Why I don’t do so well in the bar scene.
The meme du jour of 2016 was how awful of a year it was for the world. Brexit happened, Trump was elected, and Carrie Fisher died. Of course, some people were in favor of those things (not the last one, who would want that?).
At a macro level, 2016 was bad, particularly for climate change and women’s rights in some states. But at a Drew level, 2016 was a pretty good year. Here, as usual, is the best of the year.
Best Achievement – Completing All 50 States
On my 32 birthday this year, I finished my goal of speaking or performing in all 50 states. Hawaii was the perfect state to end the journey, filled with beautiful scenery, fun adventures, welcoming cousins who showed me around, and a storytelling show. 10/10 would do the whole thing again.
Runner-Up: Reaching 1,000 Performances.
Best Personal Development – Doing Weekly Planning
The farther removed I am from my project management days at P&G, the less I leverage that expertise in my day-to-day life. In 2016, one thing I brought back was more deliberate planning, this time at a weekly level. Each Sunday (approximately), I would think about what I wanted to accomplish that coming week and plan one key task for each day. I didn’t always complete those tasks and sometimes the planning happened on a Monday (or Thursday), but it did make me more aware of how I was spending my time.
Runner-Up: Checking my phone less frequently.
Best Business Decision – Moving Back to NYC
Since moving back to NYC, I’ve established great new business contacts, delivered some great events, re-engaged with some awesome people, and have had the best bagels in the country. NYC has always been a great place for building my skills as a speaker and comedian, it’s now also turning into a great place to deliver those skills.
Runner-Up: Starting a Mastermind group.
Best Personal Decision – Stopping my Nomadism
Don’t get me wrong, being a nomad for 18 months was an incredible experience (and was heralded as 2015’s best personal decision), but this year was also the right time to end it. Since moving back to NYC in September, I’ve been able to focus more on my work and have a lot more time to relax; I didn’t realize how much time I was spending planning my next trip or figuring out where I was going to sleep.
Runner-Up: Reconnecting with Old Friends
Best Speaking Engagement – Women’s Foodservice Forum
I surpassed 100 engagements for the second year in a row and spoke for some incredible groups. From my first single facilitator delivery of a two-day training at Microsoft, to presenting to my largest audience (1,000 people!) in Columbus, I was apart of some great events. But the top for me was the Women’s Foodservice Forum where I spoke to 400 aspiring leaders who were gracious, eager to learn, and seemed to really enjoy my sense of humor. It’s also where I got witness the butt sketch artist first-hand.
Runner-Up: PMI Central Ohio Chapter
Best Performance – The Story of My Year as a Nomad
While I certainly gave better performances in 2016, the most meaningful was my 1,000th performance on my 32nd birthday in my 50th state: the story of my year as a nomad.
Runner-Up: Featuring at Go Bananas Comedy Club
Best Travel – Hawaii
I sound like a broken record but how can you beat the Islands of Aloha?
Runner-Up: Zion National Forest
Best New Restaurant – Eleven Madison Park
It’s hard not to go with the World’s #3 ranked restaurant but for me the reason it’s on the top of the list is that they somehow made brussels sprouts AND scallops that I could not only stomach, but I actually liked. I guess my new rule is that I don’t like sprouts unless they’re served at a Michelin three star restaurant.
Runner-Up: Chick N Cone
Best Movie (I Saw) – Doctor Strange
I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for the Marvel movies. No, I don’t care that there are a million of them now and yes, I’m excited for yet another reboot of the Spider Man series. I enjoyed Doctor Strange because it introduced me to a character I knew nothing about and explored a world that was new to me.
Runners-Up: All of the Best Picture nominees, The Nice Guys
Best TV Show (I Watched) – Rick and Morty
The show is very weird and it takes a few episodes to get into, but by golly is it funny.
Runner-Up: Luke Cage
Best Book (I Read) – Smarter, Faster, Better
Charles Duhigg’s book is a great read for learning more about motivation and effectiveness, and it’s given me a phrase I used in most of my trainings: psychological safety. I find myself recommending this book to people over and over again.
Runners-Up: Bossypants, Modern Romance, Sprint
Best Tweet – Ghosts
I’ve selected 20 of my best tweets of 2016 but my favorite favorite is this one:
Ghost A: I’m really nervous, we’re going to get caught.
