Meet the Lost Boy Ryan | Adventure Travel Blogger

In All Topics, Lifestyle, Personal by Ryan41 Comments

HELLO

Hello wanderer. Hello dreamer. Hello friend — old, new, or soon to be.

My name is Ryan and I am honored you have graced my little travel-themed slice of the internet with your presence. This blog on the basic level is a collection of my travels and mis-adventures; an odyssey of oddities if you will — not to find myself but to create myself.

To travel is to seek out true knowledge first hand. Discover cultures around the world with an open mind and naked eyes. Nothing else naked, don’t worry. Okay, there was that one time but that’s a story for another blog post. And sometimes I recount the tales when I land in hilariously awkward situations.

Will you get lost with me?

Ryan is a… wait, why am I writing in 3rd person? Forget that.

Rewind. My name is Ryan, and I’m a self-proclaimed corporate escape artist with a severe disdain for the mundane, a hammock addict, an adrenaline junky, and a dreamer. My story is yet to be finished, so I can’t write a true “about me” since I am a continual work in progress. I will tell you my story thus far, and I hope you will share yours in return.

A travel blogger by passion, photographer and videographer by trade, and a graphic designer. Sometimes I dress up like a warrior in foreign countries, or drive rickshaws for fun across India.

Dreams are a funny thing. They seem vaporous — something that appears and you try to grasp it and it drifts through your finger tips. At least that is what society wants us to think. But once you stop listening to what people say you can’t do, things come to fruition.

In 2011 I was the first person in my family to get a passport. It was as if I had opened up a chocolate bar and discovered a golden ticket, albeit one issued by the government of ‘Murica with “sensitive tracking devices” inside. But  I was one giddy dude who felt that the world had opened up for him. There may have been heel clicks involved and a happy dance. You will never see it.

Up until New Zealand stole my travel virginity (what a vixen she was…but she was gentle) I did what most people assume Americans do. I worked long hours to make money for some rich chump just to get by. I drank my weight in booze because days were miserable. I spent all of my money on big screen TVs and shiny junk to amuse myself. I bought into the ideals that were force fed to us through media. And I didn’t have any interest in what the rest of the world was like. I slurped in the idea of the “American Dream” as it was spoon fed to me while I lived to work, and let my real dreams fall to the wayside.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” 
The Alchemist
Life and the world itself up until I was 20 was encased in the quarter acre plot; home was where the heart lived, lied, broke, and died. Nothing outside a labor lifestyle encouraged. In my boyhood my father was a drunk and my mother was a druggy. Yelling and beatings were the lullabies and police lights were my night-lights. For a very long time, up until my first trip abroad, I believed life existed the yellow asbestos-shingled house with brown shudders and a red door that I grew up in. A small town with a small town mentality.

That’s what I imagined all families were like.

Growing up, I was scolded daily by my father for my head being too much in the clouds. That I lived through my imagination too much. That my passionate pursuits like film or art or anything outside of blue-collar work was plain “stupid“.

That broken home was the only thing I knew, and it came crumbling down in the summer of 2007. The world as I knew it was left in a metaphorical pile of rubble. When I was 20 years old, I found my father’s lifeless body on the back deck of our house — a sight I wish nobody else to experience. Ever. He was there one second, and gone the next. And so was the last anchor of reality as it had existed for me. My mother, years before,  had taken her own life when I was in high-school. As a “momma’s boy” it was a heart-shattering period of my life, but at least I had the support of my father and brother to keep my mind from completely melting down. At least just having their presence, since we weren’t a emotion sharing family.

After my father’s death, I spent my early twenties floating from one city to the next stumbling through life in a fog of depression in which I drowned myself in alcohol. I glorified the sloppy blur that was life like a wannabe Gatsby. I spent all of my money on drinks and clubs and partying. I wanted to be someone better than what I was. I thought I had to be someone else to accomplish this.

And then one day, something bitch-slapped me across the face. 

I was perpetually unhappy and using failed relationship after failed relationship, drunk night after drunk night, random hook-up after the next to temporarily fill the void inside me. There was always a feeling that I had — some unexplainable pull on my heart and soul that I thought would never be solved. And though I tried hard to solve this mystery with meaningless instant pleasures, it never was.

