The Modern Day Explorer: A Look Back at 2015

With the New Year approaching it's good to reflect on the past year; whether is was good or bad, there's always something to be learned. Did you accomplish your goals? Try something new? Got a promotion? If you didn't, then you have all of 2016... which is part of the beauty that comes with a new year! Right? For me this year symbolized change, a lot of change! I've actually grown to love change, it allowed me to have experiences that were once unfathomable. Most of all, it allowed me to overcome fear... which lead to a sense of awareness and a feeling of what it is to truly be alive!

Prior to 2015 I had always travelled, and by "travelled" I mean a week-long paid vacation sipping margaritas on the beach somewhere tropical, but I never really did much more than that. Now that I'm thinking about it, it's probably because I was too exhausted from working most of the year. All of that changed when I decided instead of sitting on the beach somewhere tropical,  I'd get in my car and drive 22 hours north from Los Angeles to Vancouver, British Columbia. I know it sounds like a crazy idea and it was, it was crazy enough that I would end up doing it again on my recent road trip! After that trip everything changed; I no longer saw traveling as a week-long paid vacation, but rather something to explore, learn and grow from.

How to become the Modern Day Explorer? Click for more.Redwood National Park, California

How to become the Modern Day Explorer? Click for more.Highway 1, California

How to become the Modern Day Explorer? Click for more.Seattle, Washington

Soon after I found myself needing to cure my insatiable appetite for exploration! So what did I do? I bought a ticket to Europe and visited seven European countries, why of course! From walking through the narrow passageways of Venice, Italy, to having a traditional Belgian waffle in Brussels. I can still smell the dough of freshly baked croissants from my time spent walking around Paris! I'll forever be ruined! After returning from a place like Europe it's hard to settle back in, it's a whole other world. I certainly couldn't return to my job! It lost its meaning and was no longer fulfilling. This is when I was faced with the easiest yet toughest decision that I had to face; leave the place that I had been working at for eight years of my life and I haven't regretted it since! Soon after I booked a trip to Nicaragua, where I explored the entire country with nothing more than a backpack and a camera. I returned with a deep appreciation for nature and a renewed focus on exploring as much of the United States as possible! I've visited nine states and twelve national parks with plans to see even more this upcoming year. I hope this year was as monumental for you as it was for me!

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Budapest, Hungary

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Vienna, Austria

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Venice, Italy

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Florence, Italy

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Paris, France

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Brussels, Belgium

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Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Berlin, Germany

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Managua, Nicaragua

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Leon, Nicaragua

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Granada, Nicaragua

Plan your next road trip through the American Southwest!

Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Plan your next road trip through the American Southwest!

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Click for a complete guide to exploring Utah's Mighty 5 National Parks!

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Click for a complete guide to exploring Utah's National Parks!

Arches National Park, Utah

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Click for Yellowstone's Top Natural Wonders!

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Planning a visit to Mt. Rainer National Park? Click for a complete travel guide!

Mt. Rainer National Park, Washington


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About the Founder of The Modern Day Explorer   About The Author

In 2015, Founder of TMDE Paul Martinez left a career in sales for a life of exploring. In just a matter of months he had visited over 10 countries, 30 cities, 10 states, countless national parks, taken thousands of photographs, and did a ton of soul-searching. His search uncovered a deep passion for exploration; which he now believes to be the essence of the human spirit, and led to the birth of The Modern Day Explorer. You can follow him on his personal journey by visiting his Instagram, and hopefully continue to support TMDE by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.