Ghost B: Dude, just act super natural.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) September 22, 2016
After 156 tweets, 90,000 impressions, 441 likes, and 83 retweets, here are my top tweets of 2016:
1. Ghost Insecurities
Ghost A: I’m really nervous, we’re going to get caught.
Ghost B: Dude, just act super natural.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) September 22, 2016
2. Dessert Opinions
I don't understand mint chocolate. I've never been eating a dessert and thought, "You know what would go great with this? Toothpaste."
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) December 29, 2016
Can we all take a moment to appreciate that whoever coined the phrase “shut your piehole” knew the mouth’s most important function.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) October 13, 2016
4. Fist Bump Calculations
If I had to estimate the number of fist bumps I've given in my life, I'd say a ton. As in 2,000 pounds.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) June 23, 2016
5. School Attendance
I once had to miss class because of hypothermia. I was too cool for school.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) May 17, 2016
6. Humor with Spirit
If you miss an AA meeting, are you marked Absinthe?
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) April 12, 2016
7. Seriously, She’s Great
Calling me a momma's boy is a compliment because my mom is awesome.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) May 9, 2016
8. Interview Answers
Interviewer: Whats your greatest strength?
Me: I finish what I start.
Interviewer: Whats the last thing you finished?
Me: Daredevil Season 2
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) April 21, 2016
9. Movie Selection / Life Advice
As they say when picking a Tom Hanks movie, go Big or go home.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) December 17, 2016
10. Reading is Fundamental
I comprehend the thesaurus for merriment.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) January 8, 2016
11. Business Definitions
A travel agency is a business that peddles their wheres.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) December 22, 2016
12. Traffic Considerations
When I'm at a 4 way stop, it's amazing how quickly I go from "You can go ahead" to "if you don't move I'm going to murder you."
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) January 27, 2016
13. Had People Rowling in the Aisles
I always forget who wrote Harry Potter… JK.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) August 18, 2016
14. Don’t Get Me Started on Bridal Showers
Oh, so it's fine when people throw Wedding Showers and Baby Showers, but I throw one little Meteor Shower and all the dinosaurs go extinct.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) August 5, 2016
15. Losing Your Mind
Clickbait headlines be like "President Lincoln goes to the theatre, you will not believe what happens next!"
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) April 13, 2016
16. Math Life
A: "The end justifies the means."
B: "Yup, that's how averages work."
A: "I'm talking about consequentialism."
B: "I'm talking about math."
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) July 29, 2016
17. Clarify Next Time
"Oh, I thought you said 'Make yourself A home.'"
*crawls out of pillow fort made in friend's living room*
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) January 6, 2016
18. Concise Writing is Better
You know Dickens' editor was probably like, "Instead of best of times / worst of times, why not just say it was the okayest of times?"
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) December 19, 2016
19. Travel Health Advisory
Me: "Doctor, is this airport disease serious?"
DR: "Yes, I'm afraid it's terminal."
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) March 1, 2016
20. He Who Laughs, Lasts
Whenever I make a joke that no one else appreciates I just have to laugh at myself.
— drewtarvin (@drewtarvin) September 15, 2016
I recently wrapped up 18 months of being a nomad. During that time, I lived primarily out of two carry-on bags. Here’s what was in them.
My fully packed Red Oxx Airboss ($275.00) bag weighed in at 22 pounds.
It included the following (pictured in the featured image):
- Homage Zip Hoodie. One of the softest hoodies I’ve ever worn and a main part of my wardrobe. It’s great for fall and spring temperatures, plus air-conditioned summers, and is a nice added layer for really cold winters. $65.00
- Next Mileskin Jacket. It took me going to Scotland to find a coat that looked good on my slender frame. This is a great winter coat that layers nicely and isn’t too heavy when carrying it. £90.00
- Tommy Hilfiger Rainwear Jacket (now discontinued?). A very lightweight jacket that repels the rain and can easily be folded or scrunched into a bag. Also makes a decent make-shift pillow.
