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Vagabond 29 Years Old

29 years old.

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SUCHITOTO, El Salvador- Last Sunday, May 23, was my birthday. I mostly sat around dehydrated and chemicalated from the 18 alcoholic beverages I drank the night before. I say this to indicate that I have friends in Suchitoto, my wife threw a birthday party for me at El Necio, she bought me a big birthday cake, there were enough people around to eat it. I could not have drank so much beer any other way.

It made me happy to realize that I have friends here who were willing to come to my birthday party. It made me happier that they like me enough to buy me birthday beers. It is good to have friends, even if they are perpetually in the flow on the road sorts of friendships.

It is a pity that I will be leaving them tomorrow.

salvadoran woman white baby

Petra eating birthday cake

It is not common in travel to chance to find yourself in the company of so many friends that you could even have a birthday party, let alone have people come.

29 years old. I have lived on this earth for 29 complete years. By the Asian way of counting birthdays, I would now be 30. Fortunately, I am not Asian. I still have one more year before crossing perhaps the last age threshold that carries any real significance until 50.

On my birthday each year I look back at what happened since my last one and determine if I am happy with how I progressed, or if I am, in fact, hungry for another way.

This was perhaps one of the biggest years of my life: since my last birthday I was married any had my first child. A big year. A lot seems to have changed, but really the plot is still the same. I still travel, I still write on Vagabondjourney.com full time. But so much more has been added to this plot, I now have a family to travel with me.

And it has really worked. As a family we have traveled across the USA, to the Dominican Republic, I went to Haiti on my own, then we all went to Guatemala, to El Salvador, and now we should be going back to Guatemala tomorrow to go work at the Finca Tatin in the jungle.

birthday cake

Birthday Cake

When I look back on this past year — from birthday to birthday — I must first ask “wow, what happened?” and then add smugly and without a doubt that I am fully satisfied.

Sometimes you find yourself the architect of your time, but your time is always the architect of you.

Travelogue entry from birthday 2009

Travelogue entry from birthday 2008

Travelogue entry from birthday 2007


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Filed under: Central America, El Salvador

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3715 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

10 comments… add one

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  • craig | travelvice.com May 26, 2010, 1:51 pm

    23rd, eh? Same as Tatiana.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com May 26, 2010, 6:21 pm

      Happy birthday, Tatiana! Are we the same age too?

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  • Bob L May 26, 2010, 2:18 pm

    One more year to the BIG THREE-OHHHHH!!!!

    Then there is the 40th. Then the 50th. From there, forget about it until your 80th…..

    Any grey hairs yet???

    Bob L

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com May 26, 2010, 6:31 pm

      Man, I am bald already, I ain’t got no hair! Haha. Though the beard is still balck as can be.

      We’ll … The last time I looked it was haha.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com May 26, 2010, 6:32 pm

      Man, I am bald already, I ain’t got no hair! Haha. Though the beard is still black as can be.

      We’ll … The last time I looked it was haha. Maybe this is going to change soo now that I am almost thirty! Though I think a nice white beard would serve me well!

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  • david May 27, 2010, 5:16 am

    Happy happy Wade! Hope year 30 is as interesting for us readers! 😉

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com May 27, 2010, 8:06 am

      Thanks David,

      I hope so as well, though I don’t know how to top last year haha.

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  • Steve O June 2, 2010, 11:52 pm

    I would come to your birthday party!

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com June 3, 2010, 7:07 pm

      Chu-his all around. Still in Japan?

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  • Mathieu March 1, 2011, 2:50 am

    18 alcoholic drinks Wow that is some drinking binge. Though, I do hope you had a great time and remember at least some of the party. Wish I was there!

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