How did this change happen? When I first saw the definition of the word “fernweh” and its meaning, I felt that I had discovered the root of my unhappiness. The mystery was solved. Fernweh is German for “Farsickness“, or a longing for somewhere you have never been. It was something I had always felt — a yearning for distant places that I was in love with and hadn’t even seen yet.

Something more than the sick cycle I was trapped in. A life bigger than just getting by. I had lived my life to work, and the deaths of my parents should have taught me to cherish the precious time I had each day. Instead, I was in the carousel of the American dream; get a job, forget about my dreams, save money to buy shining things, have my 2.5 kids, regret in old age the things I didn’t do, and die.

Life isn’t short unless you aren’t living it, and I had finally found my purpose. That is what drove me to become a traveler.

Instantly I began planning a trip and saving money. Life became clearer than it had ever been. After receiving my passport I quit my job, sold all (erm, most) of my worldly possessions, and took off to New Zealand without any knowledge of a nomadic lifestyle. And I did it with a one way ticket, a year work visa, and a dive-in-head-first attitude.

Yes, it wasn’t as easy as I made it seem right there.

Yes, I was scared as hell.

No, it isn’t as hard as you might imagine.

My flight to New Zealand was the scariest moment of my life. I was alone, I was clueless, and I feared failure. But nothing easy is worth chasing. If I wasn’t experiencing these crazy emotions it wouldn’t be worth it.

The 8 months spent swinging life away in a hammock on white sand beaches, bungy jumping into sapphire blue lakes, kayaking to Narnia, and the unburdened life on the road taught me more about myself than ever. You could even say I became enlightened to an extent. Actually, I was just truly happy for once. Because I was living. I was self aware for once.

Now it is clear. There is no other life for me than one of travel.</p

Lost Boy Memoirs is a collection of 6 years of travel and adventures, of agonies and ecstasies of life on the road, and learning how to be a semi-permanent nomad. A collection of memoirs from personal experiences on the road, honest insight as I try to become a full-time nomad, stories of a past that haunted me and how travel helped me face that and my fight my depression, and a truthful resource for those looking to begin a life of travel.

Bottom line: I want to inspire you to chase your dreams and show you that anything trying to hold you down in life can be overcome if you are willing to fight for it. Only you can hold you back. I want you to embrace the fear of the unknown, upstart an internal revolution to escape the corporate cages, stop chasing the money pie-in-the-sky, and start chasing your dreams.

From time to time I share personal memoirs or an emotional story, but my overall writing style is a bit goofy, a bit odd with the lingo (nifty and gnarly among others), and very un-influenced by social and travel blog norms. I have a passion for poetics on occasion, and a penchant for the slap-in-the-face inspirational articles.

For the first year of travel, I was still searching for myself. I thought that somewhere out in the world I would just find that better version of Ryan, and that I would prove my brother and my father and my mother that I could be someone. It had detrimental affects, and when I returned home early from New Zealand never having found that “better” me abroad even after traveling, the depression got worse. I felt like a failure.

That is when I decided I finally needed to live for me. Not to prove my self-worth to others. It didn’t happen quickly — it took hitting rock-bottom for me to change that aspect of my life as well. Since then, travel has given me something to strive for, and something to work on myself so I could continue traveling.

Travel is the best source of knowledge I’ve ever had. Education was never given much thought or nurturing when I was growing up. In high school, I was told I would end up working at the job my father worked at no matter what I did. So, I never tried very hard. I didn’t care to learn anything. Now travel has given me an insatiable thirst for knowledge and learning, and the countries I’ve been to have taught me more about myself and about the world outside of what we are taught to view it as in school and society. Travel, to me, is the best form of education.

I don’t travel to find myself, but to create myself. I try to do so with a childlike spirit at all times. I’m not wee little Ryan anymore, but I believe that young kids truly have the ability to see the world without the restraints or influences that age and society set upon us. Children have the innate ability to see people as people; not race or sex or religion or job title or monetary value. Just as a new friend to explore the reaches of imagination — where anyone can be an adventurer or mountain climber or archeologist or singer.

