The Adventure

globeAnyone that comes to this site quickly realizes that I have a passion for travel. I enjoy all aspects–the planning, the journey and the destination.

I’ve traveled for fun and I’ve traveled for work. I’ve been paid to travel and I’ve also paid to travel. I’ve had  short-term  stays in extended stay hotels and turn-key apartments, and I’ve spent years in the same place.

A few months ago, I started feeling restless. I looked around my house and thought “Why do I have all this stuff?” Those times I lived in short-term housing, all I had to do was bring my clothes and a toothbrush and everything else was provided–furniture, kitchen, cookware and dishes, cable tv, internet access, housekeeping, and more. When I got tired of the place, I simply packed my bags and left. It was wonderful. I loved it. I felt light and free. I had a wanderlust that gave me energy.

Now, with lots of stuff, I feel weighed down. Anchored. Stuck.

I also realized I was getting tired of not only my stuff but where I was living. My house is fine but the area itself has never done much for me.

It’s time to move. But where to? I started making a list of the places I might like but couldn’t really decide? it’s then I got my first “aha” moment. Why not go to each one, move into an extended stay hotel, and try them out for a month or so.

But paying double housing expenses seemed ridiculous. Okay, I could put my stuff in storage. I’d need a fairly large storage unit for everything and then, of course, be prepared to pay to move it both in and out.

Did I really like my stuff that much to warrant paying for storage and moving? Not really. I started going through my house and soon realized the stuff I truly cared about could easily fit in a few trunks and very small storage unit ( 5′ x 5′).

And that’s when the second “aha” moment hit. If I’m going to travel looking for a new place to live, why not just travel.

So, starting in the Spring of 2014, I will become a full-time traveler. I’m going to sell/donate/throw out much of what I own, save those items that have sentimental value or I wish to have should I settle down. and take off.

During the next few months, I’ll be asking for your opinions on places to go, things to do, gadgets to replace, and anything else that will  make my full-time, one-bag travel easier.  (Yes, I’m going to do it with one-bag.) We have readers  from all over the world so I may ask for specific ideas of things to see, places to stay, and where to find good food.

On the plus side, I’ll be able to share more of my one bag experiences as well as talk about my destinations.  Look for more photos and possibly even some videos.

Right now, some of you are asking: “Hey Frank, what about all that travel stuff you reviewed. Are you keeping it all?”  No. Many of the items I’ve reviewed over that past few years will be up for sale. Don’t write asking me about specific things. I’ll post them in the for sale section of the forum as I go through them.

I wasn’t sure when I should have announced this but I guess there is no better time than the present.

I have a little over six months before I depart. Barring any unforseen circumstances, “The Adventure,” as I’m calling it, will soon begin.

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22 Responses to The Adventure

  1. Alan says:

    Wow, Frank!!! I am so jealous!! I don’t mean to be nosey, but how can you afford to do that?? I ask because I would love to do the same one day and want to learn from you!!!

  2. Frank@OBOW says:

    1) Work for yourself in your own business.
    2) Learn to invest your money wisely.
    3) Live below your means and stay out of debt.
    4) Don’t have kids. 🙂

    I know, I probably lost many of you on that last one.

  3. Ralph says:

    Are you married or have a significant other? Otherwise can also be done after (or early) retirement. I know a couple of single people who did this

  4. Frank@OBOW says:

    Currently single–but looking.

    I’m basically taking early retirement. I’ve got a few things in the fire that can be done completely online so that can be done anywhere.

  5. whisper says:

    Good for you Frank! It will be so interesting to follow your adventure and also the preparation to D day.

  6. elizabeth says:

    Frank, be sure to check out a couple of blogs–becomingminimalist and Mr. Money Mustache. (You probably have already done that.) They aren’t travel blogs as such, but certainly speak to the way you are going to be living your life. It takes some time, but going back and reading their archive blogs has really been transformational for me. I realized that more and more I was applying the principles of one-bag travel to the way I lived my everyday life, and that Money Mustache and Josh Becker (becoming minimalist) were striking a chord with me bigtime.

