About Deb

My practical traveler’s thank you to hosts 2

As a guest in people’s homes, it’s a given that I bring food or a gift for my hosts. But for the longer-term visits, I typically try to contribute to the home in some way as a special thank you. Sometimes my host/hostess knows. Other times they have no idea unless they notice the difference later on.

Sometimes it’s just cleaning floor molding and cabinet doors. Once I recaulked a bathroom. Once I repaired a large hole in the wall…

The tub with the new silicon sealant.

Living the downsize: from 2 bedrooms to 65 liters

This time 4 years ago I lived a typical American life in a two-bedroom condo. It was home to my furniture, photos … two dressers full of clothes…. kitchen full of fine appliances…home office.

Now I’ve virtually been living out of a 65-liter backpack. If something fit into that backpack, I don’t take it with me.

Sometimes I miss my old stuff but If I still had it I would need to still have a place for it to — and I would not have had the freedom to be in whatever country I happened to be in at that moment.

The truth is, we really need very few physical items to be well-dressed, clean, well-groomed, and comfortable. And your perception or definition of “very few items” will even change as you live the downsize.

Countries I have visited

Every so often someone asks me how many countries I have been to. I usually reply that it’s easier to name the places I have not been. So maps that let you list your visited countries or places come in handy.

How I came to be traveling now and for so long

What would you do if you’d hit or neared 50, had always wanted to travel the world, and didn’t even come close to having the resources to do so.

What if… for too many years, all of your work and earnings had gone into keeping a roof over your head without allowing you the luxury to go out from under the roof to enjoy your own town, city, state, country or planet?

That was me.

I love exploring new places, cultures, histories (well old histories, actually) — and I felt stuck. I’d loved what I’d accomplished in life, but I wasn’t living. I was existing. I wasn’t growing.

So I jumped on the next best event that came along — the loss of my rented home. Freedom!
Some say a wave of insanity — that I’d lost rational thought.
If I didn’t have to spend so much money on rent I could travel.
It costs less to rent a dorm room any place in the world than it did for me to rent my apartment for any given night! So the money I saved in rent would cover my travel costs.

Welcome to my life of travel.

Life before these travels

Once upon a time I was a successful young professional living and working in NYC. I loved my life and the perks of being in the media in NYC. But the world beckoned loudly, and even more so as I traveled Israel and then coming out of Egypt and upon my return to my homeland of NYC. So I left and traveled — for three years.

I independently traveled the world solo starting in the mid 80s when each traveler’s notebook of people we met was our own couch surfing site.

Then I settled down to a life as a world-renowned book/magazine/web author, instructor, and consultant in the field of Macintosh and Web. This was the comfortable home and life that I left to travel again.