93 blog posts, 184 student poems published, many thousands of miles traveled, 8 countries visited, nearly 20,000 photos taken, hundreds of students taught, and many new friends made.

I traveled by plane, train, taxi, tuk-tuks of all kinds, jeepney, tricycle, truck, van, Uber, subway, skytrain, bicycle, boat, motorbike and foot.  

I slept (or tried to sleep) in luxury boutique hotels with rooftop infinity pools, in private apartments, on mattresses that were as hard as wood and some that were a little softer, on the floors of bamboo huts and Hmong village homes, on too many overnight buses, trains and planes, in some very nice and not-so-nice AirBnBs, in rooms with snoring roommates or above Karaoke bars, under mosquito nets, in rooms that must have been 100 degrees, with spiders and insects and other crawling things, sometimes with no sheets or blankets, and on an air mattress with a furniture pad for a blanket at my son’s apartment in San Francisco.

I was hotter than I have ever been and sweat more than I thought was humanly possible.  I saw something I had never seen before every day for an entire year.  I traveled “alone” but was almost never alone or lonely.  I left my comfort zone.  

I’m returning with just three shirts (plaid, of course), one pair of pants, two pairs of shorts, five pairs of underwear, sandals, sneakers, and many stories to tell that were not published on this blog.

I spent just over $20,000 in a year, much less than I would have spent living in the US. Taking a leave of absence and traveling for a year is within your reach if you want to do it!

I cannot name any highlights because there are far too many.  I do not have a favorite country because I loved something about each of them.  There were boring days and days when I didn’t want to do anything.  I was rarely homesick and never really got sick (except for that nasty eye problem).  I cannot wait to travel again!

Spending the last few days of this year in Thailand with friends Maya and Tony who I met in the Philippines. Could not have had a more perfect way to finish this trip! (photo by Maya)

I met a millionaire or two and many people who live on a few dollars or less a day.  I met people who have changed my life.

On June 29, I begin the journey home, 365 days after I left for Honduras.  

But I’m not finished.

I need to reflect more on the past year and write about what it has meant for me.  I will revisit my goals and see what I have achieved.  I will think about my future and set new goals.  

I will continue to write, take pictures and reflect, albeit less frequently, but my posts will not be just about traveling the world.  I’m not sure what they will be about, but I have some ideas to get me started.

  • What have I learned from taking a year off to travel and volunteer?
  • How will this experience shape my future?
  • Updates on the lives of some of the people I met and wrote about.
  • How can I do this again?  What will I do differently next time?
  • What resources and tips can I share for those who might want to do something like this?

Feel free to unsubscribe if my thoughts don’t interest you; I will not be offended or disappointed.  None of us needs extra emails crowding their inbox.  To those of you who have followed my journey, thank you for your time, your comments, your thoughts and good wishes.  I have enjoyed having you with me and I do look forward to seeing many of you back at home!

I’m already on my way home. (photo by Tony)

Comments (17):

  1. Lori

    June 28, 2017 at 13:34

    Oh Tim!!! It has been a honor and privilege to have the opportunity to follow you and live vicariously through your incredible adventure! I am humbled, awed and inspired…..and so much more! Thank you is just not enough……you will always have my deepest gratitude for allowing me to follow you on your amazing journey! Looking forward to seeing you and talking with you! Safe travels home! You have been missed deeply!

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 1, 2017 at 08:08

      Thank you, Lori. I’ve always looked forward to reading your comments and appreciate your encouragement!

  2. Paula Agins

    June 28, 2017 at 15:32

    Can’t tell you how much I looked forward to your posts. At times I felt like I was there and other times it felt unreal. Every post brought out such emotions and reflection on life. So looking forward to you being home.

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 1, 2017 at 08:09

      Thanks, Paula. It was great having you along for the ride. Thank you for keeping in touch and sharing your thoughts.

  3. Elaine Temel

    June 28, 2017 at 15:39

    So amazing, Tim. I can hardly imagine what it was really ,like…so I just love seeing your blogs. The pictures have been incredible to see and truly inspiring. You look so happy (and very thin!!) in your last picture! What will be your first treat back home? Pizza? a soft bed? 🙂
    Welcome back!

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 1, 2017 at 08:13

      I’m just so happy to be having a break from rice! It has been a great journey, and mostly a very happy one. Thanks for following me and sharing your thoughts.

  4. Vicky Ann Deledda

    June 29, 2017 at 09:23

    I’m a dreamer.
    I’m a follower.
    I’m a believer.
    I’m a grateful fan of your traveling skills and writings, as you know.
    Now I wonder, also, how I can continue to pursue my dreams.

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 1, 2017 at 08:17

      Keep traveling. The answers are on the road (or in the tuk tuk).

  5. Anthony

    June 29, 2017 at 18:04

    G’day Tim, We’ll do an virtual ‘tag, you’re it’ as Jean & I fly out for our next walkabout on 1st July. I’m in the empty flat we rented in Sydney scrubbing away for the inspection later this afternoon. Best of luck with the trip home and all the goals, plans and settling back to American life that awaits you.

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 1, 2017 at 08:21

      Amazing! Does that mean I should be on the road again by the time you return? Best of luck and thank you so much for all of your help and for following along on my journey. I am always telling the story of how we met whenever I’m asked about how this all started. I’ll be looking for your posts!

  6. Sarah

    June 30, 2017 at 06:37

    Tim, it has been a pleasure following your adventures. Your posts were always so thoughtful and thought provoking. I am really glad you will continue to share your ideas with with us. Please don’t stop writing.

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 1, 2017 at 08:31

      Thank you, Sarah. I’m so glad you have followed along. I was just sharing our Machu Picchu adventure with Maya and Tony. I’ll keep writing!

  7. Karen

    July 4, 2017 at 10:52

    I am going to truly miss your adventuresome posts. I really looked forward to them. Can wait to catch up at some library meetings when you get back to PMS and learn even more!

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 11, 2017 at 09:21

      Oh, yes, there are stories to tell.

  8. Karen

    July 4, 2017 at 10:53

    Can’t wait to catch up
    Not can wait. Love autocorrect and typos.

  9. Julie Aquilizan

    July 4, 2017 at 11:11

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, insights, perspectives and most importantly, yourself! I am in awe of your courage, generous spirit, sense of adventure and your ability to communicate so effectively with pictures and your writing. I appreciate the encouragement to dream and make the dreams come true and keeping things in perspective. Best wishes for your transition back home. I am excited to continue to learn from you my friend!

    • Tim Flanagan

      July 11, 2017 at 09:22

      Thanks for following along, Julie!


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