I have been a traveler off and on for over twenty years. Of course, I am not always traveling; I have a life in the "real world". In my ripe old forties, I seem to have slowed down a bit -- at least for a couple of years. When I am not on the Road, I make a living as a computer programmer, mostly in my home country of the United States. Every time I travel, it is very difficult to leave, and at the end of every trip, it is very hard to come home.
But in the last 20 years I have spent ten of them outside my native country. That includes six years of day-to-day traveling (not working, but actually moving around), counting four months in Europe, six months in Australia and New Zealand, and the rest entirely in the Third World. I've traveled extensively on six continents and I did it all with a rucksack and a budget. I don't think I'd have it any other way.
In addition, I have spent four years living and working in Japan and three months living in Venezuela. I have spent over six years in Asia (north, south, east, and west), almost two and a half years in Latin America, only three and a half months in Africa, and just a month each in the Middle East and the Former Soviet Union. I have planned, packed for, delighted in, and survived to return home from six major trips, (and several minor ones), three of them for well over one year. And still I want to go back. Yes, there are still quite a few places I haven't been.
While I don't claim to be an unusually wild or intrepid traveler, I've been to quite a few out-of-the-way places, seen some fantastic sights, had some unique experiences, and brought home a few interesting photos, trinkets, and diseases.
I have published a dozen travel-adventure articles in Orientations, Americas, and The Tokyo Weekender. And I've written quite a few more that never saw the light of day -- perhaps until now, when the Web gives me a great place to publish all these second-rate stories in my own individual style, without editors or marketeers, and without profit.
Fine by me.