Birthday On The Road – Day 175

31 Jul

29th July 2011

I have now turned a year older on 5 continents and in both hemispheres:

South Africa
USA – Oregon/Washington/Cincinnati/Alaska
South Korea
New Zealand

As I turn 34 (or 3+4=7 is my preference), I find myself in New Zealand with great friends and 7mths into a year of travel.

To many I may be considered a bum, someone with no future who just floats around from place to place. Many would say I should be married, have a house, a steady job, 1 or 2 kids, preferably a large screen TV and an SUV. And yes, maybe I would be content with a family and my own place, in truth I am teetering on the edge of my love of travel and my hope for a family.

But, on the rare occasion I listen to these nay-sayers, I think back to everything I have done and experienced in the last 34yrs and think to myself:

Damn I am kind of cool!

Here is a list of what you can achieve by being a “bum”

– 5 day hike through the Umfolozi Game Park in South Africa
– Graduate high school
– Graduate Uni with a BSc in Natural Resources
– Work as a vet nurse
– Kiss the Blarney Stone
– Fish for Nessie
– Live in South Africa, Lower USA, Alaska, Korea
– Visit Denali National Park, on a clear day
– See a moose
– See a bear
– See a pod of Orcas
– See lions, leopards, wild dogs, hippos, Rhinos and many more
– See platypus, kangaroos and koalas in the wild
– Work in a zoo… or rather 3
– Live and teach in Korea
– Earn my 1st degree blackbelt in taekwondo
– Earn my 2nd degree blackbelt in taekwondo
– Learn to inline skate and win my 1st 5km marathon
– Learn to read and write Korean
– Visit the DMZ
– Visit Angkor Wat
– Explore the forests of Thailand
– Kayak in Halong Bay
– Ride a horse
– Ride an Indian Elephant
– Ride an ostrich
– Cage swim with great whites
– Learn to scuba dive
– Snorkel with a manta ray
– Drink a beer in a hammock on an Ecuadorian beach
– Drink a beer in a hammock on a Thai beach
– Search for the world’s largest flower
– Eat a fresh coconut
– Help in surgery on a monkey in the Amazon wildlife refuge
– Live in the Amazon for 2mths
– Force feed a Kookaburra bird
– Take a monk Saki monkey for a “walk”
– Bitten by a snake, non-venomous
– Bitten by a kinkajoo
– Bitten by a spider monkey
– Visit Cusco
– Visit Lake Titicaca
– Visit Machu Pichu
– Overnight with a Basotho family in Lesotho
– Cover myself in mud in Korea
– Cover myself in mud in South Africa
– Cover myself in mud in New Zealand
– Dig my own hot tub at Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
– Shave my head for charity
– Visit 25 countries
– Made lifelong friends in all of them!

And that’s the short list, not to bad for a “bum”…the adventures just keep on coming!

Thank you so much to my mom and dad for bearing with my travel addiction and to all my friends and family who have put me up and put up with me.


Posted by on July 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


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5 responses to “Birthday On The Road – Day 175

  1. Barb

    July 31, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I admire you for being a bum! My favorite people are those who have taken ‘the road less traveled’. In the field of nursing, I meet many young women & so many have gone to high school, then college with all the same friends. A couple of years later, they end up marrying one of those high school or college friends & live in their hometown or home state. And soon after, it is baby time. They have never traveled anywhere out of the ordinary or met anyone who is different from themselves. They would not travel more than a couple of hundred miles alone much less around the world. By the time they are 30, they are ‘settled’ into life & that won’t change much as the years go by.
    You should be very proud of all you have already done at your young age. So, keep on bumming! I have really enjoyed joining you vicariously on your travels 🙂

  2. Wendy

    July 31, 2011 at 9:44 am

    From one bum to another, you go girl. That’s a very impressive list. Happy belated birthday. Enjoy Tonga.

  3. Tickey Schmidt

    July 31, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    At least there is always home for the occasional pit-stops and a place to stay so you can earn enough money to travel again.

  4. Ketzel

    August 2, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    I can’t believe your “bum” list is all from the last half year. Es verdad?

    You’ve done a brilliant job here. I’ve been keeping on eye on you since you kindly dropped me a line after my HSUS article about losing my job and wanting to work with strays in Ecuador. Happy to report to you that I leave in September for at least four or five months, and – for better or for REALLY BAD – I’m expecting to rent a car once there. Thinking of taking out life insurance and making a few needy friends wealthy.

    Stay well, KL

    • trailingtrekker

      August 3, 2011 at 1:48 am

      Hi KL
      Am glad to hear you are heading down there. You will find lots of options for working with strays and wildlife down there. Let me know if you want more information on the wildlife refuge I worked at. My “Bum” list is actually throughout my adult life. But alot of it has been this last year. Glad to hear you have been following my blog. Take Care, Kathy


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