Q: Where did the name Ordinary Nomad come from?
Basically, I needed a name that wasn’t Where’s Wetzler, which was the name of my last blog. So I thought about my life over the past 10 years, and how I’ve been moving around a lot. I hate the term nomad, or at least the way people use it today to basically mean, “Someone who travels,” but no matter how I look it I’ve been pretty nomadic over the past 10 years. I’m like an arctic tern. I usually spend summers in Seattle if I can, and then slowly migrate south in the fall and winter, usually making it to southern Chile or Argentina.
And I thought the Ordinary part just sounded kind of catchy, and the more I thought about it it was fitting, because I’m an ordinary dude. I like to travel but I’m not obsessed with it. I like discovering other cultures and languages but I like to think it doesn’t define me.
Also I wanted a name that didn’t include my name at all, so that I might talk about myself less. It’s going really well so far.
Q: What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been?
Alaska and Cuba.
Q: How do you pay for traveling
Right now I work a combination of jobs, including teaching English and working online (and teaching English online). I’ve also worked in hostels and one Italian restaurant in Chile. I’m also fortunate to come from a family that traveled a lot and supported me greatly.
Also, I’m obsessed with finding cheap flights and cheap lodging and using frequent flyer miles to pay for flights. If you know what you’re doing, there’s no reason you should ever pay for flights, ever. Unless it’s dirt cheap and it makes sense to save your miles and pay cash.
Q: What’s your least favorite place you’ve ever been?
La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Wretched.
Q: What’s on your bucket list?
I’m woefully-traveled and ignorant when it comes to Asia. I’ve dipped my foot in the waters of Thailand and spent a long layover in Guangzhou, China, but that’s about it. I would love to go to Japan. Korea. I’ve very interested in the Russian Far East, places like Vladivostok and the Kamchatka Peninsula.
Here are my Top 5 off the top of my head:
- Svalbard, Norway
- The Kamchatka Peninsula
- Western Australia
Q: Has anything bad ever happened to you on your travels?
No. Knock on wood x 6000. Here are the worst things that have ever happened to me:
- Got given false money at Peru/Ecuador border.
- Had shit water sprayed on my pants from a faulty toilet two hours into a 27-hour bus ride in northern/central Chile.
- Had to tell roommates of first person I couchsurfed with that I was an “old friend,” and then be present for a sex toy party, and then sleep on their disgusting floor in Manchester, where it rained the entire time I was there.
- Slept at a bus stop in northern Chile and was so cold I thought ants were crawling all over me.
And probably a few, or many others, that I’ve repressed. If you’ve been reading my blog recently you’ll know that I’ve gotten bed bugs one too many times.
Q: Do you always travel alone?
No, not at all. Usually, though. I like to travel with people, it’s just usually people can’t because they have jobs, and the thing I love about traveling alone is you meet more people — you’re forced to meet more people — and you never have to consult anyone else when making decisions. I don’t mind traveling in small groups, but big groups are kind of my nightmare. Unless someone’s in charge making all the decisions and you don’t have to do anything.