Notes & Quotes: Ten Years a Nomad by Matt Kepnes

 The following are my favorite quotes from Matt Kepnes's Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler's Journey Home.

  1. Americans trade time for money and, although we all complain about it, it's an arrangement we've kept in place for decades. Even as traveling and career breaks have become more mainstream, this fundamental arrangement has not changed. Taking extended time off is simply not part of our cultural norms--and I don't think it ever will be.
  2. Here, In Thailand, were people who didn't want to live that [American] life at all. People who were happy to be from somewhere other than America. People who believed, and acted as if, life was for living--not planning, saving, and climbing up to the next rung. It wasn't about working until you retired so you could then start your life. It was about living right now.
  3. Some people travel because they have places to go. Others travel because the journey is their true home. They want to see and experience and live as much as possible in their short time on this earth.
  4. Learning to go with the flow is the most important part of travel planning. Travel is about letting things unfold and happen naturally. It's better to see fewer attractions and go deeper into a city or a region than to cast a wide net and go shallow.
  5. Traveling solo, you learn who you are and what you are capable of. You learn how to be comfortable with only your own thoughts for companionship. In this sense, solo travel is a wonderful teacher, because it teaches self-reliance.
  6. Travel is all about seizing the opportunities in front of you--especially when they're opportunities to throw away your plans.
  7. "A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." Lao Tzu
  8. There's a difference between taking pleasure in spiting someone, and taking pleasure in exceeding expectations about yourself. The former is fixated on negativity, the latter is all about well-earned pride.
  9. I'm not trying to avoid life, I'd tell my doubters. I'm trying to avoid your life. I'm not running away from the real world--I'm running away from your idea of what the real world is. Running away from office life, commuting, and weekend errands, and running toward everything the world has to offer. Running away from monotony, nine to five, rampant consumerism, and the conventional path.
  10. A place is only as boring as you are. Adventure and activity isn't something that just happens. It is something that must be sought out.