For our Wandering Wednesday guest posts we ask a fellow travel blogger to highlight one place (city or entire country) that has been one of the most memorable for them. It can be a fond type of memorable, or “my hair caught on fire, I contracted rabies, and my luggage was stolen”- type of memorable. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We’re taking it all.
For today’s Wandering Wednesday, we’re featuring Jason Batansky. Jason is a location independent 24 year old traveling throughout the world, working 20-odd hours a week running 3 web-based businesses. He writes about his world travels at Locationless Living and Flash Packer Guy.
Website: www.locationlessliving.com and www.flashpackerguy.com
Facebook: Locationless Living on facebook.
First things first, why do you travel?
I remember somebody sent me this quote a couple years ago and I always go back to it. I don’t know who it’s from but I really think it sums up why I like to travel:
“Traveling makes you the person you have always wanted to be but never had a chance to. Your smiles go a hundred miles and your positive energy attracts you to positive people. You act differently, dress differently, talk differently and feel different. With no worries in your mind and an entire strange world to explore, you wake up every day never accepting things and never having a routine. Life only gets better and people only become more warm and friendly.” – Anonymous
That being said, I’ve been traveling non-stop for the last few years and right now I’m loving exploring Philadelphia.
What brought you to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?
I grow up in the suburbs outside of Philly, but I went away for college and I have been traveling since, so even though Philly was always kind of right there I never properly experienced it. You can only experience a city so much when you’re there to visit the Zoo with your parents.
I came back because although I love to travel, I wanted to develop my business more than I could while working from a different place every day. Just about my whole family is in Philly, and since I haven’t really got spend much time with them over the last few years, I thought if I was going to plant myself somewhere for a little while this would be it. I now have two employees who work for me, and we work from my apartment in Center City, Philadelphia. I don’t plan on staying here forever, but I really love this city. It’s got a bit of a reputation as a kind of dirty, gritty city, and it is in a lot of ways, but the cultural and food scenes are surprisingly cutting-edge. (I like the grittiness, to be honest). I am excited to get back out on the road again once I get the business established a little more, but right now I love it here.
What was your most memorable experience (good or bad) from your time in Philadelphia?
I think the most memorable time was last August when I first moved to Philadelphia. I had just returned from London, and before that Israel, and before that Colombia….and on and on. I hadn’t settled anywhere for more than a few months for a long time. So I was pretty nervous when I signed the year lease for my apartment. I was debating whether I was making the right move. I moved in the few things I had and as I looked around at my completely barren apartment I was feeling a bit freaked out. So I took the elevator to the roof of my apartment building, which has a pretty amazing roof deck. I went out and sat down out there, and saw lots of people hanging out and being social, drinking out of plastic cups, soaking in the sunlight, and admiring the view, which consists of all of Philly and parts of New Jersey. I started talking to people and I quickly realized that I don’t have to spend my life showing up in hostels to meet new and exciting people. I could have a home and it wouldn’t be boring. I still go up there all the time to work.
Philly has a few different areas to check out. Center City where I live is great for going out and for the restaurants. Definitely buy a bottle of booze and check out a BYOB restaurant, one of my favorite things to do around here. Head down to South Street, with all of its glorious weirdness, and check out the Magic Gardens, which is basically an entire building that has become one man’s art project. The Art Museum here is world class, maybe the best in the U.S. outside of New York, and it has statue of Rocky Balboa outside, so you can’t miss that. At night, you should go out to Fishtown, the hipster area, and drink for cheap while immersing yourself in the all of the resident weirdness out there. Amish country isn’t too far away, which is fun, but is mostly a tourist trap.
Being in Philadelphia made me realize just how easy it is to go and travel the world, but not really know anything about where you are from. Although I’ve been traveling for the last few years, I haven’t really seen much at all in the U.S. I’ve never really been away from the East Coast. So I realize that although exotic and far away locations are the most alluring, there is always travel that can be done right around you. I think that’s a good lesson to people who want to travel and have limited budgets. You don’t need to go to the other side of the world to have a travel adventure. (Although you should try to have one on the other side of the world at some point). I am thinking more and more about seeing the rest of the U.S.
Okay, last question. Where are you headed next and why?
I know where I am going next and that is Virginia Beach. I’ll be there with a handful of friends who I lived with in Colombia. This is a great travel style. I will catch up with friends, relax by the beach, and occasionally do some site-seeing. Where I really want to go next is to a a tropical beach town in Central America to just do nothing for the month except lay by the beach, surf, and go out at night with friends.
Do you or someone you know have a memorable experience from your travels? Want to be featured on one of our Wandering Wednesday posts? Send an e-mail to email@example.com