I’ve been aimlessly roaming the world for years now with no real objective or long-term goal. I would describe my wanderings as a never-ending quest to figure out the mysteries of life. While I obviously love to travel, it has become routine and comfortable. Southeast Asia is home to me. The Middle East is too familiar. Guatemala feels like I’m sitting in front of a warm fireplace on a cool night.

The only way for me to get the next high is to explore new places even further off the beaten path. I do less and less planning to intentionally roll the dice and see what happens.

This level of comfort had led to boredom. My motivation comes and goes at random. I’m craving the unknown.

“A man with no purpose is a dead man.”

I need a new adventure. Something long term. Something to put me out of my comfort zone of being a lonely, introverted, adventure traveler.

World travel for me has become meaningless. This is my long-term plane I’ve come up with to get myself rejuvenated.

I Set a Long-Term Goal

It came to me one night about a year ago. I would work toward fulfilling another childhood dream that back in 1980, seemed impossible.

I will climb Mt. Everest before I die. (I figure that’s a realistic timeline to get the job done.)

There are a lot of obstacles in the way of me achieving this. Here are a few of the top problems to overcome:

  • I’m not a mountain climber.
  • I don’t have 100k USD to pay for the trip.
  • I’m afraid of heights these days.
  • I hate the cold.

Hundreds of climbers summit the mountain every year. It’s not as spectacular a feat as it used to be when I was a kid. However, in my mind, it’s still the same. Besides, I’m not doing this for anyone but myself.

The goal of climbing Mt. Everest gives me an excuse to spend some real time in Nepal. While Nepal is only a few countries over from where I’m sitting right now, I’ve never been there.

Maybe you need to set a new goal along these same lines to get the blood pumping.

How this Goal Keeps Me Motivated

At night, I ask myself about what I did today to prepare for Mt. Everest. I usually have an answer that’s positive and relates to everyday life.

The biggest and best thing I’m more concerned with now is physical fitness. I can’t drag my old ass up Mt. Everest unless I’m in good shape. That’s obvious. My new focus is on cardio and endurance. Since I’m coming up on 46 years of age, those are exactly the subjects I should be addressing anyway.

I currently spend a lot of my time in Thailand and do go to Muay Thai several times a week. That’s a great workout but my running has taken top priority. I usually do 5k when I hit the road but I want to increase that to a daily 10k. I don’t want to tire out when I’m 100 meters from the summit.

Either way, the thought of climbing Everest keeps me motivated about my level of fitness. While traveling, I’m now more inclined to walk greater distances with my backpack instead of taking a taxi or a bus. That saves money.

I’m inclined to spend more time exploring and climbing the waterfalls and less time drinking in new bars. That’s a good thing as well.

Rebrand & Rebrand

Establishing a new focus often means you have to do some rebranding. In my case, that included rebranding my online presence. I initially decided to rebrand my website and YouTube channel to something along the lines of mountain climbing. I called the channel Base Camp Journal.

Why Base Camp Journal? First of all, when you travel and reach your destination, the first thing you do is set up some type of base camp. That might be a one-man tent at the base of a mountain or the penthouse suite at a five-star hotel. Once you establish a base camp you can set out from there to climb, explore, or conduct international business. While the term often refers to mountaineering, that’s not the only meaning. I thought it to be a fitting combination of words to chronicle my travels around the world and the goal of climbing Mt. Everest.

However, I realized that Base Camp Journal sounded like too much of a niche for what I’m up to most of the time. I haven’t made it to Nepal, yet. I’m not doing anything substantially related to mountain climbing. It was confusing. I needed to rethink everything all over.

I rebranded my YouTube channel to Overstay Road. The focus is on Food, Beer, & Visas. That accurately describes most of what I do.

The First Priority of Business Was to Set a Second Goal

I came to the conclusion that money is the only obstacle in my way of climbing Mount Everest. It’s not the physical part at all. I need some real funds to dedicate to the cause to make this happen. So, I had to set a new goal that would take first priority.

My new objective is to generate one million dollars per month in income by making travel videos. Currently, I’m up to $5 per month. Only $999,995 more to go! When I reach the target, I will head to Mount Everest and knock out that little challenge on the back end.

Folks, the one million bucks per month… It’s not about the money. It’s about the adventure of getting there. That’s the excitement of it. I may never make it beyond five dollars per month. I don’t really care. I’m enjoying the ride.

If your current travels seem pointless, maybe it’s time you rebrand yourself. If you’re a scuba diver, it’s ok to change up your expertise and go hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I’m sure you had a great time all those years scuba diving. But for me, at some point, it’s time for a new chapter.

Life is short and you only get one ride. Rebrand yourself as many times as you can.

I’ve Simplified My Social Media

I’ve made the decision to focus on two media platforms from now on:

While I may occasionally post a link or two on other social media sites, I won’t be interacting. There’s just not enough time. By simplifying social media, it will give me more time to actually enjoy my travels and make authentic video instead of thinking about posting the perfect, useless instagram photo and caption.

I ditched Facebook years ago so that’s not an issue. I recommend you do the same. Facebook robs you of more time than any other element of your life. Get rid of it. I may have one of my girlfriends post some links on there, but that’s it. Facebook is a horrible creature.

I think the average traveler these days has one thing on his/her mind and that’s posting a trophy shot on Facebook. Hey, that’s fine if it makes you happy. The worst thing is that it takes ten seconds to snap a selfie but then hours of staring at the phone replying to comments. Just go to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and observe people’s behavior. They spend 1% of their time looking at the temple and 99% of their time starting at their cell phone. What a waste. If I weren’t making money online, I would ditch every social media platform and be done with it. The only thing I would keep is YouTube so I can watch documentaries at night.

Travel is meant to be about the moment. Unless you’re running a blog with some useful info, no one really cares about your travels. Trust me on that one. Your Facebook “friends” don’t give a damn that you’re drinking Rum Runners at the beach. If I weren’t in the online game, I wouldn’t even carry a camera with me anymore. I would leave my cell phone in my room and just enjoy being an explorer.

Simplify and prune the social media platforms you interact with. This will provide more time to actually enjoy yourself while traveling.

A New Outlook

Instead of getting drunk every night in the shadiest bars I can find, I’m now more interested in cooking, barbecuing, hiking, trekking, and long-distance backpacking. I’m not saying that I won’t get drunk every now and then and act crazy. It’s in my nature to do stupid shit. What I am saying is that the new chapter has already begun. I’m on the long road to the summit of Everest, by way of making a million dollars per month with my travel show.

Once I climb Mt. Everest, it will be time for the next adventure, whatever that may be. With a million dollars per month income, I’ll be able to expand my creativity.

Thanks for reading and browsing my random thoughts.

Drop me a line and let me know what keeps you motivated and focused when your job, travel, or life in general seems meaningless. Do you set new goals? Or, do you just embrace the grind and accept the cards you’ve been dealt.

Published by Mark Blackard

I believe in free speech, less government, & cold beer.

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1 Comment

  1. Admirable sites. Good fortune to ya. That runnung shit is O.K., but when its over, there is always more road ahead.
    Just sayin. One mile – Two Miles- Three miles…up the hill and all that silly shit.
    Keep your six covered and move slow and stay low.
    BOOGUR T.

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