- Clarks Leather Sandals. A casual pair of sandals for beach days, laundry days, and quick errands. $29.99
- Nike Downshifter 6 Running Shoe. $49.94
- Aldo Men’s Boot (similar to these). The first pair of boots I owned were great but started to fall apart with all of the walking I did, so I switched to a pair of Aldo Men’s boots that are comfortable for most of the day and look nicer than gym shows. $109.95
- Aldo Edoewin Oxford Dress Shoes. A nice looking pair of dress shoes to go with the navy suit I have for events. $79.95
- Going in Style Travel Laundry Clothesline. A must-have for drying out clothes in hotels and AirBNBs. $12.95
- Metolius Carabiner. A carabiner I used for attaching said clothesline to things. $9.95
- Travelon Inflatable Hanger. For hanging up clothes when a hanger isn’t available; I never used it. $10.00
- Microfiber Travel Towel. A compact towel that dries quickly. It doesn’t feel nearly as nice as a real towel and can start to smell quickly, but is a must for when you’re crashing somewhere that doesn’t have an extra towel for you. $14.95
- Parachord Bracelet. A combo chord and whistle; luckily I never had to use it. $8.99
- Inflatable Neck Pillow. Always better in theory than in practice, I tried using it periodically and never really enjoyed it. I still travel with it just in case. $13.99
- Bounce Dryer Sheets. These served more than one purpose, including their intended use when drying clothes, but also to prevent shoes from smelling, and to (supposedly) prevent mosquito bites. $15.99 for a big pack you don’t need.
- Small Lint Roller. Useful for cleaning off hairs and fuzz from your clothes, particularly helpful when you crash at someone’s place who has a cat or dog. $7.99 for 4
- Uniqlo Men Heattech V Neck T Shirt Long Sleeve. A long sleeve shirt that is thick enough to provide extra warmth but thin enough to be used with other layers. $14.90
- Woolly Men’s Merino Wool Short Sleeve V-Neck. A staple of any nomad wardrobe is merino wool and this is a cheaper alternative than a lot of other brands. I replaced an Icebreaker shirt that started gaining holes with this one and was happy with it’s performance. It’s odor resistant, easy to wash in the sink, and quick drying. $39.99
- Icebreaker Men’s Anatomica Short Sleeve V. The second merino wool shirt I bought and worked great in alternating with the other shirt. By switching between the two daily, I could go at least a week between washing if I wanted to. $51.99
- Uniqlo Men Heattech Tights. Uniqlo calls them tights, I think of them as long underwear, but either way they provide a nice base layer for the legs when the temperature drops below freezing. $14.90
- Ex-Officio Men’s Give-N-Go Boxer Brief (x3). Another staple of a nomad’s packing list is the underoos. These boxers are odor resistant and quick-drying. With three pairs, you have flexibility and can do your washing every other night. Hang them up while you sleep and you’re good to go in the morning. $14.99 each
- Darn Tough Men’s Merino Wool No Show Socks (x2). The final staple of the nomad’s wardrobe is socks. These Darn Tough socks work great while wearing tennis shoes. Also odor resistant and quick drying. $15.95 each
- Darn Tough Men’s Warlock Crew Light Cushion Hiking Socks (x2). A long version of the Darn Tough Merino Wool socks that go great with boots or dress shoes. $19.95 each
- Suitsupply Sienna Blue Suit. An incredible well-made suit with a tailored fit and a professional look, perfect for the presentations I give and more formal affairs. $599.00
- Olivers All Over Shorts. Multipurpose shorts that can be used for casual attire, workout shorts, or swim trunks. They’re probably more expensive than what they provide, but nice to cut down on space. $65
- Uniqlo Slim Fit Straight Leg Jeans. Fashionable jeans that fit well but also stretch when moving around. They aren’t the most rugged–I went through 2.5 pairs during my trip–but there may not be a jean that exists that can survive the wear and tear of nomadic living. The plus is that these are cheaper than alternatives from places like Bonobos. $49.90
- Adidas Performance Training Pants. Comfortable pants for lounging around or working out in colder temperatures with the added benefit that they are part of the ComedySportz uniform. $29.99
- J.Crew Slim Washed Shirt (x2). A slim fitting button-down shirt that works great for business casual situations and is part of my standard jeans+button+hoodie look. $19.95 each
- J.Crew Thompson Dress Shirt (x2). A nicer quality button-front shirt that goes well with a suit. $34.50 each
- American Apparel 50/50 Crewneck T-Shirt. A casual t-shirt for summer days. $20.00
- Ohio State Buckeyes Shirt. A casual t-shirt for rooting on the Buckeyes (or showing off Ohio pride). I’m not sure of the price because my mom got it for me.
- Various Toiletries (see below).
In the Red Oxx Bag was a Tom Bihn Clear Quarter Packing Cube ($32.00).
