State of the Savage: September 2010

by Keith Savage · 24 comments


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Life is like a metaphysical Etch A Sketch. You can spin the knobs for only so long before you can’t see what you’re doing anymore. Sometimes you need to give it a good shake and start over.

I gave notice at my job two weeks ago and my last day is one month away. How’s that for shaking things up?

It’s that liminal period now, where the goal I’ve worked toward and waited on is suddenly rocketing at me with no breaks, reserve chute, or regard for red-colored traffic signals. Take heed: the future is never as far away as it feels.

That said, I’ve got an In Da Club/Jump Around/Bring ‘Em Out mashup playing in my head that’s got me buzzing on adrenaline and excitement for a thing long sought: possibility.

Plans & Happenings

Coming off the insane death ride that was August, I rang in September with renewed focus on Traveling Savage. First thing on the docket: vaccinations. I’d almost rather take suppositories than subject myself to shots, so this cut the music on my mental mashup pretty fast. But I set my resolve and clenched my jaw, and now I’m immune to Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid (in addition to Hepatitis B and Tetanus from previous vaccines). It’s kind of magical. The Rabies vaccine is extremely expensive so I’ve just decided to avoid snuggling up with stray dogs. Despite my good health insurance plan, these vaccinations were not covered and they’re expensive. Wish I’d read this post on travel vaccinations before I’d had mine.

Early last week I crossed another bridge when I bought my flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Of all the milestones I’ve passed along this journey, buying the tickets to Argentina was the most real and nerve-wracking (so far). I fly Chicago-Houston-Buenos Aires on November 9 and return on December 10, a month later. Sadly, there was no cheap deal to be had; the ticket was the most expensive one I’ve ever purchased and it still stings. I’ve learned that flying out of Chicago on this particular route is sub-optimal, and prices are simply not coming down. But I have a ticket! This is really happening.

Finally, just a week ago, I laid out a possible framework for my future travels around the world. The input I received in the comments of that post has been helpful, expansive, and ultimately more complicating (in a good way). It’s a good spot to be in, though, and I’m happy to have at least some ideas about what’s after Argentina. I forgot to mention that there’ll be a trip to Vancouver in the mix, in early June, for TBEX ’11!

Features & PR

I’ve had a fantastic month connecting with other travelers and getting the word out on Traveling Savage, including a couple of recent features. Since the last State of the Savage, GloboTreks, run by nice guy Norbert Figueroa, included my post on giving notice in their good reads for the month of August. Some days later, Bryan from Budget Your Trip featured Traveling Savage and I provided some insight into how we’re making this life change happen financially.

Around the same time, Travelpology included my Trackpacking post on Rodrigo y Gabriela in their weekly round-up of travel stories. Slight tangent: the Rodrigo y Gabriela show I was so excited to see was CANCELED. Gabriela threw her wrist out or something. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Jodi Sagorin via Skype. Jodi’s gearing up for some adventure travel, and she asked me a series of questions about my travel philosophy. She published her e-book, How To Be An Adventurer, just last week and I’m featured in it along with some excellent company, including Chris Guillebeau, Colin Wright, Raam Dev, Derek Earl Baron, and Lauren McLeod.

This week I was featured on two Web sites: Untemplater and Briefcase to Backpack. Untemplater selected my untemplating story for publication and kindly shared it with their audience. Briefcase to Backpack asked me a few questions about my career break and I explained how I’m breaking one career and building another, one that’s in line with my values and passions. I’ve got a healthy respect for both of these sites and I enjoy the motivational stories they publish on a regular basis.

Parting Thought

The strength of your conviction is directly correlated to your ability to persevere and succeed. So make waves with something you believe in.

In a little over a month I will be on the road making this plan a reality. Sláinte!

Listening to: Bon Iver

Original photo by Mooganic via Flickr under Creative Commons


MattNo Gravatar October 9, 2010 at 9:00 PM

Congrats on buying a ticket – good luck next month and glad to see you’ve got some well-deserved publicity around the Blogosphere.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 10, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Thanks Matt, really appreciate that.

