I’m the product of my studies, experiences and my American-Lithuanian upbringing in Michigan. I studied graphic design at an overpriced art school in Savannah, Georgia and I sucked at it in the real world so I became a developer. I was very good at that yet it made it made me ill with wanderlust; staring at a computer screen day-in-day-out like a code monkey was a good way to earn money but the 2 weeks of vacation I got every year, I find f*cking ridiculous (what gives America?). I saved up and left New York City after two and a half years of working and enjoying the privilaged life. I learned a 17-month lesson on my failed startup Chatterplot working even longer hours while also living and working from other parts of the world like Sri Lanka, Berlin, Lithuania and Colombia. I left the startup I helped found in a bitter struggle like a divorcing father who gave one last try before calling it quits.
Then I was free to figure out what I was going to do next. I tried selling bluetooth speakers on Amazon from China, I tried selling goofy t-shirts with illustrated Lithuanian swear words all in hopes of finding a way to survive. Then I got my stuff stolen in Ukraine while doing my first long distance hitchhike from Lithuania and I made the decision to temporarily return to a way of life that I grown to loath after being my own boss for so long.
Eighteen days after that occurence in Ukraine, I packed my small backpack and returned to my old job in NYC as a developer for JackThreads (RIP). Over that winter of 2016, I spent eight months saving up and buying the most ideal gear so that I could go out and travel the world while spending as little money as possible. Write now I want to travel (full pun intended). At the time of this writing it’s been four months since leaving that job and I’ve spent three quarters of that time walking, train-ing, busing and hitchhiking through Europe. I have the travel bug and I’m merely trying to quench it!
I’m addicted to experiencing new cultures, tasting every pastry shop’s pastries, and I love learning languages, especially those of where I am traveling through so to be able to use them (though I also write about non-travel related topics on my Medium account)! Seeing as the world is changing at a scarily fast pace, countries are developing, others are overdeveloping, I see this time to travel as the last chance to experience certain cities and cultures before they become transformed by weekend tourists and airplanes like Amsterdam and Riga. I tend to avoid big cities (250k people or more) as I find them homogenous no matter where you go around the world, thus I am more enticed by the lesser known gems I would see on my computer screen while surfing the internet for wanderlust eye candy. I haven’t changed since then, only my situation has. Otherwise I also bike, boulder and experiment with food.
If you have any topics that you think I’d like or you simply wanna say “Hi”, hesitate not! Send me a message to email@example.com or call me out on twitter @marufhopsmaps. No don’t do that, I never go on Twitter…