I used to used toiletries, including:
- Travel sizes of: toothpaste, hair gel, shampoo, lotion, sunscreen, body spray, and cortizone.
- Regular sizes of: bar soap, deodorant, fingernail clippers, cuticle scissors (surprisingly TSA compliant), thermometer, and beard trimmer.
- A “switchblade” style toothbrush (much better than the ones you put into the long tube).
- A small plastic soap holder and a small empty spray bottle.
On my back was a Tom Bihn Synapse 25 ($200.00) that carried my electronics along with a few other tools (and snacks!).
- Microsoft Surface Pro 3. I started out using a Macbook Air and enjoyed it. Then I got the Surface Pro because I doing an event for Microsoft and I didn’t look back. All the benefits of the Macbook Air plus I never had to put it away on flights because it’s also a tablet. $799
- Seagate 1 TB External Drive. For backing up large files and for carrying various media with me. $57.99
- TROND USB Hub for Surface Pro. A USB hub for the surface pro so I can connect multiple devices at once. $13.99
- PNY Mini Displayport to HDMI Adapter. To connect my Surface Pro (or Macbook Air) to projectors. $8.99
- Rakie Mini Displayport to VGA Adapter. For older projectors. $9.99
- Cmple 1.5ft HDMI Cable. A short HDMI cable for hooking up my laptop to projectors and hotel TVs. $5.99
- Logitech Professional Presenter R800. A remote for my presentations. $47.99
- Zoom H2n Handy Recorder. For picking up audience sound and for recording audio interviews. $159.99
- GoPro HERO4 Silver. For recording video for shows and general adventure (like snorkeling in Hawaii!). $399.99
- Joby Magnetic Tripod with Smartphone Mount. A gorillapod-style tripod for the GoPro / my smartphone. $22.99
- Stony-Edge Simple Lav Microphone. A lav to record audio straight into my phone for videos. $59.95
- Anker Lipstick Sized Portable Charger. A rechargeable charger to maintain phone battery on long trips with no power source. $19.99
- Travel Surge Protector. For when outlets are sparse, particularly great at airports when someone is using all of the outlets, you can ask to replace it with this for more spots. $12.99
- Universal Travel Power Adaptor. For international travel. $21.95
- iPod Touch. They no longer make the version I have but it has 60GB worth of music on it.
- Audio Technica Over the Ear Noise Canceling Headphones. So you can actually hear music or a movie when on an airplane. $99.95
- Petzl Tikkina Headlamp. To scare off bats in Idaho. $19.95
- Light My Fire Titanium Sport. To consume delicious food when utensils aren’t available. $13.95
- Various cables including: iPod cable, spare phone cable, 3.5″ mini cable, and micro USB cable.
- Various travel accessories including: EZpass for NYC, FastTrack for Bay Area, and USB car adapter.
- Various health items including: Advil, diarrhea pills, and first aid kit.
- Various snacks often including: Pop Tarts, protein bars, and candy.
- A plastic water bottle.
- Various travel documents.
Check out pictures all of my gear in this Flickr album.
As part of analyzing my 18 months as a nomad, I wanted to look at how many pictures I took and analyze some of the metadata to determine photos by state, photos by trip, and more.
I assumed this was going to be an easy task, all I wanted to do was download flickr metadata to a csv file. I figured I would just use some type of export feature in flickr. It turns out it’s not so simple mostly because flickr doesn’t include a feature to export metadata to a csv file (why flickr? why????).
I did a lot of google searching (and soul searching to see how important it was to have this data) and eventually came upon this post by Joshua at HunterTrek who created python script for getting metadata using the Flickr API.
Part of me felt like giving up as there are quite a few steps involved in getting it to work, namely downloading a few programs so you can run a python script. Ultimately the allure of data was too much, and I followed their steps.
So here is how to export flickr metadata to a csv file:
- Downloaded ActivePython for Mac.
- Downloaded Flickr API vPython 2.7.
- Installed the Flickr API following these instructions.
- Downloaded Flickr Metadata Python script from Joshua.
- Requested a Flickr API Key for non-commercial use and got one.
- Determined my Flickr ID (top right corner).
- Opened the Python script, added the API, secret, and ID for my photos.
- Ran the Python script and got an error, “flickr.get.token.part.one”.
- Googled and found this solution to error, “flickr.get.token.part.one”.
- Ran the Python script successfully.
