It’s My 200th Blog Post — Enter the Contest!


Well, we’ve finally reached the 200th blog here on Ryan Murdock’s Road Wisdom.

And I’ve been struggling to think of an appropriate way to mark the occasion…

Should I come up with some sort of special “anniversary” article? Something nostalgic where I reminisce about how I got started, why I decided to blog, and all the gin-scented sweat I poured into it?

Should I do a flashback episode? Or is that better left to 80’s TV shows that have run out of new ideas?

Or should I make an Academy Award’s style thank you speech?

That struck me as the best option. The thank you speech. But without the self congratulation, back patting and attributing it all to some higher power I don’t believe in, in an effort to appear humble and genuine.

So yeah, as we reach Episode #200 here in Murdland, I’m taking a break from posting thought provoking travel articles to thank YOU — my valued readers — for coming here to read my stuff.

Without you… well… I’d be talking to myself. And that would look very very strange indeed.

Thanks so much for supporting my work. For following me on this site — some of you have been with me since I started back in March 2009. And for taking the time to post comments here and on my facebook page.

Knowing that my travels have inspired a few of you out there to pack your bags, drop off the map and push your own comfort zones makes all the work I put into this site worthwhile.

It’s time for me to give something back. Something more than just words. Something you get in the mail…

Win a FREE Book!

To mark this 200th Article Anniversary, I’ve decided to give away 2 signed copies of my book Vagabond Dreams.


Here’s how to enter:

1. Post a comment below saying why you read my stuff, what keeps bringing you back here time after time, or why you like my work. Honest answers only please! I want to know what I’m doing well, what you like, and what adds value to your life. It helps me to improve the site.

 2. I’ll choose my favourite entries, and I’ll ask a couple of my writer friends to do the same. Then I’ll put the finalist names into my best desert hat and pick the two winners.

3. Winners will be announced in an email to my list — so if you’re not signed up to my email list, you might want to do that now.

Please don’t post your address or any personal contact details here in the open. That only gives spammers and bots a way to bug ya. I’ll reveal the winners in an email on Friday, and tell you how to get in touch with me.

Deadline is this midnight Eastern Standard Time on Thursday September  19th, 2013.

Winners will be notified on Friday.

This book should come with a WARNING label: may cause you to quit your job, sell the kids, burn down the house and step into an exciting new life of Meaningful Journeys to Marginal Places

Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America
Get your copy of Vagabond Dreams today!

About the author

Ryan Murdock

Author of A Sunny Place for Shady People and Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Writer at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


  • I love reading your email because my son Eric is the guy who flew you from Malta in his red Bonanza to Lampadusa (sp) and you wrote an article about it. Eric told me about it and I’ve been reading your articles every day since then. I loved the book Vagabond Dreams, it sure made me wish that at some point I had taken to the vagabond path and seen so many different parts of the world and experienced half as much as you did!! Thank you for sharing your adventures and dreams with the rest of us. I have a copy of Vagabond Dreams but would love an autographed copy too!!

    Sue Copeland in Warner Robins, GA

  • Entertaining blog about real experiences with photos!. Makes me laugh at times –enjoy reading about areas I will never see — love being surprised by info — amazed at your adventurous spirit and good research.

    Overall it provides a wider view of the world and reminds me to appreciate wherever I am at the moment. All of our lives are a journey (no matter what path we choose); however, rarely so well written about or with great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  • I already have a signed copy of your book. Leon and I both read it and enjoyed it. I didn’t get the photo though, you might have to take a trip home for that. Enjoyed your site Ryan.

    • Why don’t you guys come to Malta instead? 😛 No trips home planned for the rest of this year. Going back last winter nearly did me in! I might be over that way a few times next year for business though. And planning a really big 2 month trip to the other side of the planet for mid-year as well. Looking fwd to raising a glass with ya.

  • I’m a fairly recent reader, but I love your no-nonsense approach to travel and living your dreams. I’m kind of already living my dream here in France, but I’m always up for a new adventure. (although I think my extreme adventure days are behind me at my age) You won’t ever convince me to love the desert, but I can certainly appreciate why you do. I’ve really loved you multiple part posts on North Korea…that place sounds totally bizarre! If I win your book, I promise to pass it along to my son and to my grandchildren…they need to learn how to be vagabonds, I think.

  • I enjoy reading about your adventures and also your writing style & sense of humour. Favourite recent posts are;- North Korea, Canol pipeline & the pics of your villa in Malta. Cheers Colin

  • Ah Ryan…

    I devour fiction, but don’t read as much non-fiction. My favorite non-fiction authors are similar to you – travel or real-life experiences and most often in periodicals. Like a young lady who until a few years ago wrote about the club scene in Chicago… Something I haven’t experienced in 30+ years but which she described in such a way that I felt like I had been there with her.

    I don’t know if I will ever visit Malta, or any of the other places you have described… but I HAVE VISITED them through your words and pics. THANK YOU for sharing!

    P.S. And your sense of humor (whether through your writing or even exercise video comments) is RIGHT ON – don’t let anyone tell you anything different!

  • Our lives are composed of the dull, dreary and demanding as well as the free, flexible and flourishing. Some of us are virtually compelled to spend most of our days in the former, but some of us are fortunate enough to live a life composed of the latter. I have enjoyed your peregrinations by proxy because my life is far more prosaic – your travels and thoughts remind me that this is not all, there is far more to experience and enjoy and, perhaps, maybe, yes, I will eventually break the surly bonds of a mediocre “meh” existence and savour the thrill of a life of adventure, a life which engenders gratitude, appreciation and a willingness to share its bounty with others.
    Thanks for allowing me to come along for the ride, Ryan.
    Buono voyagio.

  • Your life is very exotic to me, and sounds very appealing. A true underdog story. I love reading your blog post because you have a great writing voice, and you talk about such interesting things.

    I didn’t think reading about growing olive trees would be interesting. Or reading about camels.

    And the series about North Korea was surreal. It gave me insight into the country that can be very hard to find. And it’s so very human. You don’t shy away from telling it like it was. And I really like that.

    I’m a writer myself, and I can really appreciate your blog, and hopefully my readers find is as honest, if not as exotic.

    Please keep up the good work, and I’d love a copy of Vagabond Dreams. 🙂

    • Speaking of North Korea, Gareth Morgan just did a motorcycle trip through the country. He must’ve drank the kool-aid while he was there. It’s an interesting read that is very out of touch with reality.

      I prefer Ryan’s version.

  • I love how your writing is not just about the nuts and bolts of the location but also about your growth and transformation while you were traveling. You have just the right amount of personal insight woven into your stories to make your experiences resonate with the reader. Your dry, self-deprecating humor adds an entertainment factor that pulls the reader through. It’s also nice that you push the boundaries in your travels and go to places that many people will never see with their own eyes. You do a great job of taking us there.

    thank you.

  • I have know you for many years and really enjoy all your writing! Always have always will my friend. You always made me laugh and still do! I wish you continued success!

    • Thanks Duke! High praise from a former collaborator. We wrote a hell of a fine sentimental piece about the final decline of a bookshelf many years ago.


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