A note from the editor: I reached out to John several months ago about being a guest on the podcast, but due to contractual obligations he’s unable to make appearances on any kind of media outlet. He agreed to do a written interview for us, and I couldn’t be happier.
His life is nothing short of amazing, and you should know about it. For example: John has been traveling the world non-stop for years, and he does it all while living out of this backpack:
After you’re done reading here, hop on over to his website to learn more.
ALWD: What’s the biggest cost (physically, emotionally, mentally) of always being on the move?
JVC: Deliberate life of travel is like a walking marathon with consistent breaks, so physically it’s an effective but passive way to exercise – it keeps me healthier. On the other hand, jet lag hits me hard, even after all these years and hundreds of flights later. I control where I go and when, so I can be emotionally and mentally balanced. As supposed to business travelers who have to keep strict transportation itineraries and equally demanding daily schedules.
ALWD: Successes are great, but they rarely teach us something new about ourselves. What is/are your biggest failures, and what did you learn from them?
JVC: I never asked for help, especially when I needed it. This was a necessity for the job as that was the point, but it carried into my regular daily life which I believe is a character flaw. Self-sufficiency is a great trait but as I’ve learned, a big part of that means letting others help in being sufficient.
ALWD: What questions do you ask yourself most often?
JVC: The idea of a sedentary life frightens me, especially if not by choice. So I often wonder what I’ll do if I can’t travel anymore. You see, I get bored easily and have discovered travel is the only cure for this disease we call “wanderlust”. The problem is, it’s actually incurable, it can only be treated and so the wonderfully vicious cycle continues – but for how long?
ALWD: What’s your most valuable resource?
JVC: Friends. “I have people everywhere”. That’s not a hyperbole. For the longest time I only had associates and sources around the world but now as a lifestyle world traveler, I have friends and roots, everywhere as well. Making connections with people from all walks of life gets us closer to the human condition more than any other way, that’s a valuable resource. After all, it’s the people that make life remarkable, not the things.
ALWD: You’re in great shape. How do you stay fit while traveling?
JVC: A life of travel itself is great to keep the weight off; constant walking, moving with baggage and always exploring. But to keep fit, I keep a very simple exercise program; 2 sets of 100 push-ups every other night before bed and 1 set of 500 crunches in between nights. The idea is to get to a certain physical level that’s easily maintainable without a gym or special equipment. As for my diet, I eat whatever is available in any given city, I often have no idea what I’m ingesting so I don’t bother counting calories. But I do seek high protein foods if possible because it’s sometimes quite rare in some parts of the world.
ALWD: Who are you heros?
JVC: If I had to name a specific person it would be when I was a child watching MacGyver on TV. His way of thinking, problem solving and even his nomadic lifestyle influenced me since then. Oddly, I don’t think it’s best to idolize a real person, it diminishes your own being and individuality – although imitating or learning from certain aspects of them to make your own can be quite rewarding. The best heroes are the best potentials of yourself, versions of a more evolved future self that you can strive to be.
ALWD: Most surprising thing you’ve learned about people?
JVC: That we are just a bunch of animals in the sense that we are simple. Our wants and needs are basic. Our personalities while colorful and varietal, still make us predictable and mostly common. As complex or as unique we want to believe we are, even our logic is almost always governed by instinct. But I think there’s something beautiful in that we are all the same, and also, it made my job easier.
ALWD: What’s your long term vision?
JVC: Eventually explore every country, not just step foot on it or spend a couple of days in. However, I’ve been holding back visiting new countries for some time now so that I can see the remaining 65% of the world with a significant other that I’ve yet to meet. Slowly and thoroughly experiencing all the facets of the world. All the while acquiring small homes and properties in ideal places around the world so that I can “settle” anywhere but leave if need be to settle elsewhere, such is the nomadic way.