Since finding my feet after launching Nerd Fitness as an online business, I think it’s time to start leveling up my life in other ways. For example: I’ve never been outside of North America!
I eat the same things, follow the same routine, and do the same stuff every day.? I’m literally scared to try new foods, will never go near a motorcycle, and will generally take the familiar and safe path over the exciting and new.
I need to start doing more things that are outside of my comfort zone, and I could really use your help.
How I Got Here
All through college, I figured I’d become a consultant or investment banker, wear a suit and tie, work 80 hours a week, and make truckloads of money – that’s what you’re supposed to do with an Econ/Business degree, right?? After graduating in 2006, I decided to not do the NYC/consulting thing and take a “big risk” by moving to San Diego with my brother instead.? I spent all of my time working in an unsatisfying sales job, counting down the days to each weekend until I could surf for a few hours while worrying about the upcoming work week.
I continually asked myself, “Is this what life is like after college?? Crap.”
One day, I wandered into a book store and was intrigued by a book called “The 4-Hour Work Week.”? Although it read like an infomercial for a get-rich-quick scheme in some sections, it completely redefined the “real world” for me and what was possible.? I read it cover-to-cover twice in a 48-hour period.
I immediately purchased the domain name NerdFitness.com to create a niche for nerds and desk jockeys interested in fitness, and then did absolutely nothing with it.
I spent another year working at that job before finally convincing myself a change was necessary.? After moving to Atlanta and taking a dream job with Sixthman, I was put in charge of the company blog and discovered my passion for writing.? I stumbled across Chris Guillebeau’s “279 Days to Overnight Success” and once again my world was turned upside down.
At the end of 2008, Nerd Fitness finally became something: a fitness blog that I ran in my free time.
This past June, after running Nerd Fitness on the side for eighteen months, I decided to roll the dice, quit my day job, and start a business.? Three months in, so far so good!
In November, my life will completely change once again – I’m moving out of my apartment, selling my car, and getting rid of all of my crap.
Thanks to running an online business, I can work from anywhere with an internet connection.? Thanks to some lucrative credit card deals and frequent flyer offers (all learned from Chris Guillebeau’s Frequent Flyer Master), I have over 325,000 airline miles (not an exaggeration).
This January, I plan on traveling to Australia and New Zealand for an extended period of time.
It scares the absolutely sh** out of me, which is precisely why I feel like I need to go.
As a single 26-year old with no wife, kids, or mortgage, this is something I can afford to do.? In fact, it will be cheaper for me to live abroad for a few months than it would be for me to continue “playing it safe” here in Atlanta!
I need to take this trip because:
- I need to step out of my shell.
- There’s so much out there to see and I don’t feel like waiting any longer.
- It will make for some hilarious stories for you and unforgettable memories for me.
- I want to see if I can actually run my company from anywhere.
- I want to show people what world travel is like from the perspective from a complete newbie.
- I want to change the world, and seeing it with my own eyes is step one.
- I know that if I can do it, anybody can.
Steve’s Epic Quest of Awesome
Earlier this year, I was cleaning out my closet and found “Steve Kamb’s Goals for Life,” a bucket list of sorts that I had created over a decade ago.? Reading through it, I realized that I haven’t taken many steps towards accomplishing anything in that book (except for starting a business and watching the Red Sox win the World Series).? Now that I have complete freedom, some money, and an online business, the time for action is NOW.
In true Nerd Fitness fashion, I’m turning my list of things to do into a giant video game quest. I’m still working out the logistics of how it’ll work, but I plan on creating a level-up system – every time I cross something off the list I will improve my “life” by 1/5th of a level.
Every time I complete five things on my list, I will level up my life (get it? zing!).
Now, what I need your help with is coming up with my list of things to do while on my Epic Quest.? Remember, I’m a dude who’s never been out of the country, so I need to know where to go and what to do.? A lot of the things on the list will have a fitness angle, but others are just cool stuff that I want to do.
A quick note: I want to take risks, but I have no plans to live in a tent without water or electricity and eat bugs – just not gonna happen.? Oh, and I hate the cold, so I’ll probably sticking to warm weather whenever possible.? Maybe after I get comfortable traveling I’ll expand my location destinations, but I’d like to keep it warm, relatively civilized, and safe.
Here are the things I hope to accomplish:
North America (The Starting Zone)
- Swim in the Atlantic and Pacific in the same day
- Surf on my own handmade board in Hawaii
- Be an extra in a Hollywood movie
- Fix up an old boat and take it out on the ocean (like Andy in the Shawshank Redemption)
- Play in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, NV
- What to do in Canada?
- What to do in Central America?
- Drive cross-country – completed August 2006, Cape Cod, MA to San Diego, CA.
South America (The Jungle/Forest Level)
- Do a handstand (push ups? breakdance?) in front of the statues on Easter Island
- Hang out with giant turtles in the Galapagos Islands
- Participate in a Capoeira rhoda in Brazil
- Visit the Incan ruins in Peru
Europe (The Ancient City/Mountain Level ?)
- Play golf at St. Andrews in Scotland
- Attend an English Premiere League match, singing cheers and drinking with the hooligans
- Climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris
- Visit the Coliseum in Rome
- Gamble while wearing a tuxedo in Monte Carlo (Hey James Bond)
- Run with the bulls in Spain (?)
- Germany – Oktoberfest?? Drive on the Autobahn?
- Visit the Parthenon in Greece
- Para-glide in Finland/Norway/Sweden
Africa (the Desert Level)
- Visit the Pyramids in Egypt
- Go on an animal Safari in South Africa
- Dubai – something ridiculous (is this part of Africa technically? I’ll say yes)
Far East (the Hidden Temple Level)
- Attempt the Ninja Warrior course in Japan
- Sing Karaoke in Tokyo
- Visit the Great Wall of China
- See the Taj Mahal in India
- Meditate in a Tibetan monastery
South Pacific (the Water/Beach level)
- Snowboard and surf in the same day in New Zealand
- Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef
- Visit Ayer’s Rock
- Something related to the Lord of the Rings (they filmed it in NZ, come on).
Antarctica (the Snow Level)
- Don’t die
- High-five a penguin?
Personal Level Up Goals
- Visit all 7 continents
- Get interviewed by Conan O’Brien
- Fly around the world
- Have at least 3 conversations with native speakers in their own language (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, German, French?)
- Become a published author
- Help build a house
- Catch a really big fish
- Get in the Guinness Book of World Records for something
- Jump out of an airplane…preferably with a parachute
- Be in a Parkour video
- Perform on stage in front of at least 1,000 people (tracking down the video for this now).
- Pay off all of my student loans – $13,300 to go
- Participate in an epic break dance battle
- Write and record a song
- Start a business (completed)
- Swim with sharks (where?)
- Get married
- Have a kid
- Create a video on YouTube that has 1,000,000 views
Personal Fitness Goals
- Bench press 225 pounds at least 10 times
- Do 10 pull ups with 45 pounds hanging on me
- Squat 300 pounds
- Deadlift 350 pounds
- Climb a big mountain
So, what am I missing? What are some of the places I need to see or things I need to do that aren’t on this list?? If you live in a place I plan on visiting and you want to meet up, please let me know – right now it’s looking like Australia/New Zealand for January/February, and then off to Europe for the Spring (April/May).? Don’t worry, you’ll be able to read all about where I’m at and where I’m headed here on NF.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the Shawshank Redemption that expresses how I feel:
I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.
I can’t wait to hear your suggestions on what to add to the Epic Quest. (Just don’t get me killed, okay?? My mom would be PISSED).