I used to travel a lot. And then for several years we didn’t. Seemed like we just got tired of it. Whenever a holiday would start approaching everyone in the office started talking about going here or there, about this or that exciting destination, and all I had on my mind was “People Mountain People Sea“: packed train stations and airports, overpriced hotels, and really just another boxed checked. More and more, over the years, it felt like I needed a vacation after the vacation. Luckily, wife felt the same, so there was no pressure from her. We actually kind of enjoyed the fact that everyone left town during the holidays. Not to mention the horror stories of people who went to Thailand only to run into someone from the office on the beach there. Still, there was some peer pressure, there’d be the inevitable “what’d you guys do over the holidays?”

Why do we even travel I asked myself. To see things, to see the world. Ok, sure. I don’t think most people really dive in, though. For many a vacation is simply a time to get spoiled and get served, like a spa. For others, seeing the world is little more than a travel documentary on TV: just a bit of Instagram-ready prepackaged entertainment. Get off the tour bus, take five minutes to take some pictures, get back on the bus. But ok, I’ve done both too, so I shouldn’t be judgmental. Let people do it. But I needed something really new.

I needed something that lasts much longer, not a five-day four-night stint, more like three months, six, or a year. I needed a journey, not a trip. And where would I go even if I had the time. I knew some people who went biking around the world. That sounded more like it. I also wanted to go to slightly more extreme and dangerous places, places which are frozen, deserts, remote islands. All of it seemed very unrealistic. There was no way I would be able to get away for a year to do something like that, and it bordered on irresponsible. I had a small daughter. Also, frankly, I wasn’t the thrill type of guy to jump out of airplanes.

I was exploring Google Earth one day looking for “locations”.