Except, you don’t want to hear my karaoke. Trust me.

With this mentality of seeing the world with a childlike spirit, I hope to embody the pure form of humanity; the wonder and endless excitement of knowledge and new experiences, and to see people and cultures around the world through the naked eyes that don’t see borders, but see friends.

Of course unless you try to mug me, then we’ve got issues.


 

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“Let me tell you something kid; Everybody gets a chance to do something great. Most people never take that chance, either because they’re too scared, or they don’t recognize when it spits on they’re shoes” 
 The Babe, Sandlot

 

Now doesn’t that quote get the inspirational juices flowing! He’s correct, you know? Maybe you’ve never seen Sandlot — a movie about youth in America where the spirit of a famous baseball player, Babe Ruth, comes to a kid and tells him to grab destiny by the metaphorical (base) balls.

Inspirational right?

Well, in the real world, spirits don’t often come to us in the night to slap us in the face with inspirational enlightenment. In the real world, you and I have to make a choice — To live a life of our own making, or to live by the rules of others.

I know what I choose, what about you?

Let’s be honest, it ain’t that easy, is it? It’s not just a snap of a finger and lickety split you’re frolicking free through fields of flowers with unicorns pooping rainbows in the distance. For one, I know I wouldn’t be, I’m terribly allergic to pollen and unicorn poo.

Secondly, for my enlightenment it took a trudge through the worst depression of my life and the death of my parents to convince me I needed to make an epic change. Or end my life.

Dark? Yes. True? Very. Easy? Not at all. But life is life, and it’s what you decide to do with yours that matters!

So how do we live this storied dream of travel and adventure that is slapped all over BuzzCrud websites and “Top 10 Places You’ll Probably Never Go To Actually” articles?

That’s where this travel blog comes in.

Lost Boy Memoirs was started to help those like myself who never felt there was much for them in life. Those of us who were raised to think what we had was all that we got in life. Those who know deep down that there is so much more to be had in life and dreams to be chased.

╳ Maybe you’re tired of waking up and mumbling a big ole’ F bomb.

Maybe you don’t know how to get started with this crazy idea of traveling.

Maybe you want to join a tribe of people like yourself taking on the unthinkable?

Good. Because dammit, I want you to chase your dreams! Will share in this crazy adventure with me? Will you join this tribe of Lost Ones not trying to find ourselves, but to create ourselves, and live this crazy dream of world travel?

Not all who are lost need to be found. Are you ready to take the leap?

What’s your story?

Comments

  1. This page just got me so pumped-up! If you’re not already a public speaker you, probably should be. Thanks for the pep talk and thank you for opening up so much in this. I’m inspired.

    1. Author

      Aw shucks thank you. I don’t think I’m at that level to do public speaking but I’m flattered, and I’m so happy to help inspire!

  2. Hey man

    I stumbled across your bog and it just fuelled my desire to just get my backpack and travel the world. Actually what caught my eye is when u said “You know the stigma about Americans…Go to school, get a job, buy a house, buy a bunch of shiny crap, work towards a 401k, retire, die.” That’s pretty much the same stigma here, to an even extreme extent (By the way im from Botswana in Southern Africa). Im actually a virgin when it comes to backpacking and travelling as u may thnk abt almost all Africans but more than ever I just wanna go out any day and explore……….I need some general tips from you because I really wanna do this…….iv just completed my Masters in Economics in August but everyday I just realise more and more that my real passion is travelling. One thing for sure about me is that once I step out, im gone. I want to do what you do man.

    1. Author

      Hey Allister, congrats in completing your Masters, maybe you can use that somehow toward your goal to travel? If travel is your real passion, don’t fret about going to school and thinking it was all for naught, maybe it somehow helped fuel the fire inside for you to realize what you really want to do? And maybe somehow it can be a catalyst for it. I only began traveling 3 years ago, so it is all quite new for me as well! Keep at it and get out into the world soon Allister!

    1. Author

      Hey Anna, thank you for the heads up, still tweaking things but always love feedback like that! Glad you like the new design!

