(CNN) — He set off on a round-the-world journey in December 2012 and, nearly a decade later, traveler Tom Grond continues to be globetrotting.
The Dutch blogger, who beforehand labored for the Netherlands authorities, now describes himself as a nomad and says he has no plans to return to his former life.
Grond has traveled to round 130 completely different international locations, together with Syria, Jordan, Colombia and Burkina Faso, and as soon as took 58 flights in a yr.
Earlier than setting off on his ongoing journey, he’d saved sufficient cash to maintain a lifetime of journey repeatedly for round three years, and set himself a $30 a day finances.
Like many backpackers, Grond, generally known as “Traveltomtom,” stayed in hostels and lived as frugally as he presumably may to maintain prices down.
“Individuals assume you will need to have come from a wealthy household,” he says. “Sure, I’m very privileged. I’m from the Netherlands, so I’ve a extremely good passport.
“And I saved some huge cash to go touring. However I restricted myself to residing on a finances. That’s what truly stored me on the street for so many years.”
Nomad way of life(*10*)
Tom Grond has been touring the world for nearly 10 years, however he says it was his 2019 journey to Syria that had the largest affect.
As social media started to evolve within the 2010s, and platforms like Instagram gained traction, Grond realized that he may earn cash by writing and posting about his adventures around the globe.
“I used to be already touring and posting images of cool locations anyway,” he notes.
Grond launched an Instagram account in 2014 and shortly constructed up a big following, gaining round 30,000 followers in a comparatively quick house of time.
Again then, though journey running a blog was positively not a brand new phenomenon, “journey influencers” who make a residing by sharing their globetrotting experiences on social media and private blogs or vlogs had been rising in prominence.
In consequence, Grond discovered himself being approached by lodges and organizations providing free stays and experiences in change for promotion.
“I couldn’t imagine my luck,” he admits. “At first I cherished it. Individuals would acknowledge me, which is admittedly cool.”
However Grond started to wrestle with the strain of getting to consistently produce content material for social media and located this explicit way of life was not sustainable for him.
“The weblog is the key of being a full-time nomad [for me] actually,” he admits. “I’m tremendous blissful.”
This finally means he’s advanced from a backpacker to what he describes as a “mid-range traveler,” and his days of staying in packed dorms are behind him.
“I did it for three or 4 years, most likely, and I cherished it,” he says. “You meet so many attention-grabbing folks, you get impressed by different vacationers.
“It’s an effective way of exploring international locations. You might have essentially the most wonderful adventures. I sort of miss these days. However I don’t wish to sleep in a dorm room anymore.”
Grond has visited nearly 130 international locations, together with Myanmar.
His lodgings could also be fancier now, however Grond says his strategy to journey hasn’t actually modified.
“I nonetheless wish to discover and meet native folks and see what their life is like,” he says. “With out this ardour, I’d have stopped doing this a very long time in the past.”
In fact, it’s not simply the social media panorama that has modified whereas Grond has been on the street. The international pandemic led to the world being just about dropped at a standstill in 2020, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has introduced but extra uncertainty over worldwide journey.
However whereas restrictions meant he was lastly compelled to remain in a single place for quite a lot of weeks, Grond hopped on a aircraft as quickly as he was capable of, touring to locations like Mexico and Turkey, the place Covid-19 restrictions had been much less stringent.
Though he’s dedicated to the nomad way of life, Grond factors out that one of many downsides to consistently being on the transfer is that relationships could be a wrestle, admitting he’s turn out to be extra conscious of this as he’s gotten older.
“It’s unattainable to take care of a relationship,” he says. “Positive, everyone seems to be inside attain with WhatsApp and social media these days, however I’m shifting to a brand new place each couple of weeks, typically each couple of days.
“It may be troublesome if you happen to meet somebody that you just like to hang around with. You’re mainly all the time saying goodbye. Each few days, I’m saying goodbye to folks. It has been a wrestle.”
And whereas he’s had primarily optimistic experiences throughout his travels, there have been a couple of setbacks alongside the best way.
Grond says he was not too long ago detained by immigration police in Gabon, a rustic positioned on the west coast of Africa, because of a misunderstanding, and the ordeal made him all the extra conscious of simply how far-off he’s from his family members.
Nevertheless, he stresses that the positives far outweigh any negatives, and he’s consistently in contact along with his household and pals again house, in addition to the chums he’s made on his travels.
“I don’t have time to overlook folks,” he says.
Grond says he has no plans to return to his former lifer, and considers himself a “nomad”.