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Quick Links & Notes

The Tour de Horror!
Boo!! Indonesia: May-June 2014
My First Tourism Film
Must See! On Siak, Sumatra, Indonesia
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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

January 2014
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// PHILIPPINES

After A 4 Year Lapse, I'm Back
 
February - April 2014
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// VIETNAM

90 Day Visa And Zero Plans!
 
May 2014
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// INDONESIA

Saya Tinngal Disini Sekarang...
 
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The haunted locations and dates for the first leg of the Tour de Horror have been finalized. At the beginning of May I will be flying in to Bali to meet with my partner Jenny Jusuf (@JennyJusuf), who will be accompanying me on this adventure. We should make a perfect duo because she believes in [...]

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This magnificent piece of machinery is what has allowed me to travel the Ho Chi Minh Trail. It is also the main reason why I haven’t written much recently — kind of hard to open up a laptop when bouncing around on two wheels. However after realizing that this week’s FriFotos theme is technology I [...]

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FriFotos: Escalators Are Stairs… Right?

Escalators: Stairs of the fut--err present.

I’ve got a serious question for you: what do you think of escalators? Are they the stairs of the future (this week’s FriFotos theme) or merely the public transportation version of the once elegant and sophisticated staircase?

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HoliDaze Newsletter

A monthly update full of new adventures, featured photos and locations, exciting stories, and other goodies not published here ;)

In The Spotlight Presenting The Current Highlights Here At The HoliDaze

Life In Indonesia

After nearly 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 Bloggers

Highlighting the best up-and-coming travel bloggers that you haven't heard of...yet! A new round of interviews kicks of with the start of the new year and I am still accepting requests. Ideal candidates should be blogging for at least six months and must have big plans for 2014. If you think that this describes you then please give me a shout.

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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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