New job, new home, new lifestyle


The High Street in my new home. That’s the Queen’s primary residence up at the top. (Photo by Ray Stanton)

Even us nomads have to get back to grown-up jobs every now and again.

Even while I was doing this my mind was on what I was going to do with myself. Camel riding the Sahara = conducive to deep thoughts.

Faced with the prospect of another bar/retail/waiter/hourly job during my tour guide off-season, I experienced a moment of clairvoyance when my second season as a tour guide ended last month. “I’m going to live in a normal house and cook normal dinners and work normal hours,” I thought. It was less of a thought actually, more of an fantasy image of my future life. The thought of stability made me as happy and excited as the trip to Morocco I was on when I had it. Actually, as I was riding camels through the Sahara, surfing in Taghazout and fending off merchants in the souks of Marrakech, 10% of my brain was thinking about the daunting job hunt I had ahead of me.

Thing is, I’ve been out of a my chosen industry for three years now. I worked at an ad agency and newspaper in Minneapolis, but that was back in what feels like forever ago (2009, actually). Could I just tie up my travel and tour guide experience, put it in a container and throw it in the corner of my brain filled with the rest of my no-longer useful knowledge? Left to decay over the course of my life, I would look back decades from now and realize I scarcely remembered how to book a cheap flight, rebook cancelled ferry tickets for 50 people or understand the political complexities of 1930s Europe. The knowledge I will have once possessed will have long-since fallen by the wayside, just as so much training into the rules of Lincoln-Douglass debate did; or the methods to writing a term paper on no sleep; or the difference between 3/4″ tape and a BetaMax.

No, I can’t allow my future self to forget the knowledge my present self has from working as a tour guide. My three-year sojourn away from the bad economy in the media industry led me to an industry I loved even more: Travel. I want to spend my working days making dream holidays for people. I want to live the life where taking a jaunt to Morocco, Italy, Greece or Croatia isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime getaway, but just another day at the office.

That’s why I’m pleased to announce some pretty major changes in my life. Today, I started my first day at a new job. My new employer is launching a new product in 2013, and I’ve been asked to help with the launch. The product I’m working on specialises in charter yacht trips down Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. It’s a big step forward from my two years as a tour guide, and I’m very excited to be working with a small, family-owned business.

Of course, a permanent job means a permanent location, which is why I’m writing this from the comfort of my new flat in Windsor, England. Rubbing shoulders with Elizabeth, I now share a city with the castle in which the Queen of England spends most of her time. I’ll keep you posted on any sightings.

For now though, I must go. I have to do something I can’t believe I’m excited about. I have to wash my dishes after cooking myself dinner — something I haven’t had the opportunity to do since I last lived in my own flat in Galway, way back in April 2010. Stretching my legs around the world was nice, but now domesticity is appealing to me as much as traveling once did.

Categories : Blog Posts


  1. Archristenso says:

    Way to go John!  I look forward to seeing what this chapter brings!

  2. Matt MSP says:

    So does that mean there are couch(es) available for crashing?

  3. Matopin says:

    your daily life continues to provide so many opportunities for growth!  God bless!

  4. Kaski says:

    Looking forward to visiting you and the queen in Windsor!