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The Rickshaw Run!   Must See!
An insane 3,000km race across India
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More About Derek Freal Traveling The World Since 2009
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I am an advocate of slow travel, taking time to learn the culture of each country I visit.
There is no reason to rush. In my six years as a nomad I have only been to 25 countries.

On my 24th birthday I had a midlife crisis. Sure, I had a fancy job working with people twice my age, a massive salary and great benefits. But I was working 80+ hours a week -- had been for nearly five years -- when it suddenly hit me: I don't want to live like this. I had no social life, no girlfriend, no free time. It was all work-work-work.

Then I looked around at all my coworkers, many of whom had been working for the company for thirty years or more. Sure, they may have taken the family to a resort in Mexico for a week or visited our sister office in Penang for a few days on a business trip, but they had never really traveled. I did not want to be like them. I wanted to see the world. Within days I had turned in my notice and a few weeks later said my goodbyes and left the office for the last time. That was in March of 2009. A few days later I boarded a one-way flight to Japan to begin my new life. And I have never looked back.

For the first years it was all fun and games, throwing money around like it grew on trees. I was having a blast and completely stopped thinking about the future. Then towards the end of 2011 my best friend Jared asked me: "What are you going to do when you run out of money? You do realize you cannot live like this forever, don't you?"

I was speechless; had no idea how to respond. After all the fun I had been having living for the moment I knew that I could never go back to a stereotypical 9-5 job and be part of the rat race. For me the American Dream was laughable. I wanted to do nothing more than continue to explore this amazing planet we call Earth.

So I decided to do the one thing I could do while still living a carefree nomadic lifestyle: travel writing.

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Where Am I Now? Bouncing Around Asia, My Favorite Part Of The World
Map of Derek Freal's travels Map of Derek Freal's travels 2 3 4 1

Location Detail

Dec - Feb 2015
1

// MALAYSIA


Mar - Apr 2015
2

// INDIA


May 2015
3

// PAKISTAN


June 2015
4

// AFGHANISTAN


Latest News From The HoliDaze Blog

How Did I Get Here? Life As A Nomad For Six LONG Years

little-did-he-realize

Well, I don’t have a beautiful wife or a beautiful house…at least not anymore. (Neither really fits with a nomadic lifestyle.) Oh and head’s up, this nomadiversary post might be best read while listening to Once In A Lifetime by The Talking Heads. ♫ And you may ask yourself ♬ ♪ Well…How did I get here? ♪ No one ever imagines when first hitting the road that they will ever find themselves still on the road more than six years later. But   travel changes you in ways you can never imagine — and before you know it life begins […]

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Kathmandu Photos, Updates + How To Help #NepalEarthquake

The damage in Kathmandu is extensive.

Last week after successfully completing the Rickshaw Run with all my limbs intact, I decided to head up to Nepal for some peace and quiet. My plan was to grab a motorcycle and find a simple little cabin in the mountains that I could post up for a few weeks and begin sorting and editing the countless hours of footage I have from the Run. When the first earthquake struck (magnitude 7.8) I was in my room near the top of Hotel Silver Home. Thinking I couldn’t run down that many flights of stairs, I opened my door and braced […]

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Scuba Diving In Salang, Malaysia (one for the bucket list!)

False clown fish, Salang, Tioman Island

Ever been scuba diving in clear water surrounded by fish and coral? I never had until a few weeks ago and let me just say IT WAS FRIGGIN’ AMAZING! Easily the best travel decision I’ve made over the last few years (and definitely better than my infamous Tour de Horror project). After a rough January I was feeling used and abused so I decided to head out to Salang, the northernmost village on Tioman Island in the South China Sea. I’d heard many great things about the diving out there and decided this was where I wanted to get scuba […]

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In The Spotlight Presenting The Current Highlights Here At The HoliDaze

The Rickshaw Run

I just completed the Rickshaw Run, a two-week long 3,000km race across the worst terrain and traffic that India can throw at me. Over the next few weeks and months I'll be editing and posting videos from this epic event...stay tuned!

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Featured Photos

Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

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One of the most popular tourists sights in all of Bangkok is the Grand Palace, which dates back to 1782. Although it used to be the official residence of the Kings, nowadays it is only used occasionally for official events.

While most of my week in Bangkok was spent exploring non-touristy places, this is one of the few sights that I had to see.

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Panjat Pinang, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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Panjat Pinang is a very unique way of celebrating Indonesia's Independence Day (August 17th). Every year in towns and villages around the country tall nut-trees are chopped down and their trunks placed vertically, in the center of each settlement. A wheel full of prizes is placed on top, after which the trunk is covered with oil or other lubricants and young men are invited to try and reach the prizes.

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