I’m Ryan, a world traveling adventurer who enjoys road trips, mountains, mother nature, and new places.
A few random facts about me:
I love great coffee, and am totally happy hanging out in a cool coffee shop for half the day with a good book.
I was not a big international traveler while growing up, indeed my first time traveling overseas was at 20 during a study abroad in Florence, Italy, where I finally got over my hatred of tomatoes.
I graduated from the University of Washington (Go Huskies!) and majored in Arabic studies, which lead to me living in Yemen for six months — only my second time abroad.
I’ve only ever owned one vehicle ever since I turned 16 — my old 1991 Toyota Hilux. I could have never imagined we would travel the world together.
I’m originally from the Seattle area, but after college I headed to Washington D.C. to work in politics.
I spent five years working on the the Hill covering a myriad of different policy issues for a senior member of Congress, but my favorite was working on environmental policy.
Indeed, after travel and the outdoors, I’m pretty passionate and opinionated about politics.
[Image: Me working late on the House Floor, Blackberry in hand!]
Me working LATE on the House Floor, Blackberry in hand!
But when my boss decided to retire instead of run for reelection, I figured I wasn’t getting any younger and that this would be as good a time as any to take a ‘mini-retirement’ to spend some time on the road climbing, backpacking, and exploring America’s most spectacular nature areas.
I set out in January of 2013 on what I jokingly dubbed my Epic Dirtbag Adventure, and spent the better part of a year living out of my truck and road tripping around the American West.
Multiple people warned me when I set out down this path that I wouldn’t want to go back to the traditionally working world. They were right.
Every year has been a new adventure, and I’ve yet to stop traveling…
2014 – I decided to travel to Colombia to explore a new continent and culture, learn Spanish, and pursue other adventures. I flew into Cartagena and spent a few months traveling around the country before being pulled in by the draw of Medellin, Colombia, where I put down some roots for the better part of the year.
2015 – My Colombian girlfriend Andrea headed north to the USA where we explored from Miami to Fairbanks before setting out in my truck for another tour of the American West. Many thousands of miles, a few months, and 17 National Parks later and we then headed south of the border and into Mexico for a road trip through Central America.
2016 – Saw me settling back into expat life in Medellin, Colombia as we regrouped, I worked on my second book, and we prepared for the next big adventure…
2017 – We set out for our biggest trip yet… Driving all the way to the end of South America: Patagonia!
2018 – We are still on the road down in Chile and Argentina, enjoying our travel, but still aren’t sure of that comes next…
Travel and adventure, to me, is more than just 2-3 weeks per year of vacation time or long weekends. It’s a way of life.
After years of continuous travels and constantly hearing from folks who wish they could follow in my footsteps, I decided to sit down and write a book showing exactly how to travel on the cheap.
Thus was born my #1 bestselling budget travel book, Big Travel, Small Budget: How to Travel More, Spend Less, and See the World, available on Amazon.com in Paperback or Kindle.
What is Desk to Dirtbag?
Desk to Dirtbag is dedicated to inspiring armchair adventurers and weekend warriors to get out there.
To show that any old Average Joe has the means and ability to undertake a life changing journey and adventure.
You don’t have to be some sponsored pro-climber or some son of a wealthy business tycoon to hit the road, travel, and live the life you want.
It has more to do with realigning your priorities, putting the gears in motion, and committing to doing it.
P.S. For those of you not familiar with climber vernacular, a dirtbag is someone who takes things to the extreme and forgoes the traditional comforts of life (a home, family, job, etc) to pursue their passions and desired way of life 100%.
I hope to inspire and inform more of my readers about finding more travel and adventure in their day to day lives, because life is too short to watch it pass by from a desk…