I’m the one who isn’t a monk

Welcome and thanks for visiting! I’m Chris Nowakowski. I travel often. And I enjoy bringing my family and friends back home along for the ride via in-depth, story-based emails.

My travels are built on a foundation of authentic experiences, local connections, and outdoor adventures.

I love airports and sleeper trains. And I prefer to take my time.

About Chris

I’m a 30-something American suburbanite with hardcore wanderlust. Hardcore wanderlust. If I’m not traveling I’m planning a trip, fantasizing about an adventure or researching a destination.

I was lucky enough to have parents who shared their love and appreciation for travel with me from an early age. They were there when I dipped my toes in the Arctic Ocean. They paid for my high school language department trip to Spain and France. Muchas gracias! My parents even stood by when a deer kicked me in the stomach at the Grand Canyon. Uh, thanks for that!

There was one rather ugly blemish mixed in — around age 12 I turned down a trip to Russia. Something to do with television. Shameful, I know.

I’ve been trying to make up for that indiscretion ever since — a solo backpacking trip around Scandinavia at 20. France, Belgium and the Netherlands soon followed. I took a couple backpacking-style trips each year. A new Prius made 18,000 miles of road tripping around North America a must.

Recently I came to the realization that my current pace wouldn’t allow for experiencing all the places I had in mind. Could I really die without seeing Turkmenistan’s Door to Hell or Virunga National Park’s gorillas?

It was time to get my act together.

I planned a rather one-sided conversation with the engineering firm where I worked — “I want to travel much more than I already do. I can either work when my travel plans allow or quit. Take your pick.” Either way one thing was certain — traveling would be my absolute priority.

Since that conversation I’ve been busy — 9 international trips, 53 flights covering 138,469 miles and 12 new countries spanning 5 continents. I’ve been hospitalized with a tropical disease. And I still have the job.

For now.


  1. I am a 55 year old female who feels the same! My first dip was when I studied abroad in Paris during my yesrs at the George Washington University. I started taking month long trips alone 5 yrsrs sgo. It is s passion. Right now I in the heart of Kruger Park leaving today to go nack to Cape Town. It has been my most epic and amazing experience.

  2. I used to love traveling now I cringe at the thought. So it’s good you are doing it while you are still young (and have money). I can barely get off the sofa! I love looking at your photos!

    1. Really, Donna? I didn’t know you felt that way these days! Glad you enjoy the photos. Lots of them will make it here eventually… stay tuned.

  3. Hi Chris, just found your blog and looking forward to reading it thoroughly in the next few days… particularly the Myanmar pieces as we’re currently planning a trip to Mandalay/Bagan for Xmas 2018! Thanks for sharing your travel stories – great entertainment and info for fellow travellers! And I LOVE your photos! 🙏🏻

    1. I appreciate the kind words! Thank you.

      Thrilled you’re headed to Myanmar! It’s my favorite country in the world, hands down. No doubt you’ll have the time of your lives. Such beautiful people. I’m hopeful to go back for round 2 next month. Plenty to come here! I hope you find some useful info to help plan your travels.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: