From an early age, there’s always been one thing I was sure of — I wanted to go far away. When I was six years old and my family would drive through the Ohio State University campus in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, I would look out the window and imagine that when I eventually went to college, it wouldn’t be someplace so close to home.
I got my first taste of real travel about a week after I turned 18, on a concrete soccer pitch in a slum in San Jose, Costa Rica. These kids ran circles around us and the guys our age played mercilessly; everyone played with a smile. About a month later, I moved 800 miles from home to attend school in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
I got my second taste of travel when I was 19 and left for Iceland for several months to study renewable energy. During that summer, I traveled around most of the island, even driving from the south coast to the north coast through the desert in the interior. I returned to the US prematurely, and spent the next few years of school fantasizing about when I’d get to resume the adventure I had unnecessarily left early.
A month after I turned 22, I moved from Saint Paul to Kathmandu, Nepal to teach English for the better part of a year. When my contract finished, I left for Beijing and didn’t get back on a plane until I made it to Greece.
Standard Passenger began as and remains a way for me to not only chronicle my experience, but also to motivate me to never stop seeking out new experiences.
This is the beginning of something. Even if I’m living in the US, working 9-5 with a busy commute, Standard Passenger is never going away. It may eventually go quiet for some time, but it will always be back.
The Guy Behind the Words + Photos
Standard Passenger Stats So Far
Highest elevation: 4,700m/15,419ft, Tsergo Ri, Langtang Valley, Nepal
Longest flight: LA to Hong Kong, 15hrs/11,674km
Longest bus ride: Tbilisi, Georgia to Trabzon, Turkey, 11hrs/588km
Longest train ride: Beijing to Jiayuguan, 26 hours/1,968km
Longest boat ride: Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan to Alat, Azerbaijan, 30 hours/350km
Times with food poisoning: 5
Scooter crashes: 1
Disputes with police: 4
Words typed: 95,739