My name is Michael or Mike, aka Earthdrifter. I managed extensive world travel on and off between work, from the mid-90s till the mid-00s.
I’ve been to many lands, but can’t recall how many; for me, counting countries can’t provide an accurate measure of how much I’ve travelled. For example, I spent four days on the western side of Turkey. Two of those days I was taken ill after experiencing my first bout with diarrhea. I was shocked by this enigma that sucked out all of my physical energy. Have I really been to Turkey? Sure, but barely.
I was once in Luxembourg for less than 24 hours. Does that count? For what it’s worth, I guess. I then drove a rental car straight through Belgium and picked up a monolingual French speaking hitchhiker. We got by with body language. Have I been to Belgium? If you want to count the highway, then yes. Did I learn anything while driving through Belgium? Not really.
On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve been to Scandinavia more times than I can count, and even lived there for a total of three years on two occasions. Did I learn anything there? Definitely.
I’ve hiked the Inca Trail, studied Spanish intensively in Guatemala, and witnessed Gibbon monkeys flying high in the Sumatran jungle.
I’ve attended cooking classes in Bali, been crushed into the earth by gigantic waves in Baja, and swam with White Tip sharks in the South China Sea.
I’ve taught English in a small city in Japan, been lost in a labyrinth in Morocco, and visited a hippy beach village in Afro Brazil.
After a five-year hiatus from travel, I decided to hit the road again in early 2011. What has made these recent trips new and unique is consistent blog posting coupled with indefinite travel. For the first time, I have no home base.
In 2011 I covered ground visiting Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, India, Thailand, Cambodia, and India again. So far in 2012, I spent two months in Colombia, a month in Ecuador and then two months in Peru. I’ve been in the Middle East for two and a half months, working as an English teacher, trying to learn Arabic and exploring a rich variety of cuisine.
I provide thoughts and info about the places I visit. I let you know about culinary discoveries, costs, transportation and therapeutic tourism.
I try to pick up positive pieces of the different cultures I come across, making each of these specific cultural attributes a part of my own unique subculture. The goal is to create my own improved culture through carving off what I think are great attributes of the cultures and subcultures I come across. Through this culture carving, I hope to constantly improve my personal well-being. I call this: shaping personal culture.
Up until I restarted my travels in 2011, photography hadn’t been a significant part of my repertoire. Since then I’ve taken a full 180º turn. Now I constantly engage in photo exploration. If there is one that you like, click on it for a more eye-engaging view.
Earthdrifter was born in my mind over a decade ago, but I always made justifications for not doing it, silly excuses. I’d thought: It’s not economically feasible. Drifting throughout the earth isn’t responsible or purposeful. I chose to conform; I became a docile victim in a conditioned society.
Before I started these indefinite travels, I trapped myself in an expensive city with a salaried position that I felt was sucking the good energy from my soul. The insane, slave-like workload had started to age me at a faster-than-natural pace.
We only get one life. I want to create opportunities through choices that allow me to live this life to its fullest potential.
I’ve realized a revelation. My natural elements are more animated while exploring the unknown.
I love to learn languages. When in another culture, interactions and culture learning are enhanced when making an effort to speak the local tongue.
I love to travel, write, and imagine possibilities.
I enjoy eating exotic food, smelling new air, and looking at diverse landscapes while noticing nuances through observing everyday life. I love to expand my horizons through fresh, new, lateral ways of thinking.
Earthdrifter is a constant experiment and work in progress. Come back often. Watch it grow.