My name is Drew, and I started this blog to empower people to travel, by showing that all it takes is adopting a 'say yes' lens with which we view the world.
When I left the U.S. for my first big international backpacking trip, I was the least qualified guy in the world to do so. I had never left the country, let alone the San Francisco Bay for more than two weeks. I had no experience traveling solo, or backpacking at all. I was shaking in my boots.
I'd just finished college, and felt like I still had some learning to do before I began my career. Everyone I knew was rushing into their first corporate job, grad school, getting married, or having kids, but all I wanted to do was to see the moon shine on the other side of the planet. To submerge myself in completely different cultures. To be a fish out of water. I wanted to rip the rug of the familiar out from under me, and challenge myself to grow by getting away from everything I found comfortable.
After looking for different free lance gigs, I began driving for the rideshare service Lyft for about a year, saving for my travels. I don't know if I would have ever actually booked my first flight, but on February 1st, 2015, my landlord gave my entire building a 60-day eviction notice. He was turning our homes into luxury condos, and we weren't getting paid out. I was devastated.
Reflecting for a while, I decided that my eviction notice was a sign from the universe; it was time to jump, and without a safety net. Instead of throwing a pity party about my situation, what if I gave myself permission to make this the biggest adventure of my entire life? What if, starting with that eviction notice, I committed to saying yes to every opportunity that presented itself?
I gave away most of my stuff, packed my life into a 40-liter backpack, and left San Francisco on a one way flight to Bangkok with no rigid itinerary. The most important thing I brought: the mindset that I was going to keep saying yes, and see where my optimism could take me.
Over the course of 6 months, I said 'yes' while circumnavigating the entire planet on a 32,000 mile westward lap through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sweden, Germany, Italy, France, U.K., the Netherlands, Ukraine, and New York City, adding incredible memories to my life from experiences shared with the most generous, kind hearted, adventurous people that also call this planet home.
I gave an elephant a bath, watched the sun rise at Angkor Wat, partied with newly made lifelong friends in Sweden, wandered through the streets of Florence eating gelato, got caught in the rain at the Eiffel Tower, rode a motorcycle 2,000km through Vietnam, and ate a slice of pizza as big as my head in the Big Apple. When I arrived back home in San Francisco, I realized that eviction notice was the single greatest thing to ever happen to me.
We are our own worst enemies. Often, our creative capacities do not serve us, instead creating illusory obstacles that stop us from realizing our greatest dreams and unlocking our hidden potential. Now, I'm giving you your eviction notice; from the reasons you invented rationalizing why this life can't be an adventure. Because it just requires one simple decision: