the most tumultuous year of my life, so far. It’s been a year defined by two things: people, and places. So I thought I’d write two posts looking back at my year: 2016 in Places, and 2016 in People.

Places is easy—it comes first. People will be harder, and I’ll have to think long and hard about what I want to share, and with whom. It may show up here, it may just be a private thing I share with those close to me. I’m not sure.

The downside with a growing audience is you do need to consider what you say a little more carefully. 

As I go into 2017, I’m faced with a big choice: do I choose to keep chasing places, for another little while, or is it time to settle down and devote myself to enhancing my relationships with people?

The two goals, unfortunately, are often mutually exclusive.

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