Billy and I met in Barcelona through a mutual friend. We were actually in Bali at the same time this year and hanging out with the same people, for some reason we never crossed paths until now.
- Nomad: Billy
- Where were you born? Belleville, IL.
- Current Location? Barcelona, Spain.
- Where were you last? Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Where are you going next?
Not sure. Probably heading to Medellín, Colombia but possibly to NYC. Regardless, I’ll be heading back to St. Louis for the holidays then somewhere warmer, preferably Spanish speaking.
- What is your Profession?
Mentor and Career Transition coach. When I was working corporate and going to business school I felt I was doing what I thought I “should” do as opposed to what I truly wanted to do. Now, I help people build out a path that excites them.
- Which cities have you lived in for more than a few months?
Chiang Mai, Thailand. Seville, Spain. St. Louis, MO. Chicago, IL. Not many places, I tend to move on from a place after 4-6 weeks.
- What have been some of the unexpected obstacles of this lifestyle?
A big obstacle for me is the “reverse culture shock” from returning home. It seems to come out of nowhere at times and always with some kind of lesson.
- What were some of the unexpected benefits?
So, there’s this great Timothy Leary quote that ends with “…Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…” I love this.
For me, the majority of the unexpected benefits come from the amazing people I have met along the way. When you couple these connections with the ability to go your own pace/find your own rhythm, a rich environment emerges and unexplainable benefits unfold.
- When & why did you start traveling?
I started traveling at a young age to Point Pleasant, New Jersey where my grandparents lived. These experiences influenced my desire to explore and see different parts of the world.
The main reason for my most recent “expedition” was that I had quit my job and knew I had to do some thinking. It didn’t take me long to realize I can think things through anywhere in the world. I started in Peru in 2014.
- Favorite city to live?
Barcelona. I’m sure I’m biased because it’s where I am currently, but it’s an amazing place.
- What do you do for fun?
I’m a sucker for stand up comedy. I love it. I especially like listening to comedians on podcasts talking about the creative process.
I did some kickboxing in St. Louis with Jermaine Andre, a true martial artist. Those were great times and I still like to find a heavy bag to beat on for 5-10 minutes when I can. It still seems to have some kind of therapeutic effect. I also like to do a bit of running and exercise for functional strength.
- What is your dream project?
I would love to create a documentary or possibly a screenplay. Maybe something to do with stand-up comedy.
- Who is your source of inspiration?
I feel like inspiration can come from so many places, but a saying that is coming up for me is “We have a ‘responsibility’ to awe”. This is something Jason Silva said in one of his “Shots of Awe” and it has stuck with me. So I’d say Jason Silva is a source of inspiration to me. And maybe we have a responsibility to inspiration as well.
- Looking back at where you were when you started this journey, where did you think it was going to lead you?
Hmmm, I don’t think I knew really. I’ve always been interested in personal growth and fascinated by quotes that stand the test of time. One of which is by Pablo Picasso, “You have to have an idea of what you are going to do, but it should be a vague idea.”
Initially, I was focused on my own development. Now I am actively helping others step into their own unique paths. It fires me up and it helps me to surround myself with rich content and people with a purpose.
- What was it like leaving everything behind? how did it feel?
Honestly, for me it seemed more of a risk to not take a chance. I was ready. It felt exciting and a bit scary. But that’s what adventures are made of.
- What are you afraid of?
I am afraid of having regrets in life. I constantly remind myself how transient and fragile life is. This motivates me to give less of a fuck about what people think of me.
I’m also fascinated and terrified of technology. More fascinated than terrified, but terrified nonetheless.
- Would you like to be famous? In what way?
Not really. I just want to do badass things with badass people.
- What book are you currently reading?
I’m reading a book called “Content Machine” by Dan Norris and “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard Feynman”.
- What are you passionate about and how does it show up in what you do?
I am fascinated by the honor code that stems from true martial artists. I make a conscious effort to speak with integrity. I think this the work of a lifetime.
- What do you value most in a friendship?
- If you could only eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?
- One tip for anyone thinking of joining this nomad/travel lifestyle?
Read the book Vagabonding (or check out the author, Rolf Potts on Tim Ferriss’s podcast)
- They say you learn something new everyday, what was the last thing you learned?
I recently learned that the name of our galaxy’s supercluster is ‘Laniakea’ and it blew my mind.
- Anything else you want to share?
Not sure where I found this originally though I think Tim Ferriss has something to do with it:
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”
“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”