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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 five years of traveling I have only been to 23 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
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Location Detail

Aug - Sep 2014
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// MEXICO

 
October 2014
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// DUBAI

 
November 2014
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// SRI LANKA

 
Latest Posts From The HoliDaze Blog

What Noise Do Dogs Around The World Make?

Dogs around the world make different noises

“What the hell is that? Is that a dog?!” I asked incredulously. Turns out it was. Apparently the dogs in this country make different noises than the traditional “bark bark” I grew up hearing. It all started back in 2013 while learning Bahasa Indonesia in Indonesia (no surprise there) after I was astonished when my friend and teacher Chika drew a picture of a little dog with a talk bubble that read “guk guk” She explained to me that in Indonesia dogs don’t go “bark bark” or “woof woof,” they say “guk guk.” So this got me thinking: What other […]

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The Best New Travel Blogs Awards: Jan/Feb 2015 Edition

Best New Travel Blog 2015 - Flying The Nest

Welcome to the first edition of the 2015 Best New Travel Blog Awards (BNTBA). The biggest change to note moving forward is that these awards will now be held bimonthly instead of monthly. The reason for this is not because of any shortage of new blogs but rather a shortage of time on my part. (You’d be surprised how long these awards take to compile.) The featured blogs this month cover everything Africa, how and where to party like a rockstar around the world, how to balance a job and still travel, and much much more. Take a look! HugeParty […]

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Rhino Poaching In South Africa — And How You Can Help #JustOneRhino

A rhino silhouted against the magnificent African sunset

Traveling the world for nearly six full years now has taught me a lot. I’ve learned so much about so many different cultures, have a much deeper understanding of all the different religious faiths, have learned to acknowledge that every country has innovation solutions to the same problems so many of us face — and that no one country is perfect — and seen the countless impacts that humanity and the race for global modernization has had on the people, plants and animals around the world — both for the better and for the worse. Unfortunately in many places the […]

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In The Spotlight Presenting The Current Highlights Here At The HoliDaze

Life In Indonesia

After over five full years of post-cubicle globe-wandering I've finally found a new place to call home -- Indonesia! Although I still visit another new country every month or two, I always return back there. A big part of it is due to the diversity of the country and it's 17,508 islands. Plus I'm having lots of fun...just take a look at my recent adventures!

What Am I Doing There?

Featured Blogs

Highlighting the best up-and-coming travel blogs and bloggers that you haven't heard of...yet! These blogs are all less than a year old and show great promise for the future. Interested candidates must have big plans or a unique take on their blog. If you think that this describes you -- or someone else -- then please submit a recommendation.

Show Me The Blogs!

Web Site Help

If you are in need of any help with your blog or web site, whether it be guest authors, site design / optimization, maintenance and upgrades, even social media management, feel free to let me know. My services are the lowest rates around plus I also offer discounts for other bloggers and anyone in the travel/tourism industry.

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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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