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CatiaNo Gravatar October 4, 2010 at 10:34 PM

Buying the ticket was one of the hardest parts for me, now that you have that done it will be (mostly) smooth sailing (er.. flying) I’m sure. I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 4, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Thanks for the reassurance, Catia. God knows I could use some calm thoughts right about now.

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ClaireNo Gravatar October 4, 2010 at 8:06 PM

yeah keith!

and ps: i agree with the link you posted on vaccinations. For Tanzania, I went to the local health department for tetanus and Hep shots. For yellow fever, well I am ashamed, yet strangely proud to admit that I “beat the system” here. I had a shot at 14 yrs old, I traveled to TZ at 29. The shot is good for 10 years, but can be good anywhere from 1o-30 years, according to my research. So what did I do? I changed the 4 in 1994, to a wee little 9, for 1999, and voila! My shot was good for 10 years, ending in 2009, which just so happened to be the year I took my trip 😉

NOT a recommended strategy for vaccinations!!! But I had no health insurance and you are correct—yellow fever is a pretty penny.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 4, 2010 at 9:05 PM

That’s quite sneaky of you! Good thing you didn’t get Yellow Fever 😉

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Lauren QuinnNo Gravatar October 4, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Man, what a month. When it pains, it roars, right? 😉

Sounds like things are about to get really interesting for you. And also like you’re on the right path. I tend to think that when you shake up the Etch-a-Sketch, so to speak, it makes room for new (and better) things.

One question: are you doing your RTW trip solo??

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM

I will be traveling solo and likely skyping often with my wife. Kind of adds a different wrinkle to the whole shebang, doesn’t it?

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Lisa BergrenNo Gravatar October 3, 2010 at 6:21 PM

Wonderful! There’s nothing so exciting and frightening at the same time as a Big Ticket. It will be fun to follow along on your new path. In between trips away, what will you be working on? More tech writing via freelance? Or all travel related?

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 4, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Hi Lisa – between trips it will be all travel and any other entrepreneurial ventures that might spring up. I plan to continue writing about the previous trip as I prepare for the next one.

Yes, the ticket is a very real commitment to the plan, the moment when planning crosses over to reality.

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EarlNo Gravatar October 1, 2010 at 8:14 PM

I tend to believe that buying the first plane ticket is the hardest part of a transformation to a life that involves more travel. So that’s a huge step. Now it’s just time to make sure you keep the momentum going…which I have no doubt you will!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 1, 2010 at 11:32 PM

It was nerve-wracking. I started and stopped a few times before I found the nerve to click purchase. Waiting for cheaper prices is a good way to trick yourself into avoiding this milestone.

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SheenaNo Gravatar October 1, 2010 at 7:03 PM

Good luck on your trip! Post something on your Briefcase to Backpack spot=)

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 1, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Thanks Sheena! About Briefcase to Backpack…done.

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WanderingTraderNo Gravatar October 1, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Andi and I are going to party like its 1999.. pause. Who did you get the flight with? Continental? I have a funny idea for a video post when you get here…

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 1, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Yeah, got it through Continental. I’m all ears for this idea…

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WanderingTraderNo Gravatar October 2, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Do a video on “how to host someone in Argentina”… and do video of me waiting with a sign with ur name on it… a kiss on the check (no homo) since men do that normally here with a pic of your face showing disgust. lol.. then the delicious steak you are going to be eating at the crib.. I think it would be funny

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AndiNo Gravatar October 1, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Congrats on buying your ticket!!! It’s really happening now! How exciting!!!!!!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 1, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Thanks Andi – when are you going to be in Argentina? I think I’m just going to miss you.

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ayngelinaNo Gravatar September 30, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Good luck, this month is going to fly!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 1, 2010 at 10:26 AM

I know, I’m actually a bit concerned about that.

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JoelNo Gravatar September 30, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Great update – can’t wait to see you get started!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 1, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Thanks Joel!

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