- Exported the database to CSV using a terminal command flickr_photo_metadata_download.py -export.
- Opened the CSV in Excel.
Now ideally this is where the story would end. And it almost did, but unfortunately the data exported from the Python script does not include Album (aka Photoset) information. That’s one of the pieces I wanted to analyze. So I looked for a way to modify the script and (eventually) was successful.
A bit more google-action helped me determine how to grab photoset information from the API. Weirdly it’s not in the getinfo call like everything else is but rather via flickr.photos.getAllContexts.
Through trial and error, I got it working by changing / adding the following lines to the Python Script:
In dedup_photos added the bolded text to
db.execute("CREATE TABLE temptable (id int, photo_title text, photo_origformat text, photo_media text, photo_description text, photo_date_posted text, photo_date_taken text, photo_url text, photo_album text)")
In export added the bolded text to
outputwriter.writerow(['PhotoID', 'FileName', 'FileFormat', 'MediaType', 'Description', 'UploadDateTime', 'CreatedDateTime', 'URL', 'PhotoSets', 'Tags'])
In connecting to the database I added the bolded text to
db.execute("CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS photos(id int, photo_title text, photo_origformat text, photo_media text, photo_description text, photo_date_posted text, photo_date_taken text, photo_url text, photo_album text)")
In querying flickr for photo metadata I added the following lines after photo_url
photoalbuminfo = flickr.photos_getAllContexts(photo_id=id)
photo_album = photoalbuminfo.find('set').attrib['title'] #gets the first album set
And the bolded text to the
photo_all_info = (id, photo_title, photo_origformat, photo_media, photo_description, photo_date_posted, photo_date_taken, photo_url, photo_album)
And an extra question mark in
db.execute("INSERT INTO photos values (?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?)”,photo_all_info)
If you want to do the same thing, you can download an updated copy of Joshua’s python script here: Flickr Download Photo Metadata with Photoset Information
Today’s the day. After being a nomad for 550 days, I’m hanging up my traveling shoes and settling back in NYC (Brooklyn to be exact).
From March 1, 2015 to September 1, 2016, I lived out of two bags, traveling the world for work, fun, and selfies. After 18 months, I decided to return to the homeful lifestyle (though I’ll still be traveling quite a bit, including a 3-week stretch that starts in 3 weeks).
To honor the closing of one chapter in my life, I decided to take a quantitative look back at the experience (much like I did when I surpassed 1,000 performances).
Travel by Month
In total, I traveled an estimated 159,023 miles (that’s 255,922 kilometers).
Note: This is only the miles it took to get from one place to another; I didn’t track distance traveled within a destination (such as all the walking I did in Texas when PokemonGo came out).
159,000 miles is the equivalent of roughly 6 trips around the globe (given the Earth’s circumference is measured at 24,874 miles), or one circumnavigation every 3 months.
I averaged nearly 8,900 miles per month. A few notes:
- The most I traveled in 1 month was 28,910 miles in March 2016 (18% of total miles traveled). That involved visiting New York, Madrid, Lisbon, Dallas, Los Angeles, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and San Francisco. 8 major cities in 5 countries in 31 days isn’t bad.
- The second busiest month of travel was this last month, August 2016, at 12,165 miles, which included trips to London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Cincinnati, and New York.
- The least I traveled in a month was July 2015 at just 3,240 miles. Even though it was my lowest total, I still hit Cincinnati, Philadelphia, New York, DC, Chicago, and Detroit.
Not all time periods were equal when it came to traveling.
I definitely traveled the most at the beginning of the year, nearly 50% more than the other quarters. The summer was (barely) my lightest travel time, mostly due to a slowdown in work engagements.
Tuesday was by far my busiest travel day at 47,609 miles or 30% of all travel coming on that day. That likely has to do with the fact that flights tend to be cheapest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The next busiest was Friday at 28,476 miles (18%). My most relaxed day (at least when it came to travel) was Sunday at 11,084 miles (7%).
Naturally there were ebbs and flows to my travel.
The most I ever traveled in one day was 9,130 miles, which included a flight from Singapore to Los Angeles and then on to San Francisco.
I did some form of significant travel on 247 out of the 550 days (45%). On the 303 days I didn’t travel, I often did local trips to restaurants, parks, and theaters, I just didn’t move from one location to another.
A few notes:
- Over the 550 days, I had 247 stays. 54% of those stays (135 total) were for a single day. 84% were for 3 days or less, 97% were for 7 days or less.
