The traveler has been traveling around the world for nearly 10 years

(CNN) – He left to travel around the world in December 2012 and, almost a decade later, Tom Grond is the world traveler.

The Dutch historian, who had previously worked for the Netherlands government, described himself as a nomad and said he had no intention of returning to his former life.

Grond has traveled to 130 different countries, including Syria, Jordan, Colombia and Burkina Faso, and flown 58 planes a year.

Before embarking on her continuing journey, she had saved enough money to maintain a permanent travel life for three years, setting herself on $ 30 a day.

Like many backpackers, Grond, dubbed “Traveltomtom,” has stayed in guesthouses and stayed with as much food as he could to reduce costs.

“People think you’re from a wealthy family,” he said. “Yes, I’m very happy. I’m from the Netherlands, so I got a very good passport.

“And I saved a lot of money to go on the trip. But I kept myself from staying in the treasury. That’s what really kept me on the road for many years. great.”

Nomadic life

Tom Grond has been around the world for nearly 10 years, but he says his 2019 trip to Syria will be the biggest impact.

Tom Grond has been around the world for nearly 10 years, but he says his 2019 trip to Syria will be the biggest impact.

Tom Grond

When the website started developing in 2010, and platforms like Instagram were gaining traction, Grond realized he could make money by writing and advertising by about his travels around the world.

“I’m going to send pictures of cool places,” he said.

Grond created an Instagram account in 2014 and quickly built a huge following, gaining around 30,000 followers in a short period of time.

At that time, while travel blogging is nothing new, “travel influencers” who make a living by sharing their global knowledge on social media and personal blogs or vlogs are on the rise.

As a result, Grond finds itself being approached by hotels and organizations that offer free accommodation and information for publicity.

“I can’t believe my luck,” he admitted. “In the beginning, I liked it.

But Grond began to struggle with the difficulty of consistently creating information for the media and realized this lifestyle was not right for him.

She launched her Traveltomtom blog, where she shares updates about her travels around the world, in 2016, and now spends most of her travel on of earning money.

“Blogging is the secret of a full -time lifestyle [for me] Indeed, “yes he is.” I am very happy. ”

However, he regularly uses Instagram, as well as TikTok, to advertise about his journey, and has about 300,000 followers gathered on the sites.

Lastly, he grew from a backpacker to what he described as a “middle -class traveler,” and his days of living in dorms were locked behind him.

“I did it for three or four years, and I like it,” he said. “You’re meeting so many people, you’re encouraged by other trips.

“It’s a great way to explore the lands. You have some amazing things to do. I was kind of proud of those days. But I don’t want to sleep in a living room anymore.”

Endless Love

Grond has visited more than 130 countries, including Myanmar.

Grond has visited more than 130 countries, including Myanmar.

Tom Grond

His housing is better now, but Grond says his approach hasn’t really changed.

“I want to find out and meet with the locals and see what their lives are like,” he said. “If it weren’t for this wish, I would have stopped doing it now before.”

Of course, it’s not the only social media landscape that has changed as Grond has been on the road. The global epidemic led to a global epidemic by 2020, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought uncertainty about the global movement.

But while the detainees believed he was forced to stay in one place for several weeks, Grond flew as soon as he could, traveling to places like Mexico and with Turkey, where Covid-19 is more stable.

Although he was committed to nomadic life, Grond points out that one of the disadvantages of constant mobility is that relationships can be difficult, but he admits that he has become a thinker. in his old age.

“It’s impossible to maintain a relationship,” he said. “Of course, everything is available with WhatsApp and social media these days, but I move to a new place every two weeks, sometimes every day.

“It can be hard when you meet someone you want to be with. You always say love.

And although he had some good experiences on his journey, there were some shortcomings along the way.

Grond said he had been detained by flying police in Gabon, a country on the west coast of Africa, because he was not aware of it. from his loved ones.

However, he was much better than the bad ones, and he was always close to his family and friends at home, and the friends he made on his journey.

“I don’t have time to leave people,” he said.

Change opinions

Grond said he had no intention of returning to his former life, and he thought to himself "nomad".

Grond said he had no intention of returning to his former life and considered him a “nomad”.

Tom Grond

Of the many places he went, Grond said Syria was the biggest impact on him.

While all trips to the country are being studied due to constant conflict, he was able to visit in 2019 after getting a tour group that wanted to arrange a visa and take him around. .

“It was a very expensive trip,” he explained. “I have to pay for security and all sorts of things, but everything is necessary. Some of the cities were completely destroyed.

“There was nothing left but only two houses. Everything was finished.

“There was nothing left, but they decided to rebuild their lives, with confidence that everything could get back to normal.

After his visit to Syria, Grond traveled to Pakistan and Iraq, and was impressed by the impact of his blog posts that received people with first impressions about these places.

Although she had been traveling for seven years, she decided she wanted to visit every country in the world.

“It’s really good to go to these places and change your mind,” he explained. “So it really encouraged me. I wanted to go everywhere to show people what these places really are.”

But Grond is not quick to end this dilemma. In fact, he plans to take his time, and it hurts when he sees other travelers who are seen racing their way around the world in order to choose which way to go. countries from their list.

“I gave up that rat race of life about getting a degree, getting a job, getting a job and a family,” he said.

Continuing activities

Grond visited his 100th homeland, Jordan, in 2019.

Grond visited his 100th homeland, Jordan, in 2019.

Tom Grond

“But when I see all those people on the internet trying to visit every country in the world, it makes me think about the numbers. [to them]. Everyone is asking, ‘How many countries have you been to?’ I don’t want to enter the rat race again. “

He said he had traveled to 71 of the nearly 130 countries he had visited more than once and returned often to places he loved most.

“I have been to Pakistan four times,” he said. “I’ve been to Thailand 17 times and I go to Turkey twice a year. I love Istanbul.”

Grond tries not to plan too long in advance and doesn’t know where he will be staying or where he will be for a week or more. She is in Panama now, but will be flying to Bogota in the coming days and then moving to Paraguay.

“The main plan was to stay two weeks in South America, and a little time in Central America. Then I would really go and see my family. [in the Netherlands]. “

She will be traveling to West Africa in the coming months and plans to spend eight weeks traveling to places such as Senegal, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Equatorial Guinea.

“I’m very excited to be back in Africa,” he said. “It has been a very interesting part of my journey the last two years.

“People always ask me when I get home.

Grond will celebrate its tenth anniversary on the street in December, so will he mark that day in a special way?

“I didn’t think much about it,” he said. “I don’t know where I’m going to be in the next two days. I’m not going to miss 3,333 days of continuous travel. Of course, it’s probably over. I don’t know. But count.”

Top photo: Grond in Burkina Faso. Found: Tom Grond

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