  7. Fun Travel says:

    Congratulation Frank!

    Keep us posted on your progress and please share any insights and practical aspects of “The Adventure”

  8. Neil says:

    Your dream became your goal and you’ve realized both. Wonderful. More power to you. You truly will be living out of your suitcase…Well recommended, of course.

    My sister did that for almost 5 years on a cruise line. She went from one tour/boat to the next and saved a boatload (sorry, I couldn’t resist) of money.

  9. Frank@OBOW says:

    I’ve been reading “minimalist” websites for awhile getting ideas. The hardest items to whittle down are all the things I have that are “travel” related. (I guess I’m just going to have to sell a good chunk of it)

    When I was a tour director, I lived out of a suitcase for weeks at a time. (Granted, it was a full size suitcase.) I really liked it. If it wasn’t for the passengers, I’d still be doing it. Of course living out of a smaller bag will be a bit of a challenge.

  10. Maggie says:

    The OBOW website has fans around the world. Let us know where you’re going and you may get a drink or two bought for you!

  11. Liz says:

    Have you seen the FB page “Everything, Everywhere”? he has been doing just that and might be a resource to you.

    Have great fun!!

  12. JL says:

    I second Maggie’s comment! I am sure this site will net you many warm welcomes in every country you visit – don’t forget to look up the Aussie contingent!

    It’s an enormously brave and dislocating thing to do (even for a seasoned traveller) – the vicissitudes of life no doubt prevent many who dream from attemtping it. You have the opportunity, the personal flexibility and the means – I admire your determination and I know you’ll have a ball!

  13. Paula Bag Lass says:

    You are going to live my daydream Frank! Good for you and congrats on shedding the chains of stuff and drudgery!
    I would up sticks if I was single. I certainly wouldn’t own another house…..the proverbial ball and chain, money pit, collector of dust balls, stuff and utility bills.
    My lovely husband can be adventurous but not enough to warrant selling his ever-growing 12 ft x 12 ft model train layout……yet….anyway. 😉
    I could quite happily return to the UK and rent British caravans all around the coast, (or even in Europe), canal houseboats would great too.

    Frank, you do realise that you will have to meet miss minimalist in order to stay in that lifestyle? 🙂

  14. Frank@OBOW says:

    I looked at the “Everything, Everywhere” website. Interesting how he travels with a 32″ wheeled duffel bag. Not exactly a onebagger!!!.

    I’ve been thinking about doing this lifestyle change for awhile and had been wavering. So, I thought, if I post it I have to do it.

    I realize it is a major change in my life and the stress related to it has already begun. Trying to decide what to sell, what to keep, what to give away is first on the list. Then, trying to figure out an itinerary. I have certain commitments in 2014 that I have to honor and trying to plan travel around it is “interesting” to say the least.

    About “miss minimalist”, well, that’s a whole story in itself. It seems all of my previous partners have been, dare I say, shoppers and heavy packers. One was so bad, she refused to let me travel with just one carry-on insisting I use a full size suitcase and overpack just like her. Needless to say, we never traveled nor lasted long. Her idea of a fun Saturday was hitting the mall. Her idea of a fun vacation was a week at the beach. Bad match.

    What I hadn’t mentioned was that the original plan for the USA/Canada portion of my journey was to do it in a small RV. However, the more I read about it and the work involved, I realized I preferred a hotel. RV’s are a lot of work.

    I’ve always wanted a model train layout. There is a huge one in Bryson City, NC and ever since visiting it a few years ago I thought how cool is that. Hmm…perhaps I should give up this idea of travel and get some model trains???? Nah.

  15. Paula Bag Lass says:

    Model trains compared to a life of freedom? Nah is right!
    We’ve spent thousands on it already and it isn’t even finished.
    If you’re ever in Hamburg, there is the largest one in the world, in a warehouse, three storeys high!
    Enough to put the most avid train anorak off doing their layout.