- The longest I stayed in one place was 18 days, in January 2016, when I stayed at my girlfriend-at-that-time’s (GATT) place in Palo Alto.
- The most consecutive days I traveled was 17, during my summer 2015 road trip with my brother, when we covered 8,027 miles (6,000 of which were via car), hitting 39 cities in 19 states.
Travel by Location
In those 150,000+ miles I went to a lot of places, including 142 different cities, all 50 states, 14 countries, and 3 continents. (You can check out a list of all the cities if you’re interested.)
All told, I had 609 “visits,” where a visit means I did something in that place, whether it be leading an event, going to a local attraction, or sleeping there (hey, sleeping is something). So if I was driving through and stopped to do a show and then moved on, that was 1 visit. If I stayed in a city for 5 days, that was 5 visits.
Despite having left NYC, I still found myself back here quite a bit, thanks in large part to working with companies based here and it being a great launching point for European travels.
The #2 and #3 most popular spots weren’t that surprising, considering my mom lives in Ohio and it gave me a spot to crash when I wasn’t headed somewhere specific, and the Bay Area was where my GATT was and was a potential destination when I decided to stop the nomadism.
On the flipside, I visited 81 cities (57%) just once.
The top three states weren’t surprising, considering what I just mentioned about the top cities.
#4 wasn’t a surprise either; my brother lives in Texas and I visited a few times to guest teach his classes, as well as had a couple of events elsewhere in the state. Arizona at #5 seemed high, but it was popular due to conferences and wanting to see the Grand Canyon (which I did twice on these travels).
USA! USA! USA! accounted for 89% of my visits. Second was Norway and Singapore where for both I spent 10 days doing events and sightseeing. I was only in Belgium and Malaysia for one night each, still managing to do an event in both.
Travel by Transportation Method
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles isn’t just a 1987 comedy, it was also how I got around during my nomadic journey (plus buses and a ferry).
I took 66 flights (not including layovers), 181 car trips, 47 trains (not including subways), 8 buses, and 1 ferry. A few notes:
- 72% of distance covered was via flights (114,709 miles). If the average plane speed is 575 miles an hour, that’s 200 hours in a plane, or 8 days. That doesn’t count taxi, take-off, landing, or waiting for the boarding doors to close.
- 24% of my mileage came by car at 38,936 miles. If I averaged a speed of 60 miles an hour (which is generous considering the amount of time I spent in LA traffic alone), that’s 651 hours, or 27 days, in the car.
- 3% of travel was by train (or subway) at 4,596 miles, 0.7% by bus (1,077 miles), and 0.00% by ferry (1 trip for 5 miles).
- My longest flight was 8,800 miles from LAX to SIN (Singapore). My longest car trip (in a day) was 685 miles, driving from St Louis, MO to Burlington, CO (en route to San Francisco).
Travel by Companions
I had the pleasure of seeing and hanging out with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of people throughout my trips. Being nomadic gave me an opportunity to visit friends all over the world, attend a variety of conferences and festivals, and of course meet tons of interesting people along the way.
That said, a majority of my time going from once place to another (e.g. flights) was done alone. 88% of the miles traveled (140,807) were done by myself. As an introvert, I didn’t mind this at all.
5% of travel (7,869 miles) was done with my brother, including our epic road trip in the summer of 2015, and 4% (6,505 miles) were with my GATT, including cross-country drives to and from Palo Alto.
Accommodations by Place
While most of my travel was done on my own, most of my visiting was not. I certainly could not have pulled off this adventure without the help and support of some incredible people.
I mean that on an emotional level, but that’s hard to quantify, so here’s the support some provided on a “you can sleep here” level.
There were a mix of different types of accommodations, including staying with friends, family, friends of friends (FoF), AirBNB, while in transit, and at my apartment.
Which I guess now is a good time to confess something: though I’m ending my nomadic journey today, I’ve technically had an apartment for about a month. BUT I barely spent time there this last month, which was also my second busiest travel month of the entire experience. Plus 18 months sounds a lot better than 17…
That said, here are a few notes about where I stayed:
- 38% of my stays (208 nights) were with friends. 86 nights were at my GATT’s place. 28 nights were with my now current roommates, and 25 nights were with my best friend since 7th grade.
