Throughout my life and my travels I often come across amazing humans who are doing amazing things. Humans that force me to take a look at my life and make me ask myself "Am I truly focused on what matters and what is really important? What am I consuming all my time with and what is it all for? We all live different lives and have different dreams so I have decided to start introducing you to these people I meet along the way.
Hopefully they're lives can motivate and inspire you the way they do me!
Meet Thom, I met Thom at The Dollhouse, this is what we call my friend Brittany's house, I think because there is always pretty girls living there. It's seriously a magical place. A place where I've met lifelong friends, shared amazing meals with, laid out and watched movies on the lawn, had the craziest dance parties, or just lounged around all day with the best conversations. We walked to the backyard one evening tacos in hand and there was Thom just sitting in the back drinking water. We introduced ourselves and quickly found out he is Australian. I asked him how he knew Brittany and he said his friends came out last year and stayed with her and Mel, then Mel went on an Australian adventure and he met Mel surfing, then Mel said if he ever came out to California he has a place to stay. So he took her up on that offer. I asked how long his visit was and he said it was suppose to be two weeks which ended up being months. I asked how much time he was taking off and he said TWO YEARS! TWO YEARS? That was the start of my many questions. I had four days getting to know and hang out with Thom and I'm certain we will be lifelong friends.
Full Name: Thomas Glynn Wagner
IG Handle @thomawagner
Where are you from? Queensland Australia, I grew up in a rural country town but moved to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast when I had the freedom of turning 18!
Where do you currently live? Haha, that's a good question, I'm currently living in Nicaragua, but my address changes more than the weather!
What do you think of Nica so far? This place is incredible! I'm sooo stoked to be here! It was pretty over whelming at the beginning especially seeing police with Ak-47s and being in a whole different country where I can only speak little Spanish, but I have found the beach so I'm now in my element!
What is your day job in Australia? When I'm at home I am an electrician and I work 5 days a week, but if I am planning to adventure then I usually get another job to help fund my trip, so I usually bartend Friday and Saturday nights too!
Passions? I guess one of my biggest passions I have is to enjoy everything, and try to see the good side to every bad situation. I'm also passionate about the ocean and living a clean life that helps reduce plastics and garbage ending up in the river ways, ocean and also beaches.
How many bags and boards do you travel with? I take one good backpack, that contains 5 shirts, 3 boardshorts, 1 pair of jeans, shoes and toiletries. I also carry my hammock and camping gear that all fits in my bag. It depends on the trip I'm taking and the sort of waves, on this particular trip I had only planned to take one board, but I have now acquired 2 more along the way so I am traveling with 3!
Didn't you shape 1 of those 3 boards? Tell me about that! This is correct! During my time in California I became great friends with an amazing surfer and shaper plus all round good guy Ryan Sakal from Aryse Co, anyways he needed some electrical work done so as payment for that I was given such a privilege of shaping my own board. It was amazing to take a block of foam, cut, plain and sand it into a surfboard. It turned out so much better than what I planned and will always be one of my best memories of California. I'll hold onto it forever, probably won't even let my kids surf it when I have them haha.
If someone wanted to do what you do what advice do you have for them? Commit to it, don't listen to others who are stuck in there own mind set about life and how it should be lived. My best advice I could honestly say is, don't follow people on Social media and want to go to the same place they go just so you can take the same picture or adventure. Make your own foot prints and don't follow others.
How much money should someone save if they want to be gone 2 months?
It all depends on location and how you want to be traveling. For me it's not about having a lovely place and a big room. All I need is somewhere dry and a place for me to sleep at night. I'm currently in Nicaragua and I'm staying in a beach front surf lodge for $6 US dollars a night so what's that like $170 for 1 whole months accommodation! I think if you have already payed for your flights then $2000 can seriously get you such a long way if you are smart.
What Beach Lodge is that!? And what town? I'm in playa Guasacate, it's well off the beaten path but if you are after good waves with constant off shore winds then it's worth it. If you are looking to escape reality and be in a town where time means nothing it's definitely for you. I don't even know the days of the week anymore, they mean nothing. Beautiful beaches and locals also.
