Become a Full-Time Traveler

How to Become a Full-Time Traveler A (Half-Assed) Video Guide by Ryan Purvis

How to Become a Full-Time Traveler

A (Half-Assed) Video Guide by Ryan Purvis
“Just don’t be pessimistic, don’t be negative, don’t be close-minded. Like, try to say yes to everything that comes your way and just go with it. Go with it.”

Ryan Purvis has spent the past 5 years traveling the world. From Minnesota to California to Southeast Asia to the Himalayas to Australia -- and now New Zealand -- full-time traveler has become Ryan's job.

In the process, he's gone viral and created multiple popular vlogumentary series. We think that's pretty damn cool and something many travelers and potential travelers are interested in emulating. So, we decided to set up a video interview with New Zealand's Chillest Man Bun from a half a world away.

If you have any questions for Ryan that we missed, let him know in the comments section and he shall shed upon you whatever nomadic wisdom he can muster. And if, for whatever reason, you're unable to watch the video, don't fear -- we transcribed the entirety of the interview below. Cheers!

Note: The following has been lightly edited for content and clarity. You can support Ryan here.


Ryan Purvis: 

What’s up, Bop the Blog? I’m Ryan Purvis and I make travel videos…

(video montage)

… and I’m sitting here in my room in my house in Queenstown. I have a few questions that Chris and Kylie have sent over for me to answer. They’re questions that will help introduce me to you guys. Let’s do this.

You know, it was amazing for like a good three or four days but then after that it just became like what I had always known growing up. Everything had been the same. Nothing that really changed other than seeing my family which was obviously the highlight. But besides that, I mean, everything is the same. And all your childhood friends, they’ve all gone and moved away and they’re no longer close, so… yeah.
Yeah, I planned on living somewhere else for the rest of my life cause Minnesota is so cold. Why would you wanna live there? I’m probably speaking to a lot of people in Minnesota — dude, what are you doing? There’s way better places. I’m in New Zealand. It’s summer right now, it’s probably winter there for you right now. Bummer, huh?

(re-reads question aloud)

Yeah, planned to be gone this long. Don’t wanna come back. (laughs)

You know, I think it’s personally really fun because I don’t get embarrassed about things like sticking a camera up. That kind of thing doesn’t bother me, which is great.

But I know what makes it even more fun is if you have fun with it. Right, so you’re out there with a camera looking like a dope, holding the camera, you’re talking to the camera. And a guy will walk up, and you can see him out of the corner of your eye, and he’s just glaring at you like, ‘What the fuck are you doing, idiot?’

And what you do is you turn the camera around and start talking to him, put the camera in his face. (It) just reverses your nervousness, your embarrassment, your awkwardness all onto him and usually they’re very playful and fun and, like, they want to interact. So, it’s really fun if you know how to make it fun.

My brother inspired me to be a traveler growing up. He was always traveling around the world, did it for years. And then I think when I was 25 and I did a two month trip in Asia and then came back. Came back to the United States, I was living in California. And I was like I need to become a full-time traveler.

The main reason is because I just hate the culture in the United States. It’s not a place where I wanna live, where I wanna spend my time. Maybe live there some day, in the woods. Somewhere like that — just away from people.

But I just can’t stand Americans. And we get such a bad rap traveling. And you’ll notice that if you are American, we get hated on a lot, but it makes so much sense. I am so sick of the American Culture, people complaining when they’re given so many opportunities growing up. And I go to Asia for two months and I see these people who were given nothing. They were born into these environments and they’re much happier — they don’t complain.

So, I was like, ‘I have to become a full-time traveler.’ Just so I can escape this, this, complaining bubble.

So I had about $12,000 when I left for Vietnam, for my big travel — for, like, my long-term travel.

When I went on my two-month trip I had about $2,000 or $3,000 saved.  When I left for Vietnam, I think I had, yeah I had $12,000 and I put $3,000 of that away for loans, because I still pay student loans. I’m a victim to the system.

And I think my $9,000 lasted me about eleven, twelve months. You know, almost a full year. Because I’m not much of a drinker. If you drink, ohhh, that’s gonna last you like three months.

Well, when the money runs out you just get a fucking job. It’s quite simple. A lot of people think you need to go home to make a lot of money because it’s ‘We’re in America, here and I know where it’s comfortable and I know I have a job there. I can go back and I can make money’.