- 32%, or 176 nights, were at hotels. A majority of stays were split at either Wyndham properties (47 nights) or Marriott brands (44 nights).
- 19% of the time (103 nights), I stayed with family. 72 of those nights (13% of all stays) were at my mom’s. I also stayed with my brother David, my grandma, my cousin Jean, and my cousin Stephanie.
- 4% of stays (23 nights) were via AirBNB, including 2 nights on a houseboat in Amsterdam.
- 2% (13 nights) were with friends of friends, including friends through CSz, friend’s parent’s places, and someone’s office.
- 2% (13 nights) were spent sleeping in transit, including 5 flights, 3 trains, 3 stays in a Walmart parking lot and two different nights in a rest area.
Like I said, I couldn’t have done this alone.
A Few Final Pieces of Data
As of this line, we’re sitting at over 1,400 words for this post, so I’m going to wrap it up. Here are a few random pieces of data that I couldn’t fit anywhere else:
- I did 151 engagements for work and 136 performances over the 18 months of being a nomad.
- I traveled with 33 pounds of stuff. On average, I wore 6 pounds worth of clothing, had a backpack with 11 pounds worth of gear, and a carry-on bag of 22 pounds of clothes.
- I spent $44,000 on travel over the course of the journey, an average of $2400 / month. A lot of that money was reimbursed by clients when they brought me in for various events, the rest was out-of-pocket.
- On January 1, 2016, after 9 months of traveling (and getting through the holidays), I was statistically the fattest I have ever been. I weighed in at 151 pounds with a 33″ stomach. I’m now back down to 144 pounds with a 32″ stomach.
Over the course of 18 months, I went to 142 cities in 50 states, 14 countries, and 3 continents. Here’s the master list of all the places I went.
Bold = when the story takes place for that state with the (#) denoting the order.
Italics = international countries that are outside the scope of the book.
New York, Ohio (1), New York, Switzerland, Italy, France, New York, Virginia (2), Maryland (3), DC, New York
New York, Ohio, New York, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, New York
Ohio, New York, Massachusetts (4), Vermont (5), Maine (6), Rhode Island (7), New York, Ohio, Tennessee (8), Alabama (9), Mississippi (10), Arkansas (11), Louisiana (12), Alabama, Florida (13), South Carolina (14), Pennsylvania (15), Ohio
Ohio, Illinois, California, Illinois, Iowa (16), Nebraska (17), Kansas (18), Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma (19), New Mexico (20), Colorado (21), Wyoming, Utah, Idaho (22), Montana (23), Wyoming (24), South Dakota (25), North Dakota (26), Minnesota (27), Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio
Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, DC, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Michigan
Michigan (28), Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, New York, Georgia (29), Texas (30), Arizona (31), Utah, Arizona, California
California, Alaska (32), Canada, Illinois (33)
Illinois, Oregon (34), Washington (35), Ohio, Indiana (36), Ohio, New York, Connecticut (37), New York, New Jersey (38), New York, Ohio, Kentucky (39), Ohio, Canada, New York
New York (40), California, Nevada, Illinois, Wisconsin (41), Illinois, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware (42), New York, Ohio, Alabama, Louisiana
Texas, Ohio, New York, Ohio, Missouri (43), Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Utah (44), Nevada (45)
Nevada, California (46), Georgia, West Virginia (47), North Carolina (48), Georgia, New York
Maryland (49), New York, Alaska, Hawaii (50)
Note: After I finished all 50 states, I continued to live as nomad until September 1, 2016, going to: California, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Spain, Portugal, Singapore, Malaysia, Arizona, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Texas, England, Scotland, and Florida.
Nomad City List
Amarillo, TX. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Anaheim, CA. Anchorage, AK. Ann Arbor, MI. Athens, OH. Atlanta, GA. Bakersfield, CA. Baltimore, MD. Bandalier, NM. Barre, VT. Baton Rouge, LA. Berlin, CT. Bessemer, AL. Big Sur, CA. Bismarck, ND. Boston, MA. Bozeman, MT. Brooklyn, NY. Brussels, Belgium. Buffalo, WY. Burlington, CO. Cameron, AZ. Cheyenne, WY. Chicago, IL. College Station, TX. Colorado Springs, CO. Columbia, SC. Columbus, OH. Craters of the Moon, ID. Dallas, TX. Denver, CO. Des Moines, IA. Detroit, MI. Dijon, France. Dillon, SC. Dubois, PA. Durham, NC. Fargo, ND. Flagstaff, AZ. Geneva, Switzerland. Goodland, KS. Grand Canyon North Rim, AZ. Grand Canyon South Rim, AZ. Gulf Shores, AL. Helena, MT. Highland Heights, KY. Hoboken, NJ. Hollywood, FL. Honolulu, HI. Houston, TX. Huntington, WV. Huntsville, AL. Hutchinson, KS. Indianapolis, IN. Jackson, MS. Juneau, AK. Kanab, UT. Kansas City, KS. Kasha Katuew, NM. Kent, OH. Kirkcaldy, Scotland. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Labelle, Canada. Lancaster, PA. Las Vegas, NV. Lincoln, NE. Lisbon, Portugal. Little Rock, AR. London, England. Long Island, NY. Los Angeles, CA. Louisville, KY. Madison, WI. Madrid, Spain. Manchester, NH. Manhattan, KS. Mason, OH. Milan, Italy. Mill Valley, CA. Milwaukee, WI. Minneapolis, MN. Moab, UT. Montreal, Canada. Mt Kisco, NY. Mt Rushmore, SD. Nashville, TN. New Orleans, LA. New York, NY. Newport, RI. Ogden, UT. Oklahoma City, OK. Omaha, NE. Oslo, Norway. Oxford, England. Page, AZ. Palo Alto, CA. Philadelphia, PA. Phoenix, AZ. Pierre, SD. Pikes Peak, CO. Pine Falls, AR. Pocatello, ID. Pomona, CA. Portland, ME. Poughkeepsie, NY. Pringle, SD. Provo, UT. Quad Cities, IL. Queens, NY. Rawlins, WY. Richmond, VA. Rock Springs, WY. Sacramento, CA. Salina, KS. Salt Lake City, UT. San Francisco, CA. Santa Fe, NM. Savannah, GA. Scottsdale, AZ. Seattle, WA. Sedona, AZ. Singapore, Singapore. Somerset, PA. St Louis, MO. Stavanger, Norway. Stevensville, MI. Stuart, IA. Sturbridge, MA. Tarrytown, NY. Topeka, KS. Toronto, Canada. Turin, Italy. Venice, Italy. Washington, DC. Wheaton, MD. White Plains, NY. Williams, AZ. Winnemucca, NV. Yellowstone, WY. Yorklyn, DE. Zion, UT.
Note to future self: I need to visit cities that start with E, U, and X.
On March 1, 2015, I left NYC to become a nomad. On September 1, 2016, I’ll be returning to NYC to stop being a nomad.
Over these 18 months as a nomad, I’ve traveled to all 50 states, 14 countries, and 3 continents. And I’ve spent 114 nights in the city that never sleeps (often times very much sleeping).
Returning to my former home of seven years was never a foregone conclusion, I anticipated that the allure of warmer weather would draw me to the west coast. But then fate stepped in. And by fate, I mean chance and choice.
During a recent trip back to the city, I visited Brady, Ian, and Matt, three fellow OSU / 8th Floor alumni, and friends who have hosted me countful times (28 to be exact) while nomadding. They just moved into a four bedroom apartment in Brooklyn with another friend from comedy, who stayed a whole month before promptly getting a writing job in LA.
So, they were in need of a roommate. I was in need of a room. Fate? No, but it sure was convenient.
And that’s basically the reason. I mean, yes, I had already done my research and had narrowed my eventual destination to NYC, SF, or LA, and yes, NYC is a great choice for professional, comedic, and personal reasons, and no, it has nothing to do with the fact that Chick Fil A is now in the city.
It really comes down to the fact that moving back to NYC means: I don’t have to find an apartment, I don’t have to research a neighborhood, and I don’t have to figure out roommates. Plus I get to live with three hilarious dudes who root for the Buckeyes (both the OSU athletic team and the delicious chocolate / peanut butter treats).
I look forward to eating $1 pizza and $15 milkshakes, seeing beautiful skylines and ugly subway stations, interacting with passionate people and aggressive jerks, and using efficient grid layouts and streets that smell like trash in the summer.
All that’s left to do is load up my New York playlist. (And complete the lease paperwork, rent a car, drive to Ohio, remove my stuff from storage, load the car, drive back to New York, unload the car, go to Ikea, buy Lincoln Log-esque furniture, return to the apartment, put it all together, return the car, and take the subway home).