Is social media key for traveling? How has is helped you? The only social media I use is Instagram. I hate to say this because I don't believe it should be but I feel now social media plays a big part in it, not just for the person who is traveling but also for businesses that may appear in the photo or clothing brand etc. Personally I still believe traveling is traveling regardless who sees it, but I'm stoked that social media users have began to take an interest in my whereabouts and what I'm up to next... and its nice that some businesses and groups have started to re-post some of my photos.
Describe a typical day? A typical day will consist of at least 3 surfs, beach hangs, coffee and food, depending on the weather I like to try to go and see something new each day, and I have this daily goal of making at least one person smile everyday!
Do you remember the moment that you decided to take a two year trip? I do! I was 22 at the time, and just came to a decision one day at work that my life is worth more than just a 9-5 job, so at lunch time I told my boss I was leaving and booked flights that night!
How old are you now? Tengo veintetres anos, haha sorry I actually just learned how to say this yesterday in Spanish so I'm using it wherever I can! I'm 23 years young.
What inspired this? Growing up in Australia it's almost expected, even the government encourages us to take a year off after we graduate high school to go travel and see the world. But the main thing is because I'm alive, I'm here in the now, we have been given such an amazing planet, why not go and explore?
How much planning went into this? Haha, I started with a plan, then threw that away as soon as I landed in California. I have found that if you are going on a long trip like me that a plan doesn't really work. It's good to have an idea of where you are going but I have found myself staying months longer in places than I had originally planned, and even going to places that were never on the cards. I think it's good to have more of a basic idea than a plan.
From start to finish where do you plan on going? where are you at now? So just in this stint I have already done Hawaii, California, and am making my way down through Central America. I am currently in Nicaragua and plan to be around here for the next 8 months. My end goal is to end up in Panama, then turn around and come back to the Untied States and leave the surf boards in the garage and head inland to do some hiking and camping. Then I will go home for a while save up and head to Portugal.
This trip is basically planned around surfing. What else have you enjoyed? Yeah this time it really is, I'm traveling solo so I'm just doing what I love and that's being in the water. I have really enjoyed the people I have met, even though they haven't all been surfers, they have just given off such a great vibe. Seeing and being apart of different cultures and ways of living has definitely been an enjoyable experience!
Have you been lonely at all? To a point yes, I'm kind of at that point where I would like to meet a pretty little lovely lady companion to share my adventure with, but I also love my own company so much, there is no better friend than yourself, if you can't appreciate you than how do you expect others to!
What is the most challenging thing you have come across? Trying to pronounce words right because my Australian accent changes them haha!
Thom, we love how you say Nicaragua! Please never correct that!
Top 5 daily expenses did you cut out on your travels? Hmm that's a hard one, because even at home I don't really spend money unless I have to, I guess take away food and snacks in between meals, that all really does add up and you get a lot further buying your own and making your own meals!
Your daily budget or weekly budget? So the way I have set this up is I pay my self a weekly wage, in California I was allowing myself $200 a week and if I ran out then I would have to go with out something, but now I am in a different country I'm able to pay myself less, it's really easy, just have to come back to the question of do I really need to go to the coffee store and buy a $5 coffee everyday...
What was your favorite thing about California? Hands down burritos for sure! I fell in love with Mexican food!
So much that you got a tattoo of one! Ha! You definitely need to come to Houston! We have the best TEX- MEX! Better than Mexican food! We actually have the best food all around.
What would be considered a SPLURGE DAY? Haha okay are you ready for this one! My splurge day would be In and Out Burger haha, but boy when I went there I would make the most of it!
So far how are Americans different from Australians? Now I'm going to have to answer this one as safe as I can haha! I think the main difference is we both have a completely different view on what a successful life looks like. I feel like Americans are chasing this "American Dream" that isn't really that fulfilling. For me a successful life is a lot more than a college degree and a big shiny house. I hear so many Americans say to me, "Gah I wish I could do what you are doing." I always respond with, "then why aren't you... What's stopping you?" We Aussies are just 100% up for anything.
Would you come back? I'd come back in a heart beat, I really want to be able to work here for a year and start up an Australian food van.
Follow along Thom's Journey over on Instagram and if you have any questions that I didn't think to ask let me know. Hope you all have a great Monday! Hope this inspires you to at least Book a trip to somewhere new!
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