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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
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

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Dec - Feb 2015


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June 2015


Latest News From The HoliDaze Blog
Lakhae dancer

50 Revealing Photos From Nepal’s Indra Jatra Festival 2015

This week marks the start of Nepal’s biggest religious holiday, the annual week-long Indra Jatra festival. This Newari festival dates back to the 10th century and is characterized by grand processions, masked dancers, music, food and religious offerings. It pays tribute to Indra, the Hindu king of heaven.   According to legend, Indra descended to earth to pluck a rare flower that does not grow in the heavens. He was captured by the locals and put on display in Kathmandu, who refused to believe Indra was who he claimed to be. Eventually Indra’s mother Basundhara became worried and went to Read the full article…

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The HoliDaze guide to the best free things to do in Dubai

The Best Free (And Nearly Free) Things To Do In Dubai

Dubai is a glittering oasis in the desert, and an expensive one at that. Ever tried to take a photograph from the Burj Kalifa? Or to go skiing at Ski Dubai? Let’s just say, it’s expensive. But your trip to Dubai doesn’t have to be. Check out all these awesome free things to do in Dubai the next time you find yourself passing through the UAE:   Places are listed in order from south to north. However, if you wish to tackle this list in one day, start north to south and do them in the reverse order. You’ll hit Read the full article…

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India off the beaten path

Exploring India Off The Beaten Path

India is a vast and diverse country, and one that foreign visitors could spend years exploring without running out of new places to visit. Now that Delhi has become the new base for all my travels, I’ve got some exciting travel plans in the works. Over the next six months I’m going to be exploring as many of India’s nooks and crannies as possible. From the popular tourist spots in Rajasthan to the remote Himalayan mountains of northern India and the often-overlooked splendor of Eastern India, I’m on the hunt to find the most interesting and intriguing places possible. Check Read the full article…

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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


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


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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