The Official Launch of the 10 Minute Travel Blog!

First thing, let me introduce myself.  I’m Steve and I have the travel bug.  Bad!  Since 2006’s trip to Europe, I’ve done nothing but think up ways to travel to various places and drink in the experience.  But, I am afflicted with the same problem that most people have – a job, a mortgage, credit cards, cars, TAXES….you get the idea.  Is this you, too?  It’s amazing how we’re trained over the years to consume.  Sure it’s good for the economy.  But it’s bad for people like me who realize that they have the travel bug and no real way to get it out of their system.  So, I labor on, with the occasional vacation to look forward to and trips to San Francisco and the Napa Valley on weekends and holidays.  It is nice being able to visit those Sonoma and Napa wineries.

I’ve never really wanted much for myself.  I’ve really wanted to get my four children through school and to help them have a better life than I had.  Most parents want that for their children, no?  But I realized in 2006, when planning for a trip to Italy, France and Germany that I really liked the planning part.  And, the trip was much better since I had planned out what we would be doing and where we would go on a daily basis.  Now, I’m not the type that has to stick to a schedule at all costs.  When it made sense to change our plans, we did that.  But planning the trip in 2006 was at least half the fun.  I learned something about myself during and after the trip (May, 2006).  I discovered that I had a real interest in the history and culture of other countries.  I’m still amazed at what a change this has been for me.  A friend told me once that I was “obsessed” with the idea of travel, building a website and now, blogging.  I admit that there is some truth to that.  I prefer to call it “passion”, with occasional bouts of obsessive behavior.  I can’t stop thinking about traveling and working on the website.  Does that make me a bad person?  ?

I admire those people who chuck it all and hit the road to see the world.  I often wish that was me.  They seem to have so much freedom and opportunity.  I might have done the same thing if the internet had been around when I was a young man.  But it has only been in the last few years that people could actually take their skills and training on the road and be consultants, or sell products, or just pour out their hearts for people to read on their blogs.  That’s pretty much where I want to go in the next few years.  I’m not sure where that will take me, but that’s what this blog is going to be about – how to go from working a job, having a mortgage and being trapped in one spot, to traveling the world and seeing it first-hand.  Plus, I want to stay busy, so I want to do a little work and make some extra income as I go.  That’s where I’m going.  I invite you to join me and share in the journey!

There’s good news in all of this – my wife has decided that she wants to travel and be a part of my “passion”.  She’s looking forward to living in France for a while.  I’m happy with that decision!  So now my wife and I will set out to see those places that we’ve only experienced by seeing them on TV.  We’ll go and see them in person and spend, not days, but weeks at a time (even months in some cases) in one place.  More on that later.

At the risk of boring you, I’ll just say that I have served 20 years in the military and I’m now employed by the Federal government.  I like my job, but I can’t take long trips because I have limited vacation time.  I have felt trapped for so long, and I’m anxious to get to the day when I can retire and leave it all behind.  That day is coming (2017? – maybe 2018).  Not so far away.  And not a lot of time when you think about it.  I would like to build a website that a lot of people visit to learn about great travel locations.  I’m well on the way and adding more content all the time.  If you haven’t looked at the articles, reviews and travel tips yet, please take a look and let me know what you think of the site so far.

One more thing.  My wife and I own a franchise.  It’s the big sandwich chain that has more stores in the United States than McDonalds does.  We started the first store in July, 2003.  We opened a second store 9 months later.  We sold store #1 when it became obvious that this brick-and-mortar business was going to be the death of us.  We worked so hard and didn’t make anywhere near the money we thought we should make.  We still have store #2 and that’s a handful as well.  The point is, once I realized that I wanted to travel, the store made it nearly impossible for us to leave the area, because we had a very hard time recruiting and training and KEEPING good employees.  Let’s face it, quick service restaurants don’t pay much more than minimum wage.  So keeping good employees is tough.  And unless we had trusted employees to keep the store running while we were gone, we couldn’t go anywhere.  We’re open 7 days a week and we are cleaning, preparing food or doing paperwork all the time.  We feel as though we’re handcuffed to the store most of the time.

This blog will mainly be about my “transition” from a brick-and-mortar business to a “work-anywhere-in-the-world-you-want” business.  In the next few years, my goal is to break free from all this and take my wife anywhere she wants to go and drink cappucino every morning and see the sights and meet the people.  I hope you’ll join me and help me along, because we can both learn something along the way.  It doesn’t matter if you are young or old.  We can all take the plunge.

What kind of travel are you interested in and what are your plans?  I’d love to hear them!

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