Welcome to The Zen Nomad
Hello, my name’s Daniel. I’m the author and publisher here at The Zen Nomad. You can read more about my personal journey here.
Please read on to discover more about the journey, purpose and direction of The Zen Nomad.
If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch with me here.
Namaste, and Happy Travels!
Combining my three biggest passions (writing, travel and self-development), I created The Zen Nomad to spread the belief that you can use travel as a catalyst to change your life for the better.
The Zen Nomad’s vision of ‘growth through travel’ is underpinned by the following beliefs:
•You don’t have to do what people tell you to do.
•Travel combined with experiential learning is a great way to explore yourself.
•New experiences change the brain.
•You can learn something from every single person you meet.
•Small steps, and continuous improvement lead to meaningful changes.
I’ve used travel to change my own life. Now, by documenting my own experiences from travel, my mission is to share what I’ve learned to inspire you to embark on your own self-exploration journey and use travel as catalyst to:
•Find your happy and discover what brings you joy.
•Challenge and learn more about yourself.
•Overcome various mental issues & blind spots – i.e. fear, anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction.
•Learn how to live a simple and resourceful life.
•Learn how to become more productive and create habits that stick.
•Achieve your goals & dreams.
If you resonate with any of these beliefs, please read on to find out more about how it all begun.
To start this story, let’s go back to July 2012. My life was a looked a lot different to how it is now:
•Purpose – I was confused and didn’t know what I wanted to do in life. I’d told myself all the way through university that i was destined to become an investment banker, but upon graduation I came to realise that didn’t excite me at all.
•Goals – I had loads of ideas to start my own business but deep down I was scared to take action, and as a result, I never did anything about any of them.
•Values – I was extremely driven and worked hard, but I was motivated by things outside myself like money, success and the accumulation of materials objects.
•Alcohol – I thought I needed to drink alcohol to social, fun to be around and to have a good time. Each weekend I went out and drank without limits, which inevitably led to problems in many other areas of my life.
•Diet – Although I was a runner, exercised regularly, and played a lot of football, I ate a lot of fast food and unhealthy foods, and didn’t think twice about looking after my body.
•Lifestyle – I lived my life based on other people’s expectations and what they thought about me, spending most my time doing things I believed would impress other people.
•Struggles – I had 3 jobs at university to pay my tuition. When i finished university I was £5,000 overdrawn and didn’t have any savings to fall back on.
Upon graduating from university, and not knowing what to do do with my life, I was persuaded by my best friend Joe to join him on an adventure to Australia to work, save some money, then travel the world for a year. Based on the prospect that we had a job lined up in a grain factory somewhere in the outback, I borrowed money off Joe to book a one-way flight to Australia and that’s where the adventure began.
Like most things, my plan to travel for a year didn’t turn out that way. Through a series of serendipitous experiences and people who I met in the early days of my journey, I quickly discovered the benefits of travel as a great catalyst for one’s personal development. Little did i know, that it would be this belief that would end up fuelling a 4-year journey of self-exploration, encouraging me to make some big changes to my life.
Ever since the beginning of my journey I kept a journal while I hitchhiked and CouchSurfed from place to place. Instead of writing a repetitive account of the day’s events, I wrote about the people I met – their story, beliefs, dreams, fears & philosophy – followed by a personal account of what I could learn from them.
I didn’t discriminate or choose the people I met and wrote about along the way. Instead, I let the journey take its course, because I understood that everyone i met had a story to share, and their own unique struggles. I never judged or made assumptions. Instead, I simply listened with the empowering belief that I could learn something from every person I met.
5 years and 22 journals later, this belief coupled with deep introspection led me to some small yet meaningful changes to my own life. Here’s what my life looks like now in comparison to 5 years ago:
•Purpose – I discovered a love for writing, travel and self-development. I feel like I have found my place in the world and I’m working to build my life around these 3 passions.
•Goals – I’ve learned to take action in the face of fear and have managed to build a sustainable business around the things I love doing while travelling to over 40 countries on 4 continents.
•Values – I am still driven and hard-working but now I’m motivated by softer qualities such as meaning, simplicity and learning through experiences.
•Alcohol – I quit drinking alcohol in April 2013 and haven’t looked back since. As a result, my health and mindset has improved dramatically.
•Diet – I no longer eat fast food or processed sugars. I cook and eat consciously, exercise regularly, doing my utmost to look after my body.
•Lifestyle – Beyond wholesome food, good sleep, exercising and nurturing good relationships, I realised I don’t need much more in life, and enjoy living a simple life.
•Struggles – My life is certainly better than it was five years ago, but i also understand that i have struggles. I am very tough on myself, work incredibly hard and often find it difficult to switch off. I know there’s a lot of room for improvement here, and i’ll be working towards finding the right balance in the coming years.
The Zen Nomad is a project for life, and an ongoing enquiry into the human experience.
Asides from continuing to write and sharing my philosophies and beliefs here through weekly articles, there’s two major projects that are in the making:
Book: The Zen Nomad – Path to Peace
I’m currently writing my first book, The Zen Nomad: Path to Peace, which traces the story of my last 5 years travelling and the lessons I learned from people I met along the way. The book is set to be released by September 2018, and you can read more about it and pre-order a copy here.
I have also begun planning and preparation for the biggest journey of my life. From October 2020, i will set out on a 4-year world pilgrimage across 6 continents, in an attempt to document the unique and fascinating stories, philosophies and life lessons from everyday people I meet along the way. You can read more about the journey here. There’s various ways to get involved, so if this is something that excites you, please get in touch here.
What started as a simple initiative to record the stories and lessons of people I met while hitchhiking turned into the creation of The Zen Nomad, and a vision to empower and inspire people to change their own lives through travel.
I believe that much of the transformation that occurred in the last 5 years was a by-product of travel – particularly through the people I was fortunate enough to encounter on my journey. I am forever grateful for each and everyone of those encounters.
That’s the story for now, and I look forward to meeting you on the journey.