    My neighbours have an RV, you are correct, a lot of work involved and that’s before they leave their driveway.

    • Frank@OBOW says:

      The Hamburg Miniature museum has been high on my list ever since they added a working miniature airport a couple of years ago. I believe it’s also the largest of its kind in the world.

      And as an avid, self-professed, airport geek, I can’t wait to see this.

  16. tcl says:


    Looking forward to be reading your posts from the road, and how your gear held up and what you wished you brought or didn’t bring. Being something of a (one)bag addict I’m always interested in streamlining everything for every situation. OCD? Yup. 😉

    We have a small teardrop travel trailer and even that is as much work as a large RV. I was so stressed the first season we had it and we were making constant check lists. Now that we’re used to it, it’s much better but still a lot of work at the beginning and at the end of the season. The main difference I found between staying in hotels and staying in RVs is that you tend to want to stay a while longer in each place while in an RV. Maybe it’s the view, or the campsite but it’s nice to have your own coffee and tea making things.

  17. Easter Cat says:

    Congrats! I laughed at the last item on your list, because that’s definitely the heaviest thing to pack.

    Will you be posting a list of cities you’ll be visiting? It’d be awesome to have the one bag bar meetup. 🙂

    • Frank@OBOW says:

      I’ll definitely be posting about where I am on this website. I plan to upload photos and tales of my travels as well as new, practical tips for becoming even more efficient at “one bag” travel.

      Right now I’m trying to figure out how to get rid of most of my stuff–what I want to try to sell, what I’m going to donate, and what I’m going to hire people to take away.

      Then I have to figure out where I want to plant “virtual” roots. It’s necessary to have a permanent address somewhere and I”m not sure where that will be. Right now, I’m leaning towards South Dakota.. I know, some of you made a questioning face. But, South Dakota has no state income tax, allows you to register a vehicle without even stepping foot in the state, and has no annual vehicle inspection. It’s the reason so many full time RV’ers register their vehicles and themselves in SD. In the same vein, there are lots of companies in the state that will get your mail for you and forward it wherever you are. I’ve done that before and it works well.

      Then there’s finances to think about, especially international; what clothes to take; whether or not my tablet can do everything I need or should I get a lightweight laptop; and much more.

      Of course, I’ll be keeping all of you up to date on my planning because some of you might get ideas on how to make your travels easier–or to possibly even tag along. 🙂

      I’m reading the websites of full time travelers to get ideas and tips. Granted, most are much younger than I, but I’m amazed at how little they know. It’s as if common sense has gone out the window. And some have been on the road for years.

  18. Paul-in-NYS says:

    How will you handle different climates and seasons? I can imagine choosing destinations so as to have similar temperatures all the time, but that’s probably not realistic.

    In other words, will you buy clothing locally when you need it and discard it when you’re leaving for a destination where it won’t be useful? Will you focus on a few very versatile items? (BTW, I was very pleased with the Ascent packaway vest from Bean, for one day at high altitude during a summer trip, and I’ll probably use it again for a Curacao trip this winter, leaving from and returning to a cold climate.)

  19. Frank@OBOW says:

    Traveling full time doesn’t mean never coming back to a “home base.” I plan to put a few things in storage including changes of clothing. Wherever that storage unit is located will be my “home base.”

    So many people think traveling full time means never visiting friends or family. Not so. In fact, I plan a few points where I will stay for a month or two–especially in the summer months when everyone else is traveling. And since I’m 50+ in age, I’m going to need a little R & R occasionally.

    I’m not one who likes extremes in temperatures and my plans are to avoid them. It may even mean bouncing back and forth between the northern and southern hemispheres. I really don’t know yet. Most will be played by ear. . And without major extremes in temperature, especially cold, layering will work fine rather thank taking a heavy coat. The only time I might need that will be my pursuit of the Northern Lights.

    My wardrobe will be made up of a few versatile items that would go well in different climates. All I would have to do when going from say warm to cold is layer.

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