  3. Hey Ryan. I love reading your posts. Your story’s touching me.
    I hope someday I can reach my dreams.
    Travelling around the world everyday,
    and somehow can make the money for the next destinations.
    Thank you for inspire me.
    Best of luck for you, Ryan.

    1. Author

      Anna, ah! This is so nice of you to nominate me for the award! I’m honored and grateful for your compliments and I’m so happy you enjoy the blog!

    1. Author

      Hey Sab, thank you so very much for the compliments, happy you like the blog! Glad to have you along for the adventure =)

  4. Ryan, after accidentally falling face first into your blog and spending far more time than expected exploring it, I just wanted to say that you seem to have an incredible mind and a terribly beautiful soul. Your spirit reaches far across technological boundaries. Your comments about Fernweh struck a special spot in my heart. I just wanted to take a moment to reiterate what others have already said. You are devastatingly inspiring and I can only imagine what the future holds for you. You create a longing in me; to know you would be to know the universe.

    As I go I leave you with this, my favourite ancient Greek proverb via Plato: το νικαν αυτον αυτον πασων νικων πρωτη τε και αριστη. ||| To have conquered oneself is the greatest victory of all.

    shalom

  5. Hi Ryan,
    I just read this post and your story hit me.
    I’m living in a nice home, with a nice family and enough money to buy some ‘shining things’.
    My story is nothing like yours, but at the same time is exactly the same.
    I’m a dreamer. I wan’t to travel. I wan’t to do so much with my life.
    My family laughs at my plans and does not take them seriously.
    I love how you like, just did it. You made it happen, just like that.
    I don’t know if I can. I don’t know if I dare to do it, just like that.
    I think only very few people would be able to follow your footsteps.
    I would be a lucky girl if I was one of the few.

    I just wanted to say that your story is a painful and beautiful one and you truly inspired me te hold on to my dreams.
    You can be so proud of yourself.
    I’m so proud of you, (and I don’t even know you).

    1. Author

      Hey Daphne, thank you for sharing. And having a nice home and shiny things isn’t a terrible thing, but you just have to make sure that what you have in your life is making you happy. Truly happy. And if you decide it isn’t, and family and friends laugh at you for dreaming a different lifestyle, then they can laugh and watch you accomplish your life goals! know you can, all it takes is a decision to, a click of the mouse, and a passport. It’s harder than that I’m sure, but anyone ca n follow in my footsteps — but I’d rather them create their own path! That’s what you are meant to do, is forge your own path, and anyone can. If you have a nice home and shiny things, you have more chance of pursuing what you want than most nations in the world. Don’t forget that you have the ability to choose, so do so Daphne! I believe in you!
      Ryan recently posted..4 Years Traveling the World Supercut — The Choice is Yours Video

  6. Hi Ryan,

    I came here looking for a kid I grew up with, named Ryan Brown… unfortunately, I don’t think you’re the same guy (seems to be a lot of Ryan Browns, haha), but good for you pursuing your dreams, reaching out beyond what most people think of life in these times, and going for it. I decided to go the other way, have a family and such, but see priceless moments nonetheless. Hope you continue enjoying doing what you’re doing, and be well my friend.

  7. Wow, you’re story is truly inspiring and unique and sad and beautiful.
    I’m sooo glad I stumbled across your blog.
    Anna recently posted..Photo

  8. Hi Ryan,

    I just stumbled across your blog and so glad I did! I’ve just started on my travels (and blogging), and think you are an inspiration. You’re the kind of person I hope I cross paths with! Keep it up 🙂

  9. Ryan, I’m so glad I came across your blog. It’s so heartfelt and inspiring I could feel my insides literally warm up. I was a little sad upon reading this but it helped me reopen my eyes on why I came travelling. So thank you for sharing all these stories on experiences and heartaches, it reminds me that we are all the same, we are just human.

    Xox A Canadian lady riding a twisted roller coaster of ups and downs in Straya

    1. Author

      Hey there Anna! Glad you stumbled across the blog! And I never like to make anyone sad but I’m always happy to positively affect anyone so it’s good to read you found some in the blog. The heartaches come with life but we’ve got to live through them and beyond them. Happy travels Anna!

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