Well that’s not a full-time traveler. What you do, you know, you spend a month, a year, in Asia and then you go to Australia and/or New Zealand, or Japan, or the U.K. and you just start working. And you can work anywhere depending on your visa. Maybe, you know, like, if you’re a United States citizen you can go to Australia for a year and work there. And you’re taxed there. And when you run out of money you just get a job.

There’s no secret to that. You just don’t do it in the United States. You just go to a different country. And that’s where I would — I would consider that to still be a full-time traveler.

Well, yeah like I just said, when I run out of money I just get a job. And I was working at a bar and then I quit that because I got a gig — I was gonna be a freelance editor. Someone wanted me to work for them.

And that was just for making videos on YouTube. I showed them my work on YouTube and they loved my work. And then they were like, ‘Yes, do that for me.’

And then this whole thing of making videos full time has now flowered into something where I might be able to work for myself here very soon if I just keep working on my craft. So, this is all really good right now!

Yo, you just gotta go with the flow. That’s what it is. You’re gonna go into these countries and these cultures that you couldn’t imagine being in, and you’re gonna see these ways that people live — a totally different life.

And you just need to go with it. Experience it and be open-minded as you possibly can be and you’re gonna have a great time.

Just don’t be pessimistic, don’t be negative, don’t be close-minded. Like, try to say yes to everything that comes your way and just go with it. Go with it.

I switched to the GH5, It’s good for filmmaking.

I used to take photos on the Sony Alpha 6300 the Sony a7R ii. I sold those because I’m not really a photographer, I’m more of a video content creator. So, this camera is better designed for what I do. But it takes great photos, still.

Right now I use the DGI Mavic Pro. It’s super light, compact, perfect for traveling.

The videos that I have online, those are mainly filmed with the Phantom 3. And then that crashed in the Himalayas so that’s no longer here. Rest in peace.

But, yeah, got the Mavic Pro now. It’s awesome.

Probably something to document your travels.

Besides like all the common sense like a backpack and underwear and shit. Get something that’s, like, if you’re good at writing, bring a computer. If you’re good at making videos, bring a camera. If you wanna take photos, bring a camera. Just something to tell your story.

You should always document what you’re doing and go back and learn from yourself and remember those memorable experiences as vividly as you possibly can. 

I do. Biggest waste of money, in my opinion, just like any insurance.

But, do you need it? Probably. It has saved my life before with the drone. I was able to claim the drone and then they reimbursed my whole drone when it broke. So, yeah, I would say get it.

You know, what I really wanna do is fake lose something and then file a report and then claim it and then get money back… but that’s fraud. So, I probably shouldn’t do that. 

Not one time. Always easy. Even into Nepal where drones are illegal I brought it in just fine and left with it just fine. 
So, what’s next? It’s the final question. Um, just keep traveling. Right now, I currently live in New Zealand. I am here on a Working Holiday Visa and I’m in my house right now, it’s pretty dope.

I live in Queenstown, if you know where that is. It’s like the adrenaline capital of the world. So beautiful. Surrounded by mountains and this beautiful lake. Incredible.

Don’t know how long I’ll be here for even though I can legally be here for a year. But after, just continue to travel. I would love to go to Iceland, India, Indonesia again. Japan for some snowboarding.

Yeah, while I’m here in New Zealand I’m going to be doing some road trip vlogs, lots of snowboarding vlogs. And, eventually, we’re trying to go back to Nepal and do another trek with whoever would like to join. So that’s also in the making. So a bunch of things coming up that I’m super excited about.

Right now, it’s actually Christmas Eve. Don’t know when this will get posted but it’s Christmas Eve today, so Merry Christmas Eve to all of you out there if you celebrate Christmas. If not, happy holidays. 

So yeah, that’s pretty much it. The Vikings play in about two hours so I’m gonna edit this video and go watch that. I’m a huge Vikings fan if you don’t know: mad props. If you’re a Packers fan, you can suck on Aaron Rodgers —

(smash cut)

Yeah, good to meet you guys. Hopefully you liked me. Hopefully I made a good first impression. If I didn’t, tell me that I suck. Alright? I will see you guys in the next video that I make, whatever Kylie and Chris think that I should be making. I’ll post it soon. If you have any more comments leave them down below.

(waves goodbye)

Ryan Purvis

Vlogger